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Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso

The Pontificial Catholic University of Valparaiso (PUCV), is one of oldest and most important universities of Chile.

It may also be called simply the Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso (UCV). PUCV attracts students from different areas of Chile as well as hundreds of exchange students from Europe and North America. The University has a central campus in downtown Valparaiso, only a few blocks away from the Chilean Congress, the brand-new Metro, and the Pacific Ocean. One of the drawbacks of being an urban university is the difficulty of growing at the original site of its foundation - several PUCV buildings are on the historic palm-tree-lined Avenida Brasil, but most of its colleges are dispersed in throughout Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, Quilpue and Quillota.


While it offers undergraduate degrees in more than 50 subjects, a few are world class programs including architecture, design, horticulture, industrial engineering, business, law and Spanish.

The school of architecture, also called "The Valparaiso School" in architectural circles, has an amazing experimental city in Ritoque, a few kilometers North of Valparaiso, where the professors teach and live in the houses that they and the students design and build. PUCV architects have a reputation for being highly creative, having studied at a school that mixes the architectural design and building processes with poetry and physical activities. Similarly, in the Quillota campus the program in horticulture is offered within an experimental station. This campus is visited by more than 1,500 people each year, and has outstanding collections of subtropical and temperate fruit trees, a nursery. The station of 500,000 square metres has more than 50,000 square metres of greenhouses.

The diversity of the PUCV is one of its strengths, with a rainbow trout farm near Los Andes, a legislative consultancy group , a farm in Quillota with an area of 6 km, a fruit packing house specialized in avocados and citrus ,] a TV channel broadcasting to most of Chile (on-air since 1957 -- the first in the country), a radio station, a publishing house, and an experimental grade school and high school for boys in Vina del Mar. All of these units welcome interns and scholars, both from PUCV and abroad.

As other major universities in the world, PUCV houses the editorial offices of mainstream journals, in marine biology, law, religion, philosophy, psychology, and biotechnology. Explora, a special government program to promote science in primary and secondary schools, is also hosted by the PUCV.


It was founded on March 1928, supported the generous contribution of Ms. Isabel Caces de Brown. Even older, the Law School was established in 1894 as an independent college by the Sacred Heart Fathers, and was later incorporated into the University (since both were units of the Roman Catholic Church). The first undergraduate majors offered by PUCV were electricity, construction, chemistry, mining, commerce, mechanics, decorative arts, and merchant navy.

The Pontificial title was conferred by Pope John Paul II and announced at the inauguration of the 2003 academic year by Zenon Grocholewski, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.


PUCV is a private institution belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. As some other old private universities in Chile, PUCV receives some funding from the Chilean government.

PUCV's Grand Chancellor is the Bishop of Valparaiso, who appoints representatives in the Academic Council but does not directly run the University (responsibility of a faculty-elected Rector). The Council also includes the Deans of each college, all of whom are also faculty-elected.

The appointment of PUCV officers and also structural changes in its administration need the approval of the Holy See, with periodic reviews by the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Roman Curia. Also, doctoral honoris causa degrees need to be approved by the Congregation.

Colleges and undergraduate programs

College of Architecture

* Art, Architecture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design

College of Agriculture

*Fruit Science, Vegetable Crops and Ornamentals, Environmental Management

College of Science

* Mathematics, Statistics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry

College of Economics and Management

* Management, Accounting, Social Work, Journalism

College of Engineering

* Biochemical Eng, Chemical Eng, Civil Eng, Computing Eng, Construction Eng, Electrical and Electronic Eng, Industrial Eng, Mechanical Eng, Transportation Eng,

College of Judicial and Social Sciences

* Law

College of Natural Resources

* Geography, Food Technology, Oceanography, Aquaculture and Fisheries

College of Philosophy and Education

* Philosophy, Psychology, Education, Special Education, Physical Education, History, Spanish and English, Music

Institute of Philosophy

Institute of Religious Studies - Ad Instar Facultatis.

*Religious Studies

International relations

PUCV has a long history of academic relations with institutions all over the world, with more than 260 agreements concentrated in European Universities. Student exchange is most active with Universities of Spain, USA, France, Germany; a few students are also from countries in Latin America. The list of institutions includes some of the oldest Universities in the world, such as Universite catholique de Louvain - founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V, Universita di Pisa- founded in 1343 by Pope Clement VI and Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg.

Notable alumni

Bishop Carlos Camus, a human rights leader during Augusto Pinochet's ruling.

Alejandro Foxley, economist and politician, Foreign Affairs Minister in Michelle Bachelet's government.

Jorge Martinez Busch, former head of the Chilean Navy, designated to the Senate of Chile by the National Security Council in 1998, position that he held until the end of such senators in March 2006, following a reform in the Constitution of Chile.

Amable Padilla, former Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Chile

External links

Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso Website

Institut of Philosophy Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso Website

Philosophica Magazine of Philosophy Institut |Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso Website

Doctorado en Filosofia | Doctorate in Philosophy |Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso

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