The birth of Dr. Ambedkar Government Arts College could be traced to the aspiring masses, an understanding state and a co-operative community. In the late sixties the clamour for an institution of higher education for the children of North Chennai was steadily increasing. So the Government of Tamilnadu, individual and corporate philanthropists and film stars joined hands with the common people of North Chennai to give a concrete shape to their dreams. Efforts commenced in 1971 when the Government of Tamilnadu located a huge lake lying South of Madras-Calcutta National Highway as the site for the proposed College. The significance of the role this College was going to play in future, is seen in the sharp contrast that marks its arrival from the birth of grandiose institutions. Though land was located, money needed to be raised. Now the Government setup a Fund Raising Committee with the Madras District Collector at the helm. The Committee organized Benefit Matches where film-stars wielded the willow for the cause. Company philanthrophy and common people together mobilized the Government stipulated sum of Rs. 5 lakhs (Rupees five lakhs only) and the first brick was laid on clayey soil on 01/08/1972. The then Hon'ble Minister for Harijan Welfare played a noteworthy role consistently. It must be recorded that the same aspirations of the people, which helped found the College in 1973, continue to inspire and guide the teachers and supporting staff of the College to this day.
With affiliation coming from Madras University, in steady trickle, academic work which never steers away from the moorings of the founding spirit of the College, commenced in the Pre-university class rooms in August 1973. When the three floor building was ready in 1974, the Madras University gave affiliation for B.Sc. (Chemistry) Degree Programme, the first undergraduate course of the College. Five years thereafter B.A. (English Literature) and B.Sc. (Zoology) Degree courses got the nod. And in 1981 came B.Sc. (Mathematics). 1991 saw the inauguration of the B.Sc. Computer Science Programme, thanks to the generous support of the Madras Port Trust, which constructed the new building to house the Department and Classes.