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.This body is responsible for strategic planning for higher education in Nicaragua, and it is also the organization that provide accreditation to other universities.
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).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.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. In 2005, almost 400,000 (7%) of Nicaraguans held a university degree.
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.
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.
|Técnico Superior||Associate degree||1 to 3 years||10th grade/high school diploma|
|Licenciado||Licentiate's degree||4 to 5 years||High school diploma|
|Ingeniero||Engineer's degree||5 years||High school diploma|
|Arquitecto||Bachelor of Architecture||5 years||High school diploma|
|Doctor en Medicina||Doctor of Medicine||6 years||High school diploma|
|N/A||Specialist degree||6 to 9 months; 3 years specialized training in the form of a residency for MDs||BD, ED or MD|
|Máster||Master's degree||2 years||BD, ED or MD|
|Doctor||PhD||3 to 5 years||Master's degree|
This is a list of the 58 universities accredited by the National Council of Universities in Nicaragua.
|University||Degree programs (2012)||Locations||Students||Type||Founded / accredited||Main fields of study||Remarks|
| Adventist University of Nicaragua |
Universidad Adventista de Nicaragua (UNADENIC)
|4||Managua, Matagalpa||private||2003||Business, education, informatics, theology|
| American College (AC)|
Universidad American College
|9||Managua||private||2005||Business, informatics, law|
| American University |
Universidad Americana (UAM)
|13||Managua||2000||private||1992||Architecture, business, dentistry, informatics, international relations, law, medicine||Not 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||7225||1992||Agriculture, 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||1392||private, Diocese of Estelí||1974||Agriculture, dentistry, law, medicine, theology, veterinary medicine|
| Catholic University Redemptoris Mater |
Universidad Católica Redemptoris Mater (UNICA)
|30||Managua||private||1991||Architecture, art, business, civil engineering, dentistry, informatics, education, law, medicine, theology||UNICA was the first private for-profit university founded in Nicaragua.|
| Center for Advanced Military Studies |
Centro Superior de Estudios Militares (CSEM)
| Central American University |
Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)
|Managua||10008||private, Jesuit||1960||Architecture, business, engineering, informatics, humanities, law, social work||Oldest university in Managua.|
| Central American University of Business Studies |
Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales (UCEM)
|25||Managua||private||1997||Business, law, medicine, microbiology, nursing, nutrition, pharmacology, psychology|
| Central University of Nicaragua |
Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN)
|10||Managua, Jinotepe, Estelí||private||1998||Business, informatics, law, medicine, pharmacology, psychology, veterinary medicine||Not 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||4000||private||2001||Agriculture, architecture, engineering, health sciences, international relations, law|
| Ibero-American University of Science and Technology |
Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (UNICIT)
|24||Managua||private||1997||Architecture, 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||2011||Philosophy, theology|
| Institute of Higher Legal Studies |
Instituto de Altos Estudios Judiciales (IAEJ)
| International University of Agriculture and Livestock |
Universidad Internacional de Agricultura y Ganadería (UNIAG)
|9||Rivas, Chinandega||806||private||1951||Agriculture, veterinary medicine|
| International University for Sustainable Development |
Universidad Internacional de Desarrollo Sostenible (UNIDES)
| 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||private||1997||Business, informatics, law|
| Jean Jacques Rosseau University |
Universidad Jean Jacques Rosseau (UNIJJAR)
|9||Managua||private||2002||Business, 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||2002||Communication, philosophy, social work, theology|
|Keiser University-Latin American Campus (KU)||9||San Marcos||500||private||1993||Business, informatics||Formerly Ave Maria University; became Keiser University in 2013.|
|La American University (LAAU)||8||Managua||2007||Architecture, business, informatics, law, pharmacology, psychology||Not to be confused with the American University (UAM).|
| La Anunciata University |
Universidad La Anunciata (UA)
|5||Rivas||private||2002||Business, informatics, pharmacology|
| La Salle Technological University |
Universidad Tecnológica La Salle (ULSA)
|4||León||private, Lasallian brothers||2009||Engineering, informatics|
| Latin American Institute of Computing |
Instituto Latinoamericano de Computación (ILCOMP)
|6||Managua, Matagalpa, Masaya||2002||Business, informatics||Founded in 1991, ILCOMP was accredited as a university in 2002.|
| 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||4000||private||1999||Business, education, informatics, law, psychology, theology|
| Martin Luther University |
Universidad Martín Lutero (UML)
|15||Managua, Jalapa, Ocotal, Quilalí, Condega, Muelle de los Bueyes, Nueva Guinea, Rivas, Somoto||private||2002||Business, education, informatics, journalism, law, nursing, theology|
| Metropolitan University |
Universidad Metropolitana (UNIMET)
|8||Managua||private||2002||Business, civil engineering, informatics, law|
| National Agrarian University |
Universidad Nacional Agraria (UNA)
|12||Managua, Camoapa, Juigalpa||4110||public||1990||Agriculture, environmental science, forestry, rural development, veterinary medicine||Founded 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||19850||public||1812||Business, dentistry, education, engineering, informatics, law, medicine, nursing, natural sciences, veterinary medicine||The 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||33629||public||1969||Architecture, business, dance, education, engineering, health, humanities, informatics, languages, law, science||The 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||12261||public||1983||Architecture, engineering|
| Nicaraguan Technological University |
Universidad Tecnológica Nicaragüense (UTN)
|21||Managua, León||private||1997||Business, engineering, informatics|
| Nicaraguan University of Science and Technology |
Universidad Nicaragüense de Ciencia y Tecnología (UCYT)
|17||Managua||private||2002||Business, informatics, law, psychology|
| Paulo Freire University |
Universidad Paulo Freire (UPF)
|13||Managua, Diriamba, Río San Juan, Matagalpa||private||2002||Business, education, health sciences, law, social studies|
| Polytechnic University of Nicaragua |
Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI)
|24||Managua, Boaco, Estelí, Rivas||9463||private, non-profit||1967||Business, design, informatics, law, nursing, theology||Founded by the Nicaraguan Baptist Convention.|
| Popular University of Nicaragua |
Universidad Popular de Nicaragua (UPONIC)
|16||Managua, Matagalpa, Masaya, Granada, Juigalpa, Estelí, Chinandega||private||1992||Business, education, engineering, informatics, law|
| Ruben Dario University |
Universidad Rubén Darío (URD)
|3||Diriamba, Managua||1992||Business, informatics, law, pharmacology, psychology|
| Spanish-American University |
Universidad Hispanoamericana (UHISPAM)
|13||Managua||private||1999||Business, informatics, journalism, law, pharmacology, psychology|
| Technical University of Commerce |
Universidad Técnica de Comercio (UTC)
|12||Managua||private||2001||Business, informatics||Founded in 1966 as the Polytechnic School of Commerce.|
| Thomas More Universitas |
Universidad Thomas More (UTM)
| University of Administration, Commerce and Customs |
Universidad de Administración, Comercio y Aduana (UNACAD)
|1||Managua, Somoto, Chinandega, Rivas, Bluefields||private||2003||Business, law|
| University of Chinandega |
Universidad de Chinandega (UACH)
|10||Chinandega||private||1997||Business, engineering, law|
| University of Commercial Sciences |
Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales (UCC)
|26||Managua, León||private||1997||Architecture, business, design, informatics, veterinary medicine||Founded 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.|
| 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||2008||Business, construction engineering, informatics, journalism, law, pharmacology, psychology|
| University of Managua |
Universidad de Managua (UdeM)
|10||Managua, León||private||1998||Business, informatics, journalism, law|
| University of Medical Sciences |
Universidad de Ciencias Médicas (UCM)
|2||Managua||2006||Dentistry, medicine, nutrition, pharmacology|
| University of Northern Nicaragua |
Universidad del Norte de Nicaragua (UNN)
|17||Jinotega, Matagalpa, Estelí, Ocotal, Somoto, Jalapa, Sébaco||1997||Agricultural engineering, business, informatics, law, psychology, sociology|
| University of Oriental Medicine Japan-Nicaragua |
Universidad de Medicina Oriental Japón-Nicaragua (UMO-JN)
|1||Managua||private, non-profit||2003||Oriental medicine||Formerly the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Medicina Oriental Japón-Nicaragua (IESMO). The first university in Latin America dedicated to train professionals in oriental medicine.|
| University of St. Thomas |
Universidad Santo Tomas de Oriente y Mediodía (USTOM)
| University of Technology and Commerce |
Universidad de Tecnología y Comercio (UNITEC)
| University of the Americas |
Universidad de las Américas (ULAM)
| 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||4438||1992||Agriculture, 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||private||1999||Architecture, business, design, law|
| Walter Mendoza Martínez Police Academy |
Academia de Policía Walter Mendoza Martínez (ACAPOL)
|2||Managua||public||2000||Law||Founded in 1979; received university status in 2000.|
| Western University |
Universidad de Occidente (UDO)
|20||León, Managua, Granada||1994||Business, engineering, law, nursing, pharmacology|
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Sitio Oficial UNIAG