Philippines’ Top 10 Best Universities

College enrollment is nearing, and some schools have already started. Choosing the best institution for you is pivotal for your future, and investing in good universities might just help you go where you want to be.

If you are still unsure where to grab that degree, here are Top 10 Universities in the Philippines:

  1. University of the Philippines

The University of the Philippines (UP) is a national university which has stood for 115 years. It is a competitive university with a 20% acceptance rate, and ranks 365th in Asia, and 1358th in the world. The university is also famous for its oblation statue, which was sculpted by the late National Artist Guillermo Tolentino.

2. De La Salle University

De La Salle University (DLSU) is a private university with a high passing rate of 77%. It was founded in 1911 by a Catholic group, and was a male-only school. In 1912, it was named De La Salle College (DLSC), and had only 3 graduates. During World War II, the school absorbed students from other schools that had closed due to war even while the Japanese occupied some parts of it. It was, however, forced to close due to the massacre of 15 brothers and 25 other residents. Sooner, the DLSC was granted university status and was long called DLSU since 1975.

3. Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo de Manila (ADMU) is also a private university that was founded by Spanish Jesuits, a Roman Catholic order of religious men that was founded by St. Ignatius. It has a passing rate of 20%, and is ranked 573rd in Asia, and 1970th in the world. It was primarily called Escuela Municipal, and eventually became Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1865. It offered baccalaureates as well as technical courses leading to agriculture, business, and surveying. By 1909, the “Municipal” in its name was removed having its official name as “Ateneo de Manila”.

4. University of Santo Tomas

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) is the oldest university, not just in the Philippines, but in Asia. It has one of the highest passing rates in the country which is 81%. By population, the UST is the largest Catholic school in the world. What is especially interesting about this school is that in 1865 Queen Isabella II of Spain gave the university a power to direct all the schools in the Philippines, thus all diplomas issued by other schools were approved by the Rector of the university, as well as all examinations leading to the issuance of these diplomas. The university is also especially known for their cheers in the UAAP.

5. University of the Philippines Los Baños

University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) was originally a College of Agriculture (UPCA) of UP. It has an acceptance rate of 13%, lower than the main campus’. The first president of the school is Dr. Edward Bingham Copeland. With his help, he drew the contract with Jacob Goulb Shurman, Cornell University’s 1892-1929 president. With his help, the agricultural research of the institution strengthened, and through this 90% of Philippines’ research was done here during the 1960’s.

6. University of the Philippines Manila

The University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) has the most significance and kinship to the mother unit being its birthplace in 1908 and cradle for 40 years during the American occupation. It has 3,944 publications, and 65,042 citations. UPM ranks 906th in Asia, and 2873rd in the world.

7. University of San Carlos

The University of San Carlos (USC) traces its roots to the Colegio de San Ildefonso in 1595 in Cebu City. The private university has 315 published papers in international refereed journals. Currently, the university is among those with low passing rates with only 65%. In Asia, USC ranks 1350th, and 3989th in the world.

8. Mapua University


Mapua University is a private university that was founded by Philippines’ first ever registered architect, Don Tomas Mapua. The institution specializes in engineering and architecture programs. It has over 1,993 publications, and 9,787 citations. Mapua University has a high acceptance rate of 78%. Currently, Mapua University places itself in the 1555th position in best universities in Asia, and 4,474th globally.

9. Asian Institute Management

Asian Institute of Management (AIM) is an Asian pioneer in management education. The institute was founded in 1968 by a consortium of prominent business leaders, Philippine academic Institutions, and Harvard Business School. It ranks 1,606th in Asia, and 4,579th in the world, with an acceptance rate of 65%. 

AIM also has 624 publications, and 9,310 citations. Their research profile covers a range of fields, including Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Political Science, Economics, Business, Law, Environmental Science, Geography and Cartography, Computer Science, Sociology, and Philosophy.

10. Mindanao State University – Marawi

Marawi State University – Marawi (MSU) is a university saturated with Muslim culture. It was founded on September 1, 1961, and has evolved in keeping its national and local developments. The MSU is devoted in developing Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan, as stated in the mandates of the University: “To provide trained manpower skills and technical know-how for the economic development of the Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan”. In its 62 years of being a university, it has 762 publications covering a wide range of fields; it has 1,781 citations. Currently, it places itself in the 1701st position in Asia, and 4797th globally. It has a competitive passing rate of 53%.

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