List of universities in Nicaragua

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Mural in memory of the massacre of four students of the University of Leόn 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 1812, and dates back to the Spanish colonial period. The National Council of Universities is the body responsible for strategic planning in Nicaragua.[1]

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.[2] Nicaragua's higher education system consists of 48 universities, and 113 colleges and technical institutes in the areas of electronics, computer systems and sciences, agroforestry, construction and trade-related services.[3] In 2005, almost 400,000 (7%) of Nicaraguans held a university degree.[4]

Academic degrees[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1][5]

Title Type Duration Pre-requisite
Técnico Superior Associate degree 2 to 3 years High school diploma.
Licenciado Bachelor's degree 4 to 5 years. High school diploma.
Ingeniero Engineer's degree 5 to 6 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 MD's. BD, ED or MD.
Máster Master's degree 2 years. BD, ED or MD.
Doctor Doctorate 3 to 5 years. Master's degree.


This is a list of the 56 universities and other higher education institutions accredited by the National Council of Universities in Nicaragua.[6][7][8]


  • Names in bold indicates that the university is a member of the National Council of Universities (CNU).
  • Main campus first on universities with multiple locations.
University Image Location Year of foundation Remarks
Adventist University of Nicaragua
Universidad Adventista de Nicaragua (UNADENIC)
Managua 2003
American College (AC) Managua 2005
American University
Universidad Americana (UAM)
Managua 1992 Not to be confused with La American University (LAAU).
Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU) Bluefields 1992
Catholic University of Dry Tropic Farming and Livestock
Universidad Católica Agropecuaria del Trópico Seco (UCATSE)
Estelí 1974
Catholic University Redemptoris Mater
Universidad Católica Redemptoris Mater (UNICA)
Managua 1992 UNICA was the first private for-profit university founded in Nicaragua.[9]
Center for Advanced Military Studies
Centro Superior de Estudios Militares (CSEM)
Managua 1993
Central American University
Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)

UCA Biblioteca.jpg

Managua 1960
Central American University of Business Studies
Universidad Centroamericana de Ciencias Empresariales (UCEM)
Managua 1997
Central University of Nicaragua
Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN)
Managua, Jinotepe, Estelí 1998 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)
Managua 2001
Ibero-American University of Science and Technology
Universidad Iberoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (UNICIT)
Managua 1997
Immaculate Conception Catholic University of the Archdiocese of Managua
Universidad Católica Inmaculada Concepción de la Arquidiócesis de Managua (UCICAM)
Managua 2011
INCAE Business School
Instituto Centroamericano de Administracion de Empresas (INCAE)
Managua 1964 INCAE’s first campus in Montefresco, Managua, opened on June 20, 1969.
International School of Agriculture and Livestock
Escuela Internacional de Agricultura y Ganadería (EIAG)
Rivas 1951
International University for Sustainable Development
Universidad Internacional de Desarrollo Sostenible (UNIDES)
Managua 2005
International University of Latin American Integration
Universidad Internacional de la Integración de América Latina (UNIVAL)
Managua 1997
Japan-Nicaragua College of Oriental Medicine
Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Medicina Oriental Japón-Nicaragua (IESMO)
Managua 2003 IESMO is the first university in Latin America dedicated to train professionals in oriental medicine.[10]
Jean Jacques Rosseau University
Universidad Jean Jacques Rosseau (UNIJJAR)
Managua 2002
John Paul II University of Applied Social Sciences
Universidad de Ciencias Sociales Aplicadas Juan Pablo II (UCSA)
Managua 2002
Keiser University-Latin American Campus (KU) San Marcos 1993 Started as University of Mobile in 1993. Acquired by Ave Maria College in 1999 and rebranded as Ave Maria University in 2007. Became Keiser University in 2013.
La American University (LAAU) Managua 2007 Not to be confused with the American University (UAM).
La Anunciata University
Universidad La Anunciata (UA)
Rivas 2002
La Salle Technological University
Universidad Tecnológica La Salle (ULSA)
León 2009
Latin American Institute of Computing
Instituto Latinoamericano de Computación (ILCOMP)
Managua, Matagalpa 1991 ILCOMP was accredited as an university in 2002.[11]
Martin Luther King Nicaraguan Evangelical University
Universidad Evangélica Nicaragüense Martin Luther King (UENIC-MLK)
Managua 1999
Martin Luther University
Universidad Martín Lutero (UML)
Managua 2002
Metropolitan University
Universidad Metropolitana (UNIMET)
Managua 2002
National Agrarian University
Universidad Nacional Agraria (UNA)
Managua, Juigalpa, Camoapa, Carazo 1917 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
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN)
Managua, Estelí, Matagalpa, Jinotepe, Juigalpa 1812 The Managua campus of UNAN opened in 1969. Since 1982, UNAN and UNAN-León operates as separate entities.
National Autonomous University of Nicaragua-León
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua-León (UNAN-León)


León, Jinotega 1812 The oldest university in Nicaragua and the last one founded by the Spanish colony in the Americas.
National University of Engineering
Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI)

New building of the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Managua, 2013.jpg

Managua 1983
Nicaraguan Technological University
Universidad Tecnológica Nicaragüense (UTN)
Managua, León 1997
Nicaraguan University of Science and Technology
Universidad Nicaragüense de Ciencia y Tecnología (UCYT)
Managua 2003
Paulo Freire University
Universidad Paulo Freire (UPF)
Managua 2002
Polytechnic University of Nicaragua
Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI)
Managua, Boaco, Estelí, Rivas 1967
Popular University of Nicaragua
Universidad Popular de Nicaragua (UPONIC)
Managua 1992
Ruben Dario University
Universidad Rubén Darío (URD)
Diriamba, Managua 1992
Spanish-American University
Universidad Hispanoamericana (UHISPAM)
Managua 1999
Technical University of Commerce
Universidad Técnica de Comercio (UTC)
Managua 2001 Founded in 1966 as the Polytechnic School of Commerce.
Thomas More Universitas
Universidad Thomas More (UTM)
Managua 2000
University of Administration, Commerce and Customs
Universidad de Administración, Comercio y Aduana (UNACAD)
Managua 2003
University of Chinandega
Universidad de Chinandega (UACH)
Chinandega 1997
University of Commercial Sciences
Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales (UCC)
Managua, León 1964
University of Health Sciences and Renewable Energy
Universidad de Ciencias de la Salud y Energía Renovables (UCSER)
Somoto N/A
University of Humanistic Studies
Universidad de Estudios Humanísticos (UNEH)
Managua, Jinotepe, Masaya, Juigalpa 2008
University of Managua
Universidad de Managua (UdeM)
Managua, León 1998
University of Medical Sciences
Universidad de Ciencias Médicas (UCM)
Managua 2006
University of Northern Nicaragua
Universidad del Norte de Nicaragua (UNN)
Jinotega, Matagalpa, Estelí, Ocotal, Somoto, Jalapa, Sébaco 1997
University of St. Thomas
Universidad Santo Tomas de Oriente y Mediodía (USTOM)
Granada 2003
University of Technology and Commerce
Universidad de Tecnología y Comercio (UNITEC)
Managua 2005
University of the Americas
Universidad de las Américas (ULAM)
Managua 1998
University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast
Universidad de las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe Nicaragüense (URACCAN)
URACCAN.jpg Bilwi, Siuna, Bluefields, Nueva Guinea 1992
University of the Valley
Universidad del Valle (UNIVALLE)
Managua 1999
Walter Mendoza Martínez Police Academy
Academia de Policía Walter Mendoza Martínez (ACAPOL)
Managua 1979
Western University
Universidad de Occidente (UDO)
León, Managua, Granada 1994

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.