the logo

Best universities in Latin America

Explore the best universities in Latin America from data collected by Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings

  • Best universities in
  • Rankings
  • Rankings for Students
  • Study abroad
July 14 2022
Best universities in Latin America


If you are looking to study at one of the top universities in Latin America, heading to Brazil might be your best bet, based on the results of the 2022 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings. The country has an impressive 67 universities in the ranking.

The 2022 ranking includes 197 institutions in 13 countries, up from 177 institutions last year.

Despite Brazil being the most-represented country in the ranking, the top university for the third consecutive year is the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile; Brazil’s University of São Paulo comes in second place.

Chile is another good choice for students looking to study in Latin America, with 30 universities in the ranking. Other countries with a strong presence include Colombia (29 universities) and Mexico (26).  

The rest of the top five comprises the University of Campinas (ranked third), the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), in fourth place, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology, in fifth position.

The Latin America University Rankings uses the same methodology as the World University Rankings, but some of the indicators have been recalibrated to reflect the profile of higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean. The full methodology can be found here.

Best universities in Mexico
Best universities in Brazil
Best universities in South America
Best universities in Europe
Best universities in the UK
Best universities in the United States
Best universities in Australia

1. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is one of six private Catholic universities in Chile and one of two pontifical universities in the country.

Founded in 1888, the university originally taught law, mathematics, legal sciences and physical sciences. However, the course catalogue has since expanded to include subjects such as theology, philosophy, commerce and technology.

Four of the university’s campuses are located in Santiago, Chile’s capital and its cultural, political and financial centre, home to the headquarters of many multinational companies.

The fifth campus is in Villarrica next to the city’s lake.

2. University of São Paulo, Brazil 

The University of São Paulo is the oldest and largest university in Brazil. Four of its 11 campuses are in the city of São Paulo, while the remaining campuses are in the cities of Bauru, Lorena, Piracicaba, Pirassununga, Ribeirão Preto and São Carlos, which has two.

The university has many recreational activities and facilities, including museums and galleries, two theatres, a cinema, a TV channel and an orchestra.

Five hospitals are also affiliated with the institution, including the University of São Paulo Medical School Public Hospital, which is a major training hospital for the university’s School of Medicine. 

3. University of Campinas, Brazil 

The University of Campinas, or Unicamp, is located in the city of Campinas in the São Paulo region of Brazil. 

Although the university is one of Brazil’s youngest (it was founded in 1964), it has established itself as a primary medical and scientific research centre. The institution is responsible for about 15 per cent of academic research conducted in Brazil.

International undergraduates will need to sit an exam before acceptance. The exam requires prospective students to have a good grasp of Portuguese.

Neither Brazilian nor international students pay tuition fees, as is the case in all state-run universities in the country.

The university offers 66 undergraduate programmes and 152 graduate programmes across four main areas: exact sciences, human sciences, biological sciences and technologies.

The 10 most beautiful universities in Latin America
A week in the life of a student in Brazil
Studying and working as a student in Jamaica

4. Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)

Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) is located in the state of São Paulo in Brazil. 

The university was established to provide teaching and learning in the health sciences, but from 2005 it began to offer courses in areas such as the humanities, computer science and engineering. 

The university has six campuses. 

5. Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico

The Monterrey Institute of Technology is a private university system founded in 1943 in Monterrey, Mexico. Today, it has 29 campuses across 25 cities. 

It offers undergraduate, master’s and PhD programmes across disciplines such as engineering, management, social sciences, arts, science and medicine. 

The university encourages students to study abroad for a period of time. Students at the university represent more than 70 nationalities.

The 50 top universities in Latin America 2022

Latin America Rank 2022   Latin America Rank 2021  University Country/region  World University 2022 rank 
 1   1  Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Chile  401–500 
 2   2  University of São Paulo Brazil  201–250 
 3   3  University of Campinas Brazil  401–500 
 4   9  Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil  801–1000 
 5   4  Monterrey Institute of Technology Mexico  601–800 
 6   =11  Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Brazil  801–1000 
 7   6  University of Chile Chile  801–1000 
 8   8  Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil  601–800 
 9   5  Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil  601–800 
 10   7  Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) Brazil  801–1000 
 11   10  Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brazil  1001–1200 
 12   =11  Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) Brazil  1001–1200 
 13   13  University of the Andes, Colombia Colombia  801–1000 
 14   14  Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) Brazil  801–1000 
 15   16  University of Brasília Brazil  1001–1200 
 16   18  National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico  801–1000 
 17   15  Federal University of São Carlos Brazil  1001–1200 
 18   17  National University of Colombia Colombia  1001–1200 
 19   20  Federal University of Viçosa Brazil  1201+ 
 20   22  Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) Brazil  1201+ 
 21   19  The University of the West Indies Jamaica  401–500 
 22   32  Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC) Brazil  1001–1200 
 23   28  Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) Brazil  1201+ 
 24   21  Federal University of Lavras Brazil  1201+ 
 25   23  Pontifical Javeriana University Colombia  501–600 
 26   55  University of Concepción Chile  1001–1200 
 27   29  Federal University of Santa Maria Brazil  1201+ 
 =28   =36  Austral University of Chile Chile  1201+ 
 =28   =34  Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) Brazil  1201+ 
 30   27  Metropolitan Autonomous University Mexico  801–1000 
 31   25  University of Costa Rica Costa Rica  501–600 
 32   26  Universidade Federal da Bahia Brazil  1201+ 
 33   40  Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) Brazil  1201+ 
 34   30  University of Santiago, Chile (USACH) Chile  1201+ 
 35   51  Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Peru  601–800 
 36   =36  Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru  1001–1200 
 37   =34  Federal University of Pernambuco Brazil  1201+ 
 38   24  Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso Chile  1001–1200 
 39   45  Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná Brazil  1001–1200 
 40   31  Fluminense Federal University Brazil  1201+ 
 41   44  Federal University of Goiás Brazil  1201+ 
 42   54  University of Havana Cuba  1201+ 
 43   =36  University of Antioquia Colombia  1001–1200 
 44   =41  Austral University Argentina  NR 
 45   48  Universidade Estadual de Maringá Brazil  1201+ 
 46   43  National University of Córdoba Argentina  1201+ 
 47   =56  Federal University of Uberlândia Brazil  1201+ 
 48   33  National University of San Martín Argentina  1001–1200 
 49   49  Federico Santa María Technical University Chile  1201+ 
 50   47  Londrina State University Brazil  1201+ 

Explore the full searchable table of the Latin America University Rankings 2022.


You may also like

The University of Oxford

Best universities in the UK 2023 - University Rankings

The University of Oxford is top in a list of the best universities in the UK 2023, which includes institutions in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

October 12 2022
sticky sign up

Register free and enjoy extra benefits