The Annamalai University owes its existence to the wisdom, benefaction and philanthropy of a far-sighted visionary- Dr. Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar of Chettinad. The Directorate of Distance Education established in 1979, and now offers more than five hundred and one different programmes of study under the Regular Stream. It is credited with the largest enrolment in India and is well equipped with computer and other infrastructure, adequate teaching faculty and administrative set-up of its own, study centres, computer training centres, etc., to serve its students' clientele in their best interest at their door steps. It has also the unique distinction of offering first in India, Postgraduate Degree Programmes in Applied Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Bioinformatics and Law through Distance Education mode.
The Directorate of Distance Education is also offering the Programmes on Fashion Design, Textile Design, Interior Design, Hotel Management and Catering Technology Programmes, Retail Management, Twinning Programme, Programmes on Health Science, Commonwealth Youth Programme, Yoga, Music, Fire and Safety, Pharmaceutical and Taxation Programmes.