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This college was started as a Provincial School in October 1854 even before the establishment of the Madras University. Thus it claims to be a hoary precursor of university education in TamilNadu. In 1864 it was raised to the status of second Grade College with the affiliated subjects Mathematics, History and Philosophy. At that time, there were only four colleges in South India. In 1867 the B.A. classes were started. In 1885 instruction was offered in all new arts curriculum (except biology) and B.A. courses in Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Logic, History and Sanskrit. In 1871 construction of new buildings were started. In 1875 the existing building with bell tower was completed.

In 1954 college celebrated its centenary year and the UGC sanctioned Rs 1 lakh to this college. In 1966 it was upgraded into a postgraduate institution with M.Sc. Mathematics and M.A. Economics. In 1972 B.Com course was started and subsequently the following post graduate courses came into being: M.A. Tamil Literature (1972), M.A. English Literature (1979), M.Sc. Chemistry (1982), M.Sc. Physics (1984), M.Sc. Zoology (1987), M.Sc. Geography (1994), M.C.A. (1998) and the department of Tamil, English, physics and Chemistry were elevated to the status of Research Departments started offering M.Phil. and Ph.D. programs. In the year 2000-2001 the departments of Zoology, Geography and Mathematics were elevated as research Departments offering M.Phil and Ph.D. programs. It was soon followed by the department of Economics in the year 2002-03 and Commerce in the year 2012-13 to offer research programs. In 2003, M.Sc., Bio-chemistry, M.Sc., Operational Research, M.Sc., Computer Science, M.A., History and M.Com., Courses were started along with B.B.A. and Pulavar Pattayam. It is important to mention here that in 2004 the Department of Geography is the first of its kind in south India to receive an Innovative Programme on Spatial Information Technology for Disaster Management from the UGC, New Delhi and first of its kind to get recognition from the Department of Science and Technology under FIST Programme to upgrade the GIS Lab.

The location significance of this college is singularly felt as it is drawing learners from the adjacent constituencies, where rural, semi-rural and suburban feeder institutions of higher secondary learning abound. Its presence is so academic that it transmits the academic compulsions over to the feeder schools giving them the ideal scope to aim at.
Internal Quality Assurance Cell was established on 10.06.2009 in our College.