That was the year Queen’s College Galway was founded. Following construction of the iconic Quadrangle building, the University opened its doors four years later to the first cohort of just 68 students.
NUI Galway has grown massively in size and reputation over the past 170 years, with a student population today of over 18,000. According to QS World University Rankings, we are ranked 259 in the world and have been increasing our global reach and reputation over the past decade.
From Queen's College to National University of Ireland, the University's past is intertwined with the history of Galway and Ireland.
The Quadrangle first opened its doors to 68 students on 30th October 1849 and the University, then known as Queen's College was born. The University was one of three Queen's Colleges, the others located in Cork and Belfast.
The Quadrangle building, built in local limestone in a Tudor Gothic architectural style, is modelled on Christ Church at the University of Oxford. The 'Quad' still stands proudly at the heart of the University today as a testament to its past. It is now used primarily for administrative purposes and houses the offices of the President and the Vice-Presidents.
In the first academic year, 1849 -1850, the University began with three faculties, Arts, Medicine and Law but there were also schools of Agriculture and Engineering. Female students later joined the student body and in 1906 Alice Perry graduated from the college, believed to be the first female engineering graduate in the world to receive a first class honours degree in civil engineering
There are many historical buildings on campus, such as the James Mitchell Museum, established in 1952. This geological museum contains high quality collections sampling a significant diversity of the planet's geology, with a fine display of fossils, minerals and rocks.