Queen Mary’s College is best described as a pioneer in the task of empowering women through education. It was started in 1914 by the British Government as the Madras College For Women. With a modest intake of 33 women students at the time of its inception, it has over the 98 years of its existence, grown phenomenally from an Intermediate to a tertiary level institution and on to a full-fledged premier institution. Today it caters to over 4000 women students.
The scenic and sprawling campus of 17 acres located on the famed Marina and overlooking the magnificent vista of the Bay of Bengal, symbolizes the history of its endeavours to reach horizons of knowledge. This college has launched women into all spheres of life: its alumni have played decisive roles in governmental and non-governmental organizations, both nationally and internationally and have achieved global recognition.
The College has played a dominant role in empowering women from disadvantaged sections of society. Tuned to societal needs, the college has as its mission the following aims and objectives:
1. To provide educational access to women from different strata of society without discrimination
2. To function exclusively for the uplift of women in the state and nation, allowing them freedom of expression and gender equity.
3. To foster the spirit of inquiry and maintain a tradition of academic excellence.
4. To promote value-based educational programmes aimed at fashioning women of integrity and resourcefulness, making them agents of societal transformation and national development.
Queen Mary’s College has been listed among the top 20 colleges of India and has a reputation for its women-centred programmes in Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Nutrition and Home Management, Physical Education and Indian Music. The college is the first government women’s college in the state to offer a doctoral program in Botany besides offering doctoral programmes in Music, Geography and Tamil. It also offers free coaching for IAS/IPS examinations. It was the first government college to go in for accreditation by NAAC and was accredited with ‘4 star status’ in 1999 and reaccredited in 2005. Being granted autonomy in 1987, it has enjoyed two decades of autonomy and has increased its programmes to 23 at the UG level (English and Tamil medium), 18 at the PG level, 12 in M.Phil and 9 in Ph.D. The college fosters a research culture which will gather impetus if it is upgraded to the status of a university. The current mile reflects the potential of Queen Mary’s College, to fulfill the aim of the National Knowledge Commission in creating universities that are smaller, responsive to change and easier to manage.