Costa Rica has both public and private universities, such as the University of Costa Rica and University for Peace. Tuition generally runs about 50% less than in-state rates for most U.S. schools.
Public universities are some of the largest academic institutions in Costa Rica. There are four public universities in the country, each assigned to emphasize certain academic disciplines. A fifth university, Technical National University (UTN) was recently established in the city of Alajuela. All public universities are members of the Consensus Nacional de Rectores (CONARE, National University Presidents' Council).
San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located in the centre of the country, specifically in the mid-west of the Central Valley, and contained within San José Canton. San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of Costa Rica. The population of San José Canton was 288,054 in 2011, and San José’s municipal land area measures 44.2 square kilometers, with an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. Together with several other cantons of the central valley including Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago it forms the Greater Metropolitan Area of the country, with an estimated population of over 2 million in 2017. The city is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.
The University of Costa Rica is a public university in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. Its main campus, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, is located in San Pedro Montes de Oca, in the province of San José. It is the oldest and largest institution of higher learning in Costa Rica, originally established as the Universidad de Santo Tomás in 1843. It is also the most important research university in the country and Central America, plus, considered as one of the most prestigious and recognized in Latin America. Approximately 45,000 students attend UCR throughout the year.
Latin University of Costa Rica, commonly called ULatina, is the largest private university in Costa Rica, with more than 16,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences. The university is accredited by the National Council of Higher Education (CONESUP).
The Costa Rica Institute of Technology,, also known as "ITCR" or "TEC", is a university in Costa Rica specializing in engineering and advance science and research, its main campus is located in Cartago, Costa Rica.
The National University of Costa Rica is one of five public universities in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. The main campus is located in the city of Heredia. According to recent international studies, The National University of Costa Rica ranks 85th in Latin America and 1576th in the world. More than 12,000 students study in its main campus. In addition to offering a broad undergraduate curriculum, it offers 16 Master of Arts degrees. It is known for its strong programs in ecology, sociology and education.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ is a liberal-arts, non-profit, private university located in Quito, Ecuador. It was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador and the first liberal-arts institution in the Andean region.
The Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC) is a private university located in Mexico City, and in the States of Guanajuato, Jalisco, México and Querétaro. It offers high school, bachelor, and postgraduate programs. Ignacio Guerra Pellegaud founded it in 1966 and since 2008 is part of the Laureate International Universities Network. The UNITEC has 10 campuses: Cuitláhuac, Marina and Sur in Mexico City; Atizapán, Ecatepec, Los Reyes, and Toluca in the State of Mexico; Leon in the State of Guanajuato; Guadalajara in the State of Jalisco; and Querétaro in the State of Querétaro. Additionally, it has an Online Campus. UNITEC total enrollment is higher than 90,000; more than 64,000 students are concentrated in the campuses of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, which makes it the largest private university in this country region.
Education in Costa Rica is divided in 3 cycles: pre-education, primary education, and secondary school, which leads to higher education. School year starts between the second and third week of February, stops at the last week of June, it continues again between the third and fourth week of July and finishes between the last week of November and the second week of December. Preschool and basic education are free to the public. Elementary and secondary school are both divided in two cycles. Since 1869, education is free and compulsory.
Rail transport in Costa Rica is primarily under the stewardship of Incofer, an autonomous institution of the state. Incofer owns the national railway infrastructure and operates virtually all freight and passenger services, which consist primarily of commuter trains through the highly populated Central Valley. The whole Incofer network is 1,067 mm narrow gauge, although there are several small tourist railways of other gauges.
Universidad de Ciencias Médicas (UCIMED) is a medical school in San José, Costa Rica. The university is best known for its medicine program and is recognized as one of the best medical schools in Central America.
Universidad Cristiana del Sur is a university in San José, Costa Rica. It offers Associate, Bachelor and Licentiate degrees under Ministry of Education accreditation and some other programs via articulation agreements.
Montes de Oca is the 15th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 15.16 square kilometres (5.85 sq mi), and has a population of 54,288. The capital city of the canton is San Pedro.
Heredia is a city in the Heredia province of Costa Rica, of which it is the capital; it is 10 kilometers to the north of the country's capital, San José.
The Universidad Hispanoamerica is a major private university in San José, Costa Rica that specializes in business administration, engineering, psychology and medical studies.
Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, also known as UNEM or Business University of Costa Rica, is a private university in the city of San José, Costa Rica. It is approved by the Consejo Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Universitaria Privada, the national council of higher education of Costa Rica, to award undergraduate degrees in accounting and business administration, and master's degrees in business administration.
Universidad San Juan de la Cruz, also known as San Juan de la Cruz University, is a private university located in Costa Rica. It is authorized and accredited by the Consejo Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Universitaria Privada, the national council of higher education of Costa Rica. It has been authorized to award degrees in accounting and business administration since 1996, and in law since 1998.
María Teresa Obregón Zamora (1888-1956) was a teacher, suffragist and politician in Costa Rica. She was part of the group that formed the Asociación Nacional de Educadores (ANDE) and fought for women's enfranchisement. After winning the vote, she helped found the National Liberation Party of Costa Rica and was one of the first three women elected as a Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. In 2002, Obregón was honored as one of the inaugural group of women inducted into La Galería de las Mujeres de Costa Rica.