Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile sealThe Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC or PUC) (SpanishPontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) is one of the six Catholic Universities existing in the Chilean university system and one of the two Pontifical Universities in the country, along with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso. It is also one of Chile‘s oldest universities and one of the most recognized educational institutions in Latin America. Since it is a Pontifical University, it has always had a strong and very close relationship with the Vatican. It was founded on June 21, 1888 through a decree issued by the Santiago Archbishop. Its first chancellor was Monsignor Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas, and at the very beginning, the university only taught two subjects, law and mathematics. It is part of the Universities of the Rectors’ Council of Chilean Universities, and although it is not state-owned, a substantial part of its budget is given by state transferences under different concepts.

According to the “Higher Education Supplement” (THES), published by British newspaper The Times, it is located in the 277th spot among the world’s best universities, making it the best ranked Chilean university and the second best in South America. In the 2010 admission process, approximately 48% of the students who achieved the best score in the Prueba de Selección Universitaria matriculated in the UC.

It’s ranked 2nd in Latin America according to the QS World University Ranking. Its law school was ranked 1st in Latin America in the 2011 QS World University Ranking.


UC was founded on June 21, 1888, to offer training in traditional professions (law) and in technological and practical fields such as business, accounting, chemistry, and electricity. On February 11, 1930, Pope Pius XI declared it a pontifical university, and in 1931 it was granted full academic autonomy by the Chilean government. It is a private, urban, multi-campus university. It is one of the eleven Chilean Catholic universities, and one of the twenty-five institutions within the Rectors’ Council (Consejo de Rectores), the Chilean state-sponsored university system.

UC’s 18 faculties are distributed through four campuses in Santiago and one regional campus located in southern Chile. The technical training centers affiliated with the University are: DUOC, the Rural Life Foundations, the Baviera Foundation, the Catechetical Home and the San Fidel Seminary. These centers carry out technical-academic extension activities in rural and agricultural areas. Other UC activities are a Sports Club, a nation-wide television network, and a Clinical Hospital dependent on the Faculty of Medicine.

UC ‘s Graduates of the School of Architecture (one of the most prominent in Latin America) have also made important contributions to the country with such work as the Central Building (“Casa Central”) of UC, and the National Library.

Two of its most important alumni are the Jesuit Saint Alberto Hurtado and Eduardo Frei Montalva, a Chilean president. Both of them studied in the School of Laws. Sebastián Piñera, current Chilean president, graduated from the university’s School of Economics.

Double degrees

The following is a list of double degrees offered at a graduate level.

  • Ph.D. in Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences
    • Paris VI, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France)
    • Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II (France)
  • Ph.D. in Education
    • Paris V, Université René Descartes (France)
  • Ph.D. in Architecture
  • Ph.D. in Astrophysics
    • Università degli studi di Padova (Italy)
  • Ph.D. in Psychotherapy (Psychology)
    • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Germany)
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Science
    • Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II (France)
  • Ph.D. in Mathematics
    • Paris VI, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France)
  • Master of Economics
  • Master in Communication and Education
    • Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain)
  • Master in Animal Production
    • Paris VI, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France)
  • MBA
    • Groupe HEC Paris (France)
    • The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business, (United States)
    • WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management (Germany)
    • Torcuato di Tella (Argentina)

*page content heavily borrowed from Wikipedia (for which I am forever grateful)