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-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[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.[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]

Title Type Duration Pre-requisite
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
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

List of universities[edit]

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


  • 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 Degree programs (2012)[10] Locations Students[11] Type Founded / accredited[12] Main fields of study[10] 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.[13]
Center for Advanced Military Studies
Centro Superior de Estudios Militares (CSEM)
11 Managua public 1993 Military studies
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 [14]
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)
1 Managua Law
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)
4 Managua private 2005 Business, 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 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.[15]
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.[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 4000 private 1999 Business, 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 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)
9 Managua private 2000 Business
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.[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 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.[19]
University of St. Thomas
Universidad Santo Tomas de Oriente y Mediodía (USTOM)
6 Granada private 2003 Business, law
University of Technology and Commerce
Universidad de Tecnología y Comercio (UNITEC)
7 Managua private 2005 Business, informatics
University of the Americas
Universidad de las Américas (ULAM)
7 Managua private 1998 Business, 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 4438 1992 Agriculture, business, education, fisheries science, forestry
University of Pacific
Universidad del Pacífico (UNIP)
4 Managua private 2012 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tunnermann Bernheim C, La educación superior en Nicaragua. Avaliação, 13:2, 2008, doi:10.1590/S1414-40772008000200006
  2. ^ a b c The Europa World of Learning 2010. Volume 2, 60th edition. P. 1500-1502
  3. ^ "Nicaragua Education". Retrieved 2007-05-09.
  4. ^ "Human Capital: Education and Training". ProNicaragua. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  5. ^ "Central American Countries of the Future 2005/2006". 2005-08-01. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  6. ^ "Aranceles y carreras 2013". Archived from the original on 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  7. ^ UNESCO The International Association of Universities (IAU), 2004
  8. ^ CNU Consejo Nacional de Universidades - official list of universities
  9. ^ Instituciones legalmente acreditadas por el CNU al 01/12/2008
  10. ^ a b Consejo Nacional de Universidades. "Inventario de Carreras 2012". Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  11. ^ Consejo Nacional de Universidades. "Estadísticas 2011". Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  12. ^ "UNESCO". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-03-12.
  13. ^ "Historia de la UNICA". Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  14. ^ Universidad Cristiana Autónoma de Nicaragua. "Web Page". Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  15. ^ Keiser University. "New Release 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-09.
  16. ^ Acerca de ILCOMP
  17. ^ Education Database
  18. ^ UCC Nuestra Identidad Archived 2013-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Universidad de Medicina Oriental Japón-Nicaragua (UMO-JN)

Sitio Oficial UNIAG