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Recognizing the Academic Excellence of Madras School of Economics (MSE) for the last 25 years, Government of Tamil Nadu enacted Madras School of Economics Act 2020 and provided the status of “Institution of Special Importance” with effect from April 2021. Now MSE is empowered to award its own degrees, diplomas etc in Economics and its Allied Subjects and Management. The University Grant Commission has included MSE in the list of Institutions established under State Legislature Act in its website.

Currently it offers five M.A Degree Programs, namely M.A. General Economics, M.A. Financial Economics, M.A. Actuarial Economics, M.A. Applied Quantitative Finance and M.A. Environment Economics and two 2-year Post Graduate Diploma in Management programs in Finance and Research & Business Analytics (approved by the All India Council for Technical Education). It also offers both full time and part time Ph.D programs in Economics and Management. It plans to offer Under Graduate Program in Economics from the academic year 2022-23.


In early 1990s, in South India particularly in Tamil Nadu, there was no Centre of Excellence in post-graduate teaching and research in economics. At the same time, the services of well-trained, competent economists were in great demand, and the demand was expected to grow exponentially with the rapid growth and globalization of the economy.

Dr. Raja J. Chelliah, who founded the National Institute Public Finance and Policy at New Delhi, with the support of a few prominent industrialists and academicians established the Madras School of Economics(MSE) on September 23, 1993.

The starting of the MSE can be looked upon as a venture to establish a largely privately funded independent institution of higher learning in a vital field of social sciences.

The aim is to attain standards prevailing in some of the best schools of economics abroad. Merit will be the major consideration in the recruitment of staff and the admission of students subject to certain statutes governing reservations. Enrolment is being done on the basis of national competition since MSE is a national institution, though named after the southern city of its physical location.

It was decided to build up MSE as a largely privately funded institution. The need for private initiatives in higher education was felt because of the resource constraint faced by the government and more importantly because private institutions, duly accredited, would have greater flexibility for innovation and introduction of stricter standards.

MSE stated its first Post Graduate Degree Program in Economics jointly with Anna University in 1997. It obtained affiliation for Ph.d program in Economics from University of Madras. Ministry of Environment and Forestry recognized MSE as a Centre for Excellence in Environmental Economics.

Dr. C. Rangarajan, Former Chairman of Economic Advisory Council of Prime Minister of India and Former Governor of Reserve Bank of India became the Chairman of MSE from December 2005. Under his able guidance and Leadership, MSE made significant progress in its academic activities. It added M.Sc Financial Economics program in 2007. It offered M.Sc Actuarial Economics, M.Sc Environment Economics and M.Sc Applied Quantitative Finance Programs jointly with IGNOU from the academic year 2010-11. Then it started offering all five Post Graduate Degree Programs jointly with Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN), Thiruvarur from the Academic Year 2012-13. It also started a Five Year Integrated M.A program with CUTN.

The All India Council for Technical Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India approved MSE as a new Technical Institution in April 2018 and MSE started two 2-year Post Graduate Diploma Programs in Management.

Vision For The Future

MSE aims to become an internationally recognized Centre of Excellence in economics, allied subjects and management, attracting the best of students and teachers from different parts of the country and abroad.