For more than 450 years...
The Academy, the forerunner of the UNIL, was founded in 1537. Its vocation at that time was to train ministers for the church. The university enjoyed a certain renown due to the fact that it was the only French-language Protestant school of theology.
As the centuries passed, the number of faculties increased and diversified until, in 1890, the Academy received the name and status of a university.
In 1970, the university moved progressively from the old city of Lausanne, around the Cathedral and the Château, to its present site at Dorigny. The end of the 20th century witnessed the beginnings of an ambitious project aiming at greater co-operation and development among the French-speaking universities of Lausanne, Geneva and Neuchâtel, together with the EPFL. In 2003, two new faculties were founded concentrating on life and human sciences: the Faculty of Biology and Medicine; and the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment.