The Department of Chemistry was initiated in 1926 from the very inception of the Science stream of the Intermediate Course in the College. Prof. T. R. Anantharaman was the founder Professor and Head of the Department (1926 – 1962). The chemistry department started functioning in the Kacherimaliga which was used for conducting the lectures and practical classes. The B.Sc course in Chemistry was started in 1953 and the department moved to the present building in 1969 under the able leadership of Dr. A. M. Chacko. The PG course was started in 1982, though the department was well equipped for the PG course from 1969 onwards. Owing to the untiring efforts of the eminent faculty, the research activities gradually increased, and the department attained formidable reputation in the national scene as one of the finest schools of chemistry for graduation.The B.Sc Model II course in Polymer Chemistry was started in 1998 and since the course was not regularized in the aided stream, it was temporarily stopped in 2003.
The Department currently has five laboratories; two for postgraduates, one for research and two for undergraduates. The postgraduate and undergraduate laboratories have all the needed facilities like electronic balances (with accuracy 0.1 mg and 1 mg), fume hoods, digital potentiometer, digital conductometer, digital colorimeter, refractometer, polarimeter, pH meter, melting point apparatus, vacuum pump, centrifuge, air oven etc. The research lab has various equipment like Digital Potentiometer, Digital Conductometer, Digital Colorimeter, Refractometer, Thermostat, Muffle Furnace, Electronic balances (with accuracy 0.1 mg and 1 mg), Microwave Oven, Rotary Shaker, Rotary Evaporator, UTM,FT- IR Spectrophotometer, UV Spectrophotometer, Flame Photometer , Sonicator, Water analyser etc. Consequently, the Mahatma Gandhi University recognized the department of chemistry as a Post Graduate Research Centre for Study of Chemistry in 1984. The department has distinguished itself as a centre for innovative and pioneering research in a wide range of areas in chemistry and chemistry interfacing with physical and biological sciences. It has attained the status of a DST-FIST Sponsored department by DST in 2010.
In 1980s several eminent faculty members joined the department and the department expanded rapidly in terms of both research and teaching. Various faculty members made significant contributions in synthetic organic, nanomaterials and polymer chemistry. With the advent of the new era other young and energetic faculty members have also joined the department which is marching forward to newer areas of research and teaching. With the advent of the new era, the department is marching forward in newer areas of research and teaching with 9 young and energetic faculty members who has industrial and academic exposure from premier institutes of India and abroad. Five of them are recognized research guides of Mahatma Gandhi University. Chemistry division offers research opportunities in a wide range of interest from traditional organic, bio-inorganic chemistry to new frontiers of material research, medicinal chemistry and nano science.
The department of chemistry is well known for its excellence in teaching and research. The faculty members of the department are engaged in state of the art research as well as guiding the M. Sc. Projects and Doctoral Students. The faculty members have actively participated in revising and updating the B.Sc. and M. Sc. syllabus time and again. Collaborative research programs with many research laboratories like ISRO were also taken up successfully with mutual benefit. The Department of Chemistry has produced notable alumni like Prof. Dr. M V George (IIT Kanpur/RRL Tvm), Dr. Sajan Joseph (Scientific Advisor,Eli-Lilly pharma, USA), Dr. C P Reghunathan Nair (VSSC), Dr. Mangalam S Nair (Scientist, RRL) and Mr. K. P. Dhanapalan (Ex-MP).