University of Puerto Rico system


Type : Public

Established:1903; 119 years ago

Academic affiliations : Sea-grant, Space-grant

Budget :$1.52 billion (2014)[a]

President :Luis A. Ferrao

Academic staff: 5,300

Administrative staff:14,177

Students: 35,650

Location:San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The University of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Universidad de Puerto Rico, UPR) is the main public university system in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It is a government-owned corporation with 11 campuses and approximately 58,000 students and 5,300 faculty members.

UPR has the largest and most diverse academic offerings in the commonwealth, with 472 academic programs of which 32 lead to a doctorate.


In 1908, the Morrill-Nelson Act was extended to Puerto Rico, making the University a “Land Grant College,” which authorizes the use of federal land to establish colleges of agriculture, science, and engineering. Two years later, in 1910, the College of Liberal Arts was established and the year following that the College of Agriculture at Mayagüez came into being. In 1912, the name was changed to College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.

1913 – The Departments of Pharmacy and Law was established.

1923 – The University Act of 1923- the University reorganized administratively it independent Insular Department of Education, provides the Board of Trustees as the governing board, and make the position of Rector the principal officer. In 1924 the governor appointed the first Rector.

1924 – The administrative structure and identity of the University of Puerto Rico become independent from the Department of Public Instruction.

1926- The School of Commerce (later School of Business Administration) and the School of Tropical Medicine were established.

1927 – Opening of the first graduate program: the Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies.

1928 – The San Felipe Segundo hurricane struck the island of Puerto Rico and caused serious damage in the Río Piedras campus. Staff and faculty began a reconstruction effort.

1935 – The U.S. Congress extended to Puerto Rico the benefits of the Bankhead-Jones Act, which provided funding for research and the construction of more buildings.

1936 – 1939 – Major structures in the Spanish Renaissance style are built in the quadrangle in Río Piedras, including buildings such as the Tower Theatre.

1938 – Augusto Rodríguez composed the music and lyrics of Arriví Francisco’s Alma Mater, the University anthem.

1942 – Act No. 135 of May 7, 1942, amendment to the University, created the Higher Education Council as the governing board of the institution and regulator of the higher education system in Puerto Rico.

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University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus Online Application Form

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What is the most prestigious University in Puerto Rico?

San Juan, the University of Puerto Rico with the highest ranking among universities in Puerto Rico ranked #501. 23 Sep 2021: Latest QS Employability Rankings from British Quacquarelli Symonds, UK. in position #301.

Are students from Puerto Rico considered international students?

“Because they are considered U.S. citizens, Puerto Rican students are classified as out-of-state students and can receive financial aid,” said DeStefano, a 2006 recipient of the Walker Award, the campus’ most prestigious student award.