Established as a Department of Dravidian Philology – 1954 and rechristened as Department of Linguistics in 1956. The Department was upgraded as Centre of Advanced Study in Linguistics in 1963. The Centre came under Commonwealth Educational Programme and Colombo Plan in 1967. The Department has received generous Grants under UGC- Special Assistance Programme (SAP) from 1990 – 2015 (in four phases) – Rs. 88,50,000/-, Received Grants under UGC-ASIHSS – (2004 – 2007) – Rs. 47,60,000/-, CCSLL Grants under UGC – (2004-2007) – 47,50,000/-
The Department recorded phenomenal growth, offering various courses and carrying out high-end research. It also provided facilities for learning Dravidian Languages. This Centre is responsible for spreading Linguistics in this part of the country. Students trained in this Centre are occupying enviable positions in several Linguistics Departments and other Institutions in India and Abroad. Five of the former eminent scholars of this centre have been appointed as Vice-Chancellors of different Universities in India. In 1967 the Centre was selected for assistance under the British Commonwealth Education Co-operation programme and the Colombo Plan, which provided opportunities for the exchange of staff between this Centre and different Universities in U.K.