The Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (MSU) was established at Tirunelveli by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 1990 under the provision of the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University Act, 1990 (Act 31 of 1990). The university is named after the Tamil poet laureate Thiru. Sundaram Pillai (1855-1897) who is the author of the famous verse drama ‘Manonmaniam�, one of the five epics or classics in Tamil.
The University is recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and is accredited with ‘B++� Grade by NAAC. The MSU is a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).
The University is situated at Abishekapatti, 8 kms from the City of Tirunelveli, on Tirunelveli - Tenkasi Road, in a sprawling campus of 550 acres of land. As of now, the University has 24 Academic Departments and 102 Affiliated Colleges. The University Departments and the Affiliated Colleges cater the educational needs of more than fifty thousand students and research scholars. The University adopts Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) for all regular courses.
In addition, there is the Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) at the University Campus. The Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education (DDCE) of MSU was established in the year 1993. The DDCE at present has 105 Centres spread all over India and abroad as Distance Education Study Centres (DESC), and the number is steadily increasing.
A variety of both technical and general courses are offered, leading to diploma and degree courses, keeping in view the needs of different sectors. The Self-instructional Materials (SIM) prepared in the prescribed format of Distance Education Council (DEC) are provided to the students supplemented by compact discs.