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The Department of Economics started as Department of Economics and Industrial Management in the 1970s. The Department offered undergraduate training in Economics and Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Management. The Postgraduate Diploma was upgraded to Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial Management. The M.A Industrial Management was converted to Master of Business Administration (MBA) and run by the Department untill the Industrial Management section was hived off to form the KNUST Business School.

The Department from the 1990s started a Master of Arts (M.A.) programme in Economics which train students in advanced theories and methods of policy analysis and economic management in the public and private sectors. In line with the University's new policy on two-year postgraduate programmes, the two-year M.A. Economics programme was converted to MPhil Economics in 2012.

The Department currently run programmes in Economics at both undergraduate (B.A. Economics) and poat-graduate levels (MSc Economics, MSc Economics (Money, Banking and Finance), MSc Economics (Energy and Resource Economics), MSc Business Economics, MSc Economics and Finance, MPhil Economics, and Ph.D. Economics). The Department continues to offer Economics as an integral part of other undergraduate and graduate programmes in virtually all faculties of the University.