Skip to page content
Coat of arms of PUC-Rio

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

History and Mission

PUC-Rio was the first private higher education institution in the country, created by the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1940 by Cardinal D. Sebastião Leme and Father Leonel Franca S.J.

Beyond providing education, PUC-Rio undertook the task of assisting the community, based on Christian ethical values, solidarity and human respect. It represents a space for achievement, overcoming challenges and development of its students.

The university operates under the supervision of the Society of Jesus and under the supreme authority of the Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro as its Grand Chancellor.

PUC-Rio is a non-profit philanthropic institution.

It is thus a Catholic university based in Christian humanistic principles.

It welcomes students, staff members, teachers, researchers and administrators of all religions, nationalities, ethnic groups and social classes.

The referential starting-point of PUC-Rio is the complete development of the human being in two main perspectives: the philosophical and the theological. Besides that, it is a doctoral research institution that focuses primarily in the development of academic and scientific knowledge.  

PUC-Rio is, above all, a community of people, teachers, students and staff members united by a common interest in seeking the truth and acting in accordance with the needs of the society and with the ever changing world around us.
1946   - PUC-Rio acquired the status of university.
1947 - The title of Pontifical was conferred, a rare honor conceded by the Vatican establishing a special link between this university and the Pope
1955 - The institution moved to the present campus.
1960 - First main frame computer installed exclusively for academic purpose in a Brazilian university.
1963 - Creation of the first graduate courses (Master Degree only).

- First student to obtain a Master of Science Degree in a Brazilian Institution (Mechanical Engineering).

1968 - Introduction of the Credit System; Beginning of PhD courses; (re)organization of the University in Academic Centers and Departments; first offering of Portuguese as a second language in a Brazilian institution.
1969 - Creation of the Portuguese as a Second Language course, pioneer in Brazil.

-  Creation of the Rio Datacentro (RDC). First computer science center in a Brazilian university.

1980 - Inauguration of the Solar Grandjean de Montigny, the University Museum - Monument overthrown for the SPHAN.
1991 -  Creation of the International Programs Office, now, International Program Central Coordination Office (CCCI).
1997 - Inauguration of the Genesis Institute (Companies Incubator) – responsible for students to combine academic and entrepreneurial development through their participation in business units related to their specific areas of interest.

-  Inauguration of the new Gymnasium Fr. Ormindo Viveiros de Castro.

2003 - Inauguration of the RDC Open Space and Wi-Fi Net.
2009 - Inauguration of the PUC-Rio Institute of Digital Medias, the first digital media institute created in Brazil.
Petrobrás' Building - in construction - for research development.
2011 - Inauguration of the PUC-Rio Confucius Institute
2012 – 20th Anniversary of the International Cooperation Central Coordination Office
2014 PUC is granted the status of a public non-state institution – a communitarian university