The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is a private, nonprofit higher education institution, with Christian roots. For over 100 years, it has been dedicated to preparing students in all branches of the humanities, social, and scientific work. It has served as a cultural bridge between North America and Latin America.
Rev. John Will Harris founded the institution in 1912, as an elementary and high school, as the Polytechnic Institute of Puerto Rico, in Lomas de Santa Marta, San Germán. It is there where the San Germán Campus is located today. In 1927, the first college class graduated. In 1944, the institution was accredited by the Middle States Association of College and Secondary Schools, becoming the first liberal arts college to receive such accreditation in Puerto Rico and outside the continental United States. This accreditation has been maintained through the years. The University offers academic programs in eleven academic units, namely: Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Fajardo, Guayama, Metropolitan, Ponce, and San Germán; and two professional schools, the School of Optometry and the School of Law. There also is an online academic offering with over 50 programs in Spanish and English. Currently, the Inter American University of Puerto Rico maintains an enrollment of about 40,000 students, representing 21% of the university student population and 35% of students enrolled in private institutions in Puerto Rico.