About Us


The University of Puerto Rico

The University of Puerto Rico (hereafter, the University), founded in 1903, is a state-supported university system created by Law No. 1 of January 20, 1966, the “Law of the University of Puerto Rico” (Act No. 1), as amended, with the mission to serve the people of Puerto Rico and contribute to the development and enjoyment of the fundamental, ethical, and esthetic values of Puerto Rican culture, and committed to the ideals of a democratic society. To advance its mission, the University strives to provide high quality education and create new knowledge in the areas of the arts, sciences, and technology.

The University is a public corporation of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico governed by a thirteen-member Governing Board, of which nine members are appointed by the Governor of Puerto Rico and confirmed by the Senate of Puerto Rico. The remaining members of the Governing Board consist of two tenured professors and two full-time students who are elected by their peers.  One of the students must be a graduate student. The Secretary of the Department of Education of the Commonwealth is an ex-officio member of the Governing Board. The Governor appointed the original members for six-year terms. The student and professors serve for one year.

The University is the largest institution of higher education in Puerto Rico. Commonwealth appropriations are the principal source of the University’s revenue, but additional revenues are derived from tuitions, federal grants, patient services, auxiliary enterprises, interest income, and other sources. The University is in good accreditation standing with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the regional accreditation entity of the eleven units that comprise the University of Puerto Rico system.

The University of Puerto Rico system oversees eleven campuses that are distributed throughout the island.  They are: Río Piedras, Mayagüez, Medical Sciences, Cayey, Humacao, Ponce, Bayamón, Aguadilla, Arecibo, Carolina, and Utuado. The Central Administration office is located in the San Juan area, in the Botanical Garden, which is also an integral part of the institution.

The Río Piedras Campus

The Río Piedras campus is part of the University of Puerto Rico system, a multi-campus, state-supported institution of higher education licensed by the Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education. Founded in 1903, The UPR‐RP is the oldest and most complex of the eleven units within the larger University of Puerto Rico system.

As a public research-oriented comprehensive doctoral institution, our academic offerings range from the bachelor’s degree to the doctorate, with 70 undergraduate and 39 graduate degree programs, including areas of study in professional fields. Research activities are developed in a variety of centers and institutes, including the widely recognized Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, which conducts long-term environmental research on Caribbean islands and similar tropical areas, and belongs to a global research network. Graduate offerings have grown in recent years and now include fifteen doctoral degrees, twelve PhDs and three doctorates in Education. There are also forty-eight master’s level degrees and international programs in Law, at both the LLM and JD levels. Over fifty of our academic programs are accredited by twelve different professional accrediting agencies. Moreover, we have accreditation and certification for many of our units providing services, such as, the library system, which is accredited by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the American Library Association (ALA), and the counseling programs which are accredited by by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS). The UPR-RP’s Museum of History, Anthropology, and Arts has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). In fact, during recent years, four additional professional accreditations were granted.

The UPR-RP serves close to 15,000 students, 20% of whom are graduate students. It awards an average of over 3,000 degrees a year. From 2005 through 2011, the number of doctoral degrees conferred increased significantly. UPR‐RP has a diverse faculty whose academic degrees have been awarded by world‐class universities. The student body represents the best academic profile in Puerto Rico and is characterized by a growing population of international students. Our campus is also custodian of artistic, documentary, cultural, environmental, and symbolic resources for teaching, research, creation, and enjoyment by the public. Our professors are distinguished with national prizes and academic awards, such as the 2010 “Andrew Gemant Award” awarded by the American Institute of Physics, and the “Dr. Etta Z. Falconer Award” for Mentoring and Commitment.  Members of our faculty have recently been awarded renowned international prizes in literature, including the 2013 Premio Internacional Rómulo Gallegos in Hispanic Literature.