Brief Profile of the Department
The Department of Tamil was established at Madurai in 1965 as a part of the Extension Centre of Madras University. The Madurai Kamaraj University was started in 1966 and the Department of Tamil got independent status. A programme to teach Tamil Language and Culture to Foreign Students was started in 1968. A full time M.A. Degree course in Linguistics is offered by the School of Tamil Studies. The School is engaged in research activities in Tamil Language and Literature, Comparative Literature, Folklore, Journalism, Dramatics, Temple Studies, Place Names Studies, Dialect Survey, Social Cultural Survey and Studies in Functional Tamil.
The Tirukkural Chair, Saiva Siddhantha Philosophy, and Chair of Islamic Tamil Literature, Chair of Guru Nanak Studies and Department of Christian Literature were also functioned under the Department. Many of these chairs have been elevated as independent Departments now. The Department of Tamil is recognized by the University Grants Commission at various levels since 1971. It has been upgraded by the UGC with Special Assistance Programme (SAP-III).
Many researchers are pursuing their Ph.D. research as Full & Part Time from Singapore and Malaysia with much enthusiasm in Tamil.The School of Tamil Studies is also conducting classes for the competitive examinations like TNPSC, UPSC, SSC, Railway and Bank Exam. Many students have passed NET, SET, TET and TRB exams.
In 1992 the Department of Tamil became the School of Tamil Studies.