International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987


Universities in Santiago

Pontifical Catholic University - Madre y Maestra

Ranked the 2nd best university in the Dominican Republic by the annual QS World University Rankings, the Pontifical Catholic University "Madre y Maestra" (PUCMM) is one of the country's most respected universities. Founded in 1962 in Santiago by the Dominican Order of the Roman Catholic Church, the University began its teaching endeavors in the fields of Law, Education, and Philosophy with sixty students and fifteen professors. The University has grown considerably over the past four decades and now enrolls nearly 13,000 students at three different campuses pursuing coursework in disciplines ranging from the Natural and Social Sciences and Humanities to Business, Engineering, and Health Sciences. The University is fully accredited by the State Department of Higher Education, Science, and Technology (Secretaría de Estado de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología). Around 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students study at the main campus in Santiago. The University is, in its own words, an "institution committed to academic excellence and that has among its goals the objective search for truth, the transmission and increase of knowledge, and the integral development of the human person."

The campus encompasses 300 beautifully landscaped acres with 32 buildings including modern classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices, library, computer labs, student center, recreational facilities--including a swimming pool, the university chapel, and general administrative buildings. The campus atmosphere benefits from beautiful tropical vegetation and a lively university community. Both undergraduate and post graduate degrees are offered in the fields of medicine, engineering, business, social sciences, law, humanities, and education.

The PUCMM's Department of Applied Linguistics (Departamento de Lingüística Aplicada) coordinates the teaching of Spanish, English, and French as foreign languages. The Español para Extranjeros program has accepted international students to study Spanish language and Latin American culture in the Dominican Republic for more than fifteen years. ISA students participate in these programs both during the regular semester and during the summer session.

Service-Learning in Santiago

Participants will attend one of the following universities if they are participating in an ISA program in conjunction with their service-learning program:

Pontifical Catholic University-Madre y Maestra (PUCMM)

Students participating in a full-time service-learning program will serve 15-35 hours per week at a local organization. All participants will develop a Portfolio throughout the program which includes reflective essays, group discussions, logs of hours, a supervisor evaluation and a certificate of completion.

Students participating in an ISA academic program and service-learning during the semester will work 5-10 hours per week at a local host organization while attending classes at the host university. The service-learning placement will begin 1-2 weeks after the first week of classes and end the week prior to final exams.

Students participating in an ISA academic program during the summer will begin their service-learning program after the ISA Summer academic program ends. Participants will spend between 15-35 hours per week at a local organization.

Participants can earn 1-6 credits based on the number of contact hours accrued at the host organization and successful completion of the Portfolio. Visit the Academic Credit page of the ISA Service-Learning website for more information.

Custom Programs in Santiago

Academics vary by program and may be comprised of one or more of the following:
  • A U.S. university-taught course
  • Guest lectures by local experts
  • Visits to local companies or organizations
  • Enrolling in a course at the host university in Santiago
  • Service-learning and/or internships