National & International Accreditation Information
Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN is a fully recognised and autonomous university with central campus in Managua City. It was accredited in 1998 by the Consejo Nacional de Universidades CNU (the institutional accreditation agency in Nicaragua) and afterwards awarded the status of autonomy by Act of Parliament and Presidential Decree.
UCN is among the best Central American Universities and was awarded “Exemplary Central American University 2010” in the United States of America in 2011.
Internationally, UCN operates as a member of CONIES, the International Association of Higher Education, established in 2012 in Managua with several signatories of recognised universities worldwide.
Within Europe UCN offers specific programmes in the Management, Social and Economic sciences, Education and Psychology, International Relations and International Law study areas, also as inter-university dual degree programmes (trans-national collaborative provision).
Ministry of Education
Translation of Information by Ministry of Education (Nicaragua)
as requested by Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN) we hereby confirm that the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Nicaragua, in accordance with the valid legal framework of our country, is not in charge of neither approval nor supervision of the institutions of higher education, regardless, whether public or private.
In compliance with Law 89 “Law on the Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education” of 5. April 1990, these functions are conferred by the National Council of Universities CNU.
Consequently, it is this organ of the state from which one must retrieve any information on the said university institutions.
Central University of Nicaragua & its Degrees Recognition, Accreditation & Validation
About UCN University
With main campus and satellite extensions in Nicaragua, is a fully autonomous recognised university enjoying the entitlements and degree awarding powers of an autonomous university and recognised body (recognised awarding institution). UCN was approved by CNU, the National Council of Universities, the accreditation body in charge of institutional authorisation of a new university prior to award of autonomy status by Act of Parliament; additionally UCN is subject to participation in the quality assurance programme in accordance with the Act on Quality Assurance in Higher Education audited by the CNEA the National Council of Evaluation and Accreditation in Nicaragua. In 2011 UCN has been awarded “Exemplary Central American University 2010” by the Central American Association in the USA. Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN can issue academic and professional qualifications, enjoys academic autonomy understood as follows: Teaching or academic autonomy implies that a university alone can appoint and dismiss teachers and academic staff, through the procedures and requirements of the laws themselves, select their students, by evidence and necessary conditions to develop and approve plans and programmes of study and research, etc. Autonomy gives also the power to issue certificates of study, graduate letters, certificates, diplomas, academic degrees and titles and equivalency of studies conducted in other universities and higher education institutions, domestic or foreign; authorise professional practice except for advocacy and notary, which by law is the responsibility of the Supreme Court. Universities will maintain and develop relationships with academic, scientific and cultural entities based inside or outside the country. Academic freedom is a fundamental principle of higher education in Nicaragua.
Recognition & Accreditation
All programmes and degrees offered by UCN are duly and legally registered with the CNU “Consejo Nacional de Universidades” (National Council of Universities) the national agency responsible for the authorisation of universities and registration and authentication of HE programmes, and degrees awarded by universities in Nicaragua. UCN as recognised autonomous university is subject to a quality assurance and institutional accreditation system conducted by CNEA National Council on Evaluation and Accreditation according to Nicaraguan law. CNEA is listed in the international directory of CHEA.
Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN is a recognised university listed in the IAU International Handbook of Universities (World Higher Education Database WHED, “AIU-UNESCO list”): WHED number IAU-017332. Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN is a full member of the IAU International Association of Universities. Internationally, UCN offers stand alone and joint provision degree programmes with partners and awards degrees officially recognised due to Law 89 in Nicaragua.
Nicaraguan higher education law is embedded in the principle of freedom of instruction, guaranteeing in Article 125 of the Nicaraguan Political Constitution full autonomy being implemented by Law no. 89 about the Autonomy of the Institutions of Higher Education (No. 89). The law 89 determines in Articles 7 and 9 that the institutions of higher education can award academic degrees. UCN is a fully autonomous accredited university with the unrestricted right to award certificates, diplomas, academic degrees and titles and to issue certificates of recognition and validation of studies on equivalent level, completed at other universities or centres of higher education, domestic or abroad, entitled to recognise academic degrees, titles and diplomas awarded by a foreign university, entitled to award professional rights, except for lawyers and notaries for whom, by law, the Supreme Court is in charge. Furthermore, UCN is entitled to establish relations with academic, scientific and cultural establishments located domestically or abroad. According to Article 82 of the Ley General de Educación 2006 the explicitly mentioned “Doctorates” constitute – literally quoted –the “nationally and internationally fully recognised academic degrees“ in Nicaragua.
In 2011 UCN was awarded “Exemplary Central American University 2010” by the Central American Association in the USA.
The programmes below of the UCN are accredited by CONIES Board of Accreditation (Accreditation period: 2020-2025):
- Postgraduate qualifications:
- Master programmes: MSc, MBA
- Doctor programmes: Dr. (professional / research PhD)
- in the following study areas:
- Business Administration, Economics, International Law, Psychology, Education, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences
- Type of programme: Autonomous regular postgraduate courses of study recognised by law.
- Level of qualification:
- Dublin Descriptors: Second, Third Cycle
- NVQ: HE2, HE3; 7, 8 EQF
- Scope of Accreditation: ACCREDITED
- Online / Distance Education YES
- Collaborative Provision (inter-institutional) YES
- Trans-national YES
Master & Doctoral Study Programs
In Addition to the English Language, the thesis-based program and transfer credits into the thesis stage can be taught in German, French, Italian, Spanish, or Arabic. For more details, please contact us.
Master Study programs
Course-based or Research-thesis based
MSc. in Business Administration
MSc. in Economics
MSc. in Education Management
MSc. in Environmental Management
MSc. in Health Sciences
MSc. in International Law
MSc. in International Law and International Relations
MSc. in Management
MSc. in Psychology
Doctorate Study programs
Course-based or Research-thesis based
PhD in Business Administration
PhD in Economics
PhD in Education Management
PhD in Environmental Management
PhD in Health Sciences
PhD in International Law
PhD in International Law and International Relations
PhD in Management
PhD in Social Sciences
PhD in Psychology
UCN is a member of ODAEE ORGANIZACIÓN DE LAS AMÉRICAS PARA LA EXCELENCIA EDUCATIVA.
Member and Partner of UNIVERSIA
Member of GUIDE Association – Global Universities In Distance Education
Confederación Internacional para la Educación Superior CONIES
APE-U, La Asociación de Profesionales Egresados de Universidades Extranjeras en Centroamérica y el Caribe
- Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN was founded in 1997 as a private, non-profit, and authorized by the National University Council in session CNU No. 10-98 of 18. November 1998 and approved by the Assembly of the Republic Decree No. 2822 according to the Constitution of Nicaragua and the Law No. 89 on the Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education. Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN is a fully autonomous Nicaraguan university participating in the mandatory programme of auto-evaluation and quality assurance of National Council of Evaluation and Accreditation CNEA in Nicaragua. All professional titles and academic degrees are recognised by the professional associations and public services; UCN in 2010 is again among the best university in Central America and has been awarded by the Central American Coalition USA as “Exemplary Central American University 2010“ in the United States of America.
- Written Assignments will be checked with a plagiarism-analysis-programme for authenticity.
- Online-examinations are standardised “Computer-Marked-Assignments”.
- Written assignments and course-papers are “Tutor Marked Assignments”.
- Scientific articles and publications are subject to a “peer-review”.
The professional and research doctorates subject to these thesis guidelines are validated and approved as distance-education programmes of postgraduate study by Universidad Central de Nicaragua UCN, and, therefore, all academic degrees and titles awarded by UCN are fully recognised in compliance with Articles 7 and 9 of the Nicaraguan Law 89 on the Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education in the sense of Article 82 of the Nicaraguan General Law of Education.
The new law no 1088 published on 27 October 2021 on the Recognition of Titles and Academic Degrees of Higher Education and Technical Higher Education regulates the official recognition of degrees by the Nicaraguan State as well as the form of awards of academic titles and degrees awarded by autonomous Universities authorised to award them and the creation of the National Register of Titles and Academic Degrees.
The Institutions of Higher Education authorised to award titles and academic degrees in compliance with the corresponding laws are the only institutions empowered to emit and award these titles and academic degrees.
The State only recognises the following as academic degrees:
- At the undergraduate and graduate level:
- Higher Technician (Associate level)
- Licenciado, Physician (Medic), Architect, Engineer
- At the postgraduate level:
The National Council of Universities CNU by approving the academic programmes or professional graduate degrees of the public, private and community universities has to determine the title and the level of the academic degree to be awarded.
Applicants must have a corresponding graduate degree in order to enroll in an academic postgraduate programme.
Students are entitled to be awarded the respective degree when meeing all requirements of the degree without requirement to attend a graduation ceremony.
All professionals can apply for the replacement of his degree to the awarding university or in case of dissolution of the university the National Council of Universities is in charge.
A National Register of Titles and Academic Degrees shall be created as a responsibility of the National Council of Universities CNU for the purpose of inscription, consulting, verification and certification of titles and academic degrees, awarded by the universities empowered to award titles and who have been recognised and incoroporated in conformity with this given law.
The CNU is in charge of administration and maintainance of the National Register of Titles and Academic Degrees as well as for the approval of the technical norms regulating the management and the administrative, technical procedures and the security thereof.
All Register services are free of charge.
The universities empowered to award titles are obliged to enter in the National Register of Titles and Academic Degrees the titles and academic degrees emitted and provide all information related to them, as required for the content.
It is the responsibility of the National Council of Universities CNU as a public entity to issue the certification of the registers of titles and academic degrees awarded by the universities empowered to award them.
The university degree awarded by UCN is legally recognised degree in Nicaragua awarded by a recognised university, however, it may not be subject to official credentials evaluation service providers, for a variety of reasons and objections sometimes raised against international programmes or validation collaborations with HE providers, etc., being beyond the influence of the awarding university.
Many degrees of UCN have been successfully recognised or evaluated in a great number of jurisdictions, however, UCN can not warrant any such outcome, it will however, assist graduates. The Master and Doctor degree by UCN can, however, be legally used in most jurisdictions and this is the obligation of the graduate to check individually, whether the UCN degree meets the expectations.
All programmes and degrees offered by UCN are duly and legally registered with the CNU Consejo Nacional de Universidades (National Council of Universities) the national agency responsible for the registration and authentication of HE programmes and degrees awarded by universities in Nicaragua, as well as the university UCN is subject to quality assurance and institutional accreditation system conducted by CNEA National Council on Evaluation and Accreditation according to Nicaraguan law.
The University will award the respective degrees, postgraduate certificates and diploma supplement to a graduate no later than 120 days. The graduation package includes the following documents:
- Degree diploma in Spanish and the second version in English for completion of postgraduate doctor programme according to Art. 7 and 9 of the Law 89 on Institutions of Higher Education in Nicaragua and the format defined by UCN for the official university degree awarded by the University;
- Diploma Supplement or transcript.
- Required: National Council of University CNU authentication and Foreign Ministry Apostille of the degree (Spanish version only)
- Apostille of the Diploma Supplement or Transcript by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Scope of the Branch Campus at Avrio Institute
UCN European Programmes will operate a direct Branch Campus extension of the university Universidad Central de Nicaragua via UCN European Programmes on the premises of Institut Avrio de Geneve.
The Branch Campus will be exclusively responsible and will enjoy regional protection for the target countries Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg in the following study languages French, Italian, German as well as in Arabic for the provision of the programmes subject to this Branch Campus agreement.
The programmes provided at the Branch Campus on the premises of Institut Avrio de Geneve are under the direct supervision and responsibility of the Dean of European Programmes of the university as postgraduate Master and Doctor degree programmes offered by the university and the degrees awarded by the university.
The programmes subject to the operation of the Branch Campus of UCN European Programmes on the premises of Institut Avrio de Geneve cover the following study areas and specialisations:
- Master degrees
in the following study areas – either course-based or research-thesis based:
- Business Administration
- International Law and International Relations
- Environmental Management
- Health Sciences
- Education Management
- Doctor degrees
in the following study areas – either course-based or research-thesis based:
- Research PhD by thesis in:
- Philosophiae Doctor en Administracion / PhD in Management
- Philosophiae Doctor en Derecho Internacional y Relaciones Internacionales / PhD in International Law and Internacional Relations
- Philosophiae Doctor en / PhD in
- Environmental Management
- Health Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Education Management
- Curriculum-based Doctorate:
- Doctor en Administración de Empresas / Doctor of Business Administration
- Research PhD by thesis in:
The Branch Campus on the premises of Institut Avrio de Geneve will provide the curricular modules, research assignments and thesis defense as required in the curricula and study plans of the master or doctor degrees awarded by UCN. The curricula of the programmes provided by Branch Campus on the premises of Institut Avrio de Geneve will match the curricula of UCN European Programmes.
UCN European Programmes is the official provider of master and doctoral study programmes subject to this agreement. This includes the following services:
Validation of the programmes offered by Branch Campus on the premises of Institut Avrio de Geneve as equivalent to master and doctoral programmes of the university,
- approval of student admissions,
- issuing confirmation of admission to study,
- acceptance of transcripts and transfer credits for transfer to the respective university programme,
- organizational und administrative support,
- accounting and invoicing of the education provision by UCN,
- quality assurance of the offered study programs and marketing strategies,
- quality assurance of teaching, education services and teaching.
 Ley de Autonomia de las Instituciones de Educación Superior, 89/1990, Kapitel II, Art. 7-9 (University)
 Ley General de Educación, 382/2006, Art. 82 (University)
Annex: Higher Education System in Nicaragua
Stages of Study:
Grados (graduate degrees) and Postgrados (Specialist, Master and Doctor) University level first stage: Licenciatura
The Licenciatura is awarded after four to six years´ study, depending on the subject. A professional qualification is awarded after studies lasting five years in Engineering (Ingeniero) and Architecture (Arquitecto) and six years in Medicine (Doctor).
University level second stage: Maestría, Especialización
A Maestría is conferred after studies lasting for one to two years after the Licenciatura. Students must present a thesis. There are also postgraduate courses in various specialities in Medicine, Health Sciences, Law, Psychology, Education, Economics and Social Sciences.
University level third stage: Doctorado
A Doctorado is conferred after studies lasting for two to three years after the Maestría or graduate degree. Students must present a thesis. There are also doctoral research courses in various specialities including Business Administration, Education, Law, Psychology and Health Sciences.
Nicaraguan Higher Education Legal Framework / Marco Legal de la Educacion Superior de Nicaragua
Quotation from Political Constitution of Nicaragua:
”Universities and Higher Technical Education Centers enjoy academic, financial, organizational and administrative autonomy, in accordance with the law.
They shall be exempt from all taxation and tax contributions, regional and municipal. Their assets and income shall not be subject to intervention, expropriation or seizure, unless the obligation is asserted, has its origin in civil contracts, commercial or labour.
Teachers, students and administrative workers are involved in university management.
Universities and Higher Technical Education Centres which by law must be funded by the state, will receive an annual contribution of 6% of the general budget of the Republic, which will be distributed in accordance with the law. The State may grant additional contributions for extraordinary expenses of such universities and centres of higher technical education.
It guarantees academic freedom. The State promotes and protects the free creation, research and dissemination of science, technology, arts and letters, and ensures and protects intellectual property.”
Quotations from the Law No. 89 on the Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education
Universities and Higher Technical Education Centres legally constituted have legal personality. Consequently, they enjoy full capacity to acquire, manage, hold and dispose of property and rights of every kind; issuing academic and professional qualifications and incur obligations in connection with its purposes and shall be governed by this Act and its own Regulations and Statutes. The state will finance all Universities and Higher Technical Education, included in this Act.
The Universities and Higher Technical Education in the country shall enjoy academic, financial, organizational and administrative autonomy understood as follows: 1. Teaching or academic autonomy: it implies that it alone can appoint and dismiss teachers and academic staff, through the procedures and requirements of the laws themselves, select their students, by evidence and necessary conditions to develop and approve plans and programs of study and research, etc. (…)
Autonomy also gives the power to: 1. Enjoy its own assets. 2. Issue certificates of study, graduate letters, certificates, diplomas, academic degrees and titles and equivalency of studies conducted in other universities and higher education institutions, domestic or foreign. State universities have the authority to recognize academic degrees and diplomas and university diplomas issued abroad. 3. Authorize professional practice except advocacy and notary, which by law is the responsibility of the Supreme Court. 4. The inviolability of the university premises and campuses. The police can only enter them with written authorization from the competent university authorities. 5. Approve their statutes and regulations.
Universities and Higher Technical Education Centres will maintain and develop relationships with academic, scientific and cultural institutions based inside or outside the country.
Academic freedom is a fundamental principle of higher education in Nicaragua.
Universities and private Higher Technical Education Centres shall have all such powers and authorities designate, as provided by its own statutes and regulations.
Quotations from the General Law of Education No. 582
Higher education subsystem
Article 48: The Higher Education Subsystem is the second stage of the education system that consolidates the integral formation of persons, produces knowledge, develops research and innovation and trains professionals in the highest level of expertise and development in all fields of knowledge, art, culture, science and technology to meet the demands of society, ethnic community and contribute to the development and sustainability of the country.
University institutions are governed by Law 89 on Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education.
The Centres or Institute for Studies and Research, will meet the needs of professional, scientific, social and economic interest of the nation, not intended to substitute in any case those colleges or universities, which according to current regulations also have the right to award titles themselves, studies of the Centres or Institutes for Studies and Research will include updating studies, postgraduate, specialization, master’s or doctoral degrees, certificates whose diplomas, specialist, master’s and doctoral enjoy full legal recognition nationally and internationally.
Quotations from the Law No. 704 on Quality Assurance in Education
Section 6 Definitions.
For the purposes of this Act the following definitions: (…)
- Institution of higher education: Entity legally established in the country, which aims to generate, disseminate and apply knowledge through teaching, research, and extension, authorized to grant academic or professional degrees (…)
- Academic Programs: Educational offers oriented on granting academic or professional degrees at the levels of higher technical degree, licenciatura or engineer, specialist, doctor and others which qualify for the practice of a profession, (…)
All information and details on this page about the program and/or universities are included verbatim from universities files. While the information related to the institute has been written by the administration of the institute.