he history of our university began in the Colonial period of the Western region of our country. With the antecedent of the St. Thomas College, founded in 1591 by the Jesuits-who would be expelled from all the Spanish dominions in 1767 – Fray Antonio Alcalde y Barriga, Bishop of Nueva Galicia, begged leave from King Carlos IV of Spain to create a university similar to that in Salamanca, and was authorized in 1791 to inaugurate solemnly the Real Universidad de Guadalajara, with Lectures in Medicine and Law.
From 1826 to 1860, as a consequence of the constant conflict between conservative and liberal governments in the young Mexican Republic, the University was closed and reopened several times, and renamed “Instituto de Ciencias del Estado” or “Universidad de Guadalajara” depending on which side was in power.
The Escuela Preparatoria de Jalisco, the first high school in the state, was created in 1914, and in 1925 the foundation of the University of Guadalajara was acknowledged and its first Governing Laws (Ley Orgánica) were passed, thanks to the work of Governor José Guadalupe Zuno Hernández and Lic. Enrique Díaz de León, its first Rector General.
During the 1980s the University of Guadalajara asserted its vocation as a nationalist and democratic higher education institution for the people of Jalisco. In 1989, during the Rectorship of Lic. Raúl Padilla López, a comprehensive process of university reform began which updated the academic models and culminated in a restructuring of schools an colleges into subject-specific an regional campuses known as University Centers, creating a University Network that now covers the whole state of Jalisco and integrating all its schools into a High School Education System (Sistema de Educación Media Superior).
The Virtual University System (Sistema de Universidad Virtual), created in 2005, is the newest element of the network of the University of Guadalajara.