Universidad San Francisco de Quito

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Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Motto Studium, Progressus, Labor (in Latin)
Motto in English
Study, Progress, Work
Type Private university
Established 1988
Chancellor Santiago Gangotena, Ph.D.
President Carlos Montúfar, Ph.D.
Academic staff
300 full-time faculty
Administrative staff
Students 5,500
Undergraduates 4,500
Postgraduates 150
Location Quito, Ecuador
Coordinates: 0°11′46″S 78°26′08″W / 0.19611°S 78.43556°W / -0.19611; -78.43556
Campus Three throughout Ecuador, in Cumbayá-Quito, Galápagos Islands, and Tiputini Biodiversity Station, next to the Yasuni National Park
Umbrella organization Corporación de Promoción Universitaria
Colours Red     
Athletics USFQ Fútbol Club
Affiliations Berklee International Network
Institut Paul Bocuse Worldwide Alliance
Confucius Institute
Mascot Dragon
Website usfq.edu.ec (in Spanish)

Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ (informally Universidad San Francisco, or simply USFQ) is a liberal-arts, non-profit[citation needed], private university located in Quito, Ecuador. It was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador and the first liberal-arts institution in the Andean region.[1][2]

Academically, USFQ ranks as one of the three-top universities (category A) in the ranking of Ecuadorian universities (being the only totally private university to qualify for the highest category), issued by the Ecuadorian Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of High Education (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación y Acreditación de la Educación Superior CONEA).[3][4] In 2009, it was ranked first in Ecuador in relation to the number of peer-reviewed scientific publications.[5]

The university now enrolls 5,500 students, 4,500 of whom are undergraduates. The university each year has about 100 indigenous students and 1000 international students participate in USFQ academic programs. USFQ has developed a scholarship program for indigenous students, offering full scholarships to the best students of public high schools throughout Ecuador.[6] Although USFQ receives no funding from the government of Ecuador, its faculty comprises one-half of all the people in that nation who hold a doctorate.[1]

USFQ main campus is located in Cumbayá, outside of Quito (capital city of Ecuador), where students use a library, education and research laboratories, classrooms, and seven restaurants. USFQ is the only university in the world that owns a campus in the Galapagos Islands, and a campus in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (Tiputini Biodiversity Station), one of Earth's most biodiverse areas.[1][2]


Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ was founded in 1988[1] by the Corporación de Promoción Universitaria, its umbrella non-profit foundation. It was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador. It was named after the city of Quito: San Francisco de Quito (not after the saint), in response to the need of a private higher-education institution in Ecuador. It was recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Ecuador in October 1995 and accredited by CONESUP in May 2001.[7]

Establishment of the Corporación de Promoción Universitaria[edit]

In 1980, a group of Ecuadorian and international intellectuals and businesspeople, under the leadership of Santiago Gangotena González, established the non-profit Corporación de Promoción Universitaria, with the mission to create a private Ecuadorian university. The corporation was legalized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Ecuador in June 1985 (published in the Official Registry of the Ecuadorian Government in 28 de June 1985).

Foundation of the University[edit]

After eight years of planning and promotion, the first class of USFQ students started on September 1, 1988, in a manor located on the 12 de Octubre Ave. 1983 and Salazar St.,in the northern area of Quito, with 130 students. The university was recognized by the Ecuadorian government on October 18, 1995, under Executive Decree 3166, published in the Official Registry 809 on October 25, 1995. The statutes of the university were approved by the National Council of High Education CONESUP on May 18, 2001.

Creation of the colleges[edit]

USFQ is divided among academic colleges (faculties). In 1988, students were distributed among three academic colleges: Colegio de Administración para el Desarrollo for business studies, Colegio de Ciencias Aplicadas for applied sciences, and Colegio de Comunicación y Cultura for communication, arts and cultural studies. In 1990, USFQ started the Colegio de Ciencias Ambientales for environmental sciences.

In 1992, six colleges were established: Colegio de Administración para el Desarrollo, Colegio de Comunicación y Artes, Colegio de Ciencias Ambientales, Colegio de Ciencias Aplicadas, Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, y Colegio de Lenguas. Subsequently in 1993, the Colegio de Arquitectura started, followed in 1994 by the Colegio de Agricultura and the Colegio de Ciencias de la Salud. In 1997, the Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades changed its name to Colegio de Artes Liberales.

Colleges of the university[edit]

By 2017, USFQ is divided in 15 academic colleges and institutes spread across three campuses across Ecuador (Cumbayá-Quito, Tiputini Biodiversity Station, and the Galápagos Islands[1]):

  • Colegio de Administración y Economía (CADE) - College of Business Administration and Economics
  • Colegio de Arquitectura y Diseño Interior (CADI) - College of Architecture and Interior Design
  • Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades (COCISOH) - College of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales (COCIBA) - College of Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • Colegio de Ciencias de la Salud (COCSA) - College of Health Science
  • Colegio de Ciencias e Ingeniería (Politécnico) - College of Sciences and Engineering - The Polytechnic
  • Colegio de Comunicación y Artes Contemporáneas (COCOA) - College of Communication and Contemporary Arts
  • Colegio de Hospitalidad, Arte Culinario y Turismo (CHAT) - College of Hospitality, Culinary Arts, and Tourism
  • Colegio de Jurisprudencia (JUR)- College of Jurisprudence
  • Colegio de Musica (CoM) - College of Music
  • Academia Regional de Redes CISCO-USFQ - Regional CISCO-USFQ Academy
  • GAIAS - Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences
  • Instituto Confucio - Confucius Institute
  • Instituto de Enseñanza y Aprendizaje (IDEA) - Institute of Teaching and Learning
  • Instituto de Lenguas Extranjeras (ILE) - Institute of Foreign Languages

Contributions to the advancement of science and society[edit]

  • DØ experiment, by Bruce Hoeneisen, founder and professor of the Physics department at the Colegio de Ciencias e Ingeniería El Politécnico, USFQ.
  • Hosting the First and Second World Summit on Evolution (called "The Woodstock of Evolution"[8])
  • Extending higher education to indigenous people, with the largest Ecuadorian scholarship program focused solely on native Ecuadorian people.[1]
  • Conducting one of the largest studies in the country on the effects of environmental changes on diarrheal disease, Project EcoDess[9]
  • Making revolutionary genetic discoveries on the Rotavirus and Leptospira, by the Institute of Microbiology[10] of the Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales (COCIBA), USFQ.
  • Discovering and describing the first animal genus (Nymphargus) described by an Ecuadorian, by Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, professor of the Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales (COCIBA), USFQ.[11]
  • Working on the publication of the book on Important Bird Area of Ecuador.[12][13]
  • Research on the biodiversity of Amazonia, confirming that Yasuni has global conservation significance due to its biodiversity and potential to sustain this biodiversity in the long term.[14]
  • Involvement in all major films of last-decade Ecuadorian cinema, including Ratas, ratones y rateros, Crónicas by Sebastián Cordero, and Qué tan lejos by Tania Hermida.


The university has developed traditions, including:

  • The Day of the University Dies Universitatis (El Día de la Universidad), celebrates the foundation of the university and is held on the first Thursday of September.[15]
  • The White Coat Ceremony (La Ceremonia del Mandil Blanco), marks the transition of the students of the College of Health Sciences from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences.[16]
  • Academic dress is worn by faculty and students during the graduation ceremonies and on the Day of the University.


USFQ offers undergraduate degrees (Bachelor of Arts/BA, Bachelor of Science/BS), professional degrees (Architect, Lawyer, Engineer), and postgraduate degrees (Master's and Trainings).

Bachelor's degrees[edit]

Bachelor of Arts[edit]

  • Business Administration (Administración de Empresas)
  • Hospitality Management (Administración de Empresas de Hospitalidad)
  • Digital Animation (Animación Digital)
  • Contemporary Art (Arte Contemporáneo)
  • Contemporary Music (Música Contemporanea)
  • Culinary Art (Arte Culinario)
  • Food and Beverages Management (Administración de Alimentos y Bebidas)
  • Liberal Arts (Artes Liberales)
  • Cinema and Video (Cine y Video)
  • Environmental Communication (Comunicación Ambiental)
  • Organizational Communication and Public Relations (Comunicación Organizacional y Relaciones Públicas)
  • Advertising (Comunicación Publicitaria)
  • Communication Design (Diseño Comunicacional)
  • Economics (Economía)
  • Education (Educación)
  • Finance (Finanzas)
  • Interactivity and Multimedia (Interactividad y Multimedia)
  • Marketing (Marketing)
  • Multimedia Journalism (Periodismo Multimedios)
  • Musical Production and Sound (Producción Musical y Sonido)
  • International Relations (Relaciones Internacionales)
  • Psicology (Sicología)
  • Psicology and Human Resources (Sicología y Recursos Humanos)

Bachelor of Science[edit]

  • Applied Ecology (Ecología Aplicada)
  • Biology (Biología)
  • Biotechnology (Biotecnología)
  • Marine Ecology (Ecología Marina)
  • Mathematics (Matemáticas)
  • Human Nutrition (Nutrición Humana)
  • Physics (Física)
  • Chemistry (Química)

Professional degrees[edit]

  • Architect (Arquitecto)
  • Clinical Psicologist (Sicólogo Clínico)
  • Dentist (Odontólogo)
  • Interior Designer (Diseñador de Interiores)
  • Lawyer (Abogado); Typically in South American Civil Law tradition countries, a professional degree will be given in the undergraduate term. This is similar to the previous B. L. Degree, or Bachelor in Law.
  • Medical Doctor (Medico)
  • Optometrist (Optometrista)
  • Sommellerie, certified by La Cofradía del Vino
  • Veterinarian (Veterinario)
  • Aerospace Engineer (Ingeniero Aeroespacial)
  • Agribusiness Engineer (Ingeniero Agroempresario)
  • Biotechnological Engineer (Ingeniero Biotecnólogo)
  • Civil Engineer (Ingeniero Civil)
  • Environmental Engineer (Ingeniero Ambiental)
  • Electric and Electronic Engineer (Ingeniero Eléctrico y Electrónico)
  • Foods Engineer (Ingeniero de Alimentos)
  • Industrial Engineer (Ingeniero Industrial)
  • Systems Engineer (Ingeniero de Sistemas)
  • Mechanical Engineer (Ingeniero Mecánico)
  • Chemical Engineer (Ingeniero Químico)

Postgraduate degrees[edit]

  • Training in Primary Health Care (Especialización en Atención Primaria de la Salud)
  • Training in Health Economy (Especialización en Economía de la Salud)
  • Training in Geographic Information Systems GIS (Especialización en Sistemas de Información Geográfica SIG)
  • Training in Mathematics Teaching (Especialización en Docencia Matemática)
  • Training in Banking and Finances (Especialización en Banca y Finanzas)
  • Several training programs in Dentistry
  • Master of Business Administration MBA (Maestría en Administración de Empresas)
  • Master of Banking and Finances (Maestría en Banca y Finanzas)
  • Master of Administrative Law (Maestría en Derecho Administrativo)
  • Master of Business Law (Maestría en Derecho de Empresa)
  • Master of Management of Construction and Real State Business (Maestría en Dirección de Empresas Constructoras e Inmobiliarias)
  • Master of Tropical Ecology and Natural Resources Management (Maestría en Ecología con Mención en Ecología Tropical y Manejo de Recursos Naturales)
  • Master of Education (Maestría en Educación)
  • Master of Chinese Phylosophy (Maestría en Filosofía China)
  • Master of Physics (Maestría en Física)
  • Master of Applied Mathematics (Maestría en Matemática Aplicada)
  • Master of Microbiology (Maestría en Microbiología)
  • Master in Public Health (Maestría en Salud Pública)
  • Master of Geographic Information Systems GIS (Maestría en Sistemas de Información Geográfica SIG)
  • Master of Sustainable Energetic Development (Maestría en Desarrollo Energético Sustentable)


  • Four hundred students participate in the mandatory community service program every semester.
  • The university offers approximately 1,500 different courses every semester.
  • It receives no funding from the Ecuadorian government.
  • The university has a dental and medical clinic that serves the local community.
  • Its library features on-line services.
  • It has collaborative agreements with over one hundred universities in the United States and around the world.
  • The university has a satellite campus on the Galápagos Islands (GAIAS) where it offers full degrees, as well as specialized programs focused on biology and environmental studies.
  • It manages, in conjunction with the American Boston University, located in Boston, Massachusetts, the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) in the Amazon Basin. The TBS holds record numbers for biodiversity; it is the most diverse place for amphibians in the planet, with 121 species. In the February 1999 issue of National Geographic, journalist Virginia Morell called the TBS "the most remarkable place" after visiting several sites around the world in order to write a series of articles on biodiversity.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Sobre la USFQ [1].
  2. ^ a b Universidad San Francisco de Quito @QSTopUniversities [2].
  3. ^ "Calificación de las universidades según el CONEA". Vistazo.com. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  4. ^ CONEA: sólo 11 Universidades tienen calificación "A" y 9 calificación "B" [3]
  5. ^ Orbe, T. 2009. Ecuador produce pocas publicaciones científicas. Scidev.Net [4].
  6. ^ David E. Weaver. 2008. Transforming universities: The expediency of interculturality for indigenous superior education in Ecuador. MS Thesis, Tulane University. http://books.google.com.ec/books?id=e6dkwYIabIYC
  7. ^ [5]. conesup.net.
  8. ^ Shermer, Michael. 27 June 2005. The Woodstock of Evolution. Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-woodstock-of-evolutio&page=1
  9. ^ Proyecto Eco Dess http://www.sph.umich.edu/scr/ecodess/home.php?itemID=2&lang=English
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ Cisneros-Heredia and McDiarmid. 2007. Zootaxa http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2007f/z01572p082f.pdf
  12. ^ [7] by BirdLife International
  13. ^ "Aves & Conservación/BirdLife en Ecuador - Programa de Áreas Importantes para la Conservación de las Aves (IBAs)". Avesconservacion.org. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  14. ^ Bass MS, Finer M, Jenkins CN, Kreft H, Cisneros-Heredia DF, et al. 2010 Global Conservation Significance of Ecuador's Yasuní National Park. PLoS ONE 5(1): e8767. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008767
  15. ^ Día de la Universidad - Dies Universitatis http://usfq-ecuador.blogspot.com/2010/08/02-septiembre-dia-de-la-universidad.html
  16. ^ Ceremonia del Mandil Blanco https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfq1/sets/72157622908573822/with/4148527418/

External links[edit]