In 1970, the Tanzania Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church found it necessary to establish a ministerial training institution for its workers. It was located at Ikizu, 65 kilometers southeast of Musoma town.
In 1975, the Tanzania Union Mission combined the Adventist School of Health Evangelism (ASHE) at Heri Hospital in Kigoma and the ministerial course at Ikizu. This consolidated institution was then transferred to a new site at Usa River, 24 kilometers from Arusha town, and was named Arusha Adventist Seminary (AAS).
In 1978, AAS was upgraded to a college status and named Tanzania Adventist Seminary and College (TASC).
In 1992, the name was changed to Tanzania Adventist College (TAC) and the ministerial course was replaced by a two-year diploma program in theology. In 1996, TAC was affiliated to Griggs University in the USA. Under this affiliation, TAC offered BA in Theology and Religion.
In 1998, the affiliation shifted from Griggs University to the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UEAB) in Kenya. Under this affiliation, TAC offered BA in theology and reli- gion, BBA in accounting and management and diploma courses in education and business. Apart from the affiliation with UEAB, TAC was also a teachers' college under the then Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC). Under the MEC Registration Number S. 401, it offered diploma in education, diploma in secretarial science, and certificate in secretarial science.
In early 2003, TAC began the process of being a University. On September 2003, it was granted a Letter of Interim Authority (LIA) by the then Higher Education Accreditation Council (HEAC) of Tanzania, now called the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU). Under the LIA, TAC was authorized to carry the name the University of Arusha.
In September 2004, HEAC granted the University of Arusha (UoA) a certificate of Provisional Registration No. 016.
In the year 2006, the University of Arusha became fully licensed and accredited by Tanzania Commission for Universities as a graduate university.
In 2009, the University of Arusha submitted the first four graduate programs to the TCU for accreditation in education and business. The Graduate School with its programs in business and education started on November 2010 in Arusha City. Under the School of Education, the following concentrations are offered: (a) MA in educational management and (b) MA in curriculum and instruction. The Faculty of Business also offers three areas of concentration and they are as follows: (a) MBA in finance and accounting, (b) MBA in strategic marketing and entrepreneurship, and (c) MBA in strategic human resource.