Madras Christian College (MCC) began life as a School founded in 1837 by the Rev. John Anderson, a missionary from Scotland. The School became a College in 1865 during Dr. William Miller's dynamic stewardship of the institution. In 1937, a hundred years after its founding, the College gave up its growingly strident and congested city centre establishment in Georgetown for a sprawling 365 acres spread in suburban Tambaram. It was in this felicitous campus that Dr. A.J. Boyd and his team of Professors evolved a new pattern of learning and living, which made 'Tambaram' a byword for a unique brand of education.
Our College was among the first institutions in the country to be granted Autonomy in 1978. Autonomy has helped to bring academic pursuits closer to the life of the student, teacher and the neighbourhood. Introduction of new courses, curricular innovations and examination reforms have made education here in College more meaningful and contemporary. The inducement to sustained industry, the stress on work with a practical orientation, and methods of learning through oral and written presentations like projects, seminars, etc., have enhanced competence and commitment resulting in a more exhilarating study ethos and atmosphere.
Student-Teacher participation and the inputs of experts from outside have enhanced curricular content. Constant review, revision, restructuring and updating of the curriculum, and the timely publications of results have been made possible under autonomy.
The academic programmes of the College have widened under autonomy and the College now has sixteen University related academic departments offering graduate and post graduate courses in the Day Stream. Almost all of them also offer research degrees, viz., M.Phil. and Ph.D. Since 1999, Self Financed courses are offered in the Evening Stream which consists of fifteen academic departments. Among other ventures under autonomy are Diploma and Certificate courses offered through the School of Continuing Education.
A significant milestone in the 26 year of autonomy (2003-2004) was the ushering in of the restructured curriculum at the Postgraduate level of the Day College and the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels of the Self- Financed Evening College under the Choice Based Credit System(CBCS). The CBCS was introduced at the Undergraduate level of the Day College from the academic year (2004-2005). This facility will strengthen the academic potential of the student as it provides flexibility in the choice of courses within the framework of the discipline of study offered by the Departments. The introduction of the CBCS ensures compatibility with the academic norms practiced in similar institutions of excellence in India and abroad.
In 2004 the College had the distinction of securing an A rating from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). MCC is one among the very few institutions in India to get this prestigious ranking. This has been made possible due to the College's achievement in the area of academic research and consultancy offered by the Faculty, International programmes, service-learning, student governance, sports, cultural activities and partnerships.
Currently College enrolment is a mix of around 3000 men and 2000 women students including nearly 150 research scholars from different parts of India and from 13 countries abroad. The College has a highly distinguished Faculty. Dynamic academic programmes are designed and executed by the Departments. There are around 90 faculty members possessing Ph.D. qualification out of a total of around 250. This is one of the highest for any College in India, and with over 50 M.Phils, the faculty makes a distinct body of academics. Madras Christian College has consistently been ranked by India Today magazine among the top ten Arts and Science colleges in the entire country.
The College has a rich extra-curricular tradition of student-inspired, organized and run cultural festivals and competitions in public speaking and debating, quiz and creative writing, painting and sculpture, dramatics and theatre and other games of mental and verbal skills which contribute to the balanced development of the student.
The College can boast of one of the finest play field complexes in the country, and in athletics and other sports the College continues to keep old traditions of winning and sportsmanship alive. The 365 acre campus of forest, scrub and open field is a bird watcher's paradise and a delight to walk, jog or merely dream in.