The faculty was founded in 1936 under the name of the Faculty of Economics and Law. Even before 1920, local business people had time after time expressed the desire for a "Faculty of Commerce", or a "Business Faculty" where the future managers for business and other organisations could be educated. The local magnates, who had donated very significant sums for the university's buildings, were not entirely impressed that the setting up of such a faculty was such a long drawn-out process. However, finally in 1934 once medical teaching had started, the University Association was able to appoint a sub-committee to examine the case. After a couple of years in preparation, a faculty was established, with the Economics Department temporarily based in a building in the harbour area, made available by Aarhus Oil Mill, while Law teaching was actually lodged in the university's own building, where Medical and the Arts subjects were already in residence.
After the years of the German Occupation, both subjects moved into the new Main Building along Nordre Ringgade. While the Economics course of studies was granted full rights of examination from the very beginning, Law studies were confined to the right to offer Part 1 exams only. It was a few years before it became possible to sit Law finals within the faculty. The Department of Economics has supplied a host of managers for the business world and other organisations both in Denmark and abroad, and, since the arrival of Political Sciences in 1959, the faculty as a whole can count amongst its graduates many who later became government ministers.
Following the addition of Psychology to the faculty's establishment of subjects in 1968, the name was changed to Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences, a completely new subject with no equivalent at Copenhagen University, occupied a wooden building "Statskassen" (The Treasury) north of Aarhus Municipal Hospital. Psychology was housed within the Psychiatric Hospital until 1971, when the subject moved into a temporary building in the suburb of Risskov. At the beginning of the new millennium, Psychology is moving into Nobel Park, while other Social Science subjects are taking over part of the building that runs around the University Park's north eastern corner.
When the rector invited professors and their wives to a function at the university, evening dress was a must. The picture stems from the period when Professor Ad. Stender-Petersen was rector from 1945-1947. From left to right are: Mrs Kjeld Philip (alias Grethe Philip, the first female cand.oecon. from the University of Aarhus, later government minister's wife and member of parliament), Professor Jens Holt, Stender-Petersen with the rector's chain of office, Professor Heinrich Bach, Mrs Inger Bach, and the newly appointed Professor Erik Strömgren, Medical Director. (Photographer unknown. University History Committee).