The National University of San Marcos (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM) is a public research university located in Lima, the capital of Peru. It is considered the most important, recognized and representative educational institution at the national level. At the continental level, it is the first officially established (privilege by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) and the oldest continuously operating university in the Americas, which is why it appears in official documents and publications as "University of Peru, Dean University of the Americas". It had its beginnings in the general studies that were offered in the cloisters of the convent of the Rosario of the order of Santo Domingo —current Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo— around 1548. Its official foundation was conceived by Fray Thomas de San Martín on May 12, 1551; with the decree of Emperor Carlos I of Spain and V of the Holy Roman Empire, in 1571, it acquired the degree of pontifical granted by Pope Pius V with which it ended up being named as the "Royal and Pontifical University of the City of the Kings of Lima". Being recognized by the Spanish Crown as the first university in America officially founded by Real cédula, it is also referred to as the "University of Lima" throughout the Viceroyalty. Throughout its history, the university had a total of four colleges under tutelage: the Colegio Real y Mayor de San Martín and the Colegio Real y Mayor de San Felipe y San Marcos, the Real Colegio de San Carlos —focused on law and letters, derived from the merger of the two previous ones—and the Royal College of San Fernando—focused on medicine and surgery—. In the times of emancipation, it acquired a main role in the formation of several of the leaders managing the independence of Peru. After the proclamation of independence and during the republic, it maintains both colloquially and formally —in various treaties and documents historical—its name as "University of Lima" until 1946, the year in which its current name and denomination as National and Major University were made official. More information...

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