Interamerican University of Puerto Rico

Inter American University of Puerto Rico

Inter American University Seal
Type Private
Established 1912
President Manuel J. Fernós
Students 50,000

San Germán, Puerto Rico, United States

Multiple Campuses, Puerto Rico
Colors Green and Yellow
Athletics   Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria
  NCAA Division II
Mascot Tiger

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico; abbreviated UIPR) in Spanish, and often referred as "Inter"— is an ecumenical Christian university in San Germán, Puerto Rico. The UIPR is a private co-educational university system in Puerto Rico. It was founded in 1912 in San Germán, Puerto Rico. The University has campuses in Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Fajardo, Guayama, Ponce, San Juan, and San Germán. The school also has three professional schools: School of Optometry, School of Law, and the School of Aeronautics. The Inter offers academic programs in 11 teaching units.[1] The San Germán campus is also the home to the Inter American School, a private co-educational college-preparatory school.


The Inter American University was founded as Polytechnic Institute of Puerto Rico in 1912 by Rev. John Will Harris and his brother Clarence Harris. It was founded as an elementary and high school in the Lomas de Santa Marta sector of the town of San Germán in land now occupied by the University's San Germán Campus. In 1927, the first high school class graduation took place. In 1944, the institute was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, thus becoming the first liberal arts college to receive such accreditation in Puerto Rico, as well as the first outside the continental United States. This accreditation has been maintained over the years.


The governing body of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico is its Board of Trustees, which perpetuates itself and whose members are elected freely without interference from any external authority. The President of the University is the executive officer and senior scholar at the Institution. Systemic Management Council comprises the President of the University who chairs the Council, the Vice-Rectors, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dean of the School of Optometry, an Executive Secretary appointed by the President, the Executive Director Information Systems, the Director of the Legal Office and the Director of the Office of Systemic Research and Evaluation. Students will participate in the meetings of the Council when systemic issues are under consideration relevant to its functions, the following advisers: the President of the University Council, the Director of the Office of Human Resources, the Director of the Office of Promotion and Recruitment and the Director- Systemic Development Planning and Physical Plant.

The faculty and administration of the Faculty of Law and School of Optometry determine their own programs and rules subject to approval by the President and Board of Trustees. In all other respects, these two professional schools are governed by the rules, policies and general procedures of the University. Academic Senates of the teaching units and the University Council, Academic Senate heirs agencies was established in 1966 and the University Senate who succeeded him in 1973, dealing with the academic welfare of the University through a process of formal articulation between the units. The Academic Senates made academic standards and the University Council the ratification, subject mainly to the presence of the President of the University. Both bodies formulate recommendations on matters relating to educational policy, administrative and research.


Inter American University of Puerto Rico is a top quality higher education institution in search of academic excellence, with emphasis on the formation of people with democratic and ethical values, framed in an ecumenical Christian context.

Institutional Mission

The main purpose of Inter American University of Puerto Rico is the development of talent in men and women, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, nationality, etc. This development occurs by means of a post-secondary education of wide and varied scopes, including, but not limited to liberal arts, graduate, professional and occupational career education, leading to the degrees, diplomas and certificates usually granted in institutions of post-secondary or higher education, recognized and accredited by public agencies. In harmony with its main purpose, Inter American University of Puerto Rico has the mission to contribute to society through the formation of cultured citizens, conscious of their ethical, social and cultural obligation, and committed to democratic and Christian principles; to prepare occupationally and professionally trained human resources, with a civic and social sense of responsibility, that can exert effective leadership in the different fields of the human activity, and who are adaptable to diverse scenarios of activity, including foreign areas. The education the University offers for these purposes, has to include the accumulated knowledge until the most recent manifestations, corresponding to the intellectual capacity of the type of student to which it is applied, as well as to this type of student‟s and society‟s needs. This requires the adoption of admission norms, study modalities, and levels of competencies that respond to the characteristics of the several groups that compose the student population.

Religious Life Policy

Inter American University of Puerto Rico is an ecumenically oriented institution, but does not adhere to any one particular theology or ecclesiastical body. Founded by Dr. John William Harris, a minister of the Presbyterian Church, Inter American University maintains a historic, friendly and enriching association with that communion as well as with other Christian groups in accordance with its ecumenical spirit. Inter American University of Puerto Rico is a community of higher education dedicated to a comprehensive search for truth within an environment of responsible freedom and through the encouragement of a mature academic life which guarantees true freedom of investigation. Within this context, religion is studied in the University as an academic discipline designed to engage in fruitful dialog with other university disciplines. In affirming its commitment to the Christian ecumenical ideal, the University dedicates itself to the renewal and reaffirmation not only of its own Christian heritage, but also the culture within which it is situated and which it serves. This does not oblige the acceptance of all the details of our Christian past nor of all the elements of modern Christianity.

Nevertheless, the University has fostered and will continue to foster the convergence of all Christians in the one faith centered about the person of Jesus Christ as He is made known to us in the apostolic tradition of the Scriptures as the One whom Christians regard as decisive, definite and normative in man‟s relations with God and his fellow men and society. The University affirms its conviction that to be a Christian today implies, on the one hand, knowledge of and obedience to the Gospel and, on the other, identification with the Universal church by means of an individual commitment to a particular Christian communion. The ecumenical posture of the University involves openness to society, science, technology and a plurality of faiths; it involves an integral education of each individual so he or she may exercise a vocation within his or her community in a responsible and productive way; it involves a commitment to serve though not to dominate society; and it involves the development of friendliness, fellowship and understanding to bridge human barriers.


The eleven academic units of Inter American University of Puerto Rico are authorized by the Council on Education of Puerto Rico and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to offer university studies of the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels, as the case may be. Likewise, the University is committed to the professional accreditation of its academic programs. For this reason, some academic units have programs accredited by organizations, such as:

Schools and Campuses


Academic Degrees

Inter American University offers pre-university, undergraduate, graduate and professional academic programs for obtaining certificates and Associate, Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in subject matters normally offered by institutions of higher education of a nature, educational mission and goals similar to those of this University. The School of Law of Inter American University grants the Juris Doctor degree and the School of Optometry, the Doctor of Optometry degree. Some of the University‟s instructional units offer special programs, which are usually funded by federal grants. The educational activities of the Institution also include courses, seminars and institutes carried out as part of the University‟s Continuing Education Program.

*Undergraduate (Associate and Bachelor) Degree Programs

* Masters’ and Doctoral Programs

Language on Instruction

Graduate courses may be taught in either Spanish or English.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. By Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  2. London 2012:Luguelín Santos from; retrieved 7 August 2012


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  1. University of Puerto Rico, Inter American. General Catalog.
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