The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (Portuguese: Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, PUCRS) is a private non-profit Catholic university. With campuses in the Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Viamão, it is the largest private university of the state of Rio Grande do Sul and the first university founded by the Catholic religious institute of the Marist Brothers. PUCRS is considered the best private university of Brazil’s Southern Region by the Ministry of Education (MEC), and one of the best private universities in the country, with FGV, PUC-Rio and the PUC-SP.
The university has 22 faculties. The educational system is organized in courses and programs, which are responsible for undergraduate and graduate studies, continuing education, outreach activities and research.
As of 2011 the university had 25,000 undergraduate students, 1,800 postgraduate students, 6,300 masters students, and 1,400 PhD students. 130,000 students have graduated over the years. PUCRS offers 55 courses of graduation, 23 of master’s degree, 19 of doctorate level, and more than 70 specialty training courses. University facilities include over 200 laboratories for teaching and research, as well as university hospital, science and technology park, museum of sciences and technology, sports park, theater and convention center.