American College, Madurai is one of the oldest colleges present in India. It was established in the year 1881 by American Christian missionaries. The college is situated in Madurai, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu.
There are 13 undergraduate and 12 postgraduate programs of study in the college. The Arts and Humanities department offers courses in Tamil Literature, Hindi, French, Literature, and Economics. The Science department offers courses in Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. Recently, courses in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Microbiology, Computer Science, Business Administration and Social Work have been introduced. Besides, innovative courses such as Gender Studies, Dalit Studies, Folk Arts, and Epigraphy are also offered.
The college Library is called the Daniel Poor Memorial Library (DPM). This important building houses about 130,000 books. The library also subscribes to nearly 700 different journals covering a wide range of subjects. Apart from the collection of books and journals, the library can boast of rare antiques, archaeological artifacts and ancient coins. A study centre, popularly known by its acronym SCILET, has an up-to-date library. The centre organizes lectures, seminars and workshops where eminent writers take part. The centre publishes a journal of poetry called Kavya Bharati. Kavithalaya is another publication, which results from the workshop jointly sponsored by SCILET and the Kodaikanal International School and held at Kodaikanal.
About a third of the students live in five halls on campus, one of which is for women. The mess rates are kept low, affordable even to the economically challenged students. Elected student representatives manage the mess, under a dividing system.