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National University of San Marcos

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From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia



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

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.

Academic area
01. Faculty of Human Medicine

01.1. Human Medicine
01.2. Obstetrics
01.3. Nursing
01.4.1. Medical Technology: Clinical Laboratory and Pathological Anatomy
01.4.2. Medical Technology: Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
01.4.3. Medical Technology: Radiology
01.4.4. Medical Technology: Occupational Therapy
01.5. Nutrition
04. Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry

04.1. Pharmacy and Biochemistry
04.2. Food Science
04.3. Toxicology
05. Faculty of Dentistry

05.1. Odontology
08. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

08.1. Veterinary Medicine
18. Faculty of Psychology

18.1. Psychology
18.2. Organizational Psychology and Human Management
07. Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
07.1. Chemistry
10. Faculty of Biological Sciences
10.1. Biological Sciences
10.2. Genetics and Biotechnology
10.3. Microbiology and Parasitology
13. Faculty of Physical Sciences
13.1. Physics
14. Faculty of Mathematical Sciences
14.1. Math
14.2. Statistics
14.3. Operative investigation
14.4. Scientific Computing
07. Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
07.2. Chemical engineering
07.3. Agroindustrial engineering
13. Faculty of Physical Sciences
13.2. Mechanical Engineering of Fluids
16. Faculty of Geological Mining Metallurgical and Geographical Engineering
16.1. Geological Engineering
16.2. Geographical Engineering
16.3. Mining Engineering
16.4. Metallurgical Engineering
16.5. Civil Engineering
16.6. Environmental engineering
17. Faculty of Industrial Engineering

17.1. Industrial Engineering
17.2. Textile Engineering
17.3. Occupational Health and Safety Engineering
19. Faculty of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
19.1. Electronic Engineering
19.2. Electric engineering
19.3. Telecommunications Engineering
20. Faculty of Systems Engineering and Informatics
20.1. Systems engineer
20.2. Software Engineering
09. Faculty of Administrative Sciences

09.1. Business Administration
09.2. Tourism Administration
09.3. International Business management
11. Faculty of Accounting Sciences
11.1. Accounting
11.2. Tax management
11.3. Business and Public Audit
12. Faculty of Economic Sciences

12.1. Economics
12.2. Public Economics
12.3. International economics
03. Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences
03.1. Literature
03.2. Philosophy
03.3. Linguistics
03.4. Social Communication
03.5. History of Art
03.6. Librarianship and Information Sciences
03.7. Dance
03.8. Conservation and restoration
06. Faculty of Education
06.1.1. Initial education
06.1.2. Primary education Secondary Education: English and Spanish Secondary Education: Language and Literature Secondary Education: History and Geography Secondary Education: Philosophy Tutoring and Social Sciences Secondary Education: Mathematics and Physics Secondary Education: Biology and Chemistry
06.2. Physical education
02. Faculty of Law and Political Science
02.1. Law
02.2. Politic Science
15. Faculty of Social Sciences
15.1. History
15.2. Sociology
15.3. Anthropology
15.4. Archeology
15.5. Social Work
15.6. Geography



Oldest university in the Americas

San Marcos is considered the oldest university in the Americas. It 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 locally known as the Dean of the Americas ("dean" in the sense of "oldest member"). San Marcos also claims that according to the Archivo General de Indias a Spanish repository of documents on the former colonies in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries there were no official Spanish records of any other university or higher-education institution before 1551.

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 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. 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.


Throughout its history the National University of San Marcos has significantly contributed to the scientific development of Peru. Currently the National University of San Marcos is one of the few Peruvian universities that conducts research – only 10 out of over 80 universities. This is mostly due to the fact the national government has not properly financed research development in the last decades.

Regarding development of research activities of San Marcos halfway through the 20th century the Peruvian government issued provisions to place emphasis and create areas of scientific and student-led research. As a result throughout these years many museums and institutes have been created within San Marcos to promote research in different areas of human knowledge. During the last years of the decade of 1990 and the beginning of 2000 the university renewed its research system through the assignation of specific projects to diverse academic departments.

Research centers and institutes

There are currently over 30 centers units and institutes of research in San Marcos. Each one of these centers or institutes are grouped according to the academic area where they develop their research therefore they are categorized in the following general areas: health sciences basic sciences engineering economy-business and humanities.

According to their area of study the research centers have specialized museums and laboratories where they develop and display their work. Each institute also has their own publications where they present reports and results of the work of their researchers.

Notable alumni and academics

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

Mario Vargas Llosa novelist Nobel Prize in Literature (2010)
Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo engineer and scientist
José María Arguedas novelist and anthropologist
Alberto Andrade Carmona politician Mayor of Lima and founder of We Are Peru.
Alberto Barton physician and microbiologist
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
Violeta Bermúdez Valdivia current Prime Minister of Peru.
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
Marco Aurelio Denegri literary critic sexologist and television host.
Luis A. Eguiguren educator magistrate historian and Peruvian politician
Alan García (LLB) President of Peru in two occasions member of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA)
Godofredo García mathematician and engineer
Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre revolutionary thinker founder of the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA)
Cayetano Heredia physician.
Martha Hildebrandt peruvian linguist.
Elmer Huerta physician and health communicator.
Mariano Iberico Rodríguez philosopher.
Andy Martínez athlete and national record.
Pilar Mazzetti former Minister of Heath.
Francisco Miró Quesada Cantuarias philosopher and logician.
Óscar Miró Quesada de la Guerra scientific journalist.
Carlos Monge Medrano physician.
Ciro Gálvez lawyer and professor of quechua.
Bernardo O'Higgins military officer and first President of Chile
Valentín Paniagua Corazao former President of Peru
Hugo Pesce physician and leprosy specialist
Nicole Pillman (es) singer songwriter and chartered public accountant.
Manuel Prado Ugarteche former President of Peru in two occasions
Laura Esther Rodriguez Dulanto first female physician in Peru
Luis Alberto Sánchez writer and statesman
Manuel Scorza novelist
Ruth Shady archaeologist and anthropologist
Alberto Tejada urologist and soccer referee.
Gladys Tejeda long-distance runner
Julio C. Tello physician archaeologist and anthropologist
Oscar Ugarte physician
Hipólito Unanue physician
Abraham Valdelomar poet and short-story writer
Carlos Vidal Layseca physician and professor of medicine.
Federico Villarreal scientist and mathematician
Augusto Weberbauer German naturalist
Pedro Zulen philosopher and librarian
María Luisa Aguilar Peruvian astronomer
Esther Festini first woman alumni


Together with the Cayetano Heredia University and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru the National University of San Marcos is one of the only three Peruvian universities and so far the only public one which has managed to rank first nationally in several editions of different international university rankings. In 2021 the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) ranked the National University of San Marcos as the best university in the country in its first ranking of the year.

See also


simple explanation

National University of San Marcos
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Latin: The Academy of St. Marcos in the City of Kings in Peru

Latin: Academia S. Marci Vrbis Regvm in Perv
MottoUniversidad del Perú
Decana de América
Motto in English
University of Peru
Dean of the Americas
EstablishedMay 12 1551 (469 years ago) (1551-05-12)
FounderCharles V
EndowmentPEN S/. 400 732 439 (FY 2013)
RectorDr. Orestes Cachay Boza
Academic staff
2 931 (2017)
Students37 032 (2017)
Undergraduates28 645 (2010)
Postgraduates8 520 (2015)

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Coordinates: 12°03′30″S 77°05′00″W / 
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70 hectares (170 acres) (main campus)
Steel blue

The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos UNMSM) is a public research university in Lima the capital of Peru. Also known as the University of Peru and the "Dean University of the Americas" it is the first officially established (privilege by Charles V Holy Roman Emperor) and the oldest continuously operating university in the Americas. Since its foundation it was commonly referred as the "Royal and Pontifical University of the City of the Kings of Lima" until the Viceroyalty period and as of now it is referred to as Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos or La Decana de América.

It is one of a few Peruvian universities which has managed to rank 1st nationally in several editions of different international university rankings. 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.
San Marcos has 66 academic-professional schools organized into 20 faculties and 6 academic areas. All of 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.

Notable alumni include the only Peruvian Nobel laureate so far Mario Vargas Llosa and twenty-one Peruvian presidents. San Marcos is also recognized for the quality of its curricular contents a competitive admissions process as well as for being a 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.


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