The University is the first school of higher education in Bulgaria.
Its history is an embodiment and a continuation of centuries of cultural and educational tradition in Bulgaria. Organized education activities in Bulgaria date back to the second half of the 9th century.
During the period of the National Revival a new idea for opening a School of Higher Education was born. The authority of the School of Higher Education grows with the cultural and educational mission it acquires after the Liberation of 1878. Year by year the Sofia University turns into an academic and scientific center on the Balkans with European prestige. Today the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" is the largest and most prestigious educational and scientific center in the country. Its main building is situated at 15 Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd. The Faculties of Mathematics and Informatics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Journalism and Mass Communication, Theology, Economics and Business Administration, and Pre-school and Primary School Education are scattered on different campuses.
In 1880 the Ministry of Education enters in the National Assembly a draft of a Law on Schools. It envisages the "opening of a Bulgarian school of higher education (university) which is to cover law, philosophy, and medicine, natural and technical sciences". University education was to follow high school comprehensive and classical education. Seven years later, 1887, the Minister of Education T. Ivantchev issued a decree for opening the first Higher Pedagogical Course at the First High School for young men in Sofia. At the end of 1888, considering the successful start of the Higher Pedagogical Course, the National Assembly passes a bill which transforms the Course into a School of Higher Education.
The prominent financier Evlogi Georgiev, executing also the will of his brother Hristo Georgiev, donated 10 200 sq. m. of land and 6 800 000 golden levs for the university building and financial support of the university.
The first lecturers are appointed on January 31, 1888. They immediately set up the foundations of a University Library with many books and periodicals, and start working on the School’s statute. They also insist on academic autonomy in the organisation and management of the School of Higher Education.
The first Rector is Professor Alexander Teodorov-Balan, a graduate of the universities of Prague and Leipzig, Doctor of the University of Prague (1884), lecturer in Linguistics, Dialectology and Slavic Philology. Classes began on October 1, 1888 almost unnoticed by the public. This is the birthdate of Bulgarian university education. According to its provisional statute the Higher Pedagogical Course was to "give higher education and prepare teachers for high schools". Classes began with four regular and three external professors among whom were Alexander Teodorov-Balan, Lyubomir Miletitch, Ivan Georgov. They were all graduates of prestigious European universities and well known scholars. The number of students was 43, all of them men. The provisional statute recognised only one Faculty, that of History and Philology, with three degree courses: History, Slavic Philology, and Philosophy and Education.
• October 1, 1888 - the birthdate of Bulgarian university education. The provisional statute recognised only one Faculty, that of History and Philology.
• The 1889/1890 academic year witnessed the foundation of the Department of Physics and Mathematics.
• A new Law on Higher Education was passed in 1894. Among the motifs for it are the scholarly and academic prestige of the School in other countries "where it is officially recognised as a university...". The School of Higher Education comprises three Faculties: History and Philology, Physics and Mathematics, and Law. The duration of study is specified as three-four years. Faculty and Academic Councils, as well as student scientific societies are established. Procedures of graduation envisage defense of Diploma Thesis. The structure and organisation of the School of Higher Education is based on the principles of academic autonomy which makes it compatible with established foreign universities. Among its governing principles are democracy, self-rule, free admission for talented and gifted students from all social groups, academic ethical code.
• The year 1900 saw the first issue of the University year Book which contained publications of university professors and regulations for the functioning of the University Library.
• In 1904 the School is transformed into a University. This sets the beginning of a new period in the development of higher education in Bulgaria. New lecturers are appointed and they are bearers of great public respect. The following years witness the opening of new Faculties - of Medicine, Agriculture, Forestry, Theology, Economics.
• In 1905 it receives a new name - Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.
• In 1938 Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski celebrates its 50th anniversary as a fully developed academic institution. It already has 7 Faculties, 72 Institutes, Clinics and seminars, eminent full-time and visiting professors, considerable library holdings and its own journal. It has 42 826 full-time students, 14 826 of them graduates. The University is a field for scholarly and academic achievements. University professors establish a number of schools and trends in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, linguistics and history.
• In the 1947-52 period the National Assembly passes a number of bills which separate some Faculties and Institutes from the body of the University. They form the foundations of new schools of higher education: the Higher Institute of Economics, the Medical Academy, the Veterinary-Medical Institute, the Academy of Agriculture. Some Institutes are included in the structures of the Bulgarian Academy of Science.
• In the last few years some of those Faculties and Institutes were re-established as integral part of of Sofia University, for example the Faculty of Theology. There is also a newly formed Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
FACULTY OF BIOLOGY:
Departments: Animal and Human Physiology, Biochemistry Biophysics and Radiobiology, Biotechnology, Botany, Cytology, Historlogy and Embriology, Ecology and Environmental Protection, Genetics, General and Industrial Microbiology, Hydrobiology and Ichthyology, Methodology of Biology Education, Plant Physiology, Zoology and Anthropology
FACULTY OF CHEMISTRY:
Departments: Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemical Technologies, Organic Chemical Technology, Laboratory of Chemical Physics & Engineering
FACULTY OF CLASSICAL AND MODERN PHILOLOGY:
Departments: Classical and Hungarian studies, Romance Studies, German and Scandinavian Studies, English and American Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching, Turkic and Altaic Studies, Arabic and Semitic Studies, Languages and Cultures of East Asia, The Classical East, Western Languages
FACULTY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION:
Departments: Economics, Business Administration, Statistics and Econometrics , Finance and Accounting
FACULTY OF EDUCATION:
Departments: Didactics, History of Education and Management of Education, Theory of Education
FACULTY OF GEOLOGY AND GEOGRAPHY:
Departments: Climatology, Hydrology and Geomorphology, Regional and Political Geography, Geology and Paleontology, Cartography and GIS, Landscape Ecology and Environmental Protection, Mineralogy, Petrology and Economic Geology, Socio-Economic Geography, Tourism
FACULTY OF HISTORY:
Departments: Archeology, Archives and Applied Historical Disciplines, Archives and Applied Historical Disciplines, Early Modern and Modern History, History of Bulgaria, Ethnology, Old History, Thracian Studies and Medieval History
FACULTY OF JOURNALISM AND MASS COMMUNICATION:
Departments: History and Theory of Journalism, Press and Book Publishing, Radio and Television, UNESCO Chair "Communication and Public Relations"
FACULTY OF LAW
Departments: Civil Law, Constitutional Law, History and Theory of State and Law, International Law and International Relations, Penal Law, Administrative Law, Labour and Insurance Law
FACULTY OF MATHEMATICS AND INFORMATICS:
Departments: Algebra, Geometry, Mathematical Analysis, Differential Equations, Mathematical Logic and Applications, Numerical Methods and Algorithms, Probability, Operations Research and Statistics, Computing Systems, Foundations of Computer Science, Information Technologies, Analytical Mechanics, Mechanics of Continua, Education in Mathematics and Informatics, Complex Analysis and Topology, Software technologies
FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY:
Departments: Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Logic, Ethics and Aesthetics, General, Experimental and Developmental Psychology, Social, Work and Educational Psychology, Sociology, Political Theory, History and Theory of Culture, Library Science, Scientific Information and Cultural Policy, Public Administration, European Sciences, Rhetoric
FACULTY OF PHYSICS:
Departments: Astronomy, Atomic Physics, Condensed Matter, General Physics, Meteorology and Geophysics, Methodology of Physics, Nuclear technology and Engineering, Optics and Spectroscopy, Physics of Semiconductors, Quantum Electronics, Radiophysics and Electronics, Solid State Physics and Microelectronics , Theoretical Physics
FACULTY OF PRE-SCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCHOOL EDUCATION:
Departments: Art Education, Pre-school Education, Primary School Education, Social Education, Special Education
FACULTY OF SLAVIC STUDIES:
Departments: Bulgarian Language, Bulgarian Literature, Cyril and Methodius Studies, General, Indo-European and Balkan Linguistics, Theory of Literature, Slavic Linguistics, Slavic Literatures, Russian Language, Russian Literature, Teaching Methodology, Second Department of Bulgarian Language
FACULTY OF THEOLOGY:
Department: The Old Testament, The New Testament, Church History, Church Law
University website: Sofia University - St. Kliment Ohridski