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Universidad Francisco Marroquín ("Francisco Marroquín University") is a private, secular, university in Guatemala City, Guatemala. According to the school's website, "the mission of Universidad Francisco Marroquín is to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal and economic principles of a free and responsible society." The website also states that UFM "has the most rigorous entrance requirements in the country."

According to Milton Friedman, UFM is one of the leading universities in Latin America.



Universidad Francisco Marroquín was founded in 1971, and named after Francisco Marroquín, an early bishop of Guatemala and translator of Central American languages.

Started by members of Centro de Estudios Economico-Sociales ("Center for Economic and Social Studies") with $40,000 and 125 students, UFM now (as of 2009) boasts next to 2700 undergraduate students, and 1500 graduate students.

The Philosophy Statement of UFM says that universities need to place themselves beyond the conflicts of their time so that science and academic freedom -which humankind will need at all times- may be preserved.

Classes began January 15th, 1972 with programs on Law, Economic Sciences, Business Administration and Theology. UFM was meant to be a small college. The School of Business began in 1973; the School of Architecture was founded in 1974; the School of Psichology followed in 1975. The grad school on Social Sciences was established in 1977; and in 1978 a School on Computer Sciences began operations. Later on, in 2001, the school on Computer Sciences bacame a different university.

The School of Medicine was funded in 1980, and the School of Odontology was established in 1982. The Institute of Political Studies was funded in 1983. A Department on Communication Sciences was established in 1983, but in 2001 it also became a different university.

General Information

Mission statement The mission of Universidad Francisco Marroquín is to teach and disseminate the ethical, legal and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons.[citation needed]

Characteristics Founded in 1971. Private, secular, coeducational, nonresidential, nonprofit.[citation needed]

Degrees awarded Associate, profesorado (for secondary school teachers), licenciatura (licentiate), magister (artium and scienciae), M.D., D.D.S, doctorate.[citation needed]

Academic disciplines Architecture, business administration, clinical nutrition, dentistry, economics, education, international relations, law, medicine, political studies, public accounting, psychology, social sciences.[citation needed]

Academic calendar The academic year in Guatemala begins in January and ends in November. Undergraduate programs operate on a semester system; graduate on a quarter system. Most undergraduate programs have a six-week semester break, from the beginning of June to mid-July. Commencements are in May and November.[citation needed]

Admissions policy UFM targets the brightest students for admission and it has the most rigorous entrance requirements in the country. The University is emphatic that selection of students be based solely on academic criteria. No information on ability to pay, ethnic, religious, or other affiliations is requested at any point in the admissions process. Students of all religions are represented, as are members of Guatemala's Maya ethnic community. Women generally comprise between 47% and 50% of the student body.[citation needed]

Enrollment Enrollment 2007[citation needed] Total degree programs 2,650 Undergraduate 1,709 Graduate 451 Medical/Dental 490


In Guatemala, as in most of Latin America, the educational system concentrates students in their academic or professional discipline from the time of admission. Following secondary school, students are admitted to a particular school or department and, beginning the first year, follow a prescribed program leading to a degree.

Undergraduate Licenciatura degree (Licentiate)In most of Latin America, the degree that is most commonly awarded to undergraduate students is called licenciatura. Traditionally, it includes several more academic credits than a B.A. or B.S. Disciplines:Architecture; business administration; clinical nutrition; economics; education; international relations; law; political studies; public accounting and auditing; psychology (clinical and industrial).

M.D. / D.D.S. Students are admitted directly into medical and dental schools as high school graduates. They follow a three-year program of basic science studies, upon completion of which they receive a B.S. degree. This is followed by four years of medical or three of dental studies, and one year of internship for medical students (none for dental students). Upon completion, graduates receive an M.D. or D.D.S. degree.

Associate degree Disciplines: Art history; personnel administration.

Profesorado degree The profesorado is a specialized degree for secondary school teachers. In many cases, it is required for employment. Disciplines: Art history; computer studies; social sciences and language.

Graduate Master degree Disciplines: Business administration (MBA); entrepreneurial economics; international political economy; international relations; finance and taxation; management of human resources; social sciences. The MBA program offers the possibility of online and/or traditional classroom instruction. The entrepreneurial economics and the international political economy programs are available only through online instruction. The former also requires two weeks of traditional classroom instruction at the School of Management in Boston University.

Master degree in the following medical specialties: internal medicine; ophthalmology; pediatrics; radiology.

Doctoral degree Economics; law; social sciences

Specialization The Department of Psychology offers specialization programs that work as a platform for a master's degree abroad. Disciplines: Psychobiology; learning skills.

Academic Disciplines

Areas of instruction include:

Departments and Projects

Ludwig von Mises Library Webpage (in Spanish):[1] The library at UFM has 100,000 visitors annually and is the most extensive collection of works on liberty in Latin America. There is a collection of the private libraries of prominent intellectuals and collectors:

At the beginning of the New Millennium the Library started offering access to digital resources. It is subscribed to other services in this area including EBSCOHost databases, Oxford Scholarship Online, xRefer Plus and UpToDate, MDConsult and others.

The library was chosen amongst all the libraries around the World within the 10 libraries to receive the Elsevier donation of 670 titles. The library site received the Arroba de Oro award in Guatemala for the best educational website.

Henry Hazlitt Center Webpage (in Spanish): [16] The purpose of the Henry Hazlitt Center is to coordinate the courses of Economic Process (I,II and III) and Social Philosophy (Hayek, and the Austrian School) that are offered to all the students at UFM in Pregrad level, in all the schools. It also offers seminars and lectures for professors in order to improve their academic and pedagogic skills.

Arboretum Webpage (in Spanish): [17] Awakening and cultivating the love for nature and conservation of plants and animals in the Campus. The land where the University Francisco Marroquin stands, is a remnant of the Montano Forest, pine and Encino trees, that used to cover Guatemala’s surface. The beautiful gardens that the University has have been carefully designed to integrate native and exotic species that have been admired by students and visitors. Since the beginning preservation of this forest was a priority to the point where the Ludwig von Mises Library architectural design of the buildings was done so the trees were kept as intact as possible. We decided to take our effort much further and this is why the Arboretum was created so now we are preserving and studying many species.

New Media Department Webpage (in Spanish): [18] CREATION, IMPLEMENTATION & EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF DIGITAL RESOURCES The New Media Department specializes in streaming audio and video conferences in English and Spanish on topics related to classical liberal thought. Sampler

The New Media digital library includes 1,500 hours of digitized and indexed educational material, and receives over 1,000 visitors daily from around the world.

Museo Popol Vuh Webpage:[6] The Popol Vuh Museum offers its visitors a unique journey through Guatemalan history, illustrated by one of the best collections of prehispanic and colonial art in the country. The museum is a scientific, private, non-lucrative organization part of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. The museum’s objectives include: conservation, investigation and the popularization of Guatemala’s cultural and archeological heritage.

Lienzo de Quauhquechollan Webpage:[7] It is a large Nahua painting on cotton cloth (lienzo) that belongs to the pre-Hispanic tradition of documenting stories of migrations and conquests within a geographic context. Considered the first map of Guatemala, it is one of the few sources from the 16th century that tell of the military campaigns of Jorge de Alvarado in 1527. A digitally restored copy and an animated recreation of the story, exhibited at the UFM campus, are based on the research done by Dutch archaeologist Florine Asselbergs.

ITA Scholarship Program Webpage:[8] ITA (in Spanish, an acronym for Impulso al Talento Academico) stands for "promotion of academic talent"; the program grants scholarships for undergraduate degrees at Universidad Francisco Marroquínfor to the poorest, most highly qualified and most motivated students. The scholarship covers full tuition and fees, room and board, medical insurance, and a stipend for public transportation, books and basic personal expenses.

Traditions and Landmarks

Following Manuel Ayau In 1972 the first class of students that entered to Universidad Francisco Marroquín presented a pair of bronzed shoes to the founding rector, Manuel F. Ayau, as a joke. Since then the shoes are kept at the rector's office; as a way to remember, for the members of UFM, that they follow Manuel F. Ayau's steps, and those of the founders of the University, in the road to freedom.

Honoring the champions of freedom Universidad Francisco Marroquín has awarded honoris causa doctorates to scientists, intellectuals, businessmen, artists and others who have contributed to the sciences, the arts, the world of business and the cause of freedom Four Nobel Prize winners have accepted the honorary degree awarded by UFM: Friedrich A. Hayek; Milton Friedman, James M. Buchanan y Vernon L. Smith. See the entire list, here <> (in Spanish). At the House of Freedom, the library is named alter Ludwig von Mises; there are the Friedrich A. Hayek Auditorium and the Milton Friedman Auditorium. And the department in charge of the courses of Social Philosophy and Economic Process is named after Henry Hazlitt. There is a Freedom Plaza and a terrace named after Rose Friedman.

Mises’ birthday Ludwig von Mises was born on September 29. 1881; and to remember his birthday, professor Joseph Keckeissen's students celebrate a Viennese party by the second semester of every year. It includes theatrical presentations, singing and dancing. Joseph Keckeissen attended Mises´Semminar in New York City and he began the misian theatrical tradition, at UFM in the 80s with the Guttemberg Society.

Commencement ceremony On May and November, UFM celebrates commencement ceremonies. During these the graduating students receive their titles and diplomas. On that occasion the Board of Directors award the honoris causa doctorates.

Honor graduates ceremony The night before the Commencement ceremony, at UFM, they celebrate a ceremony and a cocktail party in praise of those students which graduate with honors, and to celebrate excellence (in Spanish). The honors awarded are Cum Laude, for those who obtained grades between 85 and 90: Magna Cum Laude, for those who obtained grades between 91 and 94; and Summa Cum Laude, for those who accumulated an average between 95 and 100.

Inaugural Lesson The Inaugural Lesson enjoys a long academic tradition. At Universidad Francisco Marroquín it is a Commencement ceremony and an opportunity to get together the faculty and the students around the philosophy of freedom presented by a local or visiting professor. The first Inaugural Lesson, at UFM, was presented by vicerector emeritus Rigoberto Juárez-Paz, and it was about Plato's Academy.

Landmarks on campus

Francisco Marroquín’s bust Universidad Francisco Marroquín has no religious affiliation; but it was named after bishop Marroquín because being the first prelate ordained in America, during the colonial times, he had two interest that are shared by UFM members: respect for the individual rights and the value of education. During his tenure as Bishop, Marroquín took care of the right of the indigenous people, and he donated part of his fortune to fund the first university in Central America. Francisco Marroquín's bust was donated to the University by the trustee Félix Montes in January, 1975. Its author is the sculptor José Nicolás.

The bust of Friedrich A. Hayek Friedrich A. Hayek is a champion of Freedom. He was awarded Nobel Prize in Economy in 1974 and he visited UFM in 1977 yo e awarded as a honoris causa doctor in Social Sciences. At the House of Freedom, the auditorium located at the Academic Building is named after Hayek. His bust is located at the Ludwig von Mises Library and it was donated by Walter S. Morris, of Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1991.

The bust of Ludwig von Mises Ludwig von Mises is a champion of freedom. He was one of the most distinguished members of the Austrian School of Economics. He visited Guatemala when invited by the Centro de Estudios Económico-Sociales and he was of great inspiration and support for the foundation of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. His bust is at the library that bears his name. It was donated by the class of 1975 from the School of Business.

Atlas Libertas A bass relief placed on the main façade that welcomes visitors in the building of the UFM Business School. A high-relief sculpture of a human figure supporting the universe, seen from the back from head to hip. The universe is represented by a series of semicircles (abstract planets and gear mechanisms). The sculpture is made of brass plate with a cyan-colored finish resembling oxidized copper..

The Central Garden Universidad Francisco Marroquín's campus is beautifully integrated to the environment in which it was built. It is not a university with a garden, but a university in a garden said professor Donald Livingston when he visited the University. In the Central Garden, which seems a Greek theater, are celebrated the commencement ceremonies; and the bust of Francisco Marroquin presides the garden.

The Academic Building’s Garden The garden, at the Academia Building is surrounded by classrooms and the administration's offices 7 stories high. Nevertheless, with an air of a Japanese garden and its pond, it is an oasis of tranquility and of contact with the exuberance of the campus´ flora and fauna.

The fountain at the Ludwig von Mises Library Between the Central Garden and the Ludwig von Mises Library, which one reaches through a bridge, there is a fountain. Full of fish and surrounded by vegetation, this fountain offers a peaceful environment, ideal for studying, for relaxation and for meditation.


  • Apuntes de Economía y Política (Public Choice Newsletter)
  • Areté (Journal of the Department of Education)
  • Arquitemas (Journal of the School of Architecture)
  • Eleutheria (Philosophy Department)
  • Laissez-Faire (Economics Journal)
  • Revista de la Facultad de Derecho (Law Review)

Notable Recipients of Honorary Degrees from UFM

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Libre para elegir - New Media" (in (Spanish)). Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  3. ^ "Peregrinaje Intelectual - New Media" (in (Spanish)). Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  4. ^ "Honorary Doctorate Ceremony - New Media" (in (Spanish)). 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Rose and Milton Friedman - New Media" (in (Spanish)). 2008-08-18. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  6. ^ "Museo Popol Vuh, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "ITA". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 

External links



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