The university was once listed in the six universities specially funded by the Shandong provincial government in 1981 , and it was one of the first universities approved by the State Council to enroll graduate students. In 1982, it began to confer master's degrees, and in 2003 doctor's degrees. To get accommodation for the increasingly larger enrollment, the university decided to built Rizhao Campus, and it was put into service in 2002.
Qufu Normal University has 7 post-doctoral programs and 31 doctoral programs. It has also 115 programs offering master's degrees and 12 programs offering professional ones. More important, the university has become full-fledged with its 82 undergraduate programs. With 29 schools and 28 institutes, the university has grown into a great platform for learning, teaching and academic research. QFNU spearheads education reforms, and the faculty there have conducted many nationally-funded programs aiming at restructuring and diversifying the undergraduate education curriculum. The university is also leading in academic research: It has 2 Collaborative Innovation Centers (provincial level), 18 Key Research Programs (provincial level), 7 Key Labs (provincial level), and many other research programs that inspire academic excellence and foster creativity.