The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) was founded on June 21, 1888, to offer training in traditional professions and in technological and practical fields such as business, accounting, chemistry, and electricity. On February 11, 1930, Pope Pius XI declared it a Pontifical University, and in 1931 it was granted academic autonomy by the Chilean government. It is a private (with public support), urban, multi-campus university. It is one of eight Catholic universities in Chile, and one of 61 institutions within the Chilean university system.
Its 18 Faculties are distributed on four campuses in Santiago and one regional campus located in southern Chile. Over the last few years the Universitys leadership in research and graduate programs has had considerable influence on the countrys cultural and scientific development. Among other achievements are an important number of inventions in chemistry (a copper-refining process), in engineering (an induction oven), and in medicine (vaccines). Graduates of the School of Architecture have also made important contributions to the country with such work as the UC Central Campus and the National Library.
Approximately 21,000 students are enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs. The University has established academic agreements with more than three hundred universities in forty six countries.
Upon the 120th anniversary of its foundation, the UC continues to make every effort to develop its existing facilities and institutions, as well as to make its intellectual, creative, and spiritual capacity available to the community. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile has been ranked among the top five universities in the Spanish speaking world.