University of Santo Tomas

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University of Santo Tomas
Seal of the University of Santo Tomas.svg
Latin: Pontificia et Regais Sancti Thomæ Aquinatis Universitas Manilana
Former names
See list
Veritas in Caritate
Motto in English
Truth in Charity
Type Private coeducational non-profit research university
EstablishedApril 28, 1611;410 years ago (April 28, 1611)
FounderFr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P.
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Dominican)
Academic affiliations
Chancellor Very Rev. Fr. Gerard Francisco P. Timoner, III, O.P., SThL
Vice-Chancellor Very Rev. Fr. Filemon I. Dela Cruz, Jr., O.P.
Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., Ph. D.
Secretary General Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, OP
Academic staff
Students44,791 (as of 2015) [1]
Undergraduates 31,179
Postgraduates 1,834

14°36′35″N120°59′23″E / 14.60972°N 120.98972°E / 14.60972; 120.98972 Coordinates: 14°36′35″N120°59′23″E / 14.60972°N 120.98972°E / 14.60972; 120.98972
40.5 ha (405,000 m2)
Patron saintsPatron
Thomas Aquinas
Catherine of Alexandria
Colors Gold, black, and white [2]
Nickname Growling Tigers
Sporting affiliations
Sports See list
MascotBengal Tiger
Logotype of the University of Santo Tomas.svg

The University of Santo Tomas (also known as UST, and officially as Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, Manila) is a private, Catholic research university in Manila, Philippines. Founded on April 28, 1611, by Spanish friar Miguel de Benavides, Archbishop of Manila, it has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia, [3] and is one of the world's largest Catholic universities in terms of enrollment found on one campus. It is the main campus of the University of Santo Tomas System that is run by the Order of Preachers. [4]


UST offers programs in over 105 specializations. [5] It has 26 programs recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development, ranking second in the country and first among private educational institutions. [6] [7] It is awarded with an institutional accreditation by the CHED through the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP). [8] The university has the highest number of Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities' Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA)-accredited programs in the country with 48. [9]

UST alumni and faculty include 11 catholic saints, 2 cardinals, 4 presidents of the Philippines, 9 chief justices, 19 national artists, a national scientist, and 5 billionaires. [10] [11] [12]

The athletic teams are the Growling Tigers, who are members of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and have won 44 overall championships in 73 seasons. [13]


The University of Santo Tomás campus in Sampaloc (circa 1940s).
Santo Tomas Internment Camp Liberation .jpg
Liberation of internees in front of the UST Main Building by the Americans in February 1945, during the World War II.

The foundation of the university is ascribed to Miguel de Benavides, O.P., the third archbishop of Manila. He came to the Philippines with the first Dominican mission in 1587. He went on to become bishop of Nueva Segovia, and was promoted archbishop of Manila in 1601. Upon his death in July 1605, Benavides bequeathed his library and personal property worth 1,500 pesos to be used as the seed fund for the establishment of an institution of higher learning. Fr. Bernardo de Santa Catalina carried out Benavides's wishes and was able to secure a building near the Dominican church and convent in the walled city of Intramuros in Manila for the college.

In 1609, permission to open the college was requested from King Philip III of Spain, which only reached Manila in 1611. On April 28, 1611, notary Juan Illian witnessed the signing of the act of foundation by Baltasar Fort, OP, Bernardo Navarro, OP, and Francisco Minayo, OP. Fort, appointed that year to the post of Father Provincial, became the rector in 1619. [14]

The Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario, was established on April 28, 1611, from the Benavides's library. Later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomas, it was elevated by Pope Innocent X to a university on November 20, 1645, in his brief, In Supreminenti. This makes the institution the first in the islands to be formally elevated to the status of university.

The authorities took the example of universities in Spain (such as the Universidad de Salamanca) and in Spanish America (such as the Real y Pontificia Universidad de Mexico) to become a model for the university.

It was given the title "Royal," by King Charles III of Spain in 1785; "Pontifical" by Pope Leo XIII in 1902 in his constitution, Quae Mari Sinico, and the appellative "The Catholic University of the Philippines" by Pope Pius XII in 1947. The university was registered on January 13, 1908, as a non-stock, non-profit educational institution under Act 1459 with the corporate name of Real y Pontificia Universidad de Santo Tomas de Manila. [15]

At the beginning of the 20th century, with the growing student population, the Dominicans were given a 21.5-hectare plot of land at the Sulucan Hills in Sampaloc, Manila and built its 215,000 square meter campus there in 1927 with the inauguration of its Main Building. Also that year, it began accepting female enrollees. In the last four decades, the university grew into a full-fledged institution of higher learning, conferring degrees in law, medicine, and various academic letters. The Medicine and Civil Law courses were retained in Intramuros at that time.

During World War II, the Japanese forces converted the Sampaloc campus into an internment camp for enemy aliens, mostly Americans, living in the Philippines. The original Intramuros campus was destroyed in 1944 by a fire started by the Japanese Kenpeitai. More than 4,000 foreigners survived under difficult conditions in the internment camp for 37 months from January 1942 until February 1945 when the camp was liberated by American soldiers.

Since its establishment, the university's academic life was interrupted only twice: from 1898 to 1899, during the Philippine Revolution against Spain, and from 1942 to 1945, during the Japanese occupation of the country. UST's first Filipino rector was Fr. Leonardo Legaspi, O.P. who served UST from 1971 to 1977.

A number of important dignitaries have officially visited the university, among them, during the last four decades: Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970; King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1974 and 1995; Mother Teresa of Calcutta in January 1977 and again in November 1984; Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981, and January 13, 1995 (as part of the World Youth Day 1995); Queen Sofia of Spain on July 6, 2012. In January 1997, Chiara Lubich, foundress of the Focolare Movement also visited the University and was awarded an 'Honoris Causa' Degree in Sacred Theology. On January 18, 2015, Pope Francis also visited the university for the meeting with the students.

On the 2015–2016 academic year, UST had 44,791 students enrolled, up by 2.2 percent from last year's 43,818 [1]


The UST Main Building 400 Year old Beauty.jpg
The UST Main Building

The university sits on an almost perfect square of 21.5 hectares bounded by España Boulevard to the southeast, Padre Noval Street to the southwest, Lacson Avenue to the northeast and Dapitan Street to the northwest in Sampaloc, Manila. The university transferred to its present campus in 1927 when the Dominicans deemed the Intramuros campus inadequate for the university's growing population. The first structures in the campus were the Main Building, the Central Seminary, the old gymnasium, and the Arch of the Centuries. Seven buildings are named after beatified Dominicans and Dominican saints. [note 1] The Main Building's capital, one of the iconic symbols of the university, has been adopted by several buildings in the campus, such as the Beato Angelico Building, Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, and the UST Hospital buildings. [16]

Several buildings adopted the unique capital of the Main Building. USTjf0468 09.JPG
Several buildings adopted the unique capital of the Main Building.

The central axis of the campus comprises the Arch of the Centuries, the Benavides Monument, the Main Building, the Quadricentennial Square, the Miguel de Benavides Library, the Tan Yan Kee Student Center, and the upcoming Saints Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Building.

The northeast quadrant of the campus includes the St. Raymund Penafort Building and the health and medical complex, which is composed of the Health Service, the San Martin de Porres Building, the UST Hospital, the Benavides Cancer Institute, the St. John Paul II Building, and the UST Hospital Clinical Division.

The northwest quadrant comprises the Central Seminary and the Santísimo Rosario Parish, the Benavides Buiding, the Central Laboratory Building, and the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex. The Central Seminary was built in the 1933 and was designed by Fernando Ocampo. The plan of the seminary was configured in the form of the letter E, with courtyards bisecting the wings. The boxy building had an elongated frontage assembling a continuous band of balconies and windows on the second and third level. The structure's horizontally oriented massing was broken by an engaged central section at the main entrance and two other similar treatments at the end portions. An art deco relief, bud-like finials, and a tableau embellished the stepped pylon at the entrance. [17]

The UST Quadricentennial Square Fountain UST Fountain.jpg
The UST Quadricentennial Square Fountain

The southwest quadrant includes the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building, the swimming pool, the UST Publishing House, the Beato Angelico Building, and the football field.

The southeast quadrant comprises the Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy and Multi-Deck Carpark Building, the Albertus Magnus Building, the Roque Ruaño Building, and the Quadricentennial Pavilion complex. The Roque Ruaño Building was built in 1952, designed by Julio Victor Rocha, initiated the application of the Niemeyer-inspired brise soleil in local buildings. The façade of the three-storey building displayed a continuous sun breaker that protected its second and third-storey windows. The trend for brise soleil followed the character of the building, which created many variations. [18]

The Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Building is located across the main campus and is connected by the Link Bridge.

The campus was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2011. Four of the university's structures were also declared National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum namely, the Arch of the Centuries, Main Building, the Central Seminary, and the university’s open spaces. [19]

Satellite campuses

The UST Manila is the main campus of the University of Santo Tomas System, which comprises two other existing campuses and two upcoming UST campuses in Santa Rosa, Laguna and General Santos City in South Cotabato. UST Angelicum College in Quezon City and University of Santo Tomas–Legazpi in Legazpi, Albay integrated with the UST System in 2017. [20] [21]

UST Angelicum College is located in the Santo Domingo Church complex in Quezon City. It offers basic education programs, a home study program, and undergraduate programs. The campus was founded as the Angelicum School in 1972 by Fr. Rogelio Alarcon, O.P.. In 1995, undergraduate courses were offered, and the school was renamed to Angelicum College in 1996. [22] It offers programs in communication, entrepreneurship, human resource management, and information technology. [23]

UST Santa Rosa is a 40-hectare campus in Laguna that will offer undergraduate programs in science and engineering. [24] The campus first broke ground in April 19, 2006, which was led by then university rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana, O.P. and attended by UST board member and tycoon Lucio Tan. [25] [26] The development of the campus was delayed for several years by changes in the administration, the Quadricentennial Celebration in 2011, and prioritization of the construction projects in the main campus. In September 10, 2017, a second groundbreaking ceremony was held and led by then university rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P.. [27] The construction of the first building in the campus, the UST–Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center, began on December 2020. The center was named after an alumnus and Jollibee Foods Corporation founder Tony Tan Caktiong, and it will be an annex of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-TomasINNO Center. [28]

UST GenSan is an 80-hectare campus in southern Philippines that will initially offer programs in agricultural and fishery research, [29] arts and humanities, business and accountancy, engineering and technology, and pharmaceutical sciences. [30] [31] The university acquired the land of the new campus in 1997, but the construction was stalled by land classification problems and local politics. [32] [33] In 2013, the local city council approved the rezoning of the university site to institutional from agricultural. [34] The consultation and public hearing for the first phase of the establishment of the new campus was conducted in 2017. [35] The construction broke ground on April 20, 2018 and was headed by then university rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P.. [36] [37]

Administration and organization

College/school founding
College/schoolYear founded

Sacred Theology 1611
Philosophy 1611
Canon Law 1733
Civil Law 1734
Medicine & Surgery 1871
Pharmacy 1871
Arts & Letters 1896
Engineering 1907
Education 1926
Science 1926
Architecture 1930
Commerce & Business Administration 1934
Graduate School 1938
Music 1945
Nursing 1946
Rehabilitation Sciences1974
Fine Arts & Design 2000
Physical Education & Athletics 2000
Accountancy 2005
Tourism & Hospitality Management2009
Information & Computing Sciences 2014
Graduate School of Law2017

The university operates under the laws of the Roman Catholic Church and the Philippine government. [38] The university authorities are the chancellor, the vice-chancellor, the rector, and the vice-rector. The Master of the Order of Preachers is the ex-officio chancellor of the university. [39] He appoints the rector of the university upon the approval of the Holy See. [40] The Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines is the ex-officio vice-chancellor of the university. The rector is the chief executive officer of the university. [38] [41] He is assisted by the Council of Regents, the Academic Senate and the Economic Council. A dean heads an academic unit. He is assisted by a faculty council and a regent, who is a member Order of Preachers. [15]

The university has 19 civil colleges, 3 ecclesiastical colleges, and 3 secondary schools, which offer 65 undergraduate programs in 105 undergraduate specializations and 40 graduate programs in 75 graduate specializations. These academic units are organically interdependent with one another. A college is called a Faculty, a College, a School, or an Institute depending on the time it was founded. [15] The "Faculties" were founded during the Spanish colonial period, while "College" and "School" have been used since the American period. "Institutes" are organically independent units or adjuncts of a particular Faculty or College. An adjunct Institute that has attained enough enrollment is separated from its Faculty or College and is made into a College in its own right. [42] The College of Information and Computing Sciences was founded as an Institute when it separated from the Faculty of Engineering in 2014. It was elevated to the status of a college in 2021. [43]

The UST Central Seminary, the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties, and the UST Hospital have separate statutes, but still under the university.

UST has three basic education institutions, the UST Junior High School, the UST Education High School which serves as a laboratory for the College of Education, [44] [45] and the UST Senior High School. The UST Elementary School used to offer primary education for children in the K-12 levels, [46] but stopped accepting applications for the K-Level sometime in the 2010s.

Academic profile


UST holds the University of Santo Tomas Entrance Test (USTET) annually. [47] It evaluates at least 80,000 applicants every year and around 10,000 are admitted to the university. The results are released on January 28, feast of day of St. Thomas Aquinas. [48]

In 2020, the USTET was replaced by the UST Admission Rating (USTAR) because of the COVID-19 situation in the country. The USTAR is a score that computes a number of parameters obtained primarily from the academic records of the applicant. [49] [50] [51]

Graduate admissions

The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery separately conducts a psychological examination for the first year Doctor of Medicine program as part of the admission process. However, the scholastic standing and NMAT score are given the biggest weight in accepting applicants. Applicants must have a GWA score of at least 2.00/B+/86% and an NMAT score of at least 85%ile. About 480 candidates are accepted out of 1,700 to 1,900 applicants annually. [52] No entrance examination was held in 2021. [53]

For the B.S. in Basic Human Studies (LEAPMed) program, the faculty shortlists the top 200 USTET college applicants using the UST Predictive Scoring. It comprises the USTET score or USTAR rating, the LEAPMed examination score, and the IQ score. After an interview and a psychological examination, only the top 90 applicants are accepted. [54] [55]

The Faculty of Civil Law also conducts a separate entrance examination for the degree of Juris Doctor. [56] [57]


UST is one of only three private universities granted with the five-year autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education. It is the highest grant given by CHED, which allows universities to implement programs and increase tuition fees with less government regulation. [58] [59]

In response to COVID-19 pandemic, classes at the university were delivered through the “enhanced virtual mode” for school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. [60] [61] [62]

All bachelor's degrees in the university include theology courses in their curricula. [15]


The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program offered by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is a four-year post-graduate degree that consists of three years of academic instruction in the medical school and one year of clinical clerkship in the UST Hospital. The faculty implements a blended integrated approach, adopting problem-based learning (PBL) as a teaching model in appropriate teaching-learning scenarios, and recently, outcome-based education (OBE), a curricula that emphasizes the achievement of expected learning outcomes. [63] [64]

The Faculty of Civil Law offers a four-year professional law degree, which leads to Juris Doctor (J.D.). The curriculum mirrors the current model curriculum of the Legal Education Board. [65] Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) are offered at the Graduate School of Law.


The Thomas Aquinas Research Center GSBLDG.JPG
The Thomas Aquinas Research Center

UST is a comprehensive research university. [66] It is a member of the Philippine Higher Education Research Network (PHERNET) and Higher Education Regional Research Centers (HERRC). [8] [67] The university spent ₱91 million and ₱116 million in research in 2017 and 2018 respectively. [68]

The university has several research centers, namely Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences (RCNAS), Research Center for Culture, Arts, and the Humanities (RCCAH), Research Center for Social Sciences and Education (RCSSEd), Research Center for Health Sciences (RCHS), Center for Religious Studies and Ethics (CTRSE), Center for Health Research and Movement Science (CHRMS), Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET), and the Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS). [69]

Vanda ustii, an orchid species, is named after the university. Vanda Ustii.jpg
Vanda ustii , an orchid species, is named after the university.

UST has recently discovered several plant species, namely Vanda ustii , [70] Hedyotis papafranciscoi, [71] Mycetia dagohoyana, [72] Pyrostria arayatensis, [73] and Freycinetia nonatoi. [74]

UST Eco Tigers I, a team composed of mechanical and electrical engineering students and faculty members from the Faculty of Engineering, ranked first in the prototype diesel category of the Shell Eco-Marathon Asia (SEMA) 2019 held in May 2019 in Selangor, Malaysia. The team also ranked 8th in Asia from 26 participating teams under the prototype category with energy source internal combustion engine (ICE). [75] [76]

College of Science professors Fr. Nicanor Austriaco and Bernhard Egwolf are members of the OCTA Research team that is associated with forecasts and analyses of the country’s COVID-19 situation. [77] They also developed an epidemiological model, UST CoV-2 Model, which released COVID-19 cases and death projections in Metro Manila. In the early part of the pandemic, the study recommended the need to increase the daily testing capacity that would potentially control the outbreak. [78] [79] Fr. Austriaco is currently conducting experiments on a yeast-based oral COVID-19 vaccine. [80] [81] A study group from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery proposed a strategy to the government entitled, War Plan Mayon, to combat the pandemic through herd immunity. [82] Faculty of Engineering professor Anthony James Bautista invented the LISA robot (Logistic Indoor Service), a telepresence and service assistant robot that delivers medicine and allows medical workers to manage isolated patients in the UST Hospital. [83]

The university and the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched the DOST–TOMASInno Center, a technology business incubator (TBI), in 2019. The center was made possible through a research grant from the DOST. [84] [85]

Several publications include Acta Manilana, the Antoninus Journal, The Asian Journal of English Language Studies, Boletin Ecclesiastico, Journal of Medicine, Tomas, UST Law Review, Philippine Journal of Allied Health Sciences, and Unitas. Acta Manilana, founded in 1965, is a multidisciplinary journal that features research papers from the Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences. [86] [87]

Library and museums

Miguel de Benavides Library MigueldeBenavidesLibraryjf0474 08.JPG
Miguel de Benavides Library

As of 2017-2018, the Miguel de Benavides Library held over 360,000 books and logged 10,948,882 access to electronic resources remotely. [88] In 2018-2019, it received over 1,100,000 visitors. [89] The main library is located in a six-storey building along Alberto Drive. It has sixteen sections and five branch libraries: Ecclesiastical, Health Science, Education High School, Junior High School, and Senior High School. [90]

As of 2017, the Health Sciences Library had 20,904 titles and 25,311 volumes. It was assessed to have sound and good-quality collections based on Doody’s Core Titles (DCT) among five select medical libraries in the Philippines. [91]

The Antonio Vivencio del Rosario UST Heritage Library keeps some 30,000 volumes published between 1492 and 1900. Among the collections are La Guerra Judaica (1492) by Josephus Flavius, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543) of Nicolaus Copernicus, and the first book ever printed in the Philippines, Doctrina Christiana (1593). [92]

In partnership with the Union Bank of the Philippines, the library launched the Lumina Pandit (spreading the light) rare books exhibit in 2011. The partnership included a three-phase program: the conservation, digitization, and publication of the university's archives and historical collections. [92] In 2015, Unionbank gave another ₱30 million to fund the digitization of historical collections from 1492 to 1900 as part of the Lumina Pandit II. [93] In 2017, the conservation efforts continued with Semper Lumina (always the light). The project launched a 6-volume catalogue of rare books and periodicals and the UST Digital Library. [94] [95] As of the launching, 1.5 million pages have been scanned by the library for restoration and online publication, including the first-edition of José Rizal's Noli Me Tángere . [96] [97]

The archives’ collection of ancient Baybayin scripts were declared as National Cultural Treasures by the National Archives of the Philippines in 2014. [98] The Dictionario Hispanico-Sinicum or Vocabulario de la Lengua Chio Chiu (A Lexicon of the Changzhou Language), an early 17th century Spanish-Chinese dictionary, was discovered by Spanish and Taiwanese scholars in the archives in 2017. [99] [100] [101]

The university received the annual prize in the category of education and science in es:Casa Asia Awards 2021 in Spain. [102] The library was also recognized for its efforts in preserving its heritage and digitizing its collections. [103]

The UST Museum of Arts and Sciences is the oldest museum in the Philippines. [104] Other museums include the UST Medicine Museum, Dr. Julieta Hayag-Manchanda UST Anatomy Gallery, and UST Beato Angelico Art Gallery.


The Foundation Act of 1611 stored in the UST Archives Acta Fundacion de Santo Tomas, 1611.JPG
The Foundation Act of 1611 stored in the UST Archives

The Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas (AUST) houses old books, various incunabula , university records, and original documents relevant to the university foundation. [105] AUST holds the biggest collection of extant ancient Baybayin scripts in the world. [106] Two 17th-century deeds of sale documents in Baybayin, the oldest of their kind, were declared National Cultural Treasure by the National Archives of the Philippines. [107] The scholastic records of José Rizal in Ateneo Municipal de Manila and UST are also preserved in the archives. [108]


The UST Publishing House (USTPH) was established in 1996 through the merger of the Santo Tomas University Press and the UST Printing Office. USTPH evolved from the UST Press, which was founded in 1593 by Fr. Francisco de San Jose, O.P. It is one of the oldest continuing press in the world today, only next to Cambridge University in England. [109]

The publishing house maintains a bookstore which is located at the ground floor of the UST Main Building. [110] Regular publications include Academia, the international bulletin of university, and The Varsitarian , the student newspaper.

Rankings, recognition, and accreditation

Centers of DevelopmentCenters of Excellence
  • Civil Engineering
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Journalism
  • Library and Information Science
  • Literature
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical Therapy
  • Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Medical Technology
  • Medicine
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Teacher Education
  • Tourism / Travel Management


Twenty-six programs in the university were declared as Centers of Excellence (COE) and Centers of Development (COD) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the most of any private educational institutions and second in the country. COE status was granted to 13 programs, and COD status was also given to 13. [7] UST is one of the only three Philippine universities recognized as Center of Excellence in the Doctor of Medicine program. [111] The architecture program was one of the only two architecture programs in the country recognized as Center of Excellence. [112] [113]

In 2020, UST is certified by the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) as the university with the highest number of accredited programs in the Philippines, with 48 programs, the institution with the highest number of Level IV reaccredited programs, with 26, and the institution with the highest number of candidate programs. [9] [114]


University rankings
Global – Overall
QS World [115] 801-1000 (2021)
QS Employability [116] 251-300 (2020)
Regional – Overall
QS Asia [117] 186 (2021)
National – Overall
QS National [118] 4 (2021)

UST is the first Philippine university to be awarded by the Quacquarelli-Symonds (QS) Stars with four stars and five stars as an institution in 2015 and 2021 respectively. The university achieved 5 stars for teaching, employability, internationalization, and facilities, while scoring 4 stars for academic development. QS also gave a 5-star rating to the Doctor of Medicine program. [119] It has been ranked in the QS Asian University Rankings 2021 (186), QS World University Rankings 2021 (801-1000), QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 (251-300) and THE Impact Rankings 2020 (301-400) [120]

Four master’s degree programs of the UST Graduate School were ranked as among the best in Far East Asia by Eduniversal in 2021. [121] The Masters in Human Resource Management was ranked 20th in the Far East Asia and 3rd in the Philippines. The Masters in Communication and Masters in Economics were ranked 30th in the Far East Asia and 3rd in the country. The Masters Public Administration placed 40th in the region and 2nd in the Philippines. UST was also recognized as one of the top 1,000 institutions in the world that offers programs in business and allied fields. [122] [123]

UST became an associate member of the Asean University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) group in 2016. [124] In 2020, it was the first associate member to receive an institutional certification. [125] Fourteen bachelor’s programs were certified by AUN-QA, namely accountancy, biochemistry, biology, chemical engineering, chemistry, electronics engineering, elementary education, medical technology, nursing, cccupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, and secondary education. [126]

All six engineering programs of the university, namely civil, chemical, electric, electronics, industrial, and mechanical, were accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 2020. [127] [128]

International linkages

UST has partnerships and linkages with 171 foreign academic institutions in 32 countries. [129] [66] A dual-degree program in PhD Built Environment/Architecture is offered in collaboration with the University of Reading. [130] The university also offers a ladderised program in Master in Public Health (International) in parternship with the University of Leeds. [131] [132] The partnership between the university and the Duke University allow nursing students of both universities to attend global health courses and participate in clinical immersions. [133] [134] Select fourth year students from the B.S. Medical Technology program can participate in the International Internship Program at the Mahidol University in Thailand. [135]

Student life

The UST Campus during the 2007 Christmas season. UST at Christmas2007.jpg
The UST Campus during the 2007 Christmas season.

The university marks a variety of activities that is largely influenced by the Spanish-Filipino Dominican catholic culture and the Philippine culture. This includes the Misa de Apertura and Discurso de Apertura, the opening mass and lecture. The Thomasian Welcome Walk where freshmen pass under the Arch of the Centuries at the start of their education at the university. [136] The UST Paskuhan, a series of month-long campus events that celebrates the significance and value of Christmas. It features reenactments of the Christmas story, campus-wide banquet, live concerts, and light and pyrotechnic displays. [137] The UST Goodwill Tournaments for various sports for all colleges. The UST Baccalaureate Mass, Ceremony of the Light, and The Sending off Rites

UST hosts hundreds of student organizations which include a wide range of disciplines: religious, cultural, performing, media, socio-civic, and student service. [138]

Bass drums of the UST Yellow Jackets UST veritas.jpg
Bass drums of the UST Yellow Jackets

In the 1960s, the first LGBT organization, Tigresa Royal, was established but was never recognized by the university. In 2013, HUE, a new LGBT organization in the was established. Like Tigresa Royal, the university also denied HUE's recognition as a university organization. [139] In 2015, the university ordered numerous organizations to take down all rainbow-themed profile pics of its members in social media after the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. The order was defied by numerous students of the university, marking the beginning of the UST Rainbow Protest. In July 2016, various student organizations supported the filing of the SOGIE Equality Bill. [140] [141] In March 2018, during the passage of the bill, numerous UST student organizations, including UST Hiraya, a feminist organization, backed the bill's passage. [142]


The Thomasian crowd at the 2006 UAAP men's basketball finals. Ustpopulation.jpg
The Thomasian crowd at the 2006 UAAP men's basketball finals.

In 1920, UST and other catholic universities and colleges in Manila organized a sports league called Liga Catolica. Four years later, members of the Liga Catolica organized themselves to form the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). [143] [144] UST won its first basketball championship and only NCAA championship in 1930. [145] In 1932, the university seceded from the NCAA and formed the Big 3 League with the University of the Philippines and National University. [146] The Big 3 League and Far Eastern University eventually formed the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in 1938. [147]

The varsity sports teams, originally called the "Glowing Goldies", have since been renamed the "Growling Tigers" beginning the 1992–1993 UAAP season. The women's teams are called the "Tigresses", while the juniors' (high school) teams are the "Tiger Cubs".

The university continues to dominate the UAAP with the most general championship titles. [148] UST has won the seniors division 44 times, including the record high 14-year dynasty run. The juniors team yielded 21 titles out of 26 seasons. [149] The university is one of the only four universities that participates in all the UAAP events.

UST has won the men's basketball title 18 times in the UAAP since 1938 and one in the NCAA, bringing the total to 19. In 2006, the Tigers captured the basketball championship defeating the Ateneo Blue Eagles in two of the three games held. With the championship, the UST tied with the UE Red Warriors with 18 UAAP men's basketball titles, behind the league-leading FEU Tamaraws with 20. The Tigers reached the finals four times in the last decade. In 2012, the Tigers, led by Jeric Fortuna and Carmelo Afuang, finished second at the end of eliminations with a 10–4 record, but were swept by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the finals. [150] In 2013, the fourth seed Tigers defeated the top seed National Bulldogs in the semi-finals. [151] The team, led by Jeric Teng and Karim Abdul, clinched the first game of the finals, but the DLSU Green Archers went on to win the title. [152] [153] In 2015, the Tigers finished the elimination round as the no. 1 seed with an 11-3 record. [154] UST, led by mythical five members Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag, lost in three games to FEU Tamaraws in the finals. [155]

The Salinggawi Dance Troupe and the UST Yellow Jackets have won the most UAAP Cheerdance Competition titles with eight.

Thomasians cheer the "Go USTe!" chant in supporting the Thomasian athletes in the playing field. UST Yellow Jackets founder Michael Ismael Flores created the iconic chant in 1990, getting inspiration from Vanilla Ice’s Ninja Rap. [156] [157]

Sports facilities

The university sport facilities include: a football field, a swimming pool, a tennis court, a sand court and at least 9 basketball courts (3 courts at the Practice Gym, a covered court beside the Practice Gym, Education court, P. Noval court, Seminary gym and open courts, and Frassati gym). [158] The Quadricentennial Pavilion houses a 5,792-seat arena, a fitness center, a two-lane overall track, and training halls for dance, badminton, fencing, judo, and table tennis. [159]


UST has multiple student organizations that cater to different media. The Varsitarian, commonly referred to as Varsi, is the official student publication of the university; Tomasian Cable Television (TOMCATv) was the official broadcasting arm of the university, in 2017 TOMCATv re-branded into "TOMCAT" as "Tomasian Media Circle and Talents" an events and video production organization, while the official broadcasting arm renamed into TigerTV ( and TigerRadio ( which operates under the digital broadcasting unit of the Educational Technology Center or "EdTech," TOMCATv; TomasinoWeb or TomWeb is the university's official digital media organization and online student publication. In February 2019, The Varsitarian published an editorial which critically condemned attacks on press freedom, a day after a Filipino journalist was arrested by the Duterte government. The university administration tried to squash the publication, only to be repulsed by students in protest condemning all forms of attacks against freedom and liberty. [160]

In the late 2000s, UST through its Tomasian Cable Television (divided into two organizations: the Tiger Media Network and TOMCAT) launched UST Tiger Radio. UST Tiger Radio currently broadcasts online via web streaming from Monday to Friday, except during semester breaks. It is also the current official campus station of the UST community.

Notable people

Two of the university's foremost alumni, Jose Rizal and Manuel L. Quezon, are honored by being displayed on each of the pillars on the Arch of the Centuries. UniversityOfSantoTomas2.jpg
Two of the university's foremost alumni, José Rizal and Manuel L. Quezon, are honored by being displayed on each of the pillars on the Arch of the Centuries.

Persons affiliated to the university, either as students, faculty members, or administrators, are known as "Thomasians". UST alumni and faculty include 11 catholic saints, [161] the current master of the Order of Preachers, [162] 2 cardinals (Jose Advincula, the current Archbishop of Manila, and Jose Tomas Sanchez) [163] 4 presidents of the Philippines (Manuel L. Quezon, José P. Laurel, Sergio Osmeña, and Diosdado Macapagal), 9 chief justices, [note 2] the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, [164] 19 national artists, [note 3] [165] a national scientist, [166] and 5 billionaires. [note 4] [10] [11] [12]

Thomasians in the field of medicine include the current secretary and at least 12 out of 28 previous secretaries of health, [note 5] [167] the current surgeon general, [168] co-founders of Makati Medical Center (Mariano M. Alimurung, Jose Y. Fores, Raul G. Fores), [169] founding chairman of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center Jorge Garcia, [170] [171] founder of Belo Medical Group Vicki Belo, [172] and founder of Aivee Clinic Aivee Teo. [173] May Parsons, a UST Nursing alumna, administered the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine in United Kingdom. [174]

Thomasians have played significant roles in the establishment of several educational institutions. These include the first Filipino president of the University of the Philippines Ignacio Villamor, [175] the first Filipino dean of University of the Philippines College of Medicine Fernando Calderon, [176] founder of FEATI University and De La Salle Araneta University Salvador Araneta, [177] founder of Lyceum of the Philippines University José P. Laurel, co-founder of Manila Central University Alejandro M. Albert, [178] founder of Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation Martin Posadas, [179] founder of Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation Manuel Enverga. [180]

In sport, UST alumni include Olympians Jethro Dionisio in shooting, Donald Geisler and Tshomlee Go in taekwondo, and Ernest John Obiena in pole vault. [181]


  1. The list includes, Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, Albertus Magnus Building, St. Martin de Porres Building, St. Raymund de Peñafort Building, Beato Angelico Building, Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building, and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Building.
  2. The list includes, Cayetano Arellano, Victorino Mapa, Manuel Araullo, Ramón Avanceña, Roberto Concepcion, Felix Makasiar, Andres Narvasa, Renato Corona and Diosdado Peralta.
  3. The list includes, but is not limited to, Botong Francisco, Victorio Edades, Vicente Manansala, Arturo Luz, Jerry Navarro Elizalde, Ang Kiukok, Nick Joaquin, F. Sionil José, Daisy Avellana, Rolando Tinio, Leandro Locsin, Francisco Mañosa, José María Zaragoza, Cirilo Bautista, Gerardo de León, Ernani Cuenco, Bienvenido Lumbera, Ildefonso P. Santos Jr., and Juan Nakpil.
  4. The list includes, but is not limited to, Tony Tan Caktiong, George Ty, Ricardo Po, Sr., Vivian Que Azcona, and Carolyn Yao.
  5. The list includes, but is not limited to, Basilio J. Valdes, Jose Locsin, Antonio Villarama, Paulino Garcia, Elpidio Valencia, Francisco Q. Duque, Jr., Floro Dabu, Manuel Cuenco, Paulino Garcia, Amadeo H. Cruz, Antonio Periquet, and Carmencita Reodica.

Related Research Articles

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Overall Championship is awarded to the school with the highest point total in the different UAAP events. It was first awarded in UAAP Season 10. Member universities currently compete in fifteen sports to vie for the overall championship, namely, badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, chess, fencing, football, judo, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

<i>The Varsitarian</i> Official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas

The Varsitarian is the official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas (UST). Founded in January 1928 by a group of students led by Jose Villa Panganiban, it is one of the first student newspapers in the Philippines. It is published fortnightly. The lampoon issue is called The Vuisitarian. Tomas U. Santos, the mascot of The Varsitarian, is a Thomasian who represents the students of the campus. He is usually seen accompanied by a talking, and quite cynical, T-square.

University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters Faculty of Philippines university

The University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters, popularly known as "UST Artlets" or "UST AB", is the liberal arts school of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Manila, Philippines.

University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Faculty of medicine in Manila, the Philippines

The University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (USTFMS) is the medical school of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest and largest Catholic university in Manila, Philippines.

The University of Santo Tomas College of Education, popularly known as "UST-Educ", is the teacher education, nutrition and dietetics, food technology, and library and information science school of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Manila, Philippines. It was established in 1926 at Intramuros, Manila.

Traditions of the University of Santo Tomas

The University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines marks a variety of traditions largely influenced by the Spanish and Filipino Dominican culture. Many are annual events, such as religious assemblies marking the start and end of the academic year, a "welcome walk" for new students, as well as intercollege sport competitions and talent exhibitions. Christmas is celebrated in a month-long festivities culminated by the UST Paskuhan. Many Roman Catholic feast days are also celebrated.

History of the University of Santo Tomas

The University of Santo Tomas is one of the oldest existing universities and holds the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia. It was founded on April 28, 1611, by the third Archbishop of Manila, Miguel de Benavides, together with Frs. Domingo de Nieva and Bernardo de Santa Catalina. It was originally conceived as a school to prepare young men for the priesthood. Located Intramuros, it was first called Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario and later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomás in memory of Dominican theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas. In 1624, the Colegio was authorized to confer academic degrees in theology, philosophy and arts. On November 20, 1645 Pope Innocent X elevated the college to the rank of a university and in 1680 it was placed under royal patronage.

The University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture is the architectural school of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Manila, Philippines.

University of Santo Tomas Main Building

The Main Building of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, Philippines functions as the university's administrative center, and home of the Faculty of Civil Law, Faculty of Pharmacy, and the College of Science. The Main Building is also the home of the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2011. The agenda before the quadricentennial in 2011 included the introduction of new academic programs, improvements in the university's infrastructure, and other projects to raise UST's national and international prominence and promote its role as a social catalyst.

This is a timeline of the history of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in Asia, comprising important events of the history of the University and of the development of Philippine higher education in general. To read about the background to these events, see History of the University of Santo Tomas. See also the history of the Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas, and the Santo Tomas Internment Camp

The University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines has 22 colleges and 3 secondary school departments. The colleges are interdependent academic constituents of the university that offer undergraduate and graduate programs. Historically, the colleges are named as Faculty, College, Institute, School, or Conservatory. There are 19 colleges that offer civil courses and 3 faculties that also offer ecclesiastical programs.

Benavides Monument

The Benavides Monument is a memorial in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines built to commemorate the founder of the University of Santo Tomas, Miguel de Benavides, O.P.. Located in front of the UST Main Building, the monument consists of a bronze statue of Benavides rising on top of a granite pedestal. The present monument was unveiled in 1946.

Evelyn Songco

Evelyn Ariola-Songco is a Filipino historian, professor, and educational administrator. She has been among the longest-serving deans of students in the Philippines as she held a rector's cabinet position in the University of Santo Tomas for more than two decades. She was a former president of Philippine Historical Association and the Philippine Association of Administrators of Student Affairs. She is the current President of the UST Alumni Association, Inc.

The University of Santo Tomas is a private Catholic research university in Manila, Philippines. Founded in 1611 by the Order of Preachers, it is the oldest university in the Philippines and Asia. The university gives numerous awards, honors, prizes, and recognitions to its people and the general public who have substantial accomplishments or have exemplified the ideals of UST.

The Thomasian Welcome Walk (TWW) is an annual event of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. Freshmen walk through the Arch of the Centuries, a monument that served as the original doorway to the first campus of the university in Intramuros.

The University of Santo Tomas System is a private university system supervised by the Dominican Province of the Philippines. The system is composed of the campuses at Manila, Quezon City, Legazpi, Albay, Santa Rosa, Laguna, and General Santos City.


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