Pope Paul III was seeking ways to further expand into the New World and help strengthen the Papal power. It was under his authority that he decided to transform a seminary into a university comprised of four schools: Medicine, Law, Theology, and Arts.
On this day October 28th, in 1538, Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, one of the world’s first universities, is founded in Santo Domingo by monks. The seminary had been in operation by monks since 1518 in the oldest colony of the New World, Santo Domingo.
The original structure of the university was closed in 1832 but helped influence the erection of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo that was opened and renamed in 1914. The university grew to include eight schools instead of the original four including areas such as Political Science, Health Sciences, Economics, Social Sciences, Engineering, and Agricultural Sciences.