The department was established along with the college in the year 1875. Degree classes in physics began in the year 1935 on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of the college. PG courses were started in the year 1957, just after the formation of the State of Kerala. The department was raised to the status of a research centre in the year 1991. Vocational course in BSc Physics - Instrumentation was started in the year 1996. In 2002 the department came under the sponsorship of DST -FIST programme. Research laboratories were renovated and equipped in 2010-11.