Department of Economic Theory, which initially was called the Department of Political Economy, was one of the first departments to be established by the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in September 1934. Departments of political economy of humanitarian and natural faculties were combined and renamed as the Department of Economic Theory in 1992. Doctor of economic sciences, professor, and academic at the NAS of the Republic of Kazakhstan Aubakirov Yahiya Aubakirovich became head of the new formed department. From September 2002 to 2009 the department was headed by doctor of economic sciences, professor Tulegenova Madina Sakenovna. From September 2009 till the moment of reorganization doctor of economic sciences, professor Aubakirova Zhanar Yahiyaevna was head of that department.
Department of Macro-Microeconomics was founded in January 1995 and originally called «Macro-Microeconomics and Mathematical Methods», later renamed into the Department of Modeling of Economic Processes. As the «Department of Macro-Microeconomics» functioned since 2004. Head of the department since its foundation till the moment of reorganization with a short break was doctor of economic sciences, professor Mukhamediyev Bulat Mintaevich. From September 2008 to February 2009 the department was headed by doctor of economic sciences, professor Spankulova Lyazzat Seytkazievna.
Two departments «Economic Theory» and «Macro-microeconomics» were reorganized into the Department of «Economics» under the program of transformation of Al-Farabi KazNU in the research university. New department started its activity since 2011/2012 academic year. Doctor of economic sciences, professor Mukhamediyev Bulat Mintaevich was elected Head of the Department by results of the open competition. Since September 2014 the department is headed by candidate of economic sciences, associate professor Sadykhanova Gulnara Amangeldievna.
The Department of Economics provides training for bachelors, masters and doctors PhD in the specialties 5В050600, 6М050600, 6D050600 - Economics, 6М011500 - Basics of Law and Economy. Since 2009, the program of two-diploma preparation of masters in the specialty 6M050600 - Economics (KazNU) in cooperation with the RUDN university within the framework of the Network University of the CIS and the SCO has been successfully implemented. Since 2014, within the framework of integration with the Gylym Ordasy, Master's and PhD doctors under the 6M050600 - Economics, 6D050600 - Economy programs are being conducted jointly with the Institute of Economy of the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan