The Arts College was inaugurated on August 28, 1919. It was temporarily housed in eight rented buildings in Gunfoundry area with 25 teachers and 225 students in the Intermediate first year class. SirRoss Masood was the first Principal of the college.

A vast portion of land was acquired near Adikmet in 1928 since there was no scope for its expansion in Gunfoundry area. Before the university buildings were built, a team of experts with Sri Syed Ali Raza (later Ali Nawaz Jung), an Engineer and Nawab Zain Yar Jung, an architect, was sent abroad to study and suggest a model plan. The group toured Europe, America, Japan, Egypt and Turkey, and identified Monsieur Jasper, a Belgian architect who prepared detailed plans for the campus buildings. After Jasper left Hyderabad in1931, Nawab Zain Yar Jung executed the plans.

H.E.H. Nizam VII, laid the foundation stone for the Arts College building on 5th July, 1934 and it was declared open by him on 4th December 1939.

The building in Pinkish granite stone represents a harmonious blend of the pillar and lintel style of Ajanta and Ellora. The arches of the building are of Indo-Saracenic tradition. The building is one of the heritage structures in Hyderabad. The diamond jubilee of the college building was celebrated in December 1999.

Initially, the Arts College building accommodated offices of the Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Controller of Examinations, University Library, Law College and College of Commerce and Business Management. These were subsequently shifted to separate buildings.

Undergraduate courses in Arts and Commerce were discontinued from this College in 1973 and Arts College assumed the status of a full-fledged postgraduate college exclusively for postgraduate studies, diploma courses and research studies in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. Shortly thereafter, it was renamed as the University College of Arts and Social Sciences.