The Department of Horticulture came into existence with the establishment of the Assam Agricultural College in 1948 for fulfilling the objective of teaching horticulture in four year B.Sc. (Agri.) degree programme. With the establishment of Assam Agricultural University in 1969, the three mandates of teaching, research and extension in horticulture came into being. The post graduate programme offering M.Sc. (Agri.) degree in Horticulture was started in 1972 while PhD programme in course credit system since 1986. Presently there are 15 seats in MSc (Agri) and 10 seats in PhD programme. The Department started post-graduate programme in Food Science and Technology (FST) since 2014 with yearly intake of 10 students.
Research in the field of Horticulture in Assam was started prior to the establishment of the University. Citrus research was initiated at Government, Citrus Fruit Research Station, Burnihat in 1933. In 1960 Govt. of Assam initiated research on a few fruit Crops in Kahikuchi. A full fledged Horticultural Research Station was established in 1973 at Kahikuchi and a Citrus Research Station at Tinsukia in 1976.
Besides post-graduate research, the department is credited with three numbers of All India Coordinated Projects (AICRP) one each for fruits, vegetables and tuber crops (other than potato) funded by ICAR. Research on horticultural crops in the department derived considerable boosting under (Technology Mission, MM- 1) Horticulture Mission for North Eastern and Himalyas which was in operation from 2001 till 2014.
The competitive projects earned by the faculty members under NATP-CGP, ICAR Ad hoc and DBT sponsored projects which were successfully completed and significant results recommended. At present various coordinated projects as well as Mission for Integrated Development in Horticulture (MIDH) Project with financial assistance from ICAR are in progress. Recently the department has earned four projects respectively from BARC, DBT, IIT and Oil India.In extension front, since inception of the university, the Department of Horticulture has been putting its efforts to address horticultural problems of the state. With the joint efforts of the university and the state Government, package of practices on horticultural crops for the benefit of the farmers of the state has been published. The scientists are putting continuous efforts to disseminate the generated horticultural technologies to the farmers of the state through the existing 23 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in various districts of the state.