The University started off on a portion of the temporary campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic known as the mini campus. This was the site of academic programmes in the Faculties of Arts, Science, Education, Engineering & Technology, Business and Social Sciences, and basic clinical sciences of the Health Sciences Faculty. It was the only campus of the university until January 1982 when more than 1000 students studying science were moved following completion of new Faculty blocks and residences for Natural Sciences and Engineering on the permanent campus site. From 1983, the law programme was started as a department in the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences. Following a 6-year hiatus, it was re-established in 1993 as a full-fledged Faculty. The university now has 15 faculties: Arts, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Management Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Communication and Information Sciences, Education, Engineering and Technology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Law; a College of Health Sciences (with 2 Faculties-Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical Sciences); two institutes (Institute of Education and Unilorin Sugar Research Institute); and the Postgraduate School. These faculties have over 60 academic departments. Undergraduate degree programmes are run for 3-5, or 6 years, depending on entry qualifications and discipline.
The University now possesses a staff strength of about 4,474, with over 48,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 postgraduate students in 90 academic programmes across fifteen (15) faculties. Furthermore, the school of Preliminary Studies with Remedial and JUPEB programmes has over 3600 students. University of Ilorin is one of the foremost universities in sub-Saharan African with an uninterrupted academic programme for over 16 years. Its products have excelled in several sectors nationally and internationally.