The Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, PUC-Rio, the first private university in Brazil, is committed to high-quality teaching, applied research and scientific development, in order to constantly contribute for the education of critical and conscious citzens.
This commitment has helped the preparation of professionals who are capable of occupying high leadership and management posts, both in public service and private enterprises. It has also prepared students to become highly-qualified professionals in different areas and sectors, actively contributing to the development process of Brazilian society.
On March 15th 1941, the Catholic Schools of Philosophy and Law were formaly inaugurated. After five years of academic activities, according to Decree no. 8,861 of January 15th 1946, the independent Catholic Schools of Philosophy, Law and Social Work were entitled to the university status. On October 21th, the same year, the statutes for the constitution of Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro were approved. In 1946, PUC had 463 students enrolled in three different courses.
Soon, through the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, the Holy Seat granted Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro the honorific title of Pontifical University, by decree signed on January 20th 1947. The Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal Jaime de Barros Câmara was appoited its first chancellor.At the end of the 40’s and throughout the 50’s, the industrialization process in the country boomed at a very fast pace. Manufacturing started to become the leading sector of Brazilian economy. It was in this atmosphere of progressive self-financed growth that PUC-Rio developed new areas and intensified its academic activities. In 1948, the Polytechnic School is started, in order to meet the increasing needs of developing Engineering in the country.
The landmark of the period of expansion was the inauguration of the new PUC-Rio campus in Gávea, on July 17th 1955. From 1957 on, PUC-Rio starts a series of steps towards modernization. In order to contribute to the improvement and development of Brazilian companies, the Institute of Adminstration and Management (IAG) is created in 1958. In 1959, sponsored by the National Research Council, the radiochemistry research laboratory was created. It was the first step towards what would later become the Chemistry Institute. Constantly reinforcing its role as an institutional innovator, in 1960, PUC-Rio installed the Data Processing Center, equipped with a Burroughs-205 computer system, the first computer to be installed in Brazil and in a Latin American university.In the second half of the 60’s, through FUNTEC, the funding agency of the National Bank for Economic Development, PUC begins to receive financial support for its graduate programs and for technical and scientific research. Later, this support would be received through FINEP and finally from the Ministry of Science and Technology. This support was fundamental for the consolidation of the so-called “PUC-standards”, which has always been strongly associated to researching. From 1962 to 1964, many innovatory actions were taken, such as the creation of programs in Doctorate in Law and Master’s course in Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Industrial Engineering, as well as in Physics and Mathematics. In 1965, PUC-Rio conferred the first master’s degree in Science (Mechanical Engineering) in the country. At that time, there were 8,400 students inrolled in undergraduate, graduate and extension courses.
The increasing academic production and the scientific research in the 90’s show PUC-Rio’s vigor to explore new areas with creativity. These good results are solid evidence of PUC-Rio’s competence as an innovative, flexible and dynamic institution, as well as of its firm humanist and christian principles, the solid basis of a Catholic University. PUC-Rio’s outstanding performance was recognized by the CAPES (Ministry of Education) I their last evaluation of graduate programs (master’s and doctor’s) in the country.
In 2000, through its 23 departments, which are the academic units of the University, PUC-Rio offered graduate degrees in all of them, master’s degree in 20 and doctor’s degree in 19 of them. PUC had approximately 14,800 students (10,500 undergraduate students, 1,500 stricto sensu graduate students and 2,800 latuo sensu graduate students) and 415 full time professors (391 with doctoral degree).The 23 departments are grouped in 4 different centers: CTCH – Theology and Human Science Center; CCS – Social Science Center; CCBM – Biological and Medical Science Center; and CTC – Science and Technology Center. This model, which was introduced for the first time in the country by PUC-Rio in 1968, integrates teaching and research activities in undergraduate, graduate and extension levels, as an organic whole.
CTC - Science and Technology Center
CTC was the first university center in Brazil to integrate teaching and research, as well as the first to implement computer science to its courses. This model was spread throughout the country by the master and doctors graduated in the Center.The integration of the departments of Engineering, Computer Science and Basic Sciences, the integration of undergraduate and graduate studies and the interaction with public and private companies in cutting-edge technology projects produce an atmosphere of integration of different fields and subjects over research and project development. It is in this atmosphere that the Center’s student carry out their studies. The professional cycle curriculum is flexible and offers a great span of electives, which allows students to choose what is important for the kind of career they are interested in. Students are also offered a group of courses to help them develop their enterprising abilities and participate in specific programs of the Genesis Institute, whose objective is training and facilitating the creation of business companies (company incubator). CTC is composed by the departments of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Telecommunication Center, Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Materials Science and Metalurgy.