Founded in 1962 at Vijayawada, Maris Stella College, a Catholic Christian Minority Institution for Higher Education, has been a first-rate college, which has focused on the education of women and is the first Women’s college in the District. It was started by the same management of Stella Maris College, Chennai, namely the Society of Franciscan Sisters of Mary. The college aims at an integrated and personalized formation of young women. It strives to produce intellectually competent, morally upright, socially committed and spiritually inspired women imbued with the values of Christian humanism in the service of India today and tomorrow.
From the outset Maris Stella was a first grade college offering courses in Humanities and Sciences both in Pre-University and Degree level – with Economics, History, Political Science, English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. Telugu, Hindi and French were offered as second languages. The Students Union was inaugurated and cultural associations were opened with a view to develop initiative, creativity and a spirit of co-operation among students. Within three months social service league came into existence.
In 1972 Department of Social Work and Commerce courses were started at Degree Level. From early 1970s with the introduction of National Service Scheme on the one hand and Social Work on the other hand became the outreach programmes of the college.