Education System of Peru

The school education in Peru last for 12 years and is divided into 4 levels: Primary education of 6 years duration; Secondary education of 5 years duration: (This level encompasses 2 years of general secondary education and 3 years of academic or technical secondary education) and Territory Education.

Pre-primary Education (Educacion Inicial)

The pre-school education begins at the age of 3. This educational level is offered by the nursery schools, and promotes the overall development of the child. Pre-primary education is compulsory for children aged 5 to 6. 

Primary Education (Educacion Primaria)

Primary education in Peru is compulsory and of 6 years duration. This educational level is divided into 3 cycles of 2 years each:
  • First cycle comprises of grades 1 and 2
  • Second cycle comprises of grades 3 and 4
  • Third cycle comprises of grades 5 and 6

Secondary Education (Educacion Secundaria)

Secondary education in Colombia is compulsory and of 5 years duration. This educational level comprises of two streams:
  • General secondary education: This is of 2 years duration and is applicable for all the students. This level is compulsory. 
  • Academic or technical secondary education: This stream is of 3 years duration. Students after completion of the general secondary education are required to choose between academic and technical secondary education. In the academic stream, students choose between science and arts; and in technical stream, technical and professional subjects are taught.

Higher Education

Higher education in Peru is offered by universities, higher schools and institutes, technological colleges, and higher postgraduate centres. In Peru, there are both public and private higher education institutions. 
Higher education in Peru is divided into two levels:
  • University level education
  • Non-university level education

University-Level Education

University education started in Peru with the creation of the Higher education in the form of universities began in Peru with the establishment of the National University of San Marcos (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos) by the Royal Decree issued by King Carlos V on May 12 in 1551. 

University-level education consists of universities, religious institutions, and specialized art and music institutions.   These institutions are called as conservatory (conservatorio), college (nstituto) , and high school (escuela superior).

Non-university Education

Non-university education in Peru is offered by technical production centers, educational institutions and technological institutions. The Ministry of Education oversees these institutions and provides them the operating licenses. 

Higher Education Qualifications

Undergraduate Level

The undergraduate study in Peru is of 4 to 6 years duration. The first 2 years are of general study, followed by 3 to 5 years of specialization.  Upon successful completion of the undergraduate level studies, a title of Bachiller.
Professional titles, such as Licenciado / Titulo Profesional are also awarded, subject to completion of a 6-month internship, or a comprehensive examination, or a thesis.   

Graduate Level Studies

Students who hold a Bachiller or an equivalent qualification are eligible for graduate level studies. The graduate level studies comprises of:
  • Master’s degree programme: This programme is of 2 years and required completion of an original research work. 
  • Graduate certificate programme/diploma: This programme is of 1 year duration and leads to the title of diploma (Titulo de Diplomado).
  • Doctoral programme: Students who have completed master’s studies are eligible for doctoral studies in Peru. The duration of the doctoral degree programme in Peru is 3 years and requires completion and defense of a thesis. Upon completion of the programme, the title of doctor is awarded (Grado de Doctor).

To know about the Peruvian education system in detail, read the post "Peruvian Education Overview".

Grading System

The educational institutions in Peru generally use a 20-point grading scale. 11 is the minimum pass grade. Some of the universities in Peru give letter grades.

 Grade Scale 1 Scale 2Grade description (In English)  Grade description (In Spanish) US Grade
 A 90.00-100.00 140.00-20.00 Excellent Excelente A
 B 80.00-89.99 12.00-13.99 Very Good Muy Bueno B
 C 70.00-79.99 11.00-12.99 Pass Aprobado C
 D 60.00-69.99 10.00-10.99 Conditional Pass Aplazado D
 F 1.00-59.99 0.00-9.99 Fail Reprobado F

Academic Year

The academic year in Peru commences in March and ends in November/December.  Summer holidays starts from December-end until February.Winter holidays are in July.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction in Peru is Spanish. Bilingual education is also offered in Peru, mostly Spanish-Aymara or Spanish-Quechua. 

Admission Requirements

For entry to the higher education in Peru, students must hold the Official Certificate of Secondary Education Studies (Certificado Oficial de Estudios de Educacion Secundaria). Admission in Peruvian higher education is competitive. Entrance examinations are also held for entry into the universities in Peru. These exams are set by the respective university in Peru. 

For detailed information on the admission requirements for Peruvian higher education institutions, click here.
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