Peru probably isn’t the first country crossing your mind when considering studying abroad. At least partly unjustly. The country, and here especially Lima, has a few excellent and well-respected, public and private higher-education institutions which constantly rank among the Top 100 universities in the region.
The universities we introduce you below are of course all officially accredited and recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education and offer courses and programs leading to officially recognized undergraduate and postgraduate degrees such as bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctorate degrees in several areas of study. These degrees obtained in Peru can be validated and recognized abroad – the process depends on regulations there.
Undergraduate studies take two years of general study and another couple of years of specialization. Master’s and doctoral level studies also take around two years each.
A lot of universities in Peru as well have close relations with universities and institutes around the globe ensuring not only higher education standards but as well easier knowledge and student exchange.
Academic calendar in Peru
The academic year in Peru is divided into two semester – a summer semester and a winter semester.
Most courses begin in the summer semester, which depending on the university can start as early as January, but usually in March or latest April and end in June or July. The winter semester usually begins in August or September and ends in December.
Registration, payments, entrance exams and enrollment can be as early as 2 or 3 months before the semester starts. So, it’s advisable to check the dates with each university individually.
International students in Peru
International students that want to study a semester or two in Peru are usually welcome to apply for enrollment either as exchange student from universities abroad having a student exchange agreement with the university in Peru or as international visiting student, so students must arrange admission, courses, payments, etc. directly with the Peruvian university.
Other foreign students planning to do their course of studies completely in Peru have to go through the same application and admission process as Peruvians must.
Admission policy of Peruvian universities
The admission policies are determined by each university. So procedures and requirements vary.
Most universities in Peru have a selective admission policy based on entrance examination – exception: if the student attended a “preferred” school in Peru (so a school that has a special agreement with the university) or took a special preparation course, or was the best of his / her class, he or she can get around it.
All students have to register usually on the website of the university, pay a fee, submit some documents (such as school-leaving certificate when beginning the studies or other documents certifying the level of studies, ID copy, birth certificate, registration form, payment receipt, passport photos, …) and then most have to pass an exam.
Entrance exams at Peruvian universities
These exams vary from university to university, but usually contain multiple-choice questions testing the student’s Spanish language skills, mathematical reasoning, and sometimes knowledge in the area of chosen studies.
International students taking part in an exchange program rarely have to go through the normal admission process as agreements between the universities simplify the temporal admission and therefore don’t have to pass an exam. International visiting students should get in contact with the chosen university in Peru to enquire about the process.
Languages at Peruvian universities
Generally speaking, the language of instruction and conversation at Peruvian universities is Spanish.
While most universities don’t request an official Spanish language certificate, students must have an intermediate or advanced proficiency level to understand classes and assignments.
Certain courses and a few courses especially designed for international students are in English or other languages.
Costs of Peruvian universities
Fees to study at a university in Peru vary. Many universities charge per credit rather than per semester or year.
Each university no matter if public or private has a special system in place which determines the tuition. Factors influencing the costs include for example selected career and / or courses, number of semester credits and the socio-economic situation of the student. Fees and costs for registration, materials, books and photocopies must be covered.
Be aware that most universities in Peru don’t offer international and foreign students scholarships or other financial aids.
List of top universities in Peru
Below you can find a for the moment short list of top universities in Peru. Click on the name of each university to open a detailed description page with information about the university itself, academic ranking, study areas & degree levels, admission process, international students and fees. Provided information should give you a general overview of each university and what they offer. For more details, check out the website of the university of your choice and get in contact with them.
Founded in 1907 by Catholic priest Father Jorge Dintilhac of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) - Pontifical Catholic University of Peru is a non-profit private higher education institution in Lima.
Established in 1551 as the first official university on the American continent, the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM) is not only the oldest and the longest continuously operating university in the Americas, but also the most respected higher-education institution in Peru.
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