University of Santo Tomas

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Pontifical and Royal
University of Santo Tomas
The Catholic University of the Philippines
Pamantasan ng Santo Tomás
Unibersidad ng Santo Tomás
Universidad de Santo Tomás
Seal of the University of Santo Tomas.svg
Latin: Pontificia et Regalis Sancti Thomæ Aquinatis Universitas Manilana
Former names
Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario, Colegio de Santo Tomás de Manila
Motto Veritas in Caritate
Motto in English
Truth in Charity
Type Private, Research university
Established 28 April 1611
(405 years and 177 days)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Dominican)
Chancellor Fr Bruno Cadoré OP
Vice-Chancellor Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III
Rector Herminio Dagohoy
Secretary General Winston F. Cabading
Students 42,271 (as of 2013)[1]
Undergraduates 31,179
Location Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Campus 458m x 462m; 21.5 hectares, Urban
White, Gold, and Black
Athletics UAAP
Nickname UST Growling Tigers Logo.png Growling Tigers
Mascot Bengal Tiger
Affiliations ICUSTA, IAU, AUN, ASAIHL, UAAP, PAASCU, among others.
The logo of University of Santo Tomas

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 in Manila, Philippines. Founded on 28 April 1611 by Miguel de Benavides, Archbishop of Manila, it is an old university charter in the Philippines and in Asia,[2][3] and is one of the world's largest Catholic universities in terms of enrollment found on one campus.[4][5] Run by the Order of Preachers, UST is the only university to have been visited by three popes four times: once by Pope Paul VI on 28 November 1970, twice by Pope John Paul II on 18 February 1981 and 13 January 1995, and once by Pope Francis on 18 January 2015.[6] The patron of the university is St. Thomas Aquinas, while St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patroness.[7]

The university is composed of several autonomous faculties, colleges, schools and institutes, each conferring undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees, and the basic education units. Several degree programs have been accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development. Moreover, it was awarded with an Institutional Accreditation by the CHED through the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines. 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 (PACUCOA).[8]

Prominent Thomasians include saints, Philippine presidents, heroes, artists, scientists, professionals, and religious figures, who have figured prominently in the history of the Philippines. The athletic teams are the Growling Tigers, who are members of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and are consistent winners of the Overall Championship.


The University of Santo Tomás campus in Sampaloc (circa 1940's).
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 Intramuros 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.[9]

The Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario was established on April 28, 1611, from the Benavides's library. Later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomás, it was elevated by Pope Innocent X to a university on November 20, 1645 in his brief, In Supreminenti.[10] This makes the institution the first in the islands to be formally elevated to the status of university.

Its complete name is The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines (Spanish: La Real y Pontificia Universidad de Santo Tomás de Aquino, La Universidad Católica de Filipinas).[11] It was given the title "Royal," by King Charles III of Spain in 1785; "Pontifical" by Pope Leo XIII on 1902 in his constitution, Quae Mari Sinico, and the appellative "The Catholic University of the Philippines" by Pope Pius XII in 1947.[12] This makes the UST the first and only formally declared royal and pontifical university in the Philippines.

The university was located within the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. It was started by the Spanish Archbishop of Manila in the early 17th century as a seminary for aspiring young priests, taking its name and inspiration from Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican theologian. The first courses offered by the Colegio de Santo Tomás were canon law, theology, philosophy, logic, grammar, the arts, and civil law. In 1871, it began offering degrees in Medicine and Pharmacy, the first in colonized Asia.[3]

At the beginning of the 20th century, with the growing student population, the Dominicans were given a 21.5 hectare 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 university has graduated Philippine national heroes, presidents, and even saints.[3] 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 an arson created by the Japanese Kempeitai. 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.[13]

Since its establishment in 1611, 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. In its long history, the university has been under the leadership of more than 90 Rectors. UST's first Filipino rector was Fr. Leonardo Legaspi, O.P. who served UST from 1971 to 1977.

In recognition of its achievements, 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 in July 6, 2012.[3] 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 2013–2014 academic year, UST had 42,271 students enrolled.[1]


The UST Quadricentennial Park Fountain
The UST Miguel de Benavides Library (UST Central Library)

The University sits on an almost perfect square of 21.5 hectares bounded by España Boulevard, P. Noval St., A.H. Lacson Ave. and Dapitan St. 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 imposing Main Building, the Santisimo Rosario Parish, the UST Gym (once the largest gym in the country), and the Arch of the Centuries.

The campus at present boasts a mixture of old and new architecture with the inclusion of the UST multi-deck carpark which houses the Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy, and the UST Sports Complex, the second modern sports facility to be constructed by a UAAP member school.

The Central Seminary was built in the 1930s 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.[14]

The Engineering and Architecture Building, now called 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.[15]

Other new structures include the Beato Angelico Building which houses the College of Architecture and College of Fine Arts and Design, the Plaza Mayor, the UST Quadricentennial Square and Alumni Park, Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, the UST Tan Yan Kee Student Centre, and the recently-built, 12-Floor Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building (UST Alumni Center) which houses students from the Faculty of Arts and Letters and the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

The streets of the University were non-existent until March 1960. The prominent university streets are Intramuros Drive, Quezon Drive, and Osmeña Drive.[16]

The UST Manila campus was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on 24 May 2011. Four of the University's structures are also declared National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum: Main Building, Arch of the Centuries, Santissimo Rosario Central Seminary, as well as the Grandstand and the University field. UST is the first and only university campus to have been named a National Historical Landmark and the only learning institution in the Philippines as location of National Cultural Treasures.[17]

The University has started to develop upcoming campuses in Santa Rosa City (60 hectares), General Santos City (80 hectares), and Negombo, Sri Lanka, (5 hectares).[18] The University is also in the process of establishing a presence in Mongolia.[19] In 2011, the University celebrated its 400th founding anniversary, and it is projected that the new campuses will be operational by then.[20]


Basic education[edit]

The University of Santo Tomas Elementary School used to offer primary education for children in the K-12 levels,[21] but before the Quadricentennial Celebration of the University, the school started denying applications from the K-Level, until the last batch of Grade 6 students who would graduate on AY 2010–2011 are left. The UST Elementary School, after finishing the last batch of its students in the UST Sampaloc Campus, will be transferred to the new UST Campus in Santa Rosa City, Laguna.

UST has two secondary institutions: The UST Junior High School and the UST Education High School which serves as a laboratory for the College of Education.[22][23]

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.

Undergraduate studies[edit]

The different faculties, colleges and institutes of the University were created at different times in the University's history. The "Faculties" were founded before the American occupation of the early 20th century, while the "Colleges" were founded during and after American rule. The "Institutes" and "Departments" are found within their mother faculties/colleges. Some Institutes that attained enough enrollment were separated from their mother faculties/colleges and were made into colleges in their own right. According to the University's Admission Head, Marie Ann Vargas, UST evaluates at least 80,000 applicants every year and only around 10,000 are admitted to the University.


The degree programs for undergraduate studies were first offered in 1611, where the Faculties of Sacred Theology and Philosophy were founded.[24][25] The Faculty of Canon Law was founded in 1733.[26] These three original faculties are now known as the Ecclesiastical Faculties, to distinguish them from the Secular Faculties and Colleges that were founded later. The Eccesiastical Faculties are housed at the Seminary and at the Santisimo Rosario Parish.

The Faculty of Medicine & Surgery together with the Faculty of Pharmacy were founded on the same year in 1871. The Faculty of Pharmacy offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry, Medical Technology, and Pharmacy. The Faculty of Medicine & Surgery is located at the St. Martin de Porres building, while the Faculty of Pharmacy is located at the Main Building.[27]

The Faculty of Philosophy and Letters was founded in 1896. It was merged with some programs of the College of Liberal Arts in 1965 hence renaming the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters as the Faculty of Arts and Letters (the College of Liberal Arts was renamed the College of Science). The Faculty of Arts and Letters offers the Bachelor of Arts (AB) degrees, in Asian Studies, Behavioral Science, Communication Arts, Economics, English Language Studies, History, Journalism, Legal Management, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. The Faculty of Arts and Letters is located in the St. Raymond de Peñafort building. Its students are known as "Artlets" (previously "Philets"). The Journalism, Communication Arts and Literature programs of the Faculty are Centers of Development while the department of Philosophy is a Center of Excellence.[28]

In 1907, the Faculty of Engineering was founded. Currently it offers the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communications Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The department of Chemical Engineering is named as one of the Centers of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education. The Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering programs, on the other hand, are the Centers of Development. The Faculty also received an international accreditation through the Philippine Technological Council as the signatory of an international agreement in the practice of Engineering, Washington Accord[29] granting the Chemical Engineering Department a full six years accreditation, meanwhile for the other programs, they are given two years that can be given a full accreditation after another visit. Engineering is located at the Roque Ruaño building, named after the priest-engineer Roque Ruaño, O.P.[30]


The College of Education, which was founded in 1926, offers the Bachelor of Elementary Education major in Pre-School or Special Education, Bachelor of Secondary Education with majors in Computer Technology,Biology-Chemistry, Biology-General Science, Social Studies, English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Health and Music, Religious Education, or Social Guidance, the Bachelor of Library and Information Science, the Bachelor of Science in Food Technology, and Nutrition and Dietetics. Education is one of Centers of Excellence in the University. The college is located at the Albertus Magnus building.[31]

The College of Science, which was founded in 1926, offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics major in Instrumentation, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics major in Actuarial Science, Microbiology, and Psychology. Biology, Chemistry and Psychology are recognized by CHED as Centers of Excellence. The College also offered a degree in Zoology, but was later abolished. The College of Science has a Level IV accreditation from PACUCOA (the highest in the Philippines) and is located at the third floor of the UST Main Building.[32]

The College of Architecture, which was founded in 1930, offers the Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Later on, after adding a fine arts program the college was called College of Architecture and Fine Arts. By the year 2000, the Fine Arts program was elevated to a separate college. The College of Architecture is housed at the Beato Angelico building. It is one of two Centers of Excellence in Architecture.

In 1933, the College of Commerce and Business Administration was created. College of Commerce offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with majors in Marketing Management, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, and Business Economics (not to be confused with the AB Economics being offered by Arts and Letters) as well as Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Entrepreneurship. On 2004, the accountancy program was transferred to the new Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy (see below). It is housed in the St. Raymund de Penafort building together with the Faculty of Arts and Letters. The Business Administration program is a Center of Development.[33]

The Conservatory of Music, founded in 1945, offers the Bachelor of Music degree, with majors in Keyboard (Piano, Harpsichord, Organ), Music Education, Voice, Strings and Guitar, Woodwind, Brasswind, Composition Theory, and Conducting. Its facilities are located at the Albertus Magnus building. The Conservatory is one of the two Centers of Excellence in Music in the Philippines.[34]

The College of Nursing was founded in 1946. It offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which is a Center of Excellence. The college is housed in the St. Martin de Porres building, together with the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and the College of Rehabilitation Sciences.[35]

The College of Rehabilitation Sciences, founded in 1974, offers the Bachelor of Science degrees in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech–Language Pathology, and the Bachelor in Sports Science degree. Like Nursing, CRS is at the St. Martin de Porres building.[36]

The College of Fine Arts and Design was separated from the College of Architecture in 2000. It offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in Advertising, Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Painting. It shares the Beato Angelico Building with the College of Architecture.[37]

The Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy was separated from the College of Commerce on November 2004. Named after one of its renowned alumnus, Alfredo M. Velayo, one of the three founding members of the auditing firm known as SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co., the college houses students who are enrolled in the Accountancy and Management Accounting programs. With the aid of its alumni foundation, the college is now housed in its own building that was inaugurated on June 2006.

The College of Tourism and Hospitality Management was separated from the College of Education on April 26, 2006. From an institute, the University has raised its level to a college in December 2008. It offers both the degrees; Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management and the Bachelor of Science in Travel Management.[38]

Institutes and departments[edit]

The Institute of Information and Computing Sciences was separated from the Faculty of Engineering on July 2014. It was founded in 1999 and originally under the College of Science as the Institute of Computer Sciences. It was then placed under the Faculty of Engineering as the Department of Information and Computer Studies from 2004 until 2014. A Level I accreditation status from PAASCU has been granted to all three degree programs of the institute namely: Computer Science, Information Systems, and Information Technology.[39] The institute is located at the Roque Ruaño Building, together with the Faculty of Engineering.

The Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) is an independent college intended for the elevation of sports and athleticism in the university. Situated at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

The Department of Military Science & Tactics (DMST) was later on integrated to the NSTP (National Service Training Corps) program of the University. It provides adequate learning in the military arts in preparation for Thomasians in entering into military Service. The ROTC and GSTP Department is under the DMST.

The Institute of Religion (IR), since its foundation in 1933, has been the theology-teaching department of the University for the civil sciences. As one of the offices under the Vice Rector for Religious Affairs, the IR has been a prime mover in campus evangelization primarily through classroom instruction. Located at the heart of the UST Main Building, the site of IR's office symbolizes the directive of the Church that theology should be the core of the curriculum in Catholic institutions.

Postgraduate studies[edit]

As early as the 17th century post-graduate programs have been offered in the University of Santo Tomas through its various Faculties and Colleges.

Faculty of Civil Law[edit]

The UST Faculty of Civil Law was the first secular faculty, and hence the oldest law school in the Philippines. Although the Faculty offers the Bachelor of Laws degree, it is considered as a post baccalaureate degree, as it requires applicants to either have a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Civil Law resides in the UST Main Building.[40] The Faculty of Civil Law has produced four Philippine Presidents and six Chief Justices of the Philippines. It also has a Legal Aid clinic named after one of its illustrious alumni, Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion.

Aspiring law students need to finish at least a bachelor's degree before being admitted to the Faculty. They must then maintain an average of at least 78 in their freshman year to be readmitted the succeeding year. The required minimum grade increases as the year level progresses (79 for the second year, 80 for the third year and 81 for fourth year). During the third year of stay in the Faculty and after finishing all the law subjects, the student is required to engage in an internship program of at least 200 hours before being admitted to the fourth year, wherein he will then be required to undergo an oral examination or revalida and at least two major examinations to be able to complete the whole program. Upon graduation, the student will be qualified to become a bar candidate that will be eligible to take the bar examinations in the Philippines.[40]

The Faculty is one of the top performing schools in the history of the Philippine bar examinations.[41] It has produced four Philippine Presidents, three Philippine Vice Presidents, six Supreme Court Chief Justices, and several law deans in the country.[42]

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery[edit]

The UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery was founded in 1871. Medicine and Surgery offers the Doctor of Medicine degree which is a post baccalaureate degree.

The national hero of the Philippines, José Rizal, studied here before moving to Madrid Central University to complete his studies. Graduates of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery rank among the top scorers in the medical licensure exams, and the Faculty boasts a high passing rate overall.

In 2001, the Faculty adopted the problem-based learning method for use in the curriculum. This was highly controversial, as many professors complained that students were not learning the basic sciences adequately.[43] Eventually, in 2003 the curriculum was changed again, this time to an innovate format which combined elements of both traditional (lecture-based) and problem-based methods.

The Faculty is known for giving its fourth-year students a series of written and oral exams known as the "revalida". In the oral exams, groups of three students each are questioned by panels composed of three professors on basic, clinical, and emergency medical sciences. Passing the revalida is a prerequisite to graduation.

The Faculty is a Center of Excellence.[44] It has been consistently producing topnotchers in the annual national licensure exams for Filipino physicians and it is proud of its Level 4 National Accreditation for several years.[45] It is also the alma mater of numerous Secretaries of Health of the Philippines,[46] as well as several Presidents of the Philippine Medical Association, the national organization of medical doctors in the country.[47] The Faculty was also ranked as the only Asian medical school to be in the top 10 list of foreign medical institutions by the U.S. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in 2007.

In July 8–15, 2012, the faculty and the Asian Medical Students' Association-UST hosted the 33rd Asian Medical Students' Conference after almost three decades since the country hosted. It is the largest gathering of the medicine students across Asia and the Pacific with participating guest countries from Europe.

Graduate School[edit]

As early as the 17th century postgraduate degrees were offered and granted by the various faculties in the University of Santo Tomas.

In 1938, the UST Graduate School was established to administer and coordinate all the graduate programs in the University of Santo Tomas. The Graduate School academic programs have grown to 90 graduate program offerings, spanning about seven clusters of disciplines.

Today, the UST Graduate School is recognized as a Center of Excellence in several fields of the Arts and Humanities, Allied Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Engineering by the Commission on Higher Education.[48]

Its programs in business, public management, and education were also recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Fund for Assistance of Private Education (FAPE)- Evaluation of Graduate Education Programs (EGEP).

Academic profile[edit]


Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See (Vatican), examining historic documents related to the university's establishment during his visit to the university archives, on 21 January 2015.
  • Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS) – unit that specialises in the development of national literature through programs, projects and activities. It was established in 1999 as the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies.[49]
  • Center for Health Research and Movement Science (CHRMS) – research unit of the College for Rehabilitation Science. The center focuses on the assessment and interventions to improve health, fitness, and quality of life for different patient and client populations. It was inaugurated in 2003 as the Center for Research on Movement Science.[50]
  • Center for Religious Studies and Ethics (CRSE) – research unit that focuses on issues that have religious and moral implications, as well as on teachings of Church Magisterium. It was established in 2013. The center was preceded by the Center for Contextualized Theology and Ethics established in July 2002. In 2006, it was restructure to become the John Paul II Center for Ecclesiastical Studies and UST Center for Ethics. Both centers were dissolved in 2009.[51]
  • Research Center on Culture, Education, and Social Issues – research arm of the university that holds the activities the previous research centres namely: the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD), the Social Research Center (SRC), and the Center for Intercultural Studies (CIS). CERD was established in June 1979 by Rev. Fr. Paul P. Zwanepoel. SRC was established in 1979. CIS was established as the Chiang Ching-kuo Centre for Intercultural Studies in 1993. RCCESI will soon be transitioning into two centers, the Research Center on Culture, Arts, and the Humanities (RCCAH), and the Research Center on Social Sciences and Education (RCSSED).[52]
  • Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences (RCNAS) – research arm of the university that focuses on science and technology. Established in 1962, it was originally conceived as the University Research Center, encompassing both the cultural and the experimental sciences. However, in the succeeding years, it gradually assumed an orientation towards the natural sciences. The center also supervises the following offices:[53]
    • UST Analytical Services Laboratory (ASL)
    • UST Collection of Microbial Strains (UST-CMS)
    • UST Herbarium
    • UST Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (UST-IACUC)
  • Research Center for the Health Sciences – provides venue for research of faculty members from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, College of Nursing and College of Rehabilitation Science.[54]
  • Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics – research center of the UST Graduate School that specialises in consultancy, research, training and project development in heritage conservation and sustainable development. It was established in 2003.[55]
  • Archives of the University of Santo Tomas (AUST)
  • Educational Technology Center
  • Miguel de Benavides Cancer Institute – center that offers a multi-disciplinary professional medical service for patients needing cancer care.[56]


For a more comprehensive list, see List of University of Santo Tomas publications.

The UST Publishing House (USTPH) was established in 1996 through the merger of the Santo Tomas University Press (STUP) and the UST Printing Office (USTPO). The Publishing House evolved from the UST Press, which was founded in 1593 by Fr. Francisco de San Jose, O.P. As such, it is one of the oldest continuing press in the world today, only next to Cambridge University in England.[57]

Academic and research journals[edit]

  • Acta Manilana, a journal for the natural and applied sciences
  • The Antoninus Journal (formerly Ad Veritatem), a multi-disciplinary research journal of the UST Graduate School
  • The Asian Journal of English Language Studies, a journal of the Department of English
  • Boletin Ecclesiastico, the Official Interdiocesian Journal of UST
  • Philippiniana Sacra, a publication of the Ecclesiastical Faculties
  • Santo Tomas Journal of Medicine, a publication of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
  • Tomas, literary journal of the Center for Creative Writing and Studies
  • UST Law Review, a journal of the Faculty of Civil Law
  • Philippine Journal of Allied Health Sciences, a research journal of the UST Center for Research on Movement Science


  • Academia, the official international bulletin of the University of Santo Tomas
  • Thomasian Sunscope, the official alumni newsletter of the University of Santo Tomas

Accreditation and recognition[edit]

Several programs of the university are recognised by the Commission of Higher Education as Centers of Excellence and Development.

Rankings and reputation[edit]

The university is regarded by the Philippines Commission on Higher Education as one of the top universities in the Philippines.[60] Internationally, it is the first and only university in the country to be recognized by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Rankings with four stars for excellence (five as the highest) as an institution and five stars in the areas of employability, facilities, social responsibility and inclusiveness.[61] It has been ranked in the QS Asian University Rankings (143rd) [61] and QS World University Rankings (701+).

Student life[edit]

See also: UST Paskuhan
The UST Campus during the annual "Paskuhan"
The UST Campus during the annual "Paskuhan", 2007
"VERITAS": the university supporting the "Search for Truth"
"VERITAS": the university supporting the "Search for Truth"

Events and traditions[edit]

  • Misa de Apertura (The Opening Mass for the Academic Year)
  • The Thomasian Welcome Walk – (formerly The Rites of Passage) Freshmen pass under the historic Arch of the Centuries as welcome to the university life. The Highlight of the TWW, aside from the symbolic passing, is the Eucharistic Celebration. Established in 2003.[62]
  • The USTv Students' Choice Awards on Television – Established in 2005, is an award-giving body by Thomasians for Philippine Television that upholds Christian moral and ideals.
  • UST Paskuhan – Primered by the Eucharistic Celebration, the Paskuhan is the Thomasian way of celebrating Christmas, with performances from different student organizations, live bands, and other shows. It also featured a Holy Mass and an inter-collegiate lantern-making contest.[63]
  • UST Baccalaureate Mass, Ceremony of the Light, and The Sending off Rites
  • UST annual Goodwill Tournaments for various sports for all colleges. (Football, basketball, swimming, volleyball, etc.)

Student organizations[edit]


Fans of the UST Growling Tigers, basketball team.
Main article: UST Growling Tigers

UST is a founding member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.[64] The varsity team, originally the "Glowing Goldies" but has since been renamed the Growling Tigers beginning the 1992–1993 season, have won the men's basketball title 18 times since 1938. The University also has representatives for all the UAAP events.

The women's teams are called the Tigresses, while the Juniors (high school) teams are the Tiger Cubs.

The University has won the UAAP Seniors Overall Championship a record 39 times, and are currently holding the title for the last fourteen years.

The official dance troupe, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe with the official pep squad, UST Yellow Jackets, has won the UAAP Cheerdance Competition for five consecutive seasons already.[65]

In the 69th season of UAAP in academic year 2006–2007, the men's team captured the seniors basketball crown defeating the Ateneo Blue Eagles in two of the three games held.[66] In women's basketball, the Lady Tigresses defeated the FEU Lady Tamaraws for the title.[67] With the championship, the UST Growling Tigers ties the UE Red Warriors with 18 UAAP senior men's basketball titles, behind the league-leading FEU Tamaraws with 20. UST also won a senior NCAA championship, to bring the total to 19 men's championships.


UST has three 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 (TOMCAT) exists as the official broadcasting arm of the university, TomasinoWeb or TomWeb is the university's official digital media organization and online student publication.


Two of the university's foremost alumni, Philippine national hero José Rizal and president 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". José Rizal (National Hero of the Philippines), studied Medicine at UST, and continued it at the University of Madrid in Madrid, Spain. The University has produced four Presidents of the Philippines, namely Manuel L. Quezon,[68] Sergio Osmeña,[69] José P. Laurel and Diosdado Macapagal. It has also produced three Philippine Vice Presidents and six Chief Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court.

Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon and Philippine national hero José Rizal are honored by the University as they are displayed on the pillars of the Arch of the Centuries.

The UST Office for Alumni Relations build a twelve-story alumni center on the site of existing UST gymnasium; it is a multi-function building to hold events for the alumni and lodging services for visitors. The existing Olympic-sized swimming pool located nearby would be kept and refurbished.

The design was chosen from seven winners in a competition among students organized by the College of Architecture. Abelardo Tolentino Jr., an outstanding Thomasian alumni for Architecture, worked on the design to produce the final blueprint.[70] The groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 4, 2010, after the unveiling of the University marker. The ceremony was attended by members of the UST Medical Alumni Association Foundation.[71]


  1. ^ a b "Fewer freshmen admitted this year". The Varsitarian. 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
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  4. ^ "University of Santo Tomas: 400 Years of Unending Grace". Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  5. ^ Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas. Retrieved from
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  11. ^ UST Museum of Arts and Sciences - University Rector's academic insignias
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  13. ^ Victims of Circumstance: Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Accessed September 11, 2011.
  14. ^ Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. p. 339. ISBN 978-971-542-579-7. 
  15. ^ Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. p. 430. ISBN 978-971-542-579-7. 
  16. ^ Who cares about UST's streets?, retrieved 26 January 2011
  17. ^ Madrid, R.D. (August 11, 2011). "UST, dineklarang 'national historical landmark'". The Varsitarian. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  18. ^ UST eyes Sri Lanka campus The Varsitarian. Published July 2004
  19. ^ "The Indian Catholic". 
  20. ^ Fr. Lana's term (1998-2006) The Varsitarian website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
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  25. ^ Faculty of Philosophy Retrieved August 6, 2006.
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  27. ^ Faculty of Pharmacy Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  28. ^ Faculty of Arts and Letters Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  29. ^ "Engineering programs receive PTC accreditation". 
  30. ^ Faculty of Engineering Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  31. ^ College of Education Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  32. ^ UST College of Science website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  33. ^ College of Commerce Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  34. ^ Conservatory of Music Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  35. ^ College of Nursing Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  36. ^ College of Rehabilitation Sciences Retrieved August 6, 2006.
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  44. ^ List of Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Republic of the Philippines, 2007.
  45. ^ Statistical Data of Board Examination Passing Rates, Physician Licensure Examinations, Professional Regulation Commission, 1997-2006.
  46. ^ History, Department of Health (DOH), Republic of the Philippines, 2007.
  47. ^ History, Philippine Medical Association, 2007.
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  49. ^ Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  50. ^ Center for Health Research and Movement Science. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  51. ^ Center for Religious Studies and Ethics. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  52. ^ Research Center on Culture, Education, and Social Issues. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  53. ^ Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  54. ^ Research Center for the Health Sciences. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  55. ^ Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
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  60. ^ top
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  62. ^ Thomasian Welcome Walk 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
  63. ^ Christmas in our hearts The Varsitarian Vol. LXXIV, No. 8 • December 15, 2004
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  65. ^ UST Claims 4th Straight Cheer Crown Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  66. ^ UST Tigers grab 19th UAAP title in overtime Retrieved October 3, 2006.
  67. ^ Tigers maul Eagles, forge rubber match; Deciding Game 3 set tomorrow Retrieved October 1, 2006.
  68. ^ President Manuel L. Quezon 128th Birth Anniversary Manila Bulletin (Google archive). Published August 19, 2006
  69. ^ Osmeña, Sergio World War II Database. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  70. ^ Four-story alumni center soon to rise. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  71. ^ Alumni Center, UST marker, 'Simbahayan' launched. Retrieved 27 October 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 14°36′35.5″N 120°59′21.5″E / 14.609861°N 120.989306°E / 14.609861; 120.989306