The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul or UFRGS) originated as the Escola de Farmácia e Química in 1895, which united with several other higher education institutions as the Universidade de Porto Alegre in 1934. It was granted its current name in 1947 and became a federal university in 1950.
It is one of the largest federal universities in Brazil, with over 27,000 undergraduate students, over 9,300 graduate students and more than 2,500 professors. Not only is it one of the largest, but also one of the best universities in Brazil with a number of prominent scientific publications.
UFRGS is almost completely located in Porto Alegre, with four campuses: Centro, Saúde, Olímpico and Vale), with a few off-campus buildings such as the Business School and the Institute of Arts, and some units in other cities. It is Rio Grande do Sul's largest university, with more than 300 buildings accommodating 29 colleges, which are divided into 94 departments.
The University facilities include 500 laboratories, 33 libraries, 37 lecture halls, UFRGS Press, UFRGS Museum, Botanical Garden, a broadcasting centre, observatory, three campus accommodation buildings, five refectories, two summer camps and the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, which is a prominent national hospital.
Notable alumni include many of Brazil's most prominent politicians and civil servants, including former Brazilian presidents Getúlio Vargas and João Goulart. UFRGS has a profound political history; between 1964 and 1969, during the worst years of the military dictatorship, 33 professors were eliminated, as well as many students.