The National University of San Marcos (UNMSM) is the most important and respected higher-education institution in Peru
. Its main campus, the University City, is located in Lima
. It was chartered on May 12, 1551 by a royal decree signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, which makes it the oldest officially established university in the Americas and, as such, one of the oldest universities in the World
. Academically, the University of San Marcos ranks first in Peru.
San Marcos has 60 academic-professional schools, organized into 20 faculties, and these, in turn, into 6 academic areas. All the faculties offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The student body consists of over 30,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students from all the country as well as some international students. The university has also a number of public institutions under its government such as the San Marcos Cultural Center and the Museum Of Natural History
San Marcos' prestige in Latin America mainly arises from its renowned faculty and alumni. It is the only university in Peru with a Nobel Prize laureate among its alumni: Mario Vargas Llosa (Literature). San Marcos is also recognized for the quality of its curricular contents, its very competitive admission process, as well as for being a leading center of scientific research. Several Peruvian and Latin American influential thinkers, researchers, scientists, politicians and writers have studied there, which underscores San Marcos' leading role as an educational institution in the history of Peru and the world.
Academic Areas and Faculties
The original faculties at San Marcos were Theology, Arts and Law; Jurisprudence, and Medicine were added later in the colonial period. The Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Economics and Commerce were created in the mid-19th century. The Faculty of Science was subdivided by specialities in the 20th century. The Faculty of Theology was closed in 1935. In the mid-1990s San Marcos' departments were grouped into four academic blocks. Nowadays, San Marcos' falculties are grouped into 6 academic areas, as shown below.
- Health Sciences: Faculty of Human Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine, Faculty of Psychology
- Humanities: Faculty of Letters and Human sciences, Faculty of Education
- Social Sciences: Faculty of Law and Political science, Faculty of Social sciences
- Basic Sciences: Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical engineering, Faculty of Biological sciences, Faculty of Physical sciences, Faculty of Mathematical sciences
- Engineering: Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical engineering, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Faculty of Geology, Mining, Metallurgy and Geography engineering, Faculty of Industrial engineering, Faculty of Electronics and Electrical engineering, Faculty of Systems engineering
- Business Sciences: Faculty of Administrative sciences, Faculty of Accountancy Sciences, Faculty of Economic sciences