List of universities in Nicaragua

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Mural in memory of the massacre of four students of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua-Leon on July 23, 1959 by Somoza's National Guard. Unan mural.jpg
Mural in memory of the massacre of four students of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua-León on July 23, 1959 by Somoza’s National Guard.

The oldest institution of higher education in Nicaragua is the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, which was founded in León in 1812, during the Spanish colonial period. In Nicaragua, there are ten core public and private non-profit universities that receive state funding, and these constitute the members of the National Council of Universities. [1] This body is responsible for strategic planning for higher education in Nicaragua, and it is also the organization that provide accreditation to other universities. [2]


The members of the National Council of Universities are the oldest universities in Nicaragua, with the last one founded in 1992. Since the early 1990s, a large number of new private universities have been established in Nicaragua, responding to a greatly increased educational demand fueled by the increasing student enrollment in elementary and secondary schools during the 1980s. Most private universities that are not part of the National Council of Universities are members of either the Federation of Nicaraguan Private Universities (FENUP) or the Superior Council of Private Universities (COSUP). [1] The major focus of these private universities are on business, computers and law, but together they span most areas of academic study.

The majority of higher education institutions are in Managua. Higher education has financial, organic and administrative autonomy, according to the law. Also, freedom of subjects is recognized. [3] Nicaragua's higher education system consists of 58 universities, and 113 colleges and technical institutes in the areas of electronics, computer systems and sciences, agroforestry, construction and trade-related services. [4] In 2005, almost 400,000 (7%) of Nicaraguans held a university degree. [5]

Academic degrees

Admission to higher education is on the basis of the Bachillerato, the leading secondary school qualification. Students are also subject to an entrance examination. The Licenciado (or Ingenierio in the case of engineering programs), is the main undergraduate degree and a four or five-year course of study. A professional title may also be awarded depending on the subject. Following the Licenciado, the first postgraduate degree is the Maestria, which lasts two years and culminates with the submission of a thesis. [2]

Institutions of higher learning also offer two or three year courses in technical and vocational education. The main qualification studied for is the Técnico Superior. [2] [6]

Técnico Superior Associate degree 1 to 3 years10th grade/high school diploma
Licenciado Licentiate's degree 4 to 5 yearsHigh school diploma
Ingeniero Engineer's degree 5 yearsHigh school diploma
Arquitecto Bachelor of Architecture 5 yearsHigh school diploma
Doctor en Medicina Doctor of Medicine 6 yearsHigh school diploma
N/A Specialist degree 6 to 9 months; 3 years specialized training in the form of a residency for MDsBD, ED or MD
Máster Master's degree 2 yearsBD, ED or MD
Doctor PhD 3 to 5 yearsMaster's degree

List of universities

This is a list of the 58 universities accredited by the National Council of Universities in Nicaragua. [7] [8] [9]


UniversityDegree programs (2012) [10] LocationsStudents [11] TypeFounded / accredited [12] Main fields of study [10] Remarks
Adventist University of Nicaragua
Universidad Adventista de Nicaragua (UNADENIC)
4 Managua, Matagalpa private2003Business, education, informatics, theology
American College (AC)
Universidad American College
9 Managua private2005Business, informatics, law
American University
Universidad Americana (UAM)
13 Managua 2000private1992Architecture, business, dentistry, informatics, international relations, law, medicineNot to be confused with La American University (LAAU)
American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) 2 Managua Dentistry, medicine
Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU)25 Bluefields 72251992Agriculture, business, civil engineering, education, forestry, law, marine biology, medicine, natural resources
Catholic University of Dry Tropic Farming and Livestock
Universidad Católica Agropecuaria del Trópico Seco (UCATSE)
10 Estelí, León 1392private, Diocese of Estelí 1974Agriculture, dentistry, law, medicine, theology, veterinary medicine
Catholic University Redemptoris Mater
Universidad Católica Redemptoris Mater (UNICA)
30 Managua private1991Architecture, art, business, civil engineering, dentistry, informatics, education, law, medicine, theologyUNICA was the first private for-profit university founded in Nicaragua. [13]
Center for Advanced Military Studies
Centro Superior de Estudios Militares (CSEM)
11 Managua public1993Military studies
Central American University
Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)


Managua 10008private, Jesuit 1960Architecture, business, engineering, informatics, humanities, law, social workOldest university in Managua.
Central American University of Business Studies
Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales (UCEM)
25 Managua private1997Business, law, medicine, microbiology, nursing, nutrition, pharmacology, psychology
Central University of Nicaragua
Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN)
10 Managua, Jinotepe, Estelí private1998Business, informatics, law, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, veterinary medicineNot to be confused with the defunct university with the same name founded in 1941.
Christian Autonomous University of Nicaragua
Universidad Cristiana Autónoma de Nicaragua (UCAN)
29 León, Juigalpa, Chinandega, Masaya, Matagalpa 4000private2001Agriculture, architecture, engineering, health sciences, international relations, law [14]
Ibero-American University of Science and Technology
Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (UNICIT)
24 Managua private1997Architecture, business, design, engineering, informatics, law, optometry, pharmacology
Immaculate Conception Catholic University of the Archdiocese of Managua
Universidad Católica Inmaculada Concepción de la Arquidiócesis de Managua (UCICAM)
2 Managua private, Archdiocese of Managua 2011Philosophy, theology
Institute of Higher Legal Studies
Instituto de Altos Estudios Judiciales (IAEJ)
1 Managua Law
International University of Agriculture and Livestock
Universidad Internacional de Agricultura y Ganadería (UNIAG)
9 Rivas, Chinandega 806private1951Agriculture, veterinary medicine
International University for Sustainable Development
Universidad Internacional de Desarrollo Sostenible (UNIDES)
4 Managua private2005Business, medicine
International University of Latin American Integration
Universidad Internacional de la Integración de América Latina (UNIVAL)
28 Managua, Ocotal, Juigalpa, León, Matagalpa, Estelí, Chinandega, Jalapa, Jinotega private1997Business, informatics, law
Jean Jacques Rosseau University
Universidad Jean Jacques Rosseau (UNIJJAR)
9 Managua private2002Business, dentistry, informatics, law, medicine, pharmacology
John Paul II University of Applied Social Sciences
Universidad de Ciencias Sociales Aplicadas Juan Pablo II (UCSA)
7 Managua private, Nicaraguan Bishops Conference 2002Communication, philosophy, social work, theology
Keiser University-Latin American Campus (KU)9 San Marcos 500private1993Business, informaticsFormerly Ave Maria University; became Keiser University in 2013. [15]
La American University (LAAU)8 Managua 2007Architecture, business, informatics, law, pharmacology, psychologyNot to be confused with the American University (UAM).
La Anunciata University
Universidad La Anunciata (UA)
5 Rivas private2002Business, informatics, pharmacology
La Salle Technological University
Universidad Tecnológica La Salle (ULSA)
4 León private, Lasallian brothers 2009Engineering, informatics
Latin American Institute of Computing
Instituto Latinoamericano de Computación (ILCOMP)
6 Managua, Matagalpa, Masaya 2002Business, informaticsFounded in 1991, ILCOMP was accredited as a university in 2002. [16]
Martin Luther King Nicaraguan Evangelical University
Universidad Evangélica Nicaragüense Martin Luther King (UENIC-MLK)
11 Masaya, Rio Blanco, Nagarote, Matagalpa, San Rafael del Sur, Bonanza, Juigalpa 4000private1999Business, education, informatics, law, psychology, theology [17]
Martin Luther University
Universidad Martín Lutero (UML)
15 Managua, Jalapa, Ocotal, Quilalí, Condega, Muelle de los Bueyes, Nueva Guinea, Rivas, Somoto private2002Business, education, informatics, journalism, law, nursing, theology
Metropolitan University
Universidad Metropolitana (UNIMET)
8 Managua private2002Business, civil engineering, informatics, law
National Agrarian University
Universidad Nacional Agraria (UNA)
12 Managua, Camoapa, Juigalpa 4110public1990Agriculture, environmental science, forestry, rural development, veterinary medicineFounded as the National Agricultural School in 1917. Converted to a faculty of UNAN Managua in 1980. Became the National Agrarian University in 1990.
National Autonomous University of Nicaragua-León
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua-León (UNAN-León)
43 León, Jinotega, Somoto, Somotillo, San Carlos 19850public1812Business, dentistry, education, engineering, informatics, law, medicine, nursing, natural sciences, veterinary medicineThe oldest university in Nicaragua and the second oldest in Central America. The last university founded by Spain in its American colonies.
National Autonomous University of Nicaragua
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua-Managua (UNAN-Managua)
87 Managua, Estelí, Matagalpa, Jinotepe, Juigalpa 33629public1969Architecture, business, dance, education, engineering, health, humanities, informatics, languages, law, scienceThe Managua campus of UNAN opened in 1969. Since 1982, UNAN-Managua and UNAN-León operates as separate entities.
National University of Engineering
Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI)


Managua, Estelí 12261public1983Architecture, engineering
Nicaraguan Technological University
Universidad Tecnológica Nicaragüense (UTN)
21 Managua, León private1997Business, engineering, informatics
Nicaraguan University of Science and Technology
Universidad Nicaragüense de Ciencia y Tecnología (UCYT)
17 Managua private2002Business, informatics, law, psychology
Paulo Freire University
Universidad Paulo Freire (UPF)
13 Managua, Diriamba, Río San Juan, Matagalpa private2002Business, education, health sciences, law, social studies
Polytechnic University of Nicaragua
Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI)
24 Managua, Boaco, Estelí, Rivas 9463private, non-profit1967Business, design, informatics, law, nursing, theologyFounded by the Nicaraguan Baptist Convention.
Popular University of Nicaragua
Universidad Popular de Nicaragua (UPONIC)
16 Managua, Matagalpa, Masaya, Granada, Juigalpa, Estelí, Chinandega private1992Business, education, engineering, informatics, law
Ruben Dario University
Universidad Rubén Darío (URD)
3 Diriamba, Managua 1992Business, informatics, law, pharmacology, psychology
Spanish-American University
Universidad Hispanoamericana (UHISPAM)
13 Managua private1999Business, informatics, journalism, law, pharmacology, psychology
Technical University of Commerce
Universidad Técnica de Comercio (UTC)
12 Managua private2001Business, informaticsFounded in 1966 as the Polytechnic School of Commerce.
Thomas More Universitas
Universidad Thomas More (UTM)
9 Managua private2000Business
University of Administration, Commerce and Customs
Universidad de Administración, Comercio y Aduana (UNACAD)
1 Managua, Somoto, Chinandega, Rivas, Bluefields private2003Business, law
University of Chinandega
Universidad de Chinandega (UACH)
10 Chinandega private1997Business, engineering, law
University of Commercial Sciences
Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales (UCC)
26 Managua, León private1997Architecture, business, design, informatics, veterinary medicineFounded as the Institute of Commercial Sciences in 1964. Renamed as the Center of Commercial Sciences in 1976, and the University of Commercial Sciences in 1990. Accredited as a university in 1997. [18]
University of Health and Renewable Energy
Universidad de Ciencias de la Salud y Energía Renovables (UCSER)
3 Somoto Pharmacology, renewable energy
University of Humanistic Studies
Universidad de Estudios Humanísticos (UNEH)
3 Managua, Jinotepe, Masaya, Juigalpa, Mateare, Rivas 2008Business, construction engineering, informatics, journalism, law, pharmacology, psychology
University of Managua
Universidad de Managua (UdeM)
10 Managua, León private1998Business, informatics, journalism, law
University of Medical Sciences
Universidad de Ciencias Médicas (UCM)
2 Managua 2006Dentistry, medicine, nutrition, pharmacology
University of Northern Nicaragua
Universidad del Norte de Nicaragua (UNN)
17 Jinotega, Matagalpa, Estelí, Ocotal, Somoto, Jalapa, Sébaco 1997Agricultural engineering, business, informatics, law, psychology, sociology
University of Oriental Medicine Japan-Nicaragua
Universidad de Medicina Oriental Japón-Nicaragua (UMO-JN)
1 Managua private, non-profit2003Oriental medicineFormerly the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Medicina Oriental Japón-Nicaragua (IESMO). The first university in Latin America dedicated to train professionals in oriental medicine. [19]
University of St. Thomas
Universidad Santo Tomas de Oriente y Mediodía (USTOM)
6 Granada private2003Business, law
University of Technology and Commerce
Universidad de Tecnología y Comercio (UNITEC)
7 Managua private2005Business, informatics
University of the Americas
Universidad de las Américas (ULAM)
7 Managua private1998Business, law
University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast
Universidad de las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe Nicaragüense (URACCAN)
38 Bilwi, Siuna, Bluefields, Nueva Guinea 44381992Agriculture, business, education, fisheries science, forestry
University of the Pacific
Universidad del Pacífico (UNIP)
4 Managua Business, informatics, law
University of the Valley
Universidad del Valle (UNIVALLE)
7 Managua private1999Architecture, business, design, law
Walter Mendoza Martínez Police Academy
Academia de Policía Walter Mendoza Martínez (ACAPOL)
2 Managua public2000LawFounded in 1979; received university status in 2000.
Western University
Universidad de Occidente (UDO)
20 León, Managua, Granada 1994Business, engineering, law, nursing, pharmacology

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