Saint Joseph University (French: Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, « USJ ») is a private Catholic research university in Beirut, Lebanon, founded in 1875 by the Jesuits. According to the 2012–2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, powered by Thomson Reuters, Saint Joseph University ranks as the second best university in Lebanon (after American University of Beirut which is ranked 87 in Asia), and among the top academic institutions in the Middle East. Its alumni include numerous Lebanese presidents, ministers, philosophers, intellectuals, clerics and beyond. As Lebanon’s oldest and main French medium university, while promoting Lebanese culture, admission openly disregards any ethno-religious affiliations, encouraging trilingualism of French, Arabic and English. Additionally, it is known for its university hospital, Hôtel-Dieu de France.
The 12,000-student enrollment is served by an academic staff of 1,873 and support staff of 500, distributed over its 12 faculties, 24 institutes and schools across five campuses in Beirut, with regional university centres in Sidon, Tripoli, Lebanon and Zahlé, as well as one foreign center situated in Dubai.
USJ is the only university in the Middle East to adhere to the European ECTS university academic credits system, while also officially recognised by and in accord with the higher education law of Lebanon. It maintains some 150 various international agreements.