National University of San Marcos: Wikis


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Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
Major National University of San Marcos
National University of San Marcos seal
Latin: Academia S. Marci Urbis Regum in Peru
Motto Universidad del Perú,
Decana de América
Motto in English University of Peru,
Dean of the Americas
Established May 12, 1551
Type Public university
Rector Luis Izquierdo Vásquez
Faculty 2559 (full time)
674 (part time)
Undergraduates 29,710
Postgraduates 3,549
Location Lima City,  Peru.
12°03′30″S 77°05′00″W / 12.05833°S 77.0833333°W / -12.05833; -77.0833333Coordinates: 12°03′30″S 77°05′00″W / 12.05833°S 77.0833333°W / -12.05833; -77.0833333
Campus Urban, 0.69 km2 (0.27 sq mi), main campus only
Colors Magenta, White, Steel blue               
Mascot Lion

The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is a public university located in Lima, Peru. Originally named as "Royal and Pontifical University of the City of the Kings of Lima", San Marcos was founded on May 12 1551 by a decree of King Charles V, which makes it the oldest officially established university of the Americas and, as such, one of the oldest universities in the world.[1 ]

Since 1960 most of the faculties and research institutes have been based in the University City, a large campus located at the Western edge of Lima District, Lima. The university of San Marcos has 56 academic-professional schools, organized into 20 faculties, and these, in turn, into 6 academic areas. All 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 also a number of public institutions under its government such as San Marcos Cultural Center and the Museum of Natural History.

Due to its prestigious faculty and renowned alumni, the quality of its curricular contents, and its very competitive admission process, San Marcos is considered by many as the most important and respected institution of higher education in the country, as well as a leading center of scientific research.[2] The university is also recognized for its history of student activism in the country and its athletic teams. Several Peruvian and Latin American influential thinkers, researchers, scientists, politicians and writers have studied there, what underscores San Marcos' leadership role as an educational institution in the history of Peru and the world.



The origin of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos is also the source of higher education in the Peru, Which dates back to the General Studies carried into the cloisters of the Convento del Rosario Dominican Order, near the Plaza de Armas toward 1549, Which had as main objective to meet the needs of training and education of clergy in the conquered new territory of Spanish Empire. Subsequently, the Lima cabildo send Spain to Fray Tomas de San Martin and Captain Juan Jeronimo de Aliaga, who - thanks largely to the efforts of first - order get the foundation of the university by Emperor Carlos I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire and his mother, Queen Joanna of Castile, daughter of the Catholic kings, by Royal Decree issued on May 12 of 1551 in Valladolid, Thereby officially was made the foundation of the Royal and Pontifical University of the City of Kings, Also mentioned as Real y Pontificia Universidad de Lima.[9] [10] Reading the royal decree, formally authorizing the operation of the "Universidad de Lima", said the mission "indoctrinate residents of these lands in the Christian faith and submission to the King". With this principle, the university officially began operations January 2 of 1553, In the Chapter of the "Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Dominican Order Under the leadership of its first rector Fray Juan Bautista de la Roca, The initial chair was delivered by Andres Carrillo Cosme Cianca and Corona, both under the supervision of the rector.

Oil regarding the founding of the University of Lima (later named San Marcos), officially the first university Peru and America, And his manager Fray Tomas de San Martin.
The historic chapter house at the Convent of the Rosary of the Dominicans, where the University of San Marcos began its operations.

The guidance, in principle strictly monastic And the exclusiveness and conservation of Dominicans, And the continued decline of members of other congregations that gave rise to the Dominicans lose their dominance and also a reaction generated by lay teachers, the demand for greater openness led to ask the Audiencia compliance with the Royal Decree of 1570, Which provided a free choice of the rector by the teachers of cloister. The complaint went to the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo who favored and ended the claim with the election of Dr. Pedro Fernandez Valenzuela the May 11 of 1571 The first rector lay, And the significant change in the orientation of the university. The officers of the university is reaffirmed by the papal bull Nobis exposed San Pius V of July 25 of 1571 After receiving the "Regional Pass"The Council of the Indies; In it subtracted the ecclesiastical courts to declare that "acquits brothers, readers, teachers, students and anyone of you from any and all criticisms, judgments and ecclesiastical penalties, for any reason and cause contracted". Produced this first reform, the university moved to its second location, near the outskirts of San Marcelo", where he had worked before the Convent of the Order of Saint Augustine.[9] The September 6 of 1574 is chosen by lot by the official name of the university, taking the Evangelist St. Mark as patron of the institution and the official name Real y Pontificia Universidad de San Marcos.[10] In 1575The university setting changes again, and is situated in the old Plaza Pond, later called Plaza de la Inquisition, Where the building is currently the Congress of Peru,[2] place to continue its operation throughout the period of Viceroyalty of Peru.

Engraving of the old facade of the premises where the University of San Marcos ran throughout the viceroyaltyThen this place would be transferred to the nascent Congress of Peru.

The University of Lima, now officially named "University of San Marcos, began its work in the colonial era to the powers of Theology and ArtsThen the fees would be created Laws and MedicineNevertheless academically when the standards governing in Spain, or start their teaching duties Philosophy as the basis for any college. The November 27 of 1579 teachers asked the king Philip II the institution of courts that ruled on the University of Salamanca, A legal medieval-history of the current university autonomy, which empowered the president to the exclusion of ordinary courts, have civil and criminal jurisdiction over members of the faculty. In 1581, Then the absolute presence of lay rectors between 1571 and 1581, Viceroy Francisco de Toledo authorized clergy and laity to be elected, and both sectors alternately ruled the University of San Marcos, during the colonial period until 1820.[11]

Support for the secularization of the University of San Marcos as the viceroy Francisco de Toledo and the institution of courts exercising its rector, and also exercised the rector of San Carlos Real ConvictorioFounded the July 7 of 1770Were the decisive factors that led to the university community, students and teachers, towards achieving the ideal Bolognese who viewed the university as a space of freedom. Thus began the birth of the intellectual climate that made possible the questioning and criticism of the colonial system. Thus, both the University of San Marcos as the "College of Law and Literature of San Carlos"And"Medical College of San Fernando"(Incorporated into it later) began to be monitored closely by the Viceroy, By virtue of holding teachers and students suspected of and manage envisions the end of colonial rule and the emergence of what is now the Republic of Peru.[12] Presumably were the privileges enjoyed by both the university and the Convictorio, allowing the entry of the thought of enlightenment in their cloisters, and arise in the theoretical and doctrinal approaches to the ideological emancipation. In 1813During the administration of Viceroy José Fernando de AbascalWas established Faculty of Medicine "San Fernando" (a tribute to King Ferdinand VII of Spain) In the Plaza de Santa Ana now in the Plaza Italia-space occupied by the Ministry of Government, the power base was formed in the College of Medicine of the same name.

The First Constitutional Congress of PeruWas chaired by Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza and held in the chapel of the University of San Marcos September 20 of 1822.

The First Constitutional Congress of Peru, Which he defined as reality and as a project to the new Republic of PeruWas chaired initially by whom was rector University of San Marcos, Don Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza; Of the 64 constituent members, were 54 and the San Marcos CarolineAnd the place where he met this great assembly was the Chapel of the University of San Marcos.[10] Today, the Congress of the Republic of Peru still operating at that same location and the current Casona de San MarcosWas the local San Carlos Real Convictorio. In 1840 Schools "San Carlos" and "San Fernando", are assumed by the University of San Marcos. During the administration of Marshal Ramón Castilla, San Marcos was officially empowered to approve new universities and newly created control.[12] Along the nineteenth century the location of the University of San Marcos was stripped of his university functions, being more frequent use of the sessions Chamber of Deputies and the core activities of Congress of the Republic of Peru. However, the lack of care and the partial abandonment of its functions had their original academic atmosphere began to suffer a significant deterioration since the old local university received little attention on the eve of the installation of Congress or special events.[10]

Local University of San Marcos in 1920, the famous "Casona de San Marcos is currently the Centro Cultural de San Marcos.

The exponential growth of the city during the industrial revolution of nineteenth century addition to the efforts of then President of Peru Manuel Pardo to improve architecture and urban planning City during 1870 forced the university to move to a new campus adjacent to the old monastery Jesuit where he lived the San Carlos Real Convictorio (now this is called La Casona del Parque Universitario or simply La Casona de San Marcos). In those years, San Marcos became the "Alma Mater"From other universities Peru and America; It was formed to protect the core scientific and cultural institutions during the Viceroyalty and the same during the Republic; Their graduates, so students were part of missions established universities Hispano.

In 1878During the administration of Manuel Pardo, Was issued the General Rules of Public Instruction, universities instituting the concept of major and minor, corresponding to the first title in San Marcos and universities in Arequipa and Cusco the second. During the Pacific War and specifically during the occupation of Lima by troops Chilean, Are taken from the university of art objects and cultural property, to be brought to Chile by boat.[10] After the war and coping outcomes, by law 1901 states that the Peruvian college corresponds to the "Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos" and Under Trujillo, Cusco, Arequipa to which later joined the Catholic and Technical Schools.[12]

Welcome Mural Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, as he mentioned the official date of its foundation: May 12 of 1551.

At the end of the decade 1960, At the request of an even larger space, some faculties of the university began to move to an area now called Ciudad Universitaria. This new campus is close to the Maranga Culture huacas the same as the university took great pains to restore and protect, having been partially destroyed during construction of the Avenida Venezuela in the 1940s.

San Fernando: Although this power belongs to the Department of Health Sciences is also considered as the second campus of the University of San Marcos. It was originally located in the Square PondThen thanks to the efforts of Dr. Hipolito Unanue had its own premises in the old Plaza de Santa Ana (now the Plaza Italia) until its facilities were moved to late nineties of the nineteenth century to the local Avenida GrauIn the Historic Center of Lima.

From the legal standpoint regarding ownership, UNMSM first belonged to the royal state, and since 1821 the young Peruvian republic received as an inheritance. The current status of the university was issued on 22 September 1984.

On the importance of the University of San Marcos in the historic fabric of Peru and America, the Liberator Simón Bolívar, Said the day he received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa (Ino Truque jure):


Oldest university in the Americas

There is some controversy regarding the claim that San Marcos is the oldest university in the Americas, although it is certainly the oldest on the continental mainland.

San Marcos is known as the Dean of America ("dean" in the sense of "oldest member"). There are other universities that claim similar titles. The Autonomous University of Santo Domingo was founded in 1538, but was not officially recognized by Royal Decree until 1558. Therefore, San Marcos is the oldest institution of higher education in America.

UNMSM's claims are based on the fact that it was the first institution in the Americas established by a royal decree (signed by Charles I of Spain), and also on the fact that it is the only American institution of higher education from the sixteenth century to operate without interruption from the time of its founding. This last claim has been accepted by many historians, since many universities in the Americas were closed during the wars of independence or other conflicts or political turmoil.

San Marcos also says that according to the Archivo General de Indias, a famous Spanish repository of documents on the former colonies in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, there were no official records authorizing any university or higher educational institution before UNMSM in 1551. [1]

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) was chartered the same year as UNMSM (by a royal decree of September 21, 1551), as the Royal University of the New Spain, which makes it the second oldest in the Americas (but was closed from 1867-1910).


Department of Chemistry at San Marcos.

The university was originally headed by members of the clergy; during the Enlightenment, Bourbon reforms transformed it into a secular institution. The university is governed by:

  • A Rector (President)
  • Two Vice-Rectors
  • The University Assembly (composed of professors and students, with the latter holding a third of the seats).

The original faculties at San Marcos were Theology, Arts 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, as shown below.

Famous alumni

Class of Jurisprudence and Law of 1896 posing in front of department's water fountain.



  1. ^ "Foundation of the University of Lima". Major National University of San Marcos. Accessed August 22, 2009. (Spanish)
  2. ^ Ranking and research supported by: UNESCO and Asamblea Nacional de Rectores, 2007

External links

Coordinates: 12°03′30″S 77°05′00″W / 12.05833°S 77.0833333°W / -12.05833; -77.0833333

Simple English

National University of San Marcos
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
File:UNMSM coatofarms
Latin: Academia S. Marci Vrbis Regvm in Perv
Motto Spanish:
Universidad del Perú,
Decana de América

"University of Peru,
Dean of the Americas"
Established May 12, 1551
Type Public university
Undergraduates 30,000
Postgraduates 7,000
Place Lima, Peru (12°03′30″S 77°05′00″W / 12.05833°S 77.0833333°W / -12.05833; -77.0833333)
Campus Urban
175 acres (0.69 km²)
Mascot Lion
Memberships Universia, Alianza Estratégica

The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is a public university located in Lima, Peru. It was founded on 12 May 1551. It is the first and most important university of Peru and the oldest university of the Americas. The University of San Marcos has 20 faculties and 62 academic schools. It enrolls 30,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students. The National University of San Marcos has many notable students and graduates, including the only peruvian Nobel Prize winner, Mario Vargas Llosa.



The "Casona" of the University of San Marcos and the universitary park at night.

The National University of San Marcos was founded on 12 May 1551, in Lima (Peru), as the "Real Universidad de la Ciudad de los Reyes" (Real University of the City of the Kings), by the emperor Carlos I of Spain. It was the first university officially founded (by royal decree) in the Americas. Its first rector was Juan Bautista de la Roca. During its first years it was a monastic institution. Pedro Fernández Valenzuela was its first secular rector in 1571. On 17 September 1574, was elected the name of the evangelist "San Marcos" (Saint Mark) as the official name for the main university of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

The University of San Marcos began its classes with the studies of theology and arts, after some years it were introduced the studies of law and medicine. The viceroy of Peru Francisco de Toledo gave help to the secularization of the university, then it was possible to choose a religious person or a secular person as the rector. During the 18th century, many latinoamerican intellectuals from the University of San Marcos started to critic the colonial system. San Marcos and the colleges of San Carlos and San Fernando (after incorporated to the university) were monitored by the Viceroy.

During the emancipation times, the university was a very important figure for the independence movements. The first Constituent congress of Peru took place in the chapel of the University of San Marcos in 1822. During the 19th century the university returned to its local known as the "Casona", next to the universitary park. Until 1946, the university was usually call University of Lima, then in that year it was officialized its name as "Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos" (National University of San Marcos). In 1951, it was opened the Stadium of the University of San Marcos, as part of the celebrations of its 400th aniversary.

Nowadays, the University of San Marcos has 20 faculties and 62 academic schools, being the only peruvian university that offers studies in the main areas of knowledge (using the UNESCO criteria). San Marcos is considered as the main peruvian university because its important participation durin the history of Peru and its notable alumni and faculty. It is the only peruvian university with a Nobel Prize winner, Mario Vargas Llosa, among its alumni.



The government of the university was initially lead by religious rectors, since the illustration times until today it is lead by secular rectors. The main organs of the univiersity government are:

  • University assembly: The main organ of government of the university, its main function is the modification of the laws of the university. It is formed by the rector, the two vicerectors, the deans of the faculties, the director of the postgraduate school, representatives of the professors, representatives of the schools, one representative of the graduates, and the president of the students federetion of the university.
  • University council: It is in charged of the administration of the university. It is formed by the rector, the two vicerectors, the deans of the faculties, the director of the postgraduate school, representatives of the professors, representatives of the schools, one representative of the graduates, and the president of the students federetion of the university.
  • Rectorate: It is the organ of the university formed mainly by the rector and the two vicerectors . The University have had 213 rectors since its creation. Nowadays, the rector of the university is Dr. Luis Izquierdo.


Notable alumni and academics

During its more than 450 years of history, the National University of San Marcos have had many notable alumni and academics:

  • Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo
  • José María Arguedas
  • Jorge Basadre
  • Alfredo Bryce Echenique
  • Daniel Alcides Carrión
  • Honorio Delgado
  • Alan García
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez
  • Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre

  • Cayetano Heredia
  • Raúl Porras Barrenechea
  • Luis Alberto Sánchez
  • Julio César Tello
  • Hipólito Unanue
  • Abraham Valdelomar
  • César Vallejo
  • Mario Vargas Llosa (Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 File:Nobel prize)
  • Federico Villarreal

[[File:|thumb|200px|Law students of the National University of San Marcos, during 1896.]]



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