There are fifteen higher education institutions in Uruguay. These are composed of public universities, private universities, and technical institutes. Public universities are funded by the state and are therefore free for local students. Private universities are solely funded through tuition. Technical institutes are specialized institutes, offering specific degrees in a certain field. The academic year in Uruguay runs from March to December, with the summer holiday taking place in January and February. Four universities in Uruguay rank in the top 100 in the Latin American region in 2018. The Universidad de la Republica ranks 38th in the region. For more information, please refer to the official government website: https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-educacion-cultura/.
The educational structure in Uruguay is slightly different to the traditional path of a Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD route. The first level of higher education is an ‘intermediate diploma’ which is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree. It is given after two to four years of study, in the fields of engineering, politics, business and the social sciences. The next level is the Licenciatura which is considered a higher qualification than the ‘Intermediate Diploma’ as it is awarded after a minimum of four years to a maximum of six years of study. This degree is awarded for continuous studies in law, medical fields, architecture, dentistry, and psychology. Master’s degrees (Maestrias) take two years to complete beyond the Licenciatura. However, a level between the Licenciatura and the Maestria is offered as a one-year specialization degree (especialzacione). Then, students may study for a Doctoral degree (Doctorado) which takes a minimum of three years to complete.
There is no centralized system for application to higher education institutions in Uruguay, meaning that students are required to apply directly to their desired institution. The ‘Intermediate Diploma’ and Licenciatura require a Bachellerito, which is a secondary school leaving diploma. International certificates are also recognized when applying to higher education, such as the International Baccaleaureate. Maestria students require a Licenciatura in order to be accepted. Doctoral students require a Maestria in order to qualify for the degree.
Public higher education institutions in Uruguay are free for local students. International students’ tuition ranges from 4’800$ to 10’000$ per year. in Private universities charge tuition for both local and international students. Master’s programs are more expensive, costing between 10’000$ to 15’000$ per year.
Information for International Students
The official language of instruction is Spanish, meaning that non-native speakers are required to pass a proficiency test in order to be accepted, such as the DELE. Some private universities also offer courses in English. International students require a student visa in order to study in Uruguay. This can be acquired through local consulates and embassies.