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Ateneo de Manila University

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1859
    • Size:
    • Large (>15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Religiously affliated
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Tropical
    • Location:
    • Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1108
    • Phone:
    • +6324266075
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Ateneo de Manila University

The Ateneo de Manila University is a private Roman Catholic research university. Founded in 1859 by the Society of Jesus, the Ateneo is the third-oldest university in the Philippines. 

Ateneo undergraduates follow a Catholic-rooted liberal arts curriculum throughout their programmes in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, or Business Management.  The Loyola Heights campus also hosts two chemistry research centres: Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry and National Chemistry Instrumentation Centre.

Academic Highlights

Ateneo offers programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Its academic offerings include the arts, humanities, business, law, the social sciences, philosophy, theology, medicine and public health, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering, environmental science, diplomacy, and government, with forty-eight Bachelor of Arts (AB), Bachelor of Science (BS), and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees at the undergraduate level. At the postgraduate level there are forty-four Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees, six Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, two Master of Laws concentrations, one Master of Public Management (MPM) degree, two professional Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Juris Doctor (JD) programs, and twelve Doctor of Philosophy degrees. As is common in the Philippines, the primary medium of instruction is English, with a few classes taught in Filipino. Aside from teaching and research, the Ateneo de Manila also engages in social outreach. Known for its liberal arts tradition, the humanities are a key feature of Ateneo education at all levels of study

Life in Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo offers elementary and junior high school education exclusively to male students, while its senior high school and college are co-educational. In college, both undergraduate and graduate programs are organized into four schools, collectively known as the Loyola Schools, which are located at its main campus at Loyola Heights along with the Grade School, Junior High School and Senior High School. Four professional schools occupy other campuses throughout Metro Manila. Students of Ateneo are often referred to as Ateneans (Filipino: mga Atenista).

There are over 50 accredited college student organisations in the Loyola Schools. Among these is the Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League, founded in 1907, one of the oldest student organizations in the Philippines.

The Ateneo College Glee Club (ACGC) is the oldest extant university chorale in the Philippines. ACGC has participated in numerous international choral and choir competitions including the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing.

The Ateneo Debate Society, the premier undergraduate debate organization of Ateneo, is the highest-ranking debate team in the Philippines and Asia, and often in the top 10 of the World University Debate Rankings since the mid-2000s, peaking at no. 7 in 2012. It is currently in 13th place.

The Ateneo de Manila High School's Dulaang Sibol, which began as the Ateneo High School Dramatics Society in 1955, is the oldest existing theater group in the Philippines.

School Ranking

According to the Graduate Employability Rankings 2020, AdMU climbed 20 places to 161-170 from 181-190 in the previous year. This makes AdMU the only Philippine university in the top 200 of the annual survey. 


The Committee on Admission and Aid considers the applicant’s Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) results, high school grades, recommendations, extra - & co-curricular activities and all other information in the application form. There is no numerical weight for each. 

Notable Alumni

List of famous alumni from Ateneo de Manila University, with photos when available. Prominent graduates from Ateneo de Manila University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. This list of distinguished Ateneo de Manila University alumni is loosely ordered by relevance, so the most recognizable celebrities who attended Ateneo de Manila University are at the top of the list. 

  • Antonio Luna 
  • Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
  • Joseph Estrada
  • Kris Aquino
  • Benigno Aquino, Jr.
  • José Rizal

Acceptance Rate

The admission rate hovers around 22-25%, making it one of the most selective colleges in the Philippines.

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