Presidency College, Chennai

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Presidency College
Logo of Presidency College, Chennai
Type Government College
Established 1840
Location Wallajah Road, Chepauk, Chennai, India
Nickname Presidencians
Affiliations University of Madras
The main buildings of the Presidency College, Chennai

Presidency College is an arts, law and science college in the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India. Established as the Madras Preparatory School on October 16, 1840 and later, upgraded to a high school and then, graduate college, the Presidency College is one of the oldest government arts colleges in India. It is one of the two Presidency colleges established by the British in India, the other being the Presidency College, Kolkata.


At the behest of Sir Thomas Munro, a Committee of Public Instruction was formed in 1826. In 1836, the duties of the Committee were taken over by a "Committee of Native Education". The plans drawn up by the Committee did not commend themselves to the Governor of Madras, Lord Elphinstone, who in turn proposed nineteen resolutions which were passed unanimously.[1]

As first Principal, the choice of Elphinstone fell on E. B. Powell, a University of Cambridge Wrangler in Mathematics, who accepted the post. Powell reached Mumbai (Bombay) on 20 September 1840 but did not arrive at Chennai (Madras) until 24 November, the journey from Bombay to Madras taking some four weeks. In the mean time, the Committee had invited a Mr Cooper, from the Hoogly College, Kolkata (Calcutta), to carry out the duties of Principal temporarily, at a salary of Rs. 400 a month. Cooper accepted the invitation and came to Chennai (Madras). He and his staff opened Presidency School, a preparatory school, in a rented building in Egmore known as Edinburgh Home on 16 October 1840. Cooper remained in the preparatory school for only a few months. Soon after Eyre Burton Powell's arrival and before the opening of the high school department in April 12 1841, he returned to Kolkata (Calcutta). The preparatory School was shifted to Popham's Broadway in 1841.[1]

The schools grew into Presidency College. When the University of Madras was founded in 1857, Presidency College was affiliated to it.[1]

In 1870, the college moved to its present location in Kamaraj Salai, opposite Marina Beach.


Close up view of the main entrance to the Presidency College

Graduate courses[edit]

  • தமிழ் இலக்கியம் [Tamil litrature]
  • History [English and Tamil]
  • Political Science [English and Tamil]
  • Economics [English and Tamil]
  • Economics [English and Tamil] (with vocational subject)
  • English Literature [English]
  • Telugu Literature [Telugu]
  • Hindi Literature [Hindi]
  • Malayalam Literature [Malayalam]
  • Urdu Literature [Urdu]
  • Mathematics [English and Tamil]
  • Statistics [English]
  • Physics [English and Tamil]
  • Physics [English and Tamil] (with vocational subject)
  • Chemistry [English and Tamil]
  • plant biology and plant biotech [English and Tamil]
  • Zoology [English and Tamil]
  • Geology [English]
  • Geography [English]
  • Psychology [English]
  • Corporate Secretaryship [English]

Post-graduate M.A. courses with research facilities for M.Phil. and Ph.D.[edit]


History, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Tamil, Telugu, English and Sanskrit


Computer Science (MCA), Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Geography, Applied Microbiology and Psychology


There are M.Phil courses in English, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit, Mathematics Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geography and Commerce

Doctorate courses[edit]

Facilities for research leading to the Ph.D. degree are available in the Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Geography, History, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, Commerce, English, Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu departments.

Senior Mathematics Intermediate Group, Break-up social, March 3, 1941


College rankings
General – India
NIRF (Colleges) (2018)[2] 5

Presidency College, Chennai was ranked fifth among colleges in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in 2018.[2]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The History of Presidency College". Archived from the original on 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2017-09-29.
  2. ^ a b "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2018 (Colleges)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2018.
  3. ^ "Alagappa Alagappan, 88, Dies; Founded Hindu Temples Across U.S." Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Setting an old record straight". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  5. ^ Thadathil, George (2002). "The Making of a Tradition: The Vision of Nataraja Guru" (PDF). Divyadaan. 13 (2): 159–190. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-03-23.

W V V B Ramalingam 1884-1962 Principal at Khalikote College Berhampur. Freedom fighter. Quoted from his biography "HE LET GANDHI INTO HIS LIFE"

External links[edit]

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