University of Santo Tomas

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
The official seal of the University of Santo Tomas, Manila
Seal of the University of Santo Tomás
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
Established April 28, 1611
(409 years and 76 days)
Type Private
Affiliation Roman Catholic, Dominican
Chancellor Bruno Cadoré
Vice-Chancellor Gerard Francisco P. Timoner III
Rector Herminio V. Dagohoy
Secretary General Winston F. Cabading
Students 42,271 (as of 2013)[1]
Undergraduates 31,179
Location Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Campus 21.5 hectares, Urban
Hymn "The UST Hymn"
White, black, and gold
Nickname Template:If empty
Mascot Bengal Tiger
Affiliations ICUSTA, IAU, ASAIHL, UAAP PAASCU, among others.

The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines (Commonly known as University of Santo Tomas, often abbreviated as UST, Filipino: Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas or Pamantasan ng Santo Tomas, Spanish: Pontificia y Real Universidad de Santo Tomás, Latin: Pontificia et Regalis Universitas Sancti Thomae; colloquially, "Ustê") is a private, Roman Catholic, teaching and research university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by Miguel de Benavides, Archbishop of Manila, it has the oldest extant 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] UST is also the largest university in the city of Manila.[6] UST is the only university to have been visited by three popes four times: once by Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970, twice by Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995, and once by Pope Francis on January 18, 2015.[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 degrees have been accredited by the Commission on Higher Education as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development. In August 2012, it was awarded Institutional Accreditation by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines.

The Patron of the University is St. Thomas Aquinas, while St. Catherine of Alexandria is the Patroness.[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, members of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and are consistent winners of the Overall Championship.


The old University of Santo Tomas campus in the walled city of Intramuros in Manila.
The University of Santo Tomas campus in Sampaloc (circa 1940's).
Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See (Vatican), examining the historic Pontifical and Royal documents related to the establishment of the University during his visit to the Archives of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila, on 21 January 2015.

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’ 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.[3] 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 Tomas de Aquino, La Universidad Católica de Filipinas).[10] 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.[3] 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.[11]

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. Its current rector is Rev. Fr. Herminio P. Dagohoy, O.P.[3]

In recognition of its achievements, a number of important dignitaries have officially visited the university, among them, during the last four decades: His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970; His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1974 and 1995; Mother Teresa of Calcutta in January 1977 and again in November 1984; His Holiness Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995 (as part of the World Youth Day 1995); Her Majesty 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 University seal

60px 60px 80px
Some of the elements present in the University Seal:
Left to right: Emblem of the papacy, crowned by the Papal Tiara, coat of arms of the Spanish Kingdom of León showing the lion rampant, and the seal of Manila showing the sea lion.

The seal of the University of Santo Tomas is a shield quartered by the Dominican Cross. Superimposed on the cross is the sun of Saint Thomas Aquinas, patron of Catholic schools, after whom the university is named. The sun is actually made similar to the Sun of May.

Encircling the Dominican cross are:

  • On the upper left is the papal tiara, indicating that the UST is a pontifical university.
  • The upper right shows the lion derived from the Coat of Arms of Spain, indicative of royal patronage throughout the greater part of the university's centuries-old existence.
  • The lower left is occupied by the sea-lion originating from the old coat of arms of the City of Manila, the national capital, symbolizing the Republic of the Philippines.
  • The rose on the lower right is a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary under whose patronage the university was placed from its very beginnings.

The symbols are rendered in gold (except for the Dominican cross which is black and white), and are set on a field of light blue, the Marian color.[12]

The Tongues of Fire is the official logo for the Quadricentennial celebration of the university. This logo features the outline of the UST Main Building Tower as a concrete symbol of the stability, integrity and 400 years of existence of the university. From the cross of the Main Building emanate four tongues of fire that spell out U, S, and T. The tongues of fire reference the future of the university, some ideals, and are reminiscent of the stripes of the Tiger, the school's mascot. The Quadricentennial logo was designed by Dopy Doplon, a Thomasian.[13]


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, A.H. Lacson 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 of the University of Santo Tomas was also designed by Fernando Ocampo. It was built in the 1930s. 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 Ruano Building was built in 1952 of the University of Santo Tomas, 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 and the UST Tan Yan Kee Student Center.

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.[16]

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).[17] The University is also in the process of establishing a presence in Mongolia.[18] In 2011, the University celebrated its 400th founding anniversary, and it is projected that the new campuses will be operational by then.[19]


Rankings and reputation

(2014/15, national)
(2014/15, world)

The university is widely regarded as a top four university in the Philippines. It is ranked 141st in the 2014 QS University Rankings for Asia, the 3rd highest among Philippine universities.

Basic education

The University of Santo Tomas Elementary School used to offer primary education for children in the K-12 levels,[24] 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 High School and the UST Education High School which serves as a laboratory for the College of Education.[25][26]

All students of these institutions undergo Citizenship Advancement Training, while the students from first to third year level of the UST 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

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 40,000 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.[27][28] The Faculty of Canon Law was founded in 1733.[29] 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.[30]

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 program of the Faculty is a Center of Development while the departments of Literature, Legal Management and Philosophy are Centers of Excellence.[31]

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 Electronics and Communications Engineering is named as one of the Centers of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education. The Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering programs, on the other hand, are the Centers of Development. Engineering is located at the Roque Ruaño building, named after the priest-engineer Roque Ruaño, O.P.[32]


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.[33]

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. Both Biology and Chemistry are recognized by CHED as Centers of Excellence and Psychology as Center of Development. 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.[34]

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.[35]

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.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38]

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.[39]

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.[40]

Institutes and departments

The Institute of Information and Computing Sciences was separated from the Faculty of Engineering on July 2014. It is founded in 1999 and originally under College of Science as Institute of Computer Sciences. It was then placed under Faculty of Engineering as 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.[41] 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

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

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.[44] 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.[44]

The Faculty is one of the top performing schools in the history of the Philippine bar examinations.[45] It has produced four Philippine Presidents, three Philippine Vice Presidents, six Supreme Court Chief Justices, and several law deans in the country.[46]

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

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.[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] It is also the alma mater of numerous Secretaries of Health of the Philippines,[50] as well as several Presidents of the Philippine Medical Association, the national organization of medical doctors in the country.[51] 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

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.[52]

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).

Student life and culture

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

Events and traditions

  • 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.[53]
  • 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. It is one of the most awaited events of the year showcasing different performances from different student organizations, and live bands, which is complemented with an extravagant show of pyrotechny. It was December 19, 1991 when the first Paskuhan came about. Dubbed "Paskong Tomasino, Paskong Filipino '91", the event intended to reflect the Filipino tradition of "panunuluyan" through a procession from different colleges and faculties in the campus. It also featured a Holy Mass and an inter-collegiate lantern-making contest. The main highlight, however, was gift giving. A Script error: No such module "convert". Christmas tree was erected at the UST Grandstand where Thomasians placed their donations for the victims of Typhoon Uring.[54]
  • 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


File:Flag of the Vatican City.svg
The school colors, gold and white, were derived from the flag of the Vatican City, denoting that UST is a pontifical university.
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.[55] 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.[56]

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.[57] In women's basketball, the Lady Tigresses defeated the FEU Lady Tamaraws for the title.[58] 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 19. UST also won a senior NCAA championship, to bring the total to 19 men's championships.


  • Center for Applied Ethics – established on July 1, 2002 under the administration of Rev. Fr. Tamerlane R. Lana, O.P., The Center was the flagship project of the University towards achieving its vision of becoming the "Center for Contextualized Theology in Asia by 2011."
  • Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics – envisions to be a leading center and prime mover in the promotion of Cultural Heritage in the Philippines by providing and developing professional and academic expertise in conservation and heritage management of cultural properties in the tropics.
  • Center for Educational Research and Development – was established in June 1979, by Rev. Fr. Paul P. Zwanepoel. Through the years, the Center has evolved from being an academic arm of the various colleges in the university providing educational, research and consultancy services to a research-intensified unit thus, redefining the concept of the university faculty as producers of knowledge and information.
  • Center for Intercultural Studies – was opened as the Chiang Ching-kuo Centre for Intercultural Studies in 1993 in the Main Building during the term of Rev. Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. as Rector of the University with Dr. Alfredo Co as the first Director of the Centre.
  • Center for Research on Movement Science – naugurated on February 21, 2003,The Center for Research on Movement Science envisions itself to become an acknowledged expert in the country, in the field of research on exercise and human movement through the Human Performance Laboratory and the Biomechanics Laboratory.
  • Research Center for the Natural Sciences – the venue for science and technology research in the University of Santo Tomas. 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.
  • Social Research Center – Established on December 1, 1979, Social Research Center (SRC) is the university's research arm for the social sciences.
  • UST Psychotrauma Clinic

Other research centers

  • Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas (UST Archives)
  • Benavides Review and Training Center
  • Center for Audiological Sciences
  • Center for Creative Writing and Studies – aims to conserve, enrich and reaffirm the fertile foundation of Thomasian letters by nurturing the proper creative ecology that is meant to contribute to faculty development and excellence in literary and humanistic studies.
  • Center for Professional Development and Consultancy
  • Educational Technology Center
  • Health Sciences Research Management Group
  • John Paul II Center for Ecclesiastical Studies – the JPIIRCES defines research as "a creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge of humanity, culture and society—and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications." For the Ecclesiastical Sciences, "to increase the stock of knowledge" particularly means "to understand better, further develop and more effectively communicate the meaning of Christian Revelation as transmitted in Scripture and Tradition and in the Church's Magisterium" as well as to "shed light on specific questions raised by contemporary culture
  • Miguel de Benavides Cancer Institute – envisioned to offer a multi-disciplinary professional medical service for patients needing cancer care. This will be from prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up aspects of cancer patients.[59]
  • Research Center for the Health Sciences – The Research Center for the Health Sciences (RCHS) is the University's flagship unit for the health sciences. It is the research arm of the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery (FMS). Its ultimate aim is to build research competency in the FMS to enhance its research competitiveness in addressing immediate national and global health problems and making a difference in promoting health and health equity.

University Research Office

  • UST Office of Research and Innovation

College-affiliated research offices/units

  • Marcelo G. Casillan Sr. Quadricentennial Research Office (at the Faculty of Arts and Letters)
  • Dr. Hubert Wong, Learning Resource Unit (at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery)
  • Nursing Learning Resource Unit (at the College of Nursing)
  • Graduate School Learning Resource Unit (at the Graduate School)
  • Office of Graduate Research (at the Graduate School)
  • Beato Angelico Gallery (at the Beato Angelico Building)
  • Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Research Institute (at the Faculty of Engineering)
  • Electronics Engineering and Networking Research Laboratory (at the Faculty of Engineering)
  • Research Laboratory for Computer and Information Management (at the Faculty of Engineering)
  • Solid State Physics Research Center (at the College of Science)


UST Publishing House and UST Press

The UST Publishing House (USTPH) was established in 1996. While it takes its inspiration from the four-century-old UST Press (founded in 1593), it is an entirely different entity. The USTPH, with the former UST Printing Office as its printing arm, is responsible for the publication of scholarly books, outstanding faculty researches and monographs, quality textbooks in all levels, artworks and designs, as well as other educational printed materials. Equipped with state-of-the-art printing machines from Germany and top-of-the-line computers from the United States, Japan, and other countries, the USTPH is envisioned to purvey extensively the creative and innovative outputs of the academe, not only within, but also outside the University's 21.5-hectare campus.[60]

Academic and research journals

  • 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, the official journal of the Department of English
  • Boletin Ecclesiastico, the Official Interdiocesian Journal of UST
  • Hasaan: Journal ng Wikang Filipino, opisyal na journal ng Departamento ng Filipino
  • Karunungan: A Journal of Philosophy, official journal of the Philippine Academy of Philosophical Research
  • Kritike: An Online Journal of Philosophy, the official journal of the Department of Philosophy (ISSN 1908-7330)
  • Philippiniana Sacra, a publication of the Ecclesiastical Faculties
  • Santo Tomas Journal of Medicine, a publication of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (ISSN: 0115-1126)
  • 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 (ISSN 1908-5044)


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

Student publications

University-wide publications

  • The Varsitarian, the University-Wide Official Student Publication of the University of Santo Tomas.
  • TomasinoWeb, the Official Online Student Publication and Organization of the University of Santo Tomas.
  • Montage, the official literary folio of Varsitarian
  • Breaktime, the official magazine of the Varsitarian (comes out every summer)

College-based publications

  • The Accountancy Journal, the Official Student Publication of the Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy
  • The Commerce Journal, the Official Student Publication of the College of Commerce and Business Administration
  • Education Journal, the Official Publication of the College of Education
  • The Flame, the Official Student Publication of the Faculty of Arts and Letters
  • The Aquinian, the official Student Publication of the UST High School
  • The Rosarian, the official Student Publication of the Education High School
  • Purple Gazette, the Official Student Publication of the Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Thomasian Engineer, the Official Student Publication of the Faculty of Engineering
  • Momentum, the Official Student Publication of the College of Science
  • Nursing Newsette, the Official Student Publication of the College of Nursing
  • Voyage, the Official Student Publication of the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Vision Magazine, the Official Student Publication of the College of Architecture
  • Therapeutic Currents , the Official Student Publication of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences


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.
One of the University's foremost alumni is the President Manuel Quezon is the 2nd Philippine President under the Commonwealth Government.

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,[61] Sergio Osmeña,[62] 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.[63] 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.[64]


  1. ^ a b "Fewer freshmen admitted this year". The Varsitarian. 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  2. ^ Lim-Pe, Josefina (1973). The University of Santo Tomas in the Twentieth Century. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila. pp. 1–19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g History of UST Retrieved December 21, 2008.
  4. ^ "University of Santo Tomas: 400 Years of Unending Grace". Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  5. ^ Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas. Retrieved from
  6. ^ 'Royal and Pontifical' . Retrieved from
  7. ^ Romero, J.I., University of Santo Tomas: 400 years of Unending Grace. Retrieved from
  8. ^ Lim-Pe, Josefina. 2000. The University of Santo Tomas in the Twentieth Century. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila.
  9. ^ De Ramos, N.V., 2000. I Walked with Twelve UST Rectors.
  10. ^ UST Museum of Arts and Sciences - University Rector's academic insignias
  11. ^ Victims of Circumstance: Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Accessed September 11, 2011.
  12. ^ University of Santo Tomas Student Handbook, 2002 edition
  13. ^ Tongues of Fire. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
  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. ^ Madrid, R.D. (August 11, 2011). "UST, dineklarang 'national historical landmark'". The Varsitarian. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  17. ^ UST eyes Sri Lanka campus The Varsitarian. Published July 2004
  18. ^ Presence in Mongolia. Retrieved August 8, 2008.
  19. ^ Fr. Lana's term (1998-2006) The Varsitarian website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  20. ^ UST Campus Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  21. ^ Francisco, M.A.S. "Mga liwasan sa loob ng UST". The Varsitarian. Retrieved February 2, 2011. 
  22. ^ Who cares about UST's streets?, retrieved 26 January 2011
  23. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2014/15". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  24. ^ - Elementary
  25. ^ UST High School website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  26. ^ UST Education High School website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  27. ^ Faculty of Sacred Theology Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  28. ^ Faculty of Philosophy Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  29. ^ Faculty of Civil Law and Faculty of Canon Law Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  30. ^ Faculty of Pharmacy Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  31. ^ Faculty of Arts and Letters Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  32. ^ Faculty of Engineering Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  33. ^ College of Education Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  34. ^ UST College of Science website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  35. ^ College of Commerce Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  36. ^ Conservatory of Music Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  37. ^ College of Nursing Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  38. ^ College of Rehabilitation Sciences Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  39. ^ College of Fine Arts and Design Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  40. ^ College of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  41. ^ IT, Computer Science set to separate from Engineering. The Varsitarian. Accessed September 17, 2014
  42. ^ a b Centers of Excellence/Development (COE/COD). Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  43. ^ a b CHEd declares UST programs COEs, CODs. Retrieved 05 June 2013.
  44. ^ a b Faculty of Civil Law Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  45. ^ Statistical Data of Bar Examination Passing Rates, Office of the Bar Confidant, Supreme Court of the Philippines, 2000-2006.
  46. ^ Faculty and alumni list, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, 2007.
  47. ^ Med students now approve PBL The Varsitarian. Vol. LXXIV, No. 2 • July 10, 2002
  48. ^ List of Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development, Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Republic of the Philippines, 2007.
  49. ^ Statistical Data of Board Examination Passing Rates, Physician Licensure Examinations, Professional Regulation Commission, 1997-2006.
  50. ^ History, Department of Health (DOH), Republic of the Philippines, 2007.
  51. ^ History, Philippine Medical Association, 2007.
  52. ^ UST Graduate School website. Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  53. ^ Thomasian Welcome Walk 2008. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
  54. ^ Christmas in our hearts The Varsitarian Vol. LXXIV, No. 8 • December 15, 2004
  55. ^ The UAAP A Historical Account Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  56. ^ UST Claims 4th Straight Cheer Crown Retrieved August 6, 2006.
  57. ^ UST Tigers grab 19th UAAP title in overtime Retrieved October 3, 2006.
  58. ^ Tigers maul Eagles, forge rubber match; Deciding Game 3 set tomorrow Retrieved October 1, 2006.
  59. ^ "About USTH". 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2010-12-16. 
  60. ^ UST Publishing House website. Retrieved February 22, 2008.
  61. ^ President Manuel L. Quezon 128th Birth Anniversary Manila Bulletin (Google archive). Published August 19, 2006
  62. ^ Osmeña, Sergio World War II Database. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  63. ^ Four-story alumni center soon to rise. Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  64. ^ Alumni Center, UST marker, 'Simbahayan' launched. Retrieved 27 October 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 14°36′35.5″N 120°59′21.5″E / 14.609861°N 120.989306°E / 14.609861; 120.989306{{#coordinates:14|36|35.5|N|120|59|21.5|E|type:edu |primary |name= }}