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Henan Normal University is a provincial key university with a long history. Its predecessor was the Zhongzhou University founded in 1923 and the Pingyuan Normal College founded in 1951. In the course of many social changes, it has gone through such periods as the Science Department of Henan Provincial Zhongshan University, the Science College of Henan University and the Science College of National Henan University.

In August 1949, the Pingyuan province was established. In October 1950, the people's Government of Pingyuan province decided to establish a university. The name of the school is tentatively designated as Pingyuan University. In March 1951, approved by the central Ministry of education, the school was named Pingyuan Normal College. On November 23, 1951, the Pingyuan Normal College held a grand opening ceremony. The school has 4 departments, 7 specialties, 485 students, 181 staff, 83 teachers,among them, there were over ten professors.

In August 1953, the Pingyuan NormalCollege and Henan University in Kaifeng merged to establish Henan NormalCollege, establishment of two branches. The first college runs a school in Kaifeng, merging the liberal arts of Henan University with those of Pingyuan Normal College; the second college runs a school in Xinxiang, merging the science of Henan University with those of Pingyuan Normal College. After adjustment, the Second College has set up four departments of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, and has become a pure Normal College of science, which has lasted for many years. Subsequently, according to the adjustment spirit of colleges and departments of the State Council, the Second College was renamed Henan Second Normal College and Xinxiang Normal College.

During the ten years from 1956 to 1965, the school developed greatly. A total of 6708 students and 6007 graduates have been recruited in the past ten years, which has trained a large number of qualified personnel and supported the country's economic construction. The ten years of civil strife, which began in 1966, have severely damaged and destroyed schools. After the smashing of the Gang of Four in 1976, especially after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the school has embarked on the road of revitalization and development through a series of construction and reform work.

Since 1975, the school has resumed its liberal arts major and entered a period of joint construction and development of liberal arts and science. In June 1985, Xinxiang Normal University was renamed Henan Normal University in order to meet the needs of Henan's economic, educational and social development. Since then, it has entered a new period of rapid development, and has developed into a large-scale, multi-level, diversified, and comprehensive Normal University with complete disciplines.