Published On: Sun, Aug 5th, 2018

12-year old becomes UNAM’s youngest university student in history

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According to, at 12 years of age, children in Mexico usually complete their primary education. But Carlos Santamaría school began to bore him from the second year, so he decided to go further and pursue university studies as a listener at age 8 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Today Santamaría is the youngest student of the UNAM to enroll in a bachelor’s degree, where he will study Biomedical Physics. So far, only a dozen young people had managed to register at 15 years of age.

The term “Biomedical Physics” was placed as a trending topic on Thursday morning and continued to be so in the afternoon. On Facebook, the news of his entry has been shared more than 5,200 times after the first hours of its publication.

On August 6, Santamaría will begin classes at the Faculty of Sciences, where almost half of the students are between 18 and 20 years old and another 25% are over 26 years old. “The biggest difficulty to get to the university was for my parents to convince people to let me take the high school exams because they said that it was probably impossible,” the Mexican child told the school’s communication office.

unams youngest

Santamaría is considered a student of high cognitive ability and tells that one of his struggles will be to end the skepticism of his abilities. Last July he scored 105 points in the admission test of a total of 120 points, which earned him the required score of 103 points to start his studies

In 2016, after completing a diploma in the Faculty of Chemistry, he was invited to the Chamber of Deputies, where he surprised legislators when asked if he would like to be a deputy. “No, I do not want to be like you, I want to be a scientist”, he replied.

In addition to Santamaría, there are other cases of young people in Mexico. Carlos Daniel Nieto aged 15, obtained an average of 10 in the area of Engineering and Physical-Mathematical Sciences at the National Polytechnic Institute. In May he received the Lázaro Cárdenas award and is about to enter the Bionic Engineering career. In 2016, when he was 14 years old, Luis Roberto Álvarez, originally from Zamora (Michoacán), started his Physics career at the University of Los Angeles.

At the international level, there are only some cases of younger students. In 1995 Michael Kearney, a 10-year-old American, graduated from the University of Alabama Bachelor of Anthropology and is the youngest person in the world to obtain a university degree.




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