The Government of Tamil Nadu established the Periyar University at Salem on 17th September 1997 as per the provisions of the Periyar University Act, 1997. The University covers the area comprising the districts of Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. The University got the 12(B) and 2f status from the University Grants Commission and has been accredited by NAAC with B+ grade in 2007.
The University is named after the Great Social Reformer E.V.Ramasamy affectionally called "Thanthai Periyar". The University aims at developing knowledge in various fields to realize the maxim inscribed in the logo "Arival Vilayum Ulagu" (Wisdom Maketh World).
"Holistic development of the students" is the primary objective of the esteemed Periyar University.
The University is located on the National Highway (NH7) towards Bangalore at about 8 Kms from New Bus Stand, Salem. It is well connected by frequent city bus services linking Salem and other places like, Omalur, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Mettur.
Periyar University imparts higher education at three levels, i.e., through its Departments of Study and Research, Periyar Institute of Distance Education (PRIDE) and the affiliated colleges. The University has eighteen departments of study offering Post Graduate and Research Programmes and sixty six affiliated colleges.