University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez
File:UPR at Mayaguez Seal.svg
Official seal of UPRM
Latin: Universitatis Portoricensis Mayagüez
Motto ¡Antes, Ahora y Siempre, Colegio!
Motto in English Before, Now and Forever, Colegio!
Established September 23, 1911
Type Public, land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant
Endowment US $256 million
Chancellor Andrés Calderón (Interim) [1]
Academic staff 1,026
Admin. staff 1,336
Students 12,109
Undergraduates 11,005
Postgraduates 1,104
Location Puerto RicoMayagüez, Puerto Rico
Campus Urban, 315 acres (1.27 km2)
Colors Green and White
Athletics  • LAI
 • NCAA Division II
Nickname Colegio
Mascot Tarzán (male) and Jane (female), both bulldogs
Affiliations NASULGC

The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) or Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez (RUM) in Spanish (also referred to as Colegio and CAAM in allusion to its former name), is a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant state university located in the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. UPRM is the second-largest university campus of the University of Puerto Rico system.

UPRM has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1946. Also, the engineering undergraduate program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the nursing undergraduate program is accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) and the Chemistry Department is recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The College of Business Administration is going through the process of the AACSB accreditation. The Mayagüez campus of the University of Puerto Rico has been a member of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) since 1966.

UPRM continues its development in the best tradition of a land-grant institution. It is a co-educational, bilingual, and non-sectarian school comprising the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. The College of Agricultural Sciences includes the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agricultural Extension Service. In 2009, the campus population was composed of 12,108 students, 1,924 regular staff members and 1,037 members of the education staff. [2]


The University of Puerto Rico was created by an act of the Legislative Assembly on March 12, 1903, emerging as an outgrowth of the Normal School, which had been established three years earlier to train teachers for the Puerto Rican school system. In 1908, the benefits of the Morill-Nelson Act declared applicable to the island, fostered the rapid growth of the university. Eloquent evidence of that growth was the establishment of the College of Liberal Arts at Río Piedras in 1910 and the College of Agriculture at Mayagüez in 1911 as a land-grant university.[3]

The founding of the institution is credited to D.W. May (Director of the Federal Experiment Station), José de Diego and Carmelo Alemar. In 1912 the name of the institution was changed to the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts or Colegio de Agricultura y Artes Mecánicas (CAAM).

In 1918, an earthquake and a fire caused significant damage to the institution. The ruins of the entrance of one of the buildings, Degetau Hall — which not only withstood the earthquake, but proved to be almost indestructible after the rebuilt hall was torn down in the late 1940s — would later become the emblem of the institution. In 1988, the archway ruins (the portico) was moved, landcaped and turned into a monument.

The campus rectory was located at the José de Diego building, the oldest standing edification within the campus, built in 1911.[3] The building was inscribed in the National Historic Building Registry as an architectural patrimony.[3] In 1940, a clock tower was built into the main building.[3] In 1993, the building underwent a restoration.[3]

In 1929, the Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria was created at the Mayagüez campus. The LAI is an athletic organization, similar to the NCAA, created with the purpose of promoting and regulating sports activities. It originally consisted of a three event competition: basketball, baseball and track and field. Currently the competition consists of more than 25 sports.

In 1942 as a result of university reform, the campus was organized with a considerable degree of autonomy into the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science under the direction of a vice-chancellor. In the 1950s the institution saw more programs added when the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Nuclear Center were established.

The Puerto Rican Legislative Assembly reorganized the University of Puerto Rico's system in 1966. This reorganization of the system lead to the controversial change of its name to University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus, which is used in the present day as the official name of the institution.[3]

In 2007, 35.4% of all Engineering degrees were granted to women at UPRM, one of the largest percentages in US universities. The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez is the second largest Hispanic-serving institution in the United States.

To this day, as a matter pride, students and alumni alike still refer to the institution as El Colegio (The College) in reference to its former CAAM name. Such school spirit is evident still in sporting events with the student battle cry and motto of "¡Antes, Ahora y Siempre, Colegio!" ("Before, Now and Forever, Colegio!"). The university is unique in Puerto Rico for creating a strong bond between students and the institution itself. Alumni proudly declare themselves "colegiales" even decades after graduating. Being a "colegial" becomes part of a student's identity. Some students say that, given the shared challenges of academic life there, all alumni share a sense of belonging and trust. "Colegiales" are deeply prized by employers in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and many parts of the United States.


Administrative Board

The Administrative Board of the Mayagüez Campus consists of the Chancellor as presiding officer, the deans, two academic senators elected among those faculty members of the Senate who are not ex officio, senators, and an elected student representative. The President of the University serves as an ex officio member. The Board acts as an advisory body to the Chancellor, prepares the development plan of the Campus, approves the proposed budget prepared by the Chancellor, and grants tenure, promotions and leaves of absence.

Chancellor Years
1 José Enrique Arrarás Mir 1966–1971
2 Fred Soltero Harrington[4] 1971–1973
3 Rafael Pietri Oms[5] 1974–1979
4 Salvador Alemañy[6] 1981–1984
5 José Luis Martínez Picó[7] 1985–1989
6 Alejandro Ruiz Acevedo[8] 1990–1993
7 Stuart José Ramos Biaggi 1994–1997
8 Antonio Santos Cabrera[9] 1997–1998
9 Zulma R. Toro Ramos[10][11] 1999–2001
10 Jorge Iván Vélez Arocho[12] 2001–2009
11 Miguel A. Muñoz Muñoz[13] 2010–2011
12 Jorge Rivera Santos[1] 2011-2013

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate at UPRM is composed of the members of the Administrative Board, the Director of the Library, the Director of the Counseling Office, representatives elected from the faculties whose total must not be less than twice the number of the elected ex officio members, an elected member of the Library and Counseling Office, and ten student representatives. The Academic Senate is the official forum of the academic community. Its main task is to participate in the formulation of academic processes within the University’s legal structure. [14]


The UPR-Mayagüez campus encompasses approximately 315 acres (1.27 km2). The campus has a sports complex that includes a gym, a weight room, rooms for dance/aerobic classes, courts for basketball, a tennis and volleyball complex, a natatorium, an outdoor sports field and the Rafael A. Mangual Coliseum. The campus also offers two cafeterias, a bookstore, a bank, a lounge called La Cueva de Tarzán (Tarzan’s cave) and a computer center, although several academic departments operate their own computer laboratories. Classes are conducted in English or Spanish.

Library system

Main article: UPRM General Library

The Mayagüez Campus General Library serves the local campus community as well as residents of Mayagüez and nearby towns. It fully supports UPRM education and research mission and objectives by providing adequate library and information resources, facilities and services.


The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez consists of four major colleges:

UPRM offers 52 bachelor's programs, 28 master's programs and five doctoral programs.

UPRM offers undergraduate and graduate education in all of their four colleges. Doctoral programs are offered in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering.

The College of Agricultural Sciences includes the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agricultural Extension Service.

UPRM College of Engineering graduation rates are higher than the University of Wisconsin, Texas A & M, University of Washington and the University of Minnesota. It has increased the percentage of its faculty with doctorates from 66.5% in the 1999-00 academic year to 79.4% in 2007.

The Mayagüez campus is one of two land-grant universities in the tropics and the only one where Spanish is the native language (although English is also used extensively). The campus provides a unique setting and, to some extent, it is in a privileged position to serve as an international center for studies, training, and research in the fields of agricultural sciences.

The academic calendar has two semesters: fall (early August to mid-December) and spring (early January to mid-May). While textbooks and research materials used at the University of Puerto Rico are often in English, Spanish is the language of instruction in most courses at UPRM, and students are required to have a working knowledge of the English language. The individual professor decides the language used in class lectures and in student evaluation activities.[15]

The UPRM Office of Institutional Research and Planning reported a total enrollment of 12,380 students for the 2006 fall semester.[16] In 2006 the institution had an acceptance rate of 62%.[17]


UPR-Mayagüez is one of the most important centers in the Atlantic region for the study of tropical marine science due to its location, facilities, and first-rate researchers. The research facilities includes the Puerto Rico Water Resources and Environmental Research Institute, the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI), the Research and Development Center, the Agricultural Research Station and the Caribbean Atmospheric Research Center (ATMOSCarib).[18]

The College of Engineering offers modern computerized laboratories for teaching, measuring fatigue and fractures in different materials, designing manufactured products and the processes to build them, and computer design. There is a Center for Civil Infrastructure used to design structures resistant to natural disasters and transportation systems.[19] Other research areas include development of solar powered vehicles and boats, use of satellite photography to study earth phenomena, and study of the environmental impact of industrial toxins.[20]

The Departments of English, Humanities, and Hispanic Studies also produce first-rate scholarship that is recognized around the world. Some of the most important fields include Digital Humanities, Caribbean Cultural Studies, and transnational topics. The campus hosts several conferences on cutting-edge Humanitic topics each year.

In addition to the numerous research laboratories under direct faculty supervision, the Mayagüez campus has several research and development institutes that provide valuable support for research activities. Arts and Sciences is the College with the largest portfolio of funded research at the university and the highest number of patents, mostly from the Physics Department. Most of the science education funded efforts are in the following areas: Science and Mathematics Education, Detection of Explosives, Environmental Sciences, Biotechnology, Ecosystems and Conservation, Oceanic processes, Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Human Behavior and Energy.[21]

Its researchers, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students are at the forefront of areas such as Tsunamis, Nanotechnology, Protein, Oceanic processes, Bio‐markers, Coral reefs, Applied Economics, Disasters, monitoring of Seismic activity, Biodiversity and Physical Oceanography.[21]

The research facilities includes a campus-wide wireless network available to the whole university community (over 80 access points), Internet 2 Institution with an OC3 access line, robust videoconference facilities, online course development platform, 42 academic computer labs for students (1,032 computers estimated), about 5,000 computers estimated including administrative, faculty and research facilities and a strong campus network backbone infrastructure interconnecting over 40 buildings fiber optics.[22]

The Puerto Rico Seismic Network, in charge of monitoring seismic activity for the Caribbean region, is on the campus.[23]


According to it ranked number 15 in 2012 amongst Public State Universities in the United States of America up two ranks from 2011.[24] It is ranked number 1 in the Caribbean according to Webometrics Ranking of World Universities.[25]

College of Engineering

The college is accredited by ABET. It is among the top 10 U.S. universities in the field of engineering in number of students enrolled.[26]

The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez produces around 600 engineers every year which is more than Texas A & M, Florida International University, The University of Texas-Austin and California State University-Pomona combined.[27]

It was chosen as the Best Engineering School for Latinos by Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine.[28]

In terms of the undergraduate student enrollment in engineering, it is among the largest engineering institutions in the United States, ranking 11th, it is the second in the number of female graduates in engineering in the US, 1st in graduating BS in chemical engineering and ranked 11th in number of masters in chemistry in 2007.[29]

Puerto Rico's large pool of engineering students is not going unnoticed by U.S. employers. In October 2002, UPR's job fair had a record-setting number of companies and federal agencies recruiting engineers: 74. The list includes the likes of Motorola, Raytheon Systems, IBM, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Geological Survey.[30]

Other colleges and schools

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Graduate Studies[31]

Student life


The University's mascot is a bulldog named Tarzan. Tarzans for men and the Janes for women sports team, respectively. The Mayagüez campus is a member of the LAI (Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria). It is the only university that participates in all sports sponsored by the LAI. It currently participates in 16 men's sports and 12 women's sports with a total of 373 athletes. Its main building is the Rafael A. Mangual Coliseum.

The University will have its new Natatorio RUM and Tennis Center in 2010 after the Central American and Caribbean Games are over.[32]

Since September 1, 2003, the Mayagüez campus competes as an independent university in the NCAA's Division II. It participates in men's basketball, baseball, cross country running, soccer, swimming, tennis, track (outdoor), volleyball and sport wrestling and in women's basketball, cross country running, swimming and tennis.


With over 100 student organizations, there is always something to do on campus. The Cartelera Semana lists all these activities online. Some annual events include:[33]

  • Cinco Días con Nuestra Tierra: Every March, the agricultural students organize an event to celebrate agriculture.
  • Justas Intercolegiales: Every April, there are athletic competitions between Puerto Rican universities.
  • International Dinner: Every November all international students, the faculty and staff get together for a dinner.
  • Encendido de la Navidad: Each December, students, faculty, staff, and community attend the tree lighting ceremony to start the Christmas holiday season on campus.

Greek life

The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez has a number of fraternities and sororities. Until the early 1990s most of the established fraternities owned a house in the nearby Bosque Street in downtown Mayagüez, yet a law was passed in Puerto Rico that no fraternity houses may be in residential areas. Now only Alpha Beta Chi and Phi Sigma Alpha have houses; no brothers live in them.



* Member of Concilio Interfraternitario de Puerto Rico (Inter-Fraternity Council of Puerto Rico)

Greek lettered service, professional and/or honor societies

Notable alumni of UPRM

See also

Puerto Rico portal
Education portal


  1. UPRM. Undergraduate Academic Catalogue. Mayagüez, Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

External links

  • University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez - official site (in Spanish)
  • Campus Information (in English)
  • Puerto Rico Seismic Network
  • Film Certificate Blog

Coordinates: 18°12′34″N 67°8′30″W / 18.20944°N 67.14167°W / 18.20944; -67.14167