PUC-Rio was the first private higher education institution in the country, created by the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1940 by Cardinal D. Sebastião Leme and Father Leonel Franca S.J. Beyond providing education, PUC-Rio undertook the task of assisting the community, based on Christian ethical values, solidarity and human respect. It represents a space for achievement, overcoming challenges and development of its students.
The university operates under the supervision of the Society of Jesus and under the supreme authority of the Cardinal Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro as its Grand Chancellor. It is thus a Catholic university based in Christian humanistic principles that welcomes students, staff members, teachers, researchers and administrators of all religions, nationalities, ethnic groups and social classes.
The referential starting-point of PUC-Rio is the complete development of the human being in two main perspectives: the philosophical and the theological. Besides that, it is a doctoral research institution that focuses primarily in the development of academic and scientific knowledge. It has 12,000 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students.