Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Latin: Universitas Catholica Chilensis
Motto In Christi lumine pro mundi vita
Type Private (Traditional)
Established June 21, 1888
Affiliation Catholic Church
Chancellor Ricardo Ezzati Andrello
Rector Ignacio Sánchez Díaz
Academic staff
1,652 (full-time)[1]
Administrative staff
2,210 (full-time)[2]
Undergraduates 23,613[1]
Postgraduates 4,698[1]
Location Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins #340, Santiago
Website www.uc.cl
The headquarters of the UC.
Inside Casa Central

The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC or PUC) (Spanish: Pontificia 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.[3] It ranks 1st in South America by QS ranking.[4]


UC has four campuses in Santiago and one campus in Villarrica. The campuses in Santiago are:

These four campuses have a total of 223,326.06 m2 constructed in a 614,569.92 m2 area. The Villarrica campus has 1,664 m2 constructed in a 2,362.5 m2 area.


UC was founded on June 21, 1888 by the Santiago Archbishop, to offer training in traditional professions (law) and in technological and practical fields such as business, accounting, chemistry, and electricity. Its first chancellor was Monsignor Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas, and at the very beginning, the university only taught two subjects, law and mathematics. Since it is a Pontifical University, it has always had a strong and very close relationship with the Vatican. 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.

UC 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. 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.

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 nationwide 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, previous Chilean president, graduated from the university's School of Economics.


The Department of Industry and System Engineering is engaging Stanford Technology Venture Program of Stanford University on a collaboration on innovation and technology ventures.

In December 2011, the schools of engineering of PUC and the University of Notre Dame signed an agreement to establish a dual graduate degree in civil engineering and the geological sciences,[5] which now extends to other departments in both schools.

In April 2013, PUC and the University of Notre Dame also signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen scholarly engagement and expand their long-standing relationships.[6] The agreement establishes an exchange program in which faculty, doctoral students and university representatives from each institution will visit, work, study and collaborate with the other institution.

World rankings

PUC ranks among the first 10 Latin-American Universities according to the Shanghai ranking,[7] and is 1st according to the QS ranking.[4] PUC appears top in two subject rankings: it ranks around 101-150 in Economics and Management and around 151-200 in Mathematics [8]

Faculties, Institutes, Centers and subjects offered

  • College UC
    • Bachelor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    • Bachelor of Social Science
    • Bachelor of Arts and Humanities
  • Faculty of Agronomy & Forest Engineering
    • Agronomy
    • Forest Engineering
  • Faculty of Architecture, Design, and Urban Studies
    • School of Architecture
      • Architecture
    • School of Design
      • Design
    • Institute of Urban and Territorial Studies
      • Urban Planning
  • Faculty of Arts
    • School of Visual Art
      • Visual Art
    • School of Theater
      • Acting
    • Institute of Music
      • Music
  • Faculty of Biological Sciences
  • Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences
    • Commercial Engineering
    • Economics Institute
    • School of Administration
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • Institute of Sociology
      • Sociology
      • Anthropology
    • School of Psychology
      • Psychology
    • School of Social Work
      • Social Work
  • Faculty of Communications
    • School of Journalism
      • Journalism
      • Audiovisual Direction Program
      • Advertising
    • Institute of Media Studies
  • Faculty of Law
    • Law
  • Faculty of Language and Literature
    • English Language and Literature
    • Hispanic American Linguistics and Literature
    • Center for the Study of Chilean Literature (CELICH)
  • Faculty of Education
    • Early Childhood Education
    • General Education
    • High School Education
  • Faculty of Engineering
    • School of Engineering
      • Dept. of Computer Science
      • Dept. of Engineering and Construction Management
      • Dept. of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering
      • Dept. of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering
      • Dept. of Transportation and Logistics Engineering
      • Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
      • Dept. of Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering
      • Dept. of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering
      • Dept. of Electrical Engineering
      • Dept. of Mining Engineering
    • School of Construction
      • Construction
  • Faculty of Philosophy
    • Institute of Philosophy
      • Philosophy
    • Institute of Aesthetics
      • Aesthetics
  • Faculty of Physics
    • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      • Astronomy
    • Department of Physics
      • Physics
  • Faculty of History, Geography, and Political Science
    • Institute of History
      • History
    • Institute of Geography
      • Geography
    • Institute of Political Science
      • Political Science
  • Faculty of Mathematics
    • Mathematics
    • Statistics
  • Faculty of Medicine
    • School of Medicine
      • Medicine
      • Odontology
      • Phonoaudiology
      • Kinesiology
      • Nutrition and dietetics
    • School of Nursing
      • Nursing and Obstretics
  • Faculty of Chemistry
    • Chemistry
    • Chemistry and Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Theology
    • Theology

Notable institutes and centers

Notable Alumni


Art and Literature




Both studied law at the university.


Knowledge Transfer, Service & Consultancy


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Coordinates: 33°26′28″S 70°38′27″W / 33.4411°S 70.6408°W / -33.4411; -70.6408

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