The Department of English was established in 1949 offering Part II English, and then in 1957, offered B.A. English. Later, in 1961, the department was the first to offer M.A. English out side of Madras city. The M.Phil. course was started in 1983. Over 250 scholars have completed their M.Phil including many teacher candidates under the in-service programme. Dr. Mrs. Radha Thiagarajan, an illustrious student of this department, rose to become the first Vice-Chancellor of Alagappa University, Karaikudi. The department records with pride the services of literary stalwarts like Dr. Chandrasekar, Mr. A.K. Ramanujan, Prof. G.Varadhachari, Prof. T.V. Subba Rao and Prof. N. Sakthivelan.
The department is now elevated to a full-fledged research department with part-time and full-time scholars. It has a well equipped library and computer aided language laboratory. The English Club publishes a bi-annual magazine providing a space for creative contributions from staff and students. The faculty members of this department actively engage themselves in translation work and writing critiques on various literary books in Tamil and English.