The Pontifical Universities

The Pontifical Universities are Roman Catholic universities which were established and are directly under the authority of the Holy See. The Pontifical Universities are licensed to grant academic degrees in sacred faculties, among them Canon Law, Philosophy, Sacred Theology and Sacred Scripture. The Pontifical Universities also follow a European system of degrees in the sacred faculties, whereby they grant the bachelor's degree, the licentiate and the doctorate. The Holy See can also provide charters to independent institutions or individual faculties at non-pontifical universities to grant pontifical degrees. Such institutions are referred to as pontifical faculties or pontifical institutes.

Just like other theological faculties, studies at the Pontifical Universities are divided into three cycles. The first cycle is the varying duration after which the student obtains a Bachelor; the second cycle leads to the conferment of a License degree and finally, the third cycle leads to a Graduate degree. The duration of these cycles varies from one pontifical university to another.

The Pontifical Universities offer several courses in different faculties. The major faculties are Civil Law, Canon Law, Sacred Theology, Philosophy, Biblical Sciences and Archeology, Missiology, Christian and classical literature, Social Communication Sciences and Education science. The studies at The Pontifical Universities normally address the Christian revelation and disciplines correlative to the evangelical mission of the Catholic Church, as set out in the apostolic constitution.

The Pontifical Universities’ branches are distributed all over the world. They may be found on all continents, with a large number in Rome, Italy. Therefore, you can obtain Pontifical University degrees in any part of the world. The Pontifical Universities in Rome and those situated in different parts of the world accept students from all across the globe, and even non-Christians are admitted. The students’ categories are normal students, extraordinary students and guest students. With the international recognition of the Pontifical Universities, they are aimed at promoting and developing the culture of quality within the academic institutions that depend directly on the Holy See, and ensure that they possess the international quality.

The following are countries where Pontifical Universities may be found: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominic Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, United States and Uruguay. This represents the diversity of Pontifical Universities.

Given the fact that Pontifical Universities are under the direct authority of the Holy See, high moral standards and discipline are expected of students, and the teachings are also equivalent to the apostolic constitution of the Catholic Church. If you are interested in acquiring a degree in Theology, Philosophy or Canon Law, the Pontifical University may well be the best choice for you.