The Kyiv-Mohyla Academy is an educational institution dating back to 1615 (the Brotherhood School) and to its reform by the imperial Russian authorities in the beginning of the nineteenth century: closing in 1817 and reopening in 1819 as the highest ecclesiastical institution in the newly created system of religious education.
According to the Treaty of Hadiach of 1658, between Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky and the representatives of King Jan II Casimir, ratified in the cut-off by the Sejm of the Commonwealth in 1659, the Kyiv-Mohyla Collegium was granted the university status: it received the same rights as Krakow Academy (then the Jagiellonian University).
After the incorporation of Kyiv into the Moscow State, which did not yet know the university tradition, its rulers asserted certain rights of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, in particular, by certificates of 1694 and 1701. However, these documents not only did not give the status of “academy” to the Kyiv institution, but even cut off the university rights. In the Academy itself, its self-governing (university) status was derived from the Sejm Constitution of 1659. In 1817, by the decision of the Synod of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, it was closed to implement the provisions of the new charter. The same year a seminary was opened on its territory, followed in 1819, under the new charter, by the Kyiv Theological Academy.
For more than 150 years of its existence, representatives of different social classes studied at the Academy, regardless of the material status of their parents. It took different time to complete a course of study; for example, from the end of the 17th century till the 1770s it was 12 years. The students had the right to study as long as they wished, without age restrictions.
The backbone of the curriculum consisted of analogy, infima, grammar, syntax, poetics, rhetoric, philosophy, and theology. At different times, in particular under the influence of pan-European education modernization processes, other individual courses were taught, or knowledge of various sciences was provided within the compulsory program.
For instance, Greek, Polish, German, French, Hebrew, Russian, history, geography, mathematics, music, singing, drawing, medicine, physics and other subjects were taught. After studying in grammar classes, all courses (except languages) were taught in Latin.
Well-known professors and intellectuals taught at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. The students of the Academy were future hetmans and hierarchs, representatives of the Cossack elders and nobles, authors of philosophical and theological works, musicians, artists, physicians, and political figures.
The level of education at the Academy and its authority attracted the natives of different provinces of the Commonwealth (when Kyiv was seized by the Russian state); Bulgarians, Vlachs, Greeks, Moldovans, Russians, Romanians, Serbs, Montenegrins. Knowledge of Latin and typical humanistic subjects, the graduates of the Academy could continue their education in the educational centers of Central and Western Europe. The graduates of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy became known in various spheres of activity (at church and political levels, in science, education, and art) far beyond Kyiv and Ukraine.