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Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo
St Nicholas College, the oldest college in the New World, is now part of the University.
|Established||1540 (1540) (as St Nicholas College) and 1917 (as Universidad Michoacana)|
Michoacan University of Saint Nicholas of Hidalgo (UMSNH) is a public university in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, and the oldest institution of higher education in the Americas. The University grants law, economics, computer science, medicine, architecture, and dentistry degrees, plus several other additional fields of study, mainly in Humanities, Science and Arts.
It has its origins in a college founded in 1540 by Vasco de Quiroga in Pátzcuaro, the Colegio de San Nicolás Obispo. This school gained the royal seal and patronage in 1543. In 1566, colonial religious authorities took over the school, and in 1574, academics began to be under the jurisdiction of the Jesuits. With the Episcopal seat changed to Valladolid (modern day Morelia), the school moved also in 1580, and was fused with the already existing Colegio de San Miguel Guayangareo. The school was reformed in the 17th century and its curriculum was redesigned in the 18th to include courses in philosophy, religious law, civil law and other subjects. At the end of the 18th century, the school became one of New Spain’s main centers of learning and academia, producing scholars such as Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, José María Morelos, José Sixto Verduzco, José María Izazaga and Ignacio López Rayón, most of whom would have a role in the upcoming Mexican War of Independence. The school closed during the war but was reopened in 1847 with the name Primitivo y Nacional Colegio de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, focusing more on secular studies such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology, based on the European university model. After the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917), the school was reorganized and renamed again to the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, which consolidated a number of other schools and disciplines into the new organization.
The University is accredited at the national level by the Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior.
The University is divided into several academic facultades. Prospective students must have a high school degree, preferably from a college preparatory high school, and pass a university entrance exam to be admitted into the academic division of their choice. The University integrates various programs amongst its extracurricular offerings.
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