The Periyar University was established in the year 1997 by the act 45 of Government of Tamil Nadu. The University is located on the National Highway (NH7) towards Bangalore at about 8 Kms from the Salem city. The Campus extends to about 100 acres accommodating the administrative and department buildings. The University named after a renowned social reformer popularly called “Thanthai Periyar”. The University Grants Commission has granted 2f, 12 (B) and re-accredited with NAAC ‘A’ in the year 2015. The University aims at holistic development of the students’ knowledge in various fields to realize the maxim as inscribed in the logo “Arival Vilayum Ulagu” (Wisdom Maketh the World). About 26 departments are functioning as research centres bridging the gap between the academic, industrial and social activities by catering the needs of the students.
The Periyar University has established a directorate for distance education namely PERIYAR INSTITUTE OF DISTANCE EDUCATION (PRIDE). The PRIDE has been started functioning from the year 2001-2002. The PRIDE offers various undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The course materials are supplied to the students well in advance. There are about 54 PCP Centers throughout the Country. Well qualified and experienced faculties are involved in the classroom teaching . The Periyar University has also introduced its off Campus regular academic programmes from the academic year 2005 – 06 through PRIDE.