Costa Rica is famous for its natural beauty as well as its coffee production and booming ecotourism industry. As one of the most ecologically friendly countries on the planet, being the only country in the world to meet all five of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) criteria to determine environmental stability, this small Central American state is on course to become a carbon-neutral country by 2021. With this unique background, Costa Rica provides a ripe environment for a variety of academic studies and many of its 60 or so universities are rising through both the regional and the world rankings. Below are the best universities to study at for those living in Costa Rica.

Universidad de Costa Rica (University of Costa Rica)

The University of Costa Rica is one of the most important universities and research centers, not just in Costa Rica, but in all of Central America. Initially founded as the Universidad de Santo Tomas in 1843, the university boasts a rich and extensive history and remained Costa Rica’s only university until 1972. This highly selective university has its own admission exam, which is loosely based on the SATs used by many educational institutions in the United States. The University maintains relationships with other internationally-minded institutions, with partnered universities spanning the globe, including an agreement with the University of Kansas, which marks the oldest standing agreement between two universities in the Western Hemisphere. The University offers a broad range of subjects across its many different departments and counts a number of renowned Costa Rican scientists and politicians among its alumni.

Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (National University of Costa Rica)

Renowned for its ecology, sociology and education programs the National University of Costa Rica is the second oldest in the country. Since it was founded, this university has gradually risen through the regional rankings and now stands alongside the University of Costa Rica as one of the top educational establishments in Costa Rica. The university also houses the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory, which is a research department dedicated to the study of the various geological phenomena observable across Costa Rica and its neighboring territories. The project represents one of the universities many international projects and hosts researchers and students from a number of different countries.

Other Opportunities

As well as the ‘big two’ there is a range of smaller higher education institutes spread out over Costa Rica, including the ULACIT and the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. While Costa Rica’s universities cover a diverse range of subjects some are better represented than others. The good news is that if you find your chosen subject to be poorly represented many international universities now offer online courses. For example, Rutgers University offers an online master of information degree, whereas no Costa Rican University offers a master of information program. Look online for the highest rated online universities in your chosen subject.

Whatever your chosen subject there are numerous opportunities for Costa Ricans looking to earn a degree that has true international value.

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