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National University of San Marcos

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Lima District 15081, Peru

+51 1 6197000

Total enrollment
28,786 (2010)

May 12, 1551

Fray Thomas de San Martín


National University of San Marcos

Universidad del Perú,Decana de América

Motto in English
University of Peru,Dean of America

Dr. Orestes Cachay Boza

Academic staff
2005 (full time)674 (part time)

12 May 1551, Valladolid, Spain

White, Steel blue, Magenta, Gold

Notable alumni
Pontifical Catholic University, National University Federico, Cayetano Heredia University, National University of Engine, National Agrarian University


Tuna veterinaria de la universidad nacional mayor de san marcos unmsm

The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is the most important and respected higher-education institution in Peru. It consistently ranks among the top two universities in the country. 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. San Marcos has 60 academic-professional schools, organized into 20 faculties, and 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 a number of public institutions under its government such as the San Marcos Cultural Center and the Museum of Natural History of Lima.


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.

Unmsm caminando por la ciudad universitaria

Oldest official university in America

San Marcos was officially established by a royal decree (signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) on May 12, 1551, and since then it has operated without interruption. Hence, it is known as the Dean of America ("dean" in the sense of "oldest member"). San Marcos also claims that according to the Archivo General de Indias, a famous Spanish repository of documents on the former colonies in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, there were no official records authorizing any other university or higher-education institution before 1551. The Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico was chartered the same year as San Marcos (by a royal decree of September 21, 1551) as the Royal University of Mexico, making it the second oldest in the Americas.

Although the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo was founded in 1538, it was not officially recognized by Royal Decree until 1558, and, as many other universities in the Americas that closed during independence wars and other political conflicts, it was closed due to the occupations of the Dominican Republic by Haiti and then the United States. San Marcos often states the National University of Santo Domingo's founding Papal bull In Apostolatus culmine, was not officially recognized by the King of Spain at the time; hence making into an apocryphal document. The Peruvian institution also states that the document in question was discredited by Pope Paul III.


The university was originally headed by members of the clergy. During the Enlightenment, Bourbon reforms transformed it into a secular institution. Nowadays, the university is governed by:

  • The University Council
  • The University Assembly (composed of professors and students, with the latter holding a third of the seats).
  • The Rector (president)
  • Two Vice-Rectors:
  • Academic Vice-Rector
  • Vice-Rector of investigation.
  • Academic areas and faculties

    The original faculties at San Marcos were Theology, Arts (the old Scholastic term for what is now known as academic Philosophy) 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' faculties are grouped into 6 academic areas, as shown below.

    Health sciences

    Academic area I: Health sciences

    1. Faculty of Human Medicine:
    2. Human Medicine
    3. Midwifery
    4. Nursing
    5. Medical Technology
    6. Clinical laboratory & Pathology (merged)
    7. Physical therapy & Rehabilitation programme (merged)
    8. Radiology
    9. Occupational therapy
    10. Nutrition
    11. Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry:
    12. Pharmacy & Biochemistry (merged)
    13. Food science
    14. Toxicology
    15. Faculty of Dentistry:
    16. Dentistry
    17. Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine:
    18. Veterinarian Medicine
    19. Faculty of Psychology:
    20. Psychology


    Academic area II: Humanities

    1. Faculty of Letters and Human sciences:
    2. Literature
    3. Philosophy
    4. Linguistics
    5. Social Communication
    6. Art
    7. Library and Information Science
    8. Restoration & Conservation (merged)
    9. Dance
    10. Faculty of Education:
    11. Kindergarten teaching
    12. Elementary School teaching
    13. High School teaching
    14. Physical Education

    Social sciences

    Academic area III: Social sciences

    1. Faculty of Law and Political science:
    2. Law
    3. Political science
    4. Faculty of Social sciences:
    5. History
    6. Sociology
    7. Anthropology
    8. Archaeology
    9. Social Work
    10. Geography

    Basic sciences

    Academic area IV: Basic sciences

    1. Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical engineering:
    2. Chemistry
    3. Faculty of Biological sciences:
    4. Biology
    5. Genetics & Biotechnology (merged)
    6. Microbiology & Parasitology (merged)
    7. Faculty of Physical sciences:
    8. Physics
    9. Faculty of Mathematical sciences:
    10. Mathematics
    11. Statistics
    12. Scientific Computing
    13. Operations Research


    Academic Block V: Engineering

    1. Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical engineering:
    2. Chemical engineering
    3. Agroindustrial engineering
    4. Faculty of Physical Sciences:
    5. Fluid Mechanics engineering
    6. Faculty of Geology, Mining, Metallurgy and Geography engineering:
    7. Geological engineering (Geology and Geotechnical Engineering merged)
    8. Geography engineering
    9. Mining engineering
    10. Metallurgy engineering
    11. Civil engineering
    12. Faculty of Industrial engineering:
    13. Industrial engineering
    14. Textile manufacturing
    15. Faculty of Electronics and Electrical engineering:
    16. Electronics engineering
    17. Electrical engineering
    18. Telecommunications engineering
    19. Faculty of Systems engineering:
    20. Systems engineering
    21. Software engineering

    Business sciences

    Academic Block VI: Business sciences

    1. Faculty of Administrative sciences:
    2. Administration
    3. Tourism
    4. International Trade
    5. Faculty of Accountancy Sciences:
    6. Accounting
    7. Financial audit & Public audit (merged)
    8. Tributary administration
    9. Faculty of Economic sciences:
    10. Economics

    Notable alumni and academics

    See also Category:National University of San Marcos alumni and Category:National University of San Marcos faculty

  • Carlos Monge Medrano, physician.
  • Laura Esther Rodriguez Dulanto, the first female physician in Peru.
  • Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo, engineer and scientist.
  • José María Arguedas, novelist and anthropologist.
  • Jorge Basadre, historian.
  • Luis Bedoya Reyes, attorney, congressman, Mayor of Lima and founder of the Christian People's Party
  • G. E. Berrios, professor of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.
  • Bertha Bouroncle, physician.
  • Alfredo Bryce Echenique, novelist.
  • Carlos Bustamante, biophysicist.
  • Daniel Alcides Carrión, medical student and pioneer in medical research.
  • Ramiro Castro de la Mata Caamaño, scientist.
  • Carlos Manuel Chavez, heart surgeon.
  • José Santos Chocano, poet.
  • Antonio Cornejo-Polar, literary critic.
  • Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, revolutionary thinker, founder of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA)
  • Cayetano Heredia, physician.
  • Mariano Iberico Rodríguez, philosopher.
  • Francisco Miró Quesada Cantuarias, philosopher and logician.
  • Bernardo O'Higgins, military officer and first President of Chile.
  • Valentín Paniagua Corazao, former President of Peru.
  • Hugo Pesce, physician and leprosy specialist.
  • Luis Alberto Sánchez, writer and statesman.
  • Manuel Scorza, novelist.
  • Julio C. Tello, archaeologist.
  • Abraham Valdelomar, poet and short-story writer.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, novelist, Nobel Prize in Literature (2010).
  • Federico Villarreal, scientist and mathematician.
  • References

    National University of San Marcos Wikipedia

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