In 1947 the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC) was established from the union of the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de São Bento (School of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of São Bento, founded in 1908) and the Paulista School of Law. Together, four other institutions of the Church were connected.
The university's motto is "wisdom and science will be increased".
Most of the scientific production in PUC-SP is in the areas of law, philosophy, social sciences, economics, education, social service, and communications; in these areas, it is considered one of the most important universities in Latin America, and internationally recognised by the issues and research in disorders of human communication, political economics, semiotics and psychology.
PUC was the first university in Brazil to offer graduate programmes in the areas of multimedia, social service, psychology of learning, applied linguistics and speech and language therapy. It also was the second university to offer a bachelor's degree in international relations, which offers a double diploma for selected students that can finish their studies in Sciences Po in Paris.
Currently the school has nine faculties, namely the school of social sciences; school of philosophy, communication, letters and arts; school of law, school of human sciences and health school of education; school of exact sciences and technology; school of medical sciences and health; technology and digital media and the school of administration, economics, accountancy and actuarial science. Through these programmes, the university serves more than 19,000 students of which 15,500 are undergraduates.
The main campus of PUC-SP and its administrative headquarters are located in Perdizes, in the west side of São Paulo City. It mostly consists of academic buildings, the university theatre and the university church. Most of these buildings, built between 1920 and 1940, are part of the historical heritage of the city. The school of exact sciences and technology is located near the city centre (Consolação Campus) while business and economy courses are also offered in the north side of São Paulo City (Santana Campus). The school of medical sciences and health is located in the city of Sorocaba (90km from São Paulo) and a campus in the city of Barueri offers courses of business, economics, physical therapy and psychology.
São Paulo, the largest city of the Southern Hemisphere and the third biggest city in the Americas has a population of 12 million people. This bustling city has more than 100 museums, 120 theatres, around 300 cinemas in addition to several parks and green areas. The São Paulo art museum has a collection of 10,000 pieces, including African, American, Asian, Brazilian and European art, from the ancient times to the 21st Century. The Ibirapuera Park not only has areas for parks, bikes and playgrounds, but also features museums, auditoriums and a planetarium.