Saint Joseph University

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Saint Joseph University
of Beirut
Université Saint-Joseph
de Beyrouth
Latin: Universitas Sancti Iosephi Berytensis
MottoAd maiorem Dei gloriam (Latin)
Motto in English
For the greater glory of God and Excellence of a Nation
TypePrivate Roman Catholic Research Non-profit Coeducational Higher education institution
Established1875; 148 years ago (1875)
Religious affiliation
Catholic (Jesuit)
Academic affiliations
PresidentR.F. Dr. Salim Georges Daccache, S.J.
Academic staff
2 000[1]
Administrative staff
Students11 962
Other students
900 registered foreign students
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
Colors   Blue and white
Sporting affiliations
  • Lebanese Universities Sports Federation
  • UniLeague Championship
Logo of Saint Joseph University of Beirut.png

Saint Joseph University of Beirut (French: Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, abbreviated to and commonly known as "USJ") is a private Catholic research university located in Beirut, Lebanon, which was founded in 1875 by French Jesuit missionaries.[2] It is regarded among the top and most reputable academic institutions in Lebanon and the Middle East.[3][4] Its alumni include numerous Lebanese presidents, ministers, judges, lawyers, philosophers, writers, scientists, intellectuals, artists, clerics and beyond. As Lebanon's oldest and main French university, it promotes Lebanese culture while openly disregarding ethno-religious affiliations during admissions and encourages a trilingual teaching of French, Arabic and English. Additionally, it is known in Lebanon and the Middle East for its university hospital, the Hôtel-Dieu de France, and for its prestigious and historical Faculty of Law,[5] modern Lebanon's oldest law school and the first law school in Lebanon since the ancient Roman law school of Berytus,[6] which itself was one of the world's first law schools.

The 12,000-student enrollment is served by an academic staff of 2,000 and a support staff of 540, distributed over its 12 faculties, 24 institutes and schools across five campuses in Beirut, with regional university centres in Sidon, Tripoli and Zahlé, as well as one foreign center situated in Dubai, UAE.

USJ is the only university in the Middle East to adhere to the European ECTS university academic credits system, while also being 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, French Jesuit missionaries came to Beirut and established a modest catholic school.[7] Later, in 1855, the Jesuits founded a bigger school in Ghazir, which would later be moved to Beirut in 1875 to merge with the first school. Legal authorities quickly graced the new school with the title of "university", which allowed it to grant academic degrees, mainly doctoral degrees in philosophy and theology.

The creation of faculties and institutes followed the establishment of the university. For instance, the Institute of Medicine founded in 1883, became the Faculty of Medicine in 1888 and later the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1889. A maternity clinic opened in 1896, followed by the Oriental College in 1902. The university has since been noted for establishing a continuous French presence in the eastern Mediterranean.[8]

The School for French law was founded in 1913 and later became the Faculty of Law of Saint Joseph University in 1946.[9] To this day, the Faculty of Law still teaches both French and Lebanese laws in a comparative approach with most of its major law classes being taught in French.[10] The Faculty of Law enjoys a strong reputation in family law and private international law[11] as well as in other areas of international law. Current law faculty members have contributed to the development of the law in France, Lebanon and Gulf countries and other regions of the world.[12] The Institute for Political Sciences was first established in 1920.[12]

The French School of Engineering also founded in 1913 became the Higher Institute for Engineering in 1948.[13] The university launched Berytech, a business development center, in 2008.[14] 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.[15]

The university ranks very high for the quality of its publications.[16]


Saint Joseph University currently ranks as the second best[17] university in Lebanon, rivaling the nation's top English speaking American university, the American University of Beirut, as the nation's foremost French university, and among the top academic institutions in all of the Middle East.[18]

University departments include: French Letters, Sociology and Anthropology (sociology, human resources management, information and communication), History (history, archeology, comparative studies and strategic research), Geography (tourist organization, environmental organization), Philosophy, and Psychology (psychology, education sciences). The University also has an Institute of Oriental Letters (Arabic and oriental letters, Arabic philosophy and history, islamology, education in Arab countries) and a Linguistics and Translation Institute. The degrees the university awards are: bachelor's (BA, BS, LLB, BEng, BBA, BTheol, BCS, B.Ed, BSA, BM, B.Phil among many others), master's, post-graduate, and doctorate. The University is also home to the Lebanese School of Social Formation, the Institute of Scenic, Audiovisual and Cinematographic Studies (IESAV), and the Lebanese Institute of Educators. The university has faculties of law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, and agronomy.[19] The Social Sciences Campus (commonly known as "Huvelin" after its founder Paul-Louis Huvelin)[20] is known for its competitive bachelor programs that prepare students to pursue advanced master's degrees in top business and law schools in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, other member States of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada.

Additionally, it is known for its institutions such as CEDRAC and the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. The university is home to the Bibliothèque Orientale, one of the oldest and most prestigious research libraries of the Near East, and a repository ancient valuable Oriental books and manuscripts.[21] The business school has received an "excellent" ranking from Eduniversal.[22]


USJ Campus of Innovation and Sports on Damascus Street, Beirut.

Saint Joseph University of Beirut campuses include:

  • Campus of Medical and Infirmary Sciences, Damascus Street
  • Campus of Science and Technology, Mar Roukouz
  • Campus of Social Sciences, Huvelin Street, Rue Monnot
  • Campus of Human Sciences, Damascus Street
  • Campus of Innovation and Sports, Damascus Street

The three regional centers are located in Sidon (Southern Lebanon), Zahlé (Beqaa Valley), and Tripoli (Northern Lebanon). 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, speech therapy, 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 (LLB) 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 350 conventions with foreign universities, most notably 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, France.

The university belongs to the following associations and is linked to over 100 Arab, European, American, and Canadian universities through accords of 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. ^ "Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth (USJ)". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  4. ^ reporters, T. H. E. (2021-12-14). "Times Higher Education Awards Asia 2021: winners announced". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2022-09-20.
  5. ^ "La faculté de droit de l'USJ fête ses cent ans : un établissement qui a pesé sur le destin du Liban". L'Orient-Le Jour. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  6. ^ ""Béryte, mère des lois" : plus qu'une devise, un legs historique pour la "thaoura" libanaise". L'Orient-Le Jour. 2019-12-21. Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Étienne F. Augé (2016). "Éducation et culture". Liban. De Boeck Supérieur. ISBN 9782804191078.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Site de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth - USJ". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  11. ^ Gannagé, Pierre (2000). "Regards sur le droit international privé des Etats du Proche-Orient". Revue internationale de droit comparé. 52 (2): 417–427. doi:10.3406/ridc.2000.18102.
  12. ^ a b "Site de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth - USJ". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  13. ^ "History". St. Joseph University. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Master Web Science et économie numérique". St. Joseph University. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  16. ^ "USNEWS rankings". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  17. ^ Chrabieh, Pamela. "Where is Lebanon in World's university ranking?". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth Rankings". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Université Saint-Joseph USJ". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  20. ^ "La faculté de droit de l'USJ fête ses cent ans : un établissement qui a pesé sur le destin du Liban". L'Orient-Le Jour. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  21. ^ "Bibliothèque Orientale de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  22. ^ "Ranked N° 3 Université Saint Joseph - Faculté de Gestion et de Management (FGM) in Lebanon among the 3 palms". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  23. ^ Rola el Husseini (2004). "Lebanon: Building political dynasties". In Volker Perthes (ed.). Arab Elites: Negotiating the Politics of Change. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 9781588262660.
  24. ^ a b c "La composition du nouveau gouvernement". L'Orient Le Jour. December 19, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  25. ^ Amikam Nachmani, (1987) Israel, Turkey and Greece: Uneasy Relations in the East Mediterranean Routledge, ISBN 0-7146-3321-6 p 4
  26. ^ Eliyahu Sasson: Public Activities Knesset website
  27. ^ Joelle Khoury listed as having attended Saint Joseph University on page at

External links[edit]