Shandong Agricultural University (SDAU), situated at the foot of the magnificent Mount Tai, was founded in Jinan in 1906 with the original name of Shandong Higher Agricultural School. Later in 1952, it was renamed Shandong Agricultural College during the national integration and adjustment of departments and colleges. The college was moved to Taian in 1958 and renamed Shandong Agricultural University in 1983. In July 1999, the former Shandong Agricultural University incorporated two schools, Shandong Water Conservancy College and Shandong Forestry School, to form the current Shandong Agricultural University. At present, SDAU is a multi-disciplinary university with agricultural science as its strength and life science as a distinctive feature, covering many areas of both natural sciences and social sciences. 

It is jointly built by National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas and Peoples Government of Shandong Province, as well as by National Bureau of Forestry and Grassland and Peoples Government of Shandong Province. It is among the earliest reform pilot universities of excellent agriculture and forestry talent education and cultivation plan jointly initiated by National Education Ministry, National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas and National Bureau of Forestry and Grassland, the earliest 5 characteristic famous universities of application and the earliest national civilized campuses. It was chosen as Shandong Province's high level university for first-class building. In recent years, the employment quality of its graduates has always been ranked the front row among provincial colleges and universities. 38% undergraduates choose to pursue master study. It is among the top 50 universities in terms of typical experience of graduate employment as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.

Currently, SDAU has an enrollment of 34546 full-time students, including 28967 undergraduate students and 5579 master and doctoral students. In addition, there are 23925 students of continuing education. It has a total of 2531 faculty and staff members, among whom there are 1067 professors and associate professors. SDAU has 1 academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and 2 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 1 Special-term Professor of Yangtze River Scholars Award Scheme, 2 awards of Young Yangtze river Scholars, 6 awards of National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars, 3 awards of Excellent Young Scientists Fund, 4 awards of National Ten-Thousand Talents Plan, 2 Outstanding Young Scholars , 10 awards of the National Hundred-Thousand-Ten-Thousand Talent Project, 5 awards of Young and Middle-aged State-ranking Experts with Outstanding Contribution, 1 National Professional and Technical Outstanding Talents, 4 National Famous Teachers, 6 other National Leaders, 3 Shennong Young Talents, 2 Innovative Teams of Yangtze River Scholars and Innovative Teams Development Plan, and 3 National Teaching Teams. 1One Project One Discussion Top Talent Introduction System in Shandong, over 60 Taishan Series Talent Project Experts including 1 Advantageous and Characteristic Discipline Talent Team of Taishan Scholars, 5 Taishan Climbing Scholars, 21 Special-term Experts of Taishan Scholars, 29 Young Experts of Taishan Scholars and 20 Leading Talent Engineering Experts of Taishan Industry.

 The university has 12 postdoctoral research stations, 12 doctoral degree programs and 26 master degree programs in the first-level discipline, and 15 categories of major degree authorization. There are 2 national key disciplines, 2 key disciplines of National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, 21 provincial key disciplines, 1 Peak Plan Discipline of Shandong Province, and 4 provincial first-class and cultivation discipline. 1 provincial cultivation discipline, 1 provincial first-class disciplinepeak plan construction discipline, 4 provincial first-class and cultivation disciplines. The discipline of agronomy and forestry has been ranked Top 400 in QS World University Discipline Rankings for 6 years in a row. 5 disciplines are ranked top 1% in ESI world rankings, the Discipline of Plant and Animal Science of SDAU has been ranked among the top 1of the world. There is 1 national key laboratory, 3 national engineering research centers, 2 national engineering technology research centers. 1 national center of technology innovation, 1 comprehensive key laboratory of National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, 6 professional (regional) key laboratories of National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, 2 experiment stations for agricultural science observation of National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, 1 national research center of processing technology of agricultural products, 1 national sub-center of wheat improvement, 1 supervision, inspection and testing center of agricultural productsquality and safety of National Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas, 1 research institute on development of new rural areas sponsored by National Technology Ministry and National Education Ministry, 1 national innovation base of wheat breeding and cultivation technology, 1 corn technology innovation center of Huang-Huai-Hai region, 1 positioning observation research station of National Forestry and Grassland Bureau, 1 key laboratory of National Forestry and Grassland Bureau, 7 training bases of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education; 1 State Intellectual Property Office Information Public Service Network, 1 provincial technological innovation centers, 8 provincial collaborative innovation centers, 4 provincial key laboratories, 14 key laboratories of provincial colleges and universities, 1 provincial engineering research center, 13 provincial engineering technology research centers, 4 provincial internationally-cooperated research centers, 1 provincial academy of international and regional studies, 2 provincial engineering laboratories, 2 provincial research base of humanities and social sciences, 2 provincial think tanks of new type and 1 provincial science and education base, 5 provincial training base, 1 provincial training demonstration base, 1 provincial social science and popularization education base and 1 provincial science and technology association popular science education base. It holds 90 undergraduate majors, 9 national characteristic disciplines, 16 national first-class undergraduate majors, and 26 provincial first-class undergraduate majors. There are 5 national high-quality courses, 10 national first-class undergraduate courses, 57 provincial first-class undergraduate courses, 2 national bilingual teaching demonstration courses, and 5 national shared courses of high-quality resources. SDAU also owns 2 national innovative experiment zones of talent cultivation mode, 3 national experimental teaching demonstration centers, 1 national demonstration center of virtual stimulation experimental teaching, 2 national virtual stimulation experimental teaching project, 1 national off-campus practical education base for college and university students, 1 national university innovation and entrepreneurship education practice base, 1 national practical education (innovation and entrepreneurship) base and 1 provincial demonstration base of entrepreneurship and incubation for college and university students. 1 provincial public entrepreneurship innovation demonstration base

SDAU covers an area of 5340.13 mu with a building area of 1,181,300 square meters. The total value of instruments and equipment for teaching and scientific research amounts to 973 million yuan (RMB). The library has 2.95 millions of  paper books and 1.83 millions of electronic ones.

It consists of 21 colleges, including Qilu College, College of Agronomy, College of Plant Protection, College of Resources and Environment, College of Forestry, College of Horticulture Science and Engineering, College of Animal Science and Technology (College of Veterinary Medicine), College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, College of Economics and Management (Business College), College of Food Science and Engineering, College of Life Sciences, College of Foreign Languages, College of Public Administration, College of Water Conservancy and Civil Engineering, College of Information Science and Engineering, College of Chemistry and Material Science, College of International Exchange, College of Physical Education, College of Arts, College of Marxism, and College of Continuing Education.

Since the national reform and opening up, SDAU has obtained 38 national science and technology achievement awards, including the First Award of National Technology Invention, and more than 400 science and technology achievement awards above provincial and ministerial level. It has gained 8 national teaching achievement awards, among which there is 1 special prize and 2 first prizes of national teaching achievement, and 103 teaching achievement awards above provincial level. Since its establishment, SDAU has cultivated more than 270,000 talents, among whom there are 3 academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Zhensheng Li, Xiangchu Yin and Zhaoliang Zhu), 5 academicians of Chinese Academy of Engineering Huairui Shu, Lun Shan, Zhenwen Yu, Yu Li, Peiwu Li, 4 Yangtze River Scholars and 12 national distinguished young scholars.

SDAU sticks to inheriting and carrying forward its precious cultural traditions and noble spiritual qualities. It set forth the education concept of integrate learning with doing, take practice as priority, put talent cultivation first, and worship academy, the motto of To climb higher, you must start from the bottom., the culture with cores of talent cultivation, truth seeking, inclusiveness, and openness, as well as the spirit with love China and SDAU, plain and noble, truth seeking and innovation, pragmatic and diligentas its core elements.

Over the years, it has established interschool cooperation with 70 overseas universities and research institutions, including University of California, Davis, University of Kentucky, University of Idaho, Purdue University, University of Florida, University of Ottawa, Royal Agricultural College, FOM University, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, University of Liege, Perm State National Research University, Aristotle University of Thessalonik, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, University of Zagreb, Macquarie University, Flinders University, New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited, University of Cape Coast University of Lome, JeJu National University, Yamaguchi University, etc.