Damascus University

The University of Damascus (Arabic: جَامِعَةُ دِمَشْقَ, Jāmi‘atu Dimashq) is the largest and oldest university in Syria, located in the capital Damascus and has campuses in other Syrian cities. It was founded in 1923 through the merger of the School of Medicine (established 1903) and the Institute of Law (established 1913). Until 1958, it was named the Syrian University, but the name changed after the founding of the University of Aleppo.

Damascus University
جَامِعَةُ دِمَشْقَ
Damascus University.png
Emblem of Damascus University
Former names
Syrian University (1923–1958)
Motto"وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا" 20:114
Motto in English
And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge (Quran, 20:114).
Established1923 (Medical School in 1903)
PresidentMohammad Osama Aljabban [1]
Administrative staff
2,653 [2]
Students210,929 [3]

Damascus University was one of the most reputable universities in the Arab World before the war in Syria started in 2011.[4]

The University of Damascus consists of several faculties, higher Institutes, intermediate institutes and a school of nursing. One of the institutions specializes in teaching the Arabic language to foreigners, which is the largest institution of its kind in the Arab world.[5]


La Caserne Hamidieh - previous headquarter of the Syrian University, is the Faculty of Law building
Aerial view of the headquarter in 1933

In 1901, the establishment of the Office of the School of Medicine in Damascus was approved and in 1903 this school, which is the nucleus of the university, opened. The school included branches in medicine and pharmacy, and the language of instruction was Turkish.

In 1913, a Law School opened in Beirut, in which most of the teachers were Arabs and the language of instruction was Arabic. Then this school was transferred to Damascus in 1914 just as the School of Medicine moved to Beirut. Then in the last years of the First World War the Law School returned to Beirut.

Following that the Institute of Medicine and the School of Law opened in Damascus, the former at the beginning of January in 1919 and the latter in September of the same year.

In 1923, the School of Law was named the Institute of Law and this institute was linked together with the Institute of Medicine, the Arab Society, and the Center of Arabic Heritage in organization under the name of the Syrian University. Then the Arab Society and the Center of Arabic Heritage separated from the organization in 1926.

In 1928, the School of Higher Literary Studies was established and it immediately connected its administration with the university. In 1929 it became the School of Letters, which closed in 1935–1936.

Then starting in 1946, the university was no longer limited to the Institutes of Medicine and Law, but rather faculties and higher institutions were created in other subjects.

In 1958, a new law was created to regulate the universities in the northern and southern regions of the United Arab Republic. This led to changing the name of “the Syrian University” to “Damascus University” and to the creation of a second northern university called “the University of Aleppo.” [6]

In 1959, The College of Fine Arts was established in Damascus and became part of Damascus University in 1972.[7][8]

International students including Nigerian Researcher Dr. Abdul-Fattah Adelabu (middle) at Damascus University City Mazzah 1993


Degrees OfferedEdit

Damascus University headquarter in Baramkeh

Damascus University awards graduate (Master, Ph.D. Professional Training and Qualification) and undergraduate (Bachelor) degree programs. The period of study for the bachelor's degree ranges from 4 to 6 years, based on the need for each discipline of study. The Master programs combine course work and research, and require a minimum of two years and a maximum of a three. Under certain circumstances, an additional fourth year may be approved by a decision of the university council based on the recommendation of the faculty council. The Ph.D. degree is a fully research program. The period of research is not less than two years and not more than five years by the decision of the university council based on the recommendation of the faculty council.[9] although some faculties -Like Faculty of Arts, English Literature Department- does not award Ph.D. degree.


Damascus University Map

Higher institutesEdit

  • Higher Institute of Laser Research and Applications
  • Higher Institute of Administrative Development
  • Higher Institute of Seismologic Studies and Research
  • Higher Institute of Languages
  • Higher Institute of Translation and Interpretation

The Arabic Language Institute at the University of Damascus is recognized as the best center to study Arabic for non-native speakers in the world. The Center for Arabic Study abroad, the premier U.S. organization for Arabic study, is now opening a second branch at the university. The Arabic Language Institute at the University of Damascus is known for immersion instruction in Arabic, allowing more rapid, natural and comprehensive language acquisition. The Arabic Language Institute's faculty is committed to classical Arabic instruction, offering an advantage to either Egypt or Jordan where much instruction is conducted in the local dialect.

Technical institutesEdit

The duration of the study is two years, when the graduate students receive a diploma from the institute itself according to the jurisdiction of their choice.

  • Technical Institute of Business Administration and Marketing: with the following disciplines: Business Administration – Marketing – Public Relations.
  • Technical Institute of Finance and Banking Sciences: (formerly known as the "Commercial Institute", offers associate degrees in the following disciplines: Accounting – financial markets – banking studies. The best students are offered the opportunity to continue their education at the Faculty of Economics.[citation needed])
  • Technical Institute of Medicine
  • Technical Institute of Dentistry
  • Technical Institute of Engineering
  • Technical Institute of Mechanical Engineering and electricity
  • Technical Institute of Computer Science
  • Technical Institute of Agricultural studies

On 13 November 2012, the President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree on establishing a branch for Damascus University in Quneitra, a city in the Syrian Heights.[11]

Open LearningEdit

The Open Learning Center offers degrees in three majors:

  • Legal studies
  • Computer and informatics
  • Minor and intermediate projects
  • English language


The University of Damascus Library began in 1903 (with the establishment of the Medical Bureau).[12] As of 2011 it contains some 169,000 volumes and 3,830 current periodicals.[13]

University hospitalsEdit

The university runs eight hospitals in the city of Damascus:

Career guidance and capabilities building centersEdit

  • Business Clinics (Shabab-Damascus)


The emblem of Damascus University reflects the importance of science and endless desire of human for knowledge, as well as the privacy of Damascus in development of science and scientists.

The color of raspberry stands for the damascene raspberry which is a fruit found only in Damascus, expressing the uniqueness of the university just like the fruit. The color is adopted for the signature of the president of Damascus University, a property not shared with any president of any university in the world.[citation needed]

The lamp is the symbol of knowledge in different cultures, it radiates the light of knowledge and science, crowned with a verse from the Quran: "say oh my Lord, increase me in knowledge", which is the motto of Damascus University and its non-stop seeking.[14]

Notable alumniEdit

Al-Assad familyEdit

Members of Al-Assad family who attended Damascus University
Foreign Presidents who attended Damascus University



  1. ^ "President of Damascus University".
  2. ^ "جامعة دمشق". Mohe.gov.sy. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Top Arab World (Ranking as of 2010)". Archived from the original on 22 February 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  5. ^ Spender, Tom (10 May 2005). "A new 'Mecca of Arabic studies'?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 31 March 2007.
  6. ^ "Historical Background". Damasuniv.edu.sy. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ Lloyd, Fran (1999). Contemporary Arab Women's Art: Dialogues of the Present. London: Women's Art Library. p. 82. ISBN 1-902770-005.
  8. ^ Bloom, Jonathan; Blair, Sheila, eds. (2009). The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-19-530991-1.
  9. ^ "Degrees Structure of Studies". Damasuniv.edu.sy. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  10. ^ "FSMB Census of Licensed Physicians in the United States, 2018" (PDF). FSMB. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  11. ^ Nassr, M.; Ghossoun (13 November 2012). "President Bashar al-Assad decrees on establishing branch for Damascus University in Quneitra". Syrian Arab News Agency. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  12. ^ Basima Bezirgan (1994), "Near East since 1920", Encyclopedia of Library History, New York: Garland Pub., ISBN 0824057872, OL 1397830M, 0824057872
  13. ^ World Guide to Libraries (25th ed.), De Gruyter Saur, 2011
  14. ^ "The logo of Damascus University". Damasuniv.edu.sy. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  15. ^ Hoult, Nick (30 January 2016). "Giles Clarke to leave England and Wales Cricket Board in bid to become International Cricket Council chairman".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 33°30′41″N 36°17′29″E / 33.51139°N 36.29139°E / 33.51139; 36.29139