The Department was first established at Nizam College (then affiliated to University of Madras) and was transferred to Arts College in 1947. M.A. in Tamil was started in 1958-59 and Ph.D. in 1966. The Government of Madras created a Chair in Tamil. Dr.C. IIakkuvanar, Prof. A.M. Paramasivanandam and Prof. D. Singaravelu occupied this Chair.
Prof. D. Singaravelu also served as the Dean, Faculty of Arts.
Tamil is taught as a second language at the undergraduate level at the University College for Women, Koti, Nizam College and Postgraduate College, Secunderabad in addition to the M.A. course.
Two gold medals have been instituted for the best undergraduate and postgraduate students. In 2004 Central Govt. of India announced Tamil as Classical Language.