Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the University of the Philippines?

The University of the Philippines (UP) is the national university of the Philippines. Originally founded as a single campus in Manila in June 18, 1908, it is now eight constituent universities and one autonomous college, spread across 17 campuses all over the country.

For more information about UP, please click here.

2. How can one qualify for admission into UP?

Traditionally, prospective UP students are screened through the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT). It is held once a year in the different constituent units of the University, as well as in select examination centers all over the country. The applications are filed prior to the date of the examinations.

For student athletes, the Varsity Athletic Admission System (VAAS), administered by the College of Human Kinetics of UP Diliman, awards slots to exemplary applicants who may not have taken or passed the UPCAT, after a stringent system of tryouts. VAAS students are required to represent the university in national or international sports competitions to maintain their status as UP students.

In light of the public health situation brought about by the spread of COVID 19, the University has adopted a different admissions process which will allow for the application, selection and admissions of applicants who can meet the rigorous requirements of UP. For more details on the process, please visit the Office of Admissions website:

3. What are the degree courses offered by UP?

UP offers several undergraduate degree non-baccalaureate degree programs. For a full list, please visit this page from the Office of Admissions.

4. What does constituent university mean? How does it differ from an autonomous unit?

A constituent university (CU) is a group of colleges headed by a chancellor, with a defined vision and purpose that meets the following requirements: it is necessary to UP, the region where it is located, and the country; it possesses the capacity and faculty resources to offer appropriate programs of quality; it has enough personnel items to run on the accepted standard of quality; it conforms to established University standards and requirements in the recruitment of, grant of tenure to, and promotion of faculty, the formulation and evaluation of academic programs, rules on student progress, etc.

A new CU is and must always be created by the University through its Board of Regents (BOR).

A college is a degree-granting unit consisting of various departments, institutes, or divisions, with the dean as head. College can also mean school, provided that the latter offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. An autonomous college, in particular, is one such unit, though it does not fall under any constituent university and is a scaled-down version of a CU. Both college and university enjoy autonomy in the formulation of their thrusts, taking into consideration their regional location and how they can contribute not only to the UP System but to the country as well.

When a college is declared autonomous from a CU, it is usually a temporary status until it meets all the requirements to be elevated to CU status. An example of this is UP Baguio. Since its inauguration in 1961, it was a regional unit of UP Diliman (UPD) and was then called UP College Baguio. In April 1999, the BOR approved its elevation from a UPD unit to an autonomous college under the Office of the President of the University and was called UP Baguio. In 2002, it was elevated to CU status.

5. What is UP’s tuition rate?

As the national university, UP is funded by the Philippine government. With this, the tuition fees of UP students are minimal. Added to this, UP students are also able to access other support services which would further defray the cost of their education. Through the Student Learning Assistance System, students can avail of discounted tuition fees to full tuition fee waivers, plus cash subsidies, according to their individual income brackets.

6. What financial assistance programs are available to UP students?

The Office of Student Development Services provides financial assistance programs, scholarship opportunities and learning assistance packages for students of the University. Formerly known as the Socialized Tuition Office, the OSDS continues to perform its function as the policy and coordinating body for student financial assistance programs in UP.

Visit the Office of Student Development Services website for more details on available opportunities, as well as the application process.

7. What kind of services and benefits can one expect as a UP student?

UP students are represented by a Student Regent in the Board of Regents, the University’s highest governing body, as well as by a University Student Council in each constituent campus.

UP students enjoy benefits such as selected free services and discounts in health service clinics within the system, and in the , the premier tertiary referral center in the country.

Meanwhile, the allows them to access the largest database in the Philippines. They also have access to other facilities like UP’s many research centers and institutions.

The spacious campuses in various UP units can inspire the students’ youthful and creative energies.

Outside the conventional classrooms, students mount theater, dance and musical performances, art exhibits, poetry-reading sessions, and film screenings, that set their imagination free, quench their thirst for new experiences and explore the dimensions of their creativity. Many of these endeavors have now gone online due to the public health emergency.

The vigorous online and offline cultural life in UP makes classes beyond the classroom shape a collective consciousness that is critical yet constructive, global yet uniquely Filipino, and imaginative yet rooted in the nation’s heritage.

For more information, please contact:

University of the Philippines Media and Public Relations Office
West Wing, Fonacier Hall
Magsaysay Avenue, University of the Philippines,
Diliman, Quezon City 1101
(632) 8981-8500 local numbers 2550-2552.