Learning From the Best Universities in the Philippines

Best Universities in the Philippines Choosing a university is selecting a place for your learning and growth. No doubt, only the best is considered for your life’s pursuit of education. Because of this, young adults are on the hunt for the best universities in the Philippines. Although every school, institution, and university offers quality education, universities provide a diverse array of programs that will surely unleash your potential in the chosen field.

To guide your selection, especially for tertiary education, we compiled the seven best universities in the Philippines along with their admission requirements, best programs, exam dates, and other references for your selections.


The University of the Philippines – Diliman

Known as the Flagship University of the Philippine School System in 1949, the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman is among the top 500 universities ranked by 2020 World University Rankings.

In the Philippines, UP – Diliman has been consistently identified as the most significant higher education institution. Filipinos recognize the exceptional education provided by this institution, along with the high-calibre instructors, professors, and facilitators beyond qualified to teach in their respective fields.

What’s more, UP – Diliman has been ranked from the 60-75 bracket in Asia’s best universities list. Such ranking is also backed with numerous Center of Excellence recognitions in the Philippines.

Based on the Commission of Higher Education’s Center of Excellence, these are the top programs UP – Diliman offers.

  • Broadcasting and Journalism
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Communication
  • Political Science
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Social Work
  • Literature
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • History
  • Geology
  • Library and Information Science
  • Marine Science
  • Geodetic Engineering
  • Foreign Language
  • English
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Science

The estimate of annual tuition fees and expenses is from PHP 40,000 to PHP 50,000. For admission, here is a list of the requirements.

  • Transcript of Academic Records (From Highschool)
  • Pass the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT)
  • Pay the corresponding entrance and application fee.
  • Meet UP’s required weighted average grades from high school
  • Understand the process of local admission guidelines and transferee admission guidelines


Ateneo De Manila University

Adorned with navy blue and white, Ateneo De Manila University was established in 1859 by Jesuits. The main campus is located in Katipunan, Quezon City, and is the third-oldest university.

Unlike UP – Diliman, Ateneo De Manila University is a private institution. Aside from providing exceptional tertiary education, it also caters to elementary, junior, and senior high school students.

What’s more, Ateneo De Manila University is notable for its prestigious undergraduate and graduate programs in education, arts, and sciences, management, government, and law. As for CHED’s Center of Excellence, here are the top programs that Ateneo De Manila University offers:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Administration
  • Philosophy
  • Literature (English)
  • Information Technology
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

As for the annual tuition fees and expenses, a student can expect to pay around PHP 160,000 to PHP 180,000. If you want to enrol in this prestigious university, here are the admission requirements you need to prepare.

  • Transcript of academic records
  • Pass the Ateneo College Entrance Exam Test (ACET)
  • Pay corresponding admission and testing fees
  • Read and understand local admission guidelines and admission guidelines for applicants studying abroad


De La Salle University

De La Salle University’s main campus is located in Paco, Manila. The De La Salle Brothers established this university in 1911 as a private and catholic research university. Among the recognitions that made De La Salle, one of the most decorated universities in the Philippines, is its Level IV accreditation from the Philippine Accrediting Associations of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU).

In the 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds Asian University Rankings, De La Salle University ranked 155th place. Unlike other universities in this list, being enrolled in De La Salle University is quite an expensive feat. You can expect to pay around PHP 200,000 to PHP 250,000 as per annual tuition fees and expenses.
As for the requirements for admission, you can find them here.

  • Transcript of academic record
  • Pass the DLSU College Admission Test (DCAT)
  • Pay corresponding entrance and admission fees
  • Recommendation forms fully accomplished by the last school attended
  • Read and understand local admission guidelines
  • Also, refer to DLSU’s Online Admission Faculty


University of San Carlos

Referred to as the “Educational Pride of the Queen City of the South,” the University of San Carlos is a private catholic research university similar to De La Salle University. The university was established in 1935 by Jesuit missionaries and is recognized for its massive land area in Cebu City for occupying at least 90 hectares (this land area is composed of its five campuses).

The University of San Carlos consistently ranks high among other notable prestigious universities in the Philippines and Asia. At the same time, CHED recognizes the university with numerous Center of Excellence awards and Center for Development recognitions for the Visayas-Mindanao regions.

  • Based on CHED’s Center for Excellence awards, the University of San Carlos’s top programs offer.
  • Business Administration
  • Anthropology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Teacher Education
  • Office Administration
  • Physics

For its annual tuition fees and expenses, you can pay around PHP 60,000 to PHP 90,000. Plus, here are the requirements for admission.

  • Report Card (Form 138) from Senior High School
  • Birth Certificate from Philippine Statistics Authority
  • Three copies of 2×2 ID (white background)
  • Duly-accomplished Personal Data Form (can be filled online)
  • Pay corresponding admission and exam fees
  • Pass USC College Admission Exams


University of Santo Tomas

Established by then-Archbishop of Manila, Miguel de Benavides, the University of Santo Tomas is recognized as the oldest university in Asia. What’s more, the University of Santo Tomas is the largest Catholic university regarding population count in one institution.

The University of Santo Tomas is continuously awarded numerous Center of Excellence and Centres of Development Accreditations by CHED. At the same time, this university was given the CHED’s Institutional Accreditation.

In 2013, the university was recognized by PACUCOA for having the most number of accredited programs among other universities in the country.

For its tuition fee and annual expenses, expect to pay around PHP 100,000 to PHP 120,000. For its admission requirements, refer to the list below.

  • Transcript of academic records
  • Pass the UST Entrance Exam
  • Pay corresponding fees for admission and testing
  • Recommendation forms duly accomplished from the last school attended
  • Read and understand local admission guidelines
  • Visit UST’s online site for online applications


Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology

The Iligan Institute of Technology was chartered in 1968 and was the first autonomous university of the MSU campuses. The Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology is a non-sectarian, public, and coeducational institution located in Iligan City.

Among the Mindanao State University campuses, the Iligan Institute of Technology is recognized as the flagship institution and the largest. For students who don’t have the means to travel to Luzon and enrol in other prestigious universities on this list, the Mindanao State University offers a compelling choice for high-quality education.

CHED awards the MSU – Iligan Institute of Technology numerous Center of Excellence recognitions. Moreover, the institution received the notable “Accredited” status from the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines.

Based on CHED’s recognitions, these are the top programs that Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology offers:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Teacher Education
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Physics

In comparison, Mindanao State University’s annual expenses and tuition fees are relatively lower than other institutions listed here. You can expect to pay around PHP 7,000 to PHP 18,000 a year in this university.

For the university’s admission requirements, refer to this list.

  • Form 138 (Highschool Card)
  • MSU-SASE Report of Rating
  • Certificate of Good Moral Character
  • Copy of Birth Certificate
  • The latest copy of tax returns of parents
  • Certification from the principal if graduated as valedictorian or salutatorian with at least 60 graduates
  • One brown envelope
  • One long white folder


Xavier University – Cagayan De Oro

Another private and catholic university on this list is the Xavier University in Cagayan De Oro. The university was named to honour the Jesuit missionary, St. Francis Xavier. In 1933, the university was referred to as Ateneo De Cagayan, and it later became the first institution in Mindanao to be granted a “university” status in 1958.

According to CHED, the top programs that Xavier University offers are the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Teacher Education

As for annual tuition and expenses, it can go around PHP 50,000 to 60,000. For the admission requirements, here is the list.

  • Pass the Xavier University Higher Education Entrance Exam
  • Refer to the full list of required scores and grades for specific programs
  • Grade 12 Report card
  • Photocopy of Birth Certificate
  • Clearance Slip from Xavier University clinic

Best Universities in the Philippines



Because education matters most for a person’s growth and purpose in life, it only fits to attain it from the Philippines’ best universities. However, one should know that education is not only limited to our list above. It can also be achieved through experience, hardships, and trials. Moreover, a person’s initiative for learning is an essential characteristic that will further facilitate growth and learning. Nonetheless, education is a life-changing matter that one should seriously ponder.