Thammasat University

Thammasat University (TU), apart from being the second oldest university in Thailand , is also one of the best known and respected. Officially established on 27 June 1934, the University was initially named, by Dr. Pridi Banomyong, ‘ Vichar Thammasat Lae Karn Muang’ – ‘The University of Moral Science and Politics.’ It had started out as an open university, with 7,094 people enrolled for its first academic year. The main goal of the University’s foundation was “to teach students to love and cherish democracy.”

Thammasat University began in 1934 as an open university called the University of Moral Science this was two years after the so-called Siamese revolution of 1932 and eighteen years after the founding of Chulalongkorn University. Thammasat University was the idea of Pridi Banomyong, architect of the 1932 coup and the then Minister of Interior, who drafted the Act of University of Moral and Political Science 1934. The university was inaugurated on 27 June 1934, and Pridi served as the university’s first rector.

The university is based on the sixth principle of the Khana Ratsadon. The first announcement of Khana Ratsadon stated the government “must provide the people with full education” because people “lack education, which is reserved for royals”. The desire of students at the School of Law to be upgraded to a university rather than simply a department at Chulalongkorn University also helped Thammasat University become the successor of the Law School. The property and faculty of the Law School were transferred to University of Moral and Political Science, and the building of the old Law School was the first Thammasat site. The university moved to Tha Phrachan campus the following year.

When the university opened, 7094 people applied for admission. At that time Chulalongkorn University was graduating only 68 students a year. Thammasat initially offered a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on legal studies and previously banned economics and political science, plus a bachelor’s degree equivalent diploma in accountancy. Master’s degree courses soon followed in law, political science, and economics, and doctoral degree courses in law, political science, economics, and diplomacy.

During its early years, the university did not rely on government funding, but instead relied on its low tuition fees and interest paid by the Bank of Asia for Industry and Commerce, in which the university owned 80 percent of the shares.

Under Pridi’s leadership, the University became the clandestine headquarter of the Free Thai anti-Japanese underground during the Second World War. Ironically, the University campus also functioned as an interment camp for Allied civilians, with Thai guards more or less protecting them from abuses by the occupying Japanese. The internment camp was where the Multipurpose Building now stands.

Faculties and Colleges

  • Allied Health Sciences
  • Architecture & Planning
  • Commerce & Accountancy
  • Dentistry
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Fine & Applied Arts
  • Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Law
  • Liberal Arts
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Political Science
  • Public Health
  • Science & Technology
  • Social Administration
  • Sociology & Anthropology
  • College of Innovation
  • College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Graduate Volunteer Center
  • Language Institute
  • PridiBanomyong International College
  • Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology


Thammasat University Bangkok

Thammasat University Bangkok


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