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University of Santo Tomas

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1611
    • Size:
    • Large (>15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private non-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Religiously affliated
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Tropical
    • Location:
    • Espa, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1008
    • Phone:
    • +6324061611
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of University of Santo Tomas (UST)

The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines, or simply the University of Santo Tomas (UST), is a private, Roman Catholic research university. It has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia and is one of the world's largest Catholic universities in terms of enrollment found on one campus. The university is run by the Order of Preachers. UST is the only university to have been visited by three popes four times. The patron of the university is St. Thomas Aquinas, while St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patroness.

The university is composed of several autonomous faculties, colleges, schools and institutes, each conferring undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees, and the basic education units. In December 2013, the university was recognized to have the highest number of accredited programs in the country by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities' Commission on Accreditation.

Academic Highlights

The University of Santo Tomas, as a comprehensive university, offers a wide array of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree programs, as well as secondary education programs. Below is the complete list of academic programs offered, as well as their corresponding details. There are 63 Undergraduate Programs, 105 Undergraduate Specializations, 40 Graduate Programs, and 75 Graduate Specializations.

Life in University of Santo Tomas (UST)

The University pulsates with youthful life. UST students number anywhere between 42,000 to 44,000 students, where some 12,000 are freshmen. Seen on campus are different manifestations of academic life from students whose backs are stooped while making sketches of University landmarks for their course requirements, to those whose eyes are glued on the pages of their books and e-books, reading intently for class, and the students who tirelessly rehearse dance steps for their physical edyucation practical exams. Others are either on their way to or from class, walking with friends or just by themselves, traversing the two-way streets named after the University’s illustrious alumni. 

School Ranking

The University of Santo Tomas is one of the top four universities in the Philippines and is consistently ranked among the top 1000 universities in the whole world. 


UST has three secondary institutions: The UST Junior High School, the UST Education High School which serves as a laboratory for the College of Education, and the UST Senior High School.

All students of these institutions undergo Citizenship Advancement Training, while the students from first to third year level of the UST Junior High School undergo scouting under the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for the boys and the Girl Scouts of the Philippines for the girls. The scouting program aims to instill nationalism and discipline among the students while the Citizenship Advancement Training aims to introduce students to the National Service Training Program that college students undergo.

Aside from the basic and major subjects, all undergraduate students are required to take 15 units (tuition-free) of Theology classes. The students are also required to attend 4 physical education classes, and a choice from among ROTC, civil welfare training service, and literacy training service.

Notable Alumni

The following Thomasians were distinguished in various fields such as public service, religion, literary arts, commerce, medicine, among others are Jose Rizal (Doctor of Medicine, 1882), Apolinario Mabini (Bachelor of Laws, 1894), Epifanio de los Santos (Bachelor of Laws, 1896-98), Charlene Gonzales-Muhlach (BS Psychology), Miriam Quiambao – Roberto (BS Physical Therapy), Miriam Quiambao – Roberto (BS Physical Therapy), and Lourd de Veyra (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism)

Acceptance Rate

UST has an acceptance rate of around 86% with 29% of applicants deciding to enroll. Based on historical acceptance rate data, the projected University of St. Thomas (UST) acceptance rate 2015 is estimated to be 86%

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