Thiagarajar College was founded in 1949 by Kalaithanthai Karumuthu Thiagarajan Chettiar, a philanthropist and visionary of south India. It is managed by Kalaithanthai Karumuthu Thiagarajan Chettiar Memorial Trust and is a government aided institution affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University. Thiagarajar College became an autonomous college in 1987. It is now free to frame its own courses and to adopt innovative methods of teaching and evaluation. The degrees are conferred by the university.
The following undergraduate degree courses are offered: B.A. Economics, B.A. English, B.A. Tamil, B.Com, B.Sc. Botany, B.Sc. Chemistry, B.Sc. Computer Science, B.Sc. Industrial Microbiology (UGC recognized Vocational Program), B.Sc. Mathematics, and B.Sc. Physics. Postgraduate and Doctorate programs are also offered. These include M.A. Economics, M.A. English, M.A. Tamil, M.Sc. Botany, M.Sc. Chemistry, M.Sc. Zoology, M.Phil. Botany, M.Phil. English, M.Phil. Zoology, PhD Botany, PhD Tamil, PhD Zoology, and PhD English.
Thiagarajar College Hostel consists of 200 students from various parts of Tamil Nadu and India. Strict discipline and observance of silence during night is observed here, in order to create conducive atmosphere for serious studies. The college provides best available resources and facilities for the students. The college library has facilities like Book Bank, Dailies/journals browsing area, Career Oriented books corner, and Internet services.
The Institution has produced many graduates, postgraduates and Doctorates, many of whom are occupying very positions both in India and abroad. In order to have interaction with the Alumni of the college, the college has recently started an association of the alumni under the name "Thiagarajar College Alumni Association".