The Ateneo de Manila University (also called Ateneo de Manila or simply the Ateneo) is a private teaching and research university run by the Society of Jesus in the Philippines. It began in 1859 when the City of Manila handed control of the Escuela Municipal de Manila in Intramuros, Manila, to the Jesuits. It was then a state-subsidized school. It became a private school during the American occupation of the Philippines, and has moved from Manila to its current location. It received its university charter in 1959.
Its main campus in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Metro Manila is home to the university's college and graduate school units, as well as its high school and grade school. Two other campuses, in Rockwell Center and Salcedo Village, both in Makati City, house the university's professional schools of business, law, and government. A fourth facility in the Don Eugenio López, Sr. Medical Complex in Ortigas Center, Pasig City houses its school of medicine and public health.
The Ateneo offers programs in the elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Its academic offerings include the Arts, Humanities, Business, Law, the Social Sciences, Philosophy, Theology, Medicine and Public Health, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Technology, Engineering, Environmental Science, and Government. Aside from teaching and research, the Ateneo de Manila also engages in social outreach.
It was granted Level IV accreditation--the highest possible level—from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU). Its was reaccredited at the same level, and was likewise granted Institutional Accreditation by the same body in 2011, the first time that both citations were awarded to a university simultaneously.
It is also one of few universities granted autonomous status by CHED, which likewise recognizes a number of the University's programs and departments as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development.
Its grade school and high school have been granted Level III accreditation by PAASCU and FAAP, the highest possible level for basic education.
Among the Ateneo's alumni are José Rizal, the National Hero of the Philippines. Several Philippine Presidents, including the incumbent Benigno Aquino III, as well as his predecessors Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, Fidel Ramos, and Corazon Aquino are alumni of or have ties with the university. Also among its graduates are several leaders of the propaganda movement during Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War, politicians, political activists, professionals, businessmen, writers, scientists, educators, and artists. This body of alumni was all-male until women were admitted to its graduate programs, and later, to its college.
The University's patron saint is Ignatius of Loyola, while María Puríssima is its patroness, as is evident the pontifical name "University of the Immaculate Conception" and in the selection of blue and white as the school's colors. The patron saint of its law school is Thomas More, the high school has Stanislaus Kostka as its patron, and the grade school the Holy Guardian Angels as its patrons.