Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
University of Costa Rica
The University of Costa Rica (in Spanish, Universidad de Costa Rica, abbreviated UCR) is a public university in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. Its main campus is located in San Pedro , in the province of San José. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious institution of higher learning in Costa Rica.
The first university in Costa Rica was the University of St. Thomas (Universidad de Santo Tomás), established in 1843. That institution maintained close ties with the Roman Catholic Church and was closed in 1888 by the progressive and mildly anti-clerical government of President Bernardo Soto Alfaro as part of a campaign to modernize public education. The schools of law, agronomy, fine arts, and pharmacy continued to operate independently, but Costa Rica had no university proper until 1940, when the modern UCR was established.
The UCR is divided into several faculties and institutions:
- Computer and Information Science
- Civil Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Languages and Letters
- Social Sciences
The school calendar, as in the rest of Costa Rica, runs from February to December. The school year is divided into two semesters. However, some private schools choose to follow the international school calendar which runs from September to June.
Semana U is an event held in the middle of the first semester and involves the participation of the different student organizations. There are many concerts, talks, expositions, etc.
Costa Rican applicants to the UCR must take an admission test. This test is similar to the SAT in the US. The score of this test is used along with the grades from the student's last years in high school to determine his/her admission score, which is later used to determine admission to a specific major, and financial aid.
Undergraduate admission is highly selective. Having an acceptance rate of approximately 30%. However, being admitted to the university doesn't assure admission to the chosen major. Usually, the best 80-150 applicants are admitted, depending on the school.
International applicants must revalidate their high school certificate and grades from their country of origin at the Ministry of Education in order to apply and take the admission test. Graduate school applicants must revalidate their undergraduate certificate too.
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