Senthamil College, Madurai was established by Madurai Tamil Sangam during the year 1957. The Madurai Tamil Sangam is a non-profit, educational, social, cultural and a research establishment founded by a Philanthropist-scholar Thiru.Pon.Pandithurai Thevar, a noble man of Royal Lineage. Thiru.Pon.Pandithurai Thevar, the Zamindar of Paalavanatham, donated rupees one lakh to the patriot V.O.Chidambaranar, one of the great freedom-fighters from Tamil Nadu, when he launched an Indian Merchantship against the British rule. This is in continuation of the philanthropic traits of the Sethupathi Dynasty. Thiru.Pon.Pandithurai Thevar was the son of Ponnusamy Thevar, the uncle of Thiru Baskara Sethupathi. Who sponsored for the visit of Swami Vivekanantha to America to take part in the International Religious Conference at Chicago. He was one of the nephews of the Sethupathis of Ramnad who were the rulers of Ramanathapuram.
The Madurai Tamil Sangam found its birth on the 14th day of September in the year 1901. To impart knowledge and strive for the awakening of interest in Tamil Language and Literature and about those aspects of which have the most immediate and enduring interest for the people of Tamil Nadu.
Till 2001, the Sangam functioned in the buildings donated by Thiru.Pon.Pandithurai Thevar. Under the patronage of the Sethupathis, the institution has grown into a centre for Tamil studies. In the early stage of its establishment, the Sangam provided free boarding and lodging to the students of Tamil language and literature. To disseminate widely the research findings of the Tamil Scholars, a Tamil Research Monthly Journal “Senthamil” was published ever since its inception on 7th of December 1902. The eminent Tamil scholars like U.V.Saminathaiyer, Mu. Raghava Iyengar, Ra.Ragava Iyengar - the court poet of Sethu Dynasty, Sholavandan Arasan Shanmuganar, Vai. Mu. Sadagopachariar, Pinnaththoor Narayanasamy Iyer, Vi.Ko.Suriya Narayana Shastry, Thirumayilai Shanmugam Pillai, Thiru Narayana Iyengar, etc. contributed their scholarly articles to this journal. Lovers of Tamil Language and Culture take pride by subscribing this journal.
To inculcate the duty of loyalty to Tamil Language and Culture the young students of High schools and higher secondary schools, Tamil Sangam has been conducting special model examinations named as Tamil Sangath Thervu in Tamil, which certainly help them to do better in all public examinations. The meritorious students receive prizes and the successful ones are given certificates from Tamil Sangam.
To widen the horizon of knowledge in Tamil, the Madurai Tamil Sangam decided to establish Senthamil College with the twin objectives of promoting programs in Tamil studies. It provides relief to the poor and needy parents who cannot afford higher education to their children.
The college was affiliated to the University of Madras on 10th of July, 1957. When Madurai University began to function in Madurai, the college was affiliated to it which is now known as Madurai Kamaraj University. The College volunteered for the process of assessment and accreditation by submitting Self Study Report to NAAC, Bengaluru for the first cycle and obtain B+ grade during the year 2006. In the second cycle the college is re accredited with grade B by NAAC on 20.05.2019.
The college is affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University and the college is recognized by University Grants Commission (UGC) under 2f and 12B. The college presently offers two UG, one PG, M.Phil, and Ph.D. programs in Tamil. The college started initially with Pre-University and Vidwan courses in 1957 and B.A. Tamil was introduced in 1969. The other courses were added subsequently viz., B.Litt. Tamil (1976), M.A. Tamil (1979), M.Phil. Tamil (1986) and Ph.D. Tamil (2003). The Pre-University and Vidwan courses were dropped in accordance with the University regulations. B.Litt. Tamil course was introduced in self-financing scheme in 2005 and Tamil Pandit Training Course (TPT) (2006). The college offers Certificate course in Gandhian Thought (CGT), Diploma in Gandhian Thought (DGT) and Certificate course in Palm leaf and Manuscriptology. The college is also offering add-on courses such as Yoga, Diploma in Computer Applications and PG Diploma in Computer Applications. Now the college has Fourteen Regular Staff and One Guest lecturer and Three regular Non-teaching staff. The nomenclature B.Lit., (Tamil) has been changed as B.A. (literature) and approved by the Academic Council on 30.03.2021 and the Senate 31.03.2021 of Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai.
The college has produced 297 M.Phil., and 61(regular) ,22 (part time) total 83 Ph.D.s
The college has applied to UGC for granting Autonomous status.
A NCC unit raised on October 2019.