The Department of Economics was among the first departments transferred from Colombo to Peradeniya in 1952 at the inception of the Faculty of Arts of what was then the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya Campus. This was set up as the first fully-fledged Department of Economics in the country. In 1962 a Commerce degree programme was introduced in addition to Economics. Political Science was one of the fields offered for the Special Degree in Arts under the purview of the Department. H.A. de S. Gunasekara served as the first Sri Lankan Professor of Economics. During the fifty years of its existence, the Department has produced a large number of graduates who are now serving as senior members of government and private sector institutions and in academia, in both Sri Lanka and overseas.