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Pontifical Bolivarian University

The Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (U.P.B.) is one of the leading private universities in Colombia and has its main campus in Medellin where it was founded in 1936. Currently, the university has campuses in other Colombian cities, such as Bogota, Bucaramanga, Monteria and Palmira. The university has a student and faculty population that was estimated at 21,368 and an alumni population of 44,346 as of September, 2006.

Presently the university offers 77 undergraduate programs, 24 master programs and 7 doctorate programs nationwide. The university groups its educational programs under the schools of Architecture and Design, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law and Political Sciences, Strategic Sciences (Management), Social Sciences, Education and Teaching, and Theology, Philosophy and Humanities. The university also operates elementary and high school programs under its educational umbrella.

The University has several distinguished alumni such as Colombian ex-president Belisario Betancur, and the current first lady Ms Lina Maria Moreno de Uribe.


The University was founded on September 15, 1936 by a decree of the Catholic Archbishop of Medellin, Monsignor Tiberio de Jesus Salazar y Herrera as the Universidad Catolica Bolivariana (Catholic Bolivarian University). The UCB started with a small faculty and 78 students enrolled in the School of Law and with Monsignor Manuel Jose Sierra as its first rector. In1945 the university received the title of Pontifical, from the Holy See under Pope Pius XII. With the right to use the title of Pontifical, the Pope became the Grand Chancellor of the university.

From the university's onset, Monsignor Manuel Jose Sierra wanted to anchor the University on the ideals of Christian humanism and those of the Libertador Simon Bolivar.


The University has programs that extend from elementary and high school to undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the following areas:

School of Design and Architecture. [*]

School of Health Sciences. [*]

School of Strategic Sciences. [*]

School of Social Sciences. [*]

School of Law and Political Sciences. [*]

School of Education. [*]

School of Engineering. [*]

School of Theology, Philosophy and Humanities. [*]


The Main Campus

The Main Campus is located in Medellin in the Laureles district (Barrio Laureles). Designed by Architect Pedro Nel Gomez (1899 - 1984), the District forms a net of streets and boulevards around the Main Campus.

The main campus houses the elementary and high schools, the main chapel, student health services, and the main library and schools of Engineering, Social Sciences, Architecture, and the languages department.

UPB Bucaramanga

The east most campus of univerisyt, located in the city of Bucaramanga opened in July 12, 1991 in the Archdiocesan Seminary. In 1998 UPB established its own home in the Piedecuesta Highway, 7 kilometers away from the City. The University has programs as Business Administration, Informatic, Electronic, Industry, Law, Environment, Social Communication, Psychology and Mechanics. The UPB Bucaramanga student population is estimated at 3,286 students.

UPB Monteria

The University opened its campus in the Department of Cordoba, in its capital Monteria in May 25, 1995. The campus establishes the University's presence in the Atlantic region of the country with academic programs in law, management, journalism, engineering )informatics, electronics, mechanical, agroindustrial, environmental) management and several graduate programs. The campus is estimated to have 2,028 students.

UPB Palmira

The university established its presence in the coffee region of the country through its Palmira campus. The university opened the campus in 2001 with programs such as Psychology, Marketing, Human Resources, Management, and Economics. The University currently has 218 students and it is the newest campus of the university in Colombia.

UPB in the world

UPB as one of the main private superior institutions of Colombia, is member of different international associations and programs. It is also a chair of Unesco on Human Development and a member of the Foundation for Studies in France. It belongs also to the Sigueme Program (Follow me), a group that gathered 10 Colombian universities. UPB has agreements with universities of Germany, Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Spain, France, England, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, United State, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela.

UPB Libraries

UPB has also a complete system of documentation and bibliography which its main headquarters in the Main Campus of Barrio Laureles known as "Biblioteca Central" (Central Library) in a modern building of four stories with hundreds of volumens of authors, subjetcs and research studies. Every school at UPB has its own library interconnected with the Central one.

Mission, Vision and Philosophical Orientation

The identity of this Catholic University rests in the "Espiritu Bolivariano" (Bolivarian Spirit), a philosophy designed by Mgr. Manuel Jose Sierra inspired in human Christian values and the ideals of the Libertador.

The Bolivarian Spirit sets as the institution's mission the integral formation through evangelization of the culture, constant research of truth through science and confirmation of the human values from Christianity for the good of society.


Being a Catholic institution of excellent education in the integral formation of persons with ethical, scientist and social leadership to the service of the nation.


Respect for the human being and no discrimination.

Research of truth and knowdlege.




Creativity and innovation.


Commitment for peace and development for the country.

See also

Notable faculty and alumni

Past presidents


Asi nos hablo: Visita Apostolica de S.S. Juan Pablo II a Colombia, Julio 1 a 7 de 1986, Comite Ejecutivo Nacional, Secretariado Permanente del Episcopado Colombiano, Bogota, 1986.

External links


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