Maria Curie Skłodowska University was established in three months after Nazi’s occupation ended in Lublin. A group of scholars from Lviv and scientists who survived the occupation of Lublin started to work in Lublin Catholic University, which used to specialise in humanist sciences. In 1944 scientists focused on natural and medical sciences started to deliver lectures on various topics in Jan Zamoyski Gymnasium and came up with an idea to open a state university in Lublin. On 23 October 1944, Polish Committee of National Liberation established a university named after Maria Curie-Skłodowska.

There were four faculties opened in the new university: faculty of medicine, faculty of agriculture, faculty of veterinary medicine, and faculty of natural sciences.

On 9 January 1945 the fifth faculty, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, was opened and on 14 January 1945 the first academic year was officially inaugurated in Stanisław Staszic Gymnasium.

Prof. Henryk Raabe assumed the position of the first rector of UMCS.

In 1945 the university was given a few premises left by the army. Moreover, students were provided with access to schools and hospitals in Lublin, where they could gain valuable knowledge.

In the course of university’s activity it was decided that UMCS must provide full scope of programmes. Consequently, the Faculty of Natural Sciences opened three bodies: philosophy unit, pedagogy and psychology unit, and athnography and archaeology unit.

On 3 April 1946 the Council of Lublin City decided to give 17.3 ha of land in the western part of the city. Professor Raabe wanted to build ‘Oxford in Lublin.’ Hence, the lot was succeedingly expanded and in 1949 the university campus measured 80 ha.

Organisational structure of the university was unchanged for the first five years of running academic activity. At this time UMCS collected books and manuscripts, gathered scientific equipment, and prepared for opening the University Library.

Decisions made by the government in 1948-1949 influenced organisational aspects of UMCS. In 1949 the Faculty of Law was established and in 1950 the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical science were separated to create Medical Academy (today: Medical University). In 1952 the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences split into the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry, and the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences. Faculty of Humanist Sciences was opened in the same year and Faculty of Zootechnics was established in 1953. In order to open Higher School of Agriculture (today: University of Natural Sciences) further faculties were separated from UMCS in 1955: Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Veterinary Science, and Faculty of Zootechnics. In 1965 Faculty of Economy was established.

The university campus developed in the 1960s when new premises were erected: new buildings for the faculties, Interfaculty Library, student dormitories, Chatka Żaka Entertainment Centre, and a gym.

Consequently, favourable teaching and research opportunities were created. Professor Grzegorz Leopold Seidler, former rector of the university, substantially contributed to the growth of UMCS. Statue of Maria Curie Skłodowska sculpted by Marian Konieczny was officially uncovered on 23 October 1964.

In 1969 the university exptended its activity and opened two branches: in Rzeszów and Biała Podlaska. The latter one, however, quickly separated from UMCS and liaised with Academy of Sports Education in Warsaw. The Rzeszów branch was acquired in 2001 by the University of Rzeszów.

Maria Curie Skłodowska University was reorganised in 1970, when reform of organisational structure of higher education institutions was adopted. 77 departments were replaced by 21 institutes (incl. 2 intercollegiate) divided into departments dealing with teaching and scientific activities. In 1973 a pedagogic section was separated from the Faculty of Humanities and it merged with Post-Secondary School for Teachers, what resulted in establishing Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology.

This structure functioned until 1989 when the University underwent major changes. The Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry was split into Faculty of Chemistry and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. The latter one was extended in 2001 and renamed Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science. In 1989 Faculty of Arts Education emerged from the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology. Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology was established in 1990 and Institute of Politology was converted into a faculty. The Institute of Arts Education became Faculty of Arts in 1997. In the years 2000-2001 UMCS opened Bachelor Colleges in Biała Podlaska, Biłgoraj, Radom, and Kazimierz Dolny. These bodies were responsible for supporting the university externally.

Further changes in UMCS structure were made in 2011 when the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences was divided into to faculties: Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology and Faculty of Earth Sciences and Land Management. UMCS Arts and Media Incubator, an outstanding digital creation centre, was established in 2013.


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