Saint Joseph University

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Saint Joseph University
of Beirut
Université Saint-Joseph
de Beyrouth
MottoAd Majorem Dei Gloriam (Latin)
Motto in English
Excellence of a nation
TypePrivate Roman Catholic Research Non-profit Coeducational Higher education institution
Established1875; 146 years ago (1875)
Religious affiliation
Catholic (Jesuit)
Academic affiliations
PresidentFr. Salim Georges Daccache, SJ
General SecretaryFouad Maroun
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Other students
841 foreign students
Damascus Road, Mar Mikhael Beirut
Damascus Road

PO Box 17-5208 Mar Mikhael

Beirut 1004 2020 - Lebanon
33°53′28″N 35°30′30″E / 33.89111°N 35.50833°E / 33.89111; 35.50833Coordinates: 33°53′28″N 35°30′30″E / 33.89111°N 35.50833°E / 33.89111; 35.50833
Campus5 urban campuses in Beirut, 3 regional university centers in Sidon, Zahlé and Tripoli, Lebanon, and 1 in Dubai
Sporting affiliations
Lebanese Universities Sports Federation UniLeague Championship

Saint Joseph University (French: Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, "USJ") is a private Catholic research university in Beirut, Lebanon, founded in 1875 by the Jesuits.[2] According to the 2012–2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, powered by Thomson Reuters, Saint Joseph University ranks as the second best[3] university in Lebanon (after American University of Beirut, which is ranked 87 in Asia), and among the top academic institutions in the Middle East.[4][5] Its alumni include numerous Lebanese presidents, ministers, philosophers, intellectuals, clerics and beyond. As Lebanon's oldest and main French medium university, while promoting Lebanese culture, admission openly disregards any ethno-religious affiliations, encouraging trilingualism of French, Arabic and English. Additionally, it is known for its university hospital, Hôtel-Dieu de France.

The 12,000-student enrollment is served by an academic staff of 1,873 and support staff of 500, distributed over its 12 faculties, 24 institutes and schools across five campuses in Beirut, with regional university centres in Sidon, Tripoli, Lebanon and Zahlé, as well as one foreign center situated in Dubai.

USJ is the only university in the Middle East to adhere to the European ECTS university academic credits system, while also officially recognised by and in accord with the higher education law of Lebanon. It maintains some 150 various international agreements.


Medical school chapel

In 1839 the Jesuits came to Beirut and established a modest school.[6]

This was followed in 1855 by a school in Ghazir, Kisruwan, which would be moved to Beirut in 1875. Legal authorities graced the new school with the title of "university", which allowed it to grant academic degrees, mainly doctoral degrees in philosophy and theology.

The foundation of faculties and institutes followed. For instance, the Institute of Medicine founded in 1883, would become the Faculty of Medicine in 1888. then the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1889. A maternity clinic opened in 1896, followed by the Oriental College in 1902. The university has been noted for establishing a French presence in the eastern Mediterranean.[7] Later, the School for French Law was added in 1913 which became the Faculty of Law in 1946.[8] The French School of Engineering also founded in 1913 would become the Higher Institute for Engineering in 1948.[9] The university launched Berytech, a business development center, in 2008.[10] In 2012, the Faculty of Economics launched a new master's degree in web science and digital economy, the first of its kind in the Middle East region.[11]

The university ranks high for the quality of its publications.[12]


Saint Joseph University ranks as the second best[3] university in Lebanon, rivaling American University of Beirut as the nation's foremost French medium university, and among the top academic institutions in all of the Middle East.[4][5]

University departments include: French Letters, Sociology and Anthropology (sociology, human resources management, information and communication), History (History, Archeology, Studies and Strategic Research), Geography (tourist organization, environmental organization), Philosophy, and Psychology (Psychology, Educational Sciences). There is also an Institute of Oriental Letters (Arabic and Oriental Letters, Arabic Philosophy and History, Islamology, Education in the Arab States) and Language and Translation Institute. Diplomas awarded are: bachelor's, master's, post-graduate, and doctorate. There is also the Lebanese School of Social Formation, Institute of scenic, audiovisual and cinematographic studies, and Lebanese Institute of Educators. The university has faculties of law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, and agronomy.[13] The Social Sciences Campus is known for its competitive bachelor programs that prepare students to pursue master's degrees in top universities and business schools in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, England, United States and Canada.

Additionally, it is known for its institutions such as CEDRAC and the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. The university is host to a valuable library of Oriental manuscripts.[14] The business school has received an "excellent" ranking from EDUNIVERSAL.[15]


Campus of Innovation and Sports, Damascus Street, Beirut

Saint Joseph University Beirut campuses include:

  • Campus of Medical and Infirmary Sciences, Damascus Street
  • Campus of Science and Technology, Mar Roukouz
  • Campus of Social Sciences, Huvelin Street
  • Human Sciences Campus of the Saint Joseph University in Beirut
    Campus of Human Sciences, Damascus Street
  • Campus of Innovation and Sports, Damascus Street

The three regional centers are located in Sidon (south), Zahlé (Bekaa), and Tripoli (north). In addition, the university operates 12 facilities and 22 specialized schools and institutes, including the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory on Université Saint-Joseph Street. It also hosts a center for banking and business studies and three centers for dental care, orthophony, and psycho-motility.

In 2008, Saint Joseph University opened a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Saint Joseph University - Dubai offers a bachelor's degree in Law and a Master of Arts in Translation. The Campus is located in Dubai International Academic City. The University is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai.

International cooperation[edit]

USJ has more than 70 conventions with foreign universities, and mainly with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., United States. It also has more than 200 professors on missions abroad and an administrative office in Paris,

The university belongs to the following associations and is linked to over 100 Arab, European, American, and Canadian universities through accords for cooperation.

Notable alumni and academics[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "L'USJ en chiffres" [The USJ in figures]. (in French). St. Joseph University. 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "Saint Joseph University is". St. Joseph University. Archived from the original on July 3, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Chrabieh, Pamela. "Where is Lebanon in World's university ranking?". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth Rankings". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Arab_world - Ranking Web of Universities". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Étienne F. Augé (2016). "Éducation et culture". Liban. De Boeck Supérieur. ISBN 9782804191078.
  7. ^ Herzstein, Rafaël (2011-12-01). "Une présence française en Méditerranée orientale : la fondation de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (1875-1914), French Presence in the Eastern Mediterranean : the Foundation of the Saint Joseph University in Beirut (1875-1914)". Matériaux Pour l'Histoire de Notre Temps (in French) (99): 4–11. ISSN 0769-3206.
  8. ^ "Entretien avec Fouad Maroun – 1875-2015 : l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth fête ses 140 ans - Les clés du Moyen-Orient". (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  9. ^ "History". St. Joseph University. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Nabil Sukkar (2017). "Forging Research Links Between Academia, Business and Industry in Syria and Lebanon". In Gómez, Aboujaoude; Feghali, Mahmoud (eds.). Modernizing Academic Teaching and Research in Business and Economics. Springer. p. 185.
  11. ^ "Master Web Science et économie numérique". St. Joseph University. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  12. ^ "USNEWS rankings". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Université Saint-Joseph USJ". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  14. ^ "Bibliothèque Orientale de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  15. ^ "Ranked N° 3 Université Saint Joseph - Faculté de Gestion et de Management (FGM) in Lebanon among the 3 palms". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  16. ^ Rola el Husseini (2004). "Lebanon: Building political dynasties". In Volker Perthes (ed.). Arab Elites: Negotiating the Politics of Change. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 9781588262660.
  17. ^ a b c "La composition du nouveau gouvernement". L'Orient Le Jour. December 19, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  18. ^ Amikam Nachmani, (1987) Israel, Turkey and Greece: Uneasy Relations in the East Mediterranean Routledge, ISBN 0-7146-3321-6 p 4
  19. ^ Eliyahu Sasson: Public Activities Knesset website
  20. ^ Joelle Khoury listed as having attended Saint Joseph University on page at

External links[edit]