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Universidade Católica Portuguesa (better known in Portugal as UCP or just "Católica") was established in 1967 by decree of the Holy See (Lusitanorum Nobilissima Gens), at the request of the Portuguese Bishops' conference and under Concordat Law.

Its first constituent Faculty was the Jesuit-owned and run Faculty of Philosophy of Braga (Northern Portugal). However, the University was soon extended to Lisbon where it opened, in 1968, the Faculty of Theology and, in 1971, the Faculty of Human Sciences.

The Portuguese government's official recognition of UCP occurred in 1971, decree-law 307/71, which acknowledged Universidade Católica as on a par with the other Portuguese universities and conferred on the degrees it grants - presently licenciado, mestre  and doutor, - the same value and the same effects as those awarded by State universities.

The creation of the University, the fulfilment of a 40-year dream of the Portuguese Church, constitutes a milestone in modern higher education in Portugal: for the first time the State was not directly involved in and responsible for a university. As had been the case in the 16th and 17th centuries, in the renowned Universities of Coimbra and Évora, the Church was given the opportunity to contribute decisively to the higher education of young people, by offering them, along with academic and scientific excellence, an overall education based on the principles and values of Christianity.

The late seventies and eighties saw the establishment and development in Portugal of a privately-owned sector in higher education (including both universities and polytechnics). Within that context, there has been a generalised acceptance of the distinctive position held by Universidade Católica - a public, non-State and non-profit-seeking institution.

Nowadays, and following the general trend in Portugal and abroad, UCP enjoys a large degree of autonomy in the creation and running of new campuses, faculties and courses.

Taking advantage of the fact, it has been a pioneer in some respects of university development in Portugal, either with regard to areas of knowledge not previously taught (e.g. business administration and management, food engineering, multimedia, digital arts) or to the regional dispersion of campuses.



  • Establishment of UCP (Braga), Faculty oh Philosophy
  • Higher Chancellor: D. Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira


  • Appointment of a Vice-Rector: Prof. José do Patrocínio Bacelar e Oliveira, SJ
  • Establishment of the Faculty of Theology (Lisbon)


  • New Higher Chancellor: D. António Ribeiro
  • Official recognition of UCP by the State (decree-law 307/71)


  • Appointment of first Rector: Prof. José do Patrocínio Bacelar e Oliveira, SJ
  • Establishmente of the Faculty of Human Sciences


  • UCP is extended to Oporto


  • UCP is extended to Viseu


  • His Holiness Pope John Paul II visits the Lisbon campus and blesses the foundation stone of the University Library
  • Establishment of the College of Biotechnology (Oporto)


  • First extension courses in Funchal


  • Establishment of the University Institute for Development and Social Progress (Viseu)


  • Appointment of a new Rector: Prof. D. José da Cruz Policarpo


  • Law and Economics and Business Administration and Management, formerly included in the Faculty of Human Sciences, become separate Faculties, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration


  • UCP is extended to Leiria and Figueira da Foz


  • Establishment of the Faculty of Arts (Viseu)


  • Third Rector: Prof. Manuel Isidro Araújo Alves Establishment of:
    College of Sciences and Technology (Viseu and Figueira da Foz)
    School of Fine Arts (Oporto)
    Inter-University Institute of Macau


  • Establishment of:
    European Studies Institute
    Political Studies Institute
    Education Institute


  • Higher Chancellor: D. José da Cruz Policarpo


  • Establishment of the Faculty of Engineering (Sintra campus)
  • First courses in Caldas da Rainha
  • Creation of Braga Regional Centre


  • Appointment of a new Rector: Prof. Manuel António Garcia Braga da Cruz


  • Establishment of the Faculty of Social Sciences (Braga)
  • In Oporto, Economics and Business Administration and Management, formerly included in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, become a separate Faculty, the Faculty of Economics and Management


  • Establishment of:
    Institute of Oriental Studies
    Institute of Bioethics


  • Institute for Distance Education and Training


  • Institute of Health Sciences


  • Higher Institute for Canon Law (Lisbon)


  • Incorporation into the Institute of Health Sciences of Nursing Schools based in Oporto and Lisbon


  • Within the framework of the Bologna Process, extensive reorganization of studies


  • 40th Anniversary of the Catholic University of Portugal


  • CATÓLICA-LISBON School of Business & Economics become the first Portuguese Buisiness Scholl to hold the Triple Crown status


  • Establishment of ?Catolica Global School of Law? as part of the Faculty of Law ? Lisbon School


  • CATÓLICA-LISBON School of Business & Economics


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