Madurai Kamaraj University, established in 1966, has 18 Schools comprising 72 Departments. The Directorate of Distance Education of the University has a student strength of about 1.30 lakhs. The University has 109 affiliated Colleges (9 Autonomous) including other approved institutions and 7 evening colleges. There are centres which promote research potential of teachers. Extension activities are carried out through Department of Youth Welfare, NSS, SC/ST cell and Adult Education programmes.
Madurai Kamaraj University, (originally known as Madurai University) was named after the historical city of Madurai, the ancient capital of the Pandyan rulers and the seat of three famous Tamil academies going back to the beginnings of the Christian and even perhaps an earlier Era, was inaugurated on 6th February 1966 at the heart of the city. Its nucleus was the Extension centre of the University of Madras located at Madurai.