Northwest A&F University (A&F) is a national key comprehensive university directly under the jurisdiction of Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE). The university is co-administered by Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources, State Forestry Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Shaanxi Province. As one of the leading universities in China, A&F is supported by Ministry of Education's "Project 985", whose purpose is to build world-class universities in China. The university is also a member of the "Project 211", a new government endeavor aimed at strengthening 100 institutions of higher education and key disciplinary areas as a national priority for the 21st century. In addition, the university is one of 56 universities authorized to run Graduate Schools in China.
A&F was the first high level institution for modern agricultural education in northwest China. In addition to its 18 colleges (department), the university also includes Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, and Department of Physical Education. There are 64 undergraduate programs encompassing eleven disciplines in agriculture, science, engineering, economics, management, humanities, law, philosophy, history, medicine and education. There are seven national key disciplines: Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Agricultural Soil and Water Engineering, Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Pomology, Animal Genetics, Breeding, and Reproduction, Agricultural Economics and Management. There are also two state key fostering disciplines: Crop Genetics and Breeding, and Agricultural Entomology and Pest Control. The university has 25 key disciplines at ministerial or provincial levels, one national key laboratory, 15 key laboratories at ministerial or provincial levels, 18 research centers or engineering (technological) research centers, and 4 national field research stations. A&F also has eleven postdoctoral research stations as well as 11 Ph.D. programs and 18 Master's programs in Level I disciplines and 71 PhD. programs and 105 Master's programs in Level II disciplines. The university runs professional master's programs in engineering, agricultural extension, veterinary medicine, and landscape and gardening and on-the-job master's programs for teachers at high level colleges and intermediate vocational schools.
The university staff includes accomplished senior professors and researchers together with young innovative academic leaders who are on the cutting edge of their research fields. There are 1,478 full time teachers among the 4689 staff members, including 258 professors and 372 associate professors. Among the teachers, 236 are qualified to supervise doctoral students and 623 are qualified to supervise master's students. Currently the university has one academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, one academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, and seven jointly-appointed academicians. A&F faculty members have won a number of titles and awards including 1 chair professor and 1 lecturer professor in the "Cheung Kong Scholars" Program, 4 recipients of "National Outstanding Youth Fund", 11 award winners in the "National Hundred-Thousand-Ten-Thousand Talent Project", 1 winner of "Trans-Century Training Program Foundation for the Talents" by MOE, 28 scholars in the " Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University ", 3 winners of the "Award for Young Teachers at Higher Education Institutions", and 13 recipients in the "Excellent Young Teachers’ Program, MOE".
A&F began recruiting undergraduate students in 1936 and post-graduate students in 1941. A complete range of study programs is now available at the university for undergraduates, masters, Ph.D. and post-doctoral studies. Technical training courses and adult education are also offered. There are currently over 20,000 full-time undergraduate students, 7100 postgraduates including 5573 postgraduate students for academic degrees, and about 8000 adult education students enrolled at the university.
From its beginning, more than 5,000 studies have been completed. A total of 1,800 studies have received awards, including 104 national awards. Outstanding research accomplishments include the development and release of “Bima-1”, the most widely planted wheat variety in China, and “Xiaoyan-6”, the leading replacement variety. The university researchers also developed the apple variety “Qinguan”, the most commonly planted apple variety in China. The direct economic benefit of these advances amounts to over 200 billion yuan.
Northwest A&F University is actively striving to expand international cooperation and exchange in education, science and technology. The university currently has cooperative relations with over 50 universities and research institutes from the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Australia, etc. In 2006, the university received approval to recruit international students who are funded by scholarships from Chinese government.