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Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)

Diego de Robles s/n Quito,
Ecuador View map


Based in Quito, Ecuador, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is the only university in the world to have a campus in the Galapagos islands and in the Amazon Rainforest, where world-class scientists conduct groundbreaking research and teaching.

 Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) offers 51 bachelor’s degrees, over 15 master’s programs and a PhD program, taught mainly in Spanish with a number of English options. Some of the subjects offered are:

  • Marine Biology
  • Journalism
  • Digital media production
  • Agronomy
  • Anthropology
  • Tai-Chi
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental engineering 
  • Veterinary

Browse all courses here.

Closely following the American model, USFQ is a liberal arts university that believes in freedom as a fundamental human characteristic, and in training students to become well-rounded “world citizens”, leaders and entrepreneurs. As a research-centric university, USFQ has the highest number of PhDs in the country; a strength they leverage across all subjects.

USFQ is truly an international university. Over one thousand international students make their way to USFQ every year for a semester abroad or for their tailor made programs. With one of the best top study abroad programs in the country, USFQ has nearly 250 general research agreements with international institutions, including 114 student exchange programs with over 24 countries. As a member of the prestigious Berklee International Network (BIN), for example, USFQ College of Music (CoM) has become a leading school in the teaching of contemporary music and musical production in South America. They have over 100 full time international faculty representing 30 countries from all 5 continents.

Their main campus in the Cumbaya valley next to Quito is about 25 acres, and features a hospital, specialized dentistry clinic, eight restaurants and the largest academic library in Ecuador with 1 million titles. 

USFQ has the highest employability rate in the country and over 100 students admitted to international traineeships in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US every year.

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Universidad San Francisco de Quito has 13 mainbuildings at the main campus in Cumbaya, 2 main buildings in the Galapagoscampus, and a research station in the Amazon basin. Its research facilities inthe Galápagos Islands are state of the art and stem from a partnership withUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Tiputini research facilitiesin the Amazon basin is supported by a partnership with Boston University. Both researchstations offer unparalleled opportunities for students and researchers in thelife sciences, evolution, anthropology, among other fields.

Student classrooms are equipped with multimediatools (televisions, projectors, projection screens, audio tools, etc.) and whiteboards.When they are not in class, students can make use of study rooms, meetingrooms, or one of the 7 restaurants available at the main campus. In recentyears USFQ has invested in extending wireless access and doubling internet bandwidthfor student use.

Theaters and Auditoriums

USFQcolleges can use the theaters and auditoriums located throughout the campus asneeded.

·        CasaBlanca Theater

·        WilliamShakespeare Theater

·        Calderon de la Barca Theater

·        Epicuro Theater

·        Salon Azul Auditorium

·        Cicerón Auditorium


USFQ has both teaching and researchlaboratories. For teaching, USFQ has recently remodeled X square meters oflaboratory space and state of the art equipment. Likewise, there are dedicatedresearch spaces for micro biology, nanoelectronics, physics, and other hardsciences.

Computer resources

USFQ also has more than 40 computer labs withmore than 700 computers available for students and the second largest high-performancecomputing center in Ecuador. The university also offers a video conferencesystem plus a virtual multi-point connection classroom.



As a Liberal Arts University, USFQ takes theirlibraries very seriously. USFQ has the largest academic library in the countrywith over 200 thousand titles available and 600 thousand plus electronic titlesas well as subscriptions to research databases and journals. The library systemhas a selected and updated collection of books in all areas of knowledge,subscriptions to the most prominent scientific and technical journals, and a widecollection of audiovisual and multimedia materials. The libraries offerfunctional facilities that include reading rooms, group study rooms, and anarea for the university’s bibliographical collection with unrestricted accessto its bookshelves. It has a newspaper archive, an audio-visual room, anauditorium for 90 people and unrestricted computer equipment for general publicuse.

Universidad San Francisco de Quito’s library systemis spread out as follows:

·        Generallibrary – Eugenio Espejo Building

·        General library – Hayek Building

·        Lawlibrary – Hayek Building

·        Life Sciences (Medicine) – Hospital de losValles (University Hospital)

·        Galapagos– Galapagos Campus 

USFQ's philosophy spins around students. Spaces, facilities, courses, programs, and activities are thought on their benefit including them as part of our work.  

We have built plenty of spaces throughout the campus where they can study, meet with study groups, practice their favorite sport or just hang out. One of the main areas for students’ life development and enjoyment is our “Dragon's Den”. This is a designed area created specifically for our students, a space in which they can meet whenever they feel like enjoying some time off from their regular academic load. It has HD TVs, pool tables, ping pong tables and mini football tables. This Den is also the headquarters office of our Student Government.

Students can also enjoy 7 restaurants around campus with a variety of food from around the world.

Libraries are thought for students which is why we have equipment for them to check out our online resources, study cabins, and nearly 200,000 books. Furthermore, they can access our high-speed Wi-Fi around campus which makes it easier for them to use their own devices wherever they feel comfortable.

When new students come to their freshman orientation, we assign them a House of one of our student unions. Each house is named after an important character in USFQ’s history, including founders and renowned collaborators. As part of these houses, students enjoy from several activities to bond throughout the year, live leadership experiences, and they are accompanied by professors who act as their mentors. Each house has its own space for respective meetings and activities inside the “Dragon´s Den”.

We encourage students to be entrepreneurs which is why we support them when they have an idea of a club or student-designed activity focused on a certain topic. We have around 40 clubs including topics like: debate, tango, theatre, economics, among others.

We understand that certain economic constraints may appear throughout their career which is why we offer scholarships and financial aid to assure they end their programs successfully.

International experience is an option for any student at USFQ which is why we have around 200 MoUs around the world so they can spend a semester or a year abroad. Moreover, we have nearly 700 agreements with different companies and civil society organizations for our students to make their practices and internships.

International students may visit USFQ for a year, for a semester or for a tailor-made program. This is why we receive nearly a thousand students from around the world every year. They receive classes of a whole variety of topics in English and are able to participate in the different field trips to our station in the Galapagos Islands, our station in the Amazon basin, cloud forest, Otavalo among others. Moreover, we have a program called Ecuabuddies which is a student initiative to host international students at USFQ to bond with locals and enjoy a better adaptation to life in Ecuador.

USFQ is made out of students and we understand we are nothing without them. This is why we work every day for them and with them to make USFQ the best place to study locally or internationally.



Consistent with the Liberal Arts philosophy of the university, USFQ will evaluate applicants on general academic aptitude rather than specific subject knowledge. Full time admission is based on the College Board PAA test, which is administered in Spanish, although the SAT is also accepted for admittance. The required score may vary by major, and some major (such as Medicine) will require additional science exams. The music program will require an audition. 

More information is available on the USFQ Admissions site http://servicios.usfq.edu.ec/landing/index.php?origen=WebGeneral

For study abroad programs, USFQ has MOUs with over 100 universities worldwide although direct enrollment is also accepted. Students seeking to participate in a study abroad program at USFQ will have to demonstrate pre-requisites for desired courses, including 4 semesters of Spanish. For courses taught in English the Spanish proficiency test is waived, this includes the Galapagos programs.

Career Placement Office

USFQ countswith several educational strategies in the curriculum so that its studentsundergo an initial approach with the professional environment of their career.

Most of USFQcourses require students to get in touch with industries or organizations sothat they can develop theory-application projects. Through their work withseveral companies, faculty members guide their students to make sure that theyput into practice the concepts that they have learned and discussed in class. Thecourses’ theoretical knowledge is combined with Problem-Based LearningMethodology and the usage of technological tools.

Additionally,USFQ has the following initiatives that aid in preparing the students for thetransition from academic to professional life:

Professional Practicum PASEM

PASEM is agraduation requirement seminar for all USFQ programs. The seminar’s purpose isto provide the students with opportunities to become acquainted with their professionalsetting and acquire work experience in their field of study. The student willalso develop the skills required to ease their transition from school to theworkplace scenario.

PASEM hastwo components:

1. Academicseminar

a. Studentswill learn about the guidelines and necessary skills to enter the workingarena.

2.Internship requirements

a. Studentsshould complete at least 240 hours at a professional setting related to theirprogram.

The CareerPlacement Office is the non-academic unit overseeing PASEM. This office holdsagreements with more than 150 internship sites. Out of these 150 sites, IEstudents can complete their practicum at 96 sites related to their field.

International Association for the Exchange ofStudents for Technical Experience (IAESTE)

IAESTE isan international association that provides USFQ students with paid internshipsplacements in more than 80 countries worldwide.

International Association of Students inEconomic and Commercial Sciences (AIESEC)

AIESEC isan international association that offers a cross-cultural experience forstudents who want to gain leadership skills and make their impact in society.USFQ students who participate with AIESEC have the opportunity to becomeinterns at social and administrative areas in companies, NGOs, consultancyfirms, etc. in more than 124 countries worldwide.

Work and Travel

Work andTravel Program is an opportunity for USFQ freshman and sophomore students towork at the United States during summer. The main goal of this program is forstudents to practice the English language and to get acquainted with theprofessional setting abroad.

Career Placement Office: Job Fair

The CareerPlacement Office supports students at USFQ in the search for job opportunities.This office is in charge of placing students in different working positions.Once the Career Placement Office receives the students’ profile, they match thestudents’ skills with the companies’ needs, and place them accordingly. Thisoffice communicates to students or recent graduates about open positions at theindustry in their respective fields.

One of thebiggest events the Career Placement Office holds for USFQ students and recentgraduates is the Job Fair. The office hosts the fair twice a year and theyinvite companies that are willing to hire graduates or students immediately.This year, the Job Fair counted with the participation of more than 300companies.

Programs available

Undergraduate Faculties/Departments and Programs

University Highlights

Total students - 8,960


International students - 260


Total faculty staff - 786


Total students - 8,960

International students - 260


Total faculty staff - 786

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