Education System of Peru

Geographical Location

Peru is located in the western part of South America, bordered by Brazil to the east, Pacific Ocean to the west, Colombia and Ecuador to the north, and Chile to the south. 

Understanding the Peruvian Education System

The Ministry of Education is responsible for education in Peru. Education in Peru is mandatory for children aged 5 to 17, and is free of charge in public schools. 

Laws Regulating the Peruvian Education System

General Education Act No. 28044 (General de Educacion)
Year: July 2003

University Act No. 23733 (Universitaria No. 23733)
Year: 1983 

Promotion of Private Investment in Education No. 882 (Promocion de la Inversion Privada en Educacion No. 882" law)

National System of Evaluation, Certification and Accreditation of Educational Quality ( Sistema Nacional de Evaluacion, Certificacion y Acreditacion de la Calidad Educativa)
Law no.: 28741

Education Profile of Peru

School Education

The school education in Peru last for 12 years and is divided into 4 levels:
  • Pre-primary education 
  • 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. 

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


National Superintendency of University Higher Education (SUNEDU, or Superintendencia Nacional de Educacion Superior Universitaria)

The National Superintendency of University Higher Education improves the quality standards of higher education in Peru. It carries out the quality assurance procedures and also sanctions the university operating licenses. The SUNEDU determines the higher education policies under the management of the Ministry of Education of Peru. 

Contact details:
Latches Street No. 337 - Urb Las Gardenias.. (Cruce Av Benavides and Caminos del Inca.) 
Tel: 511 275-4608511 275-4608 or 2100 
Annex 2154 
Santiago de Surco / Lima-Peru

National System of Evaluation, Accreditation and Certification of Educational Quality (SINEACE, or Sistema Nacional de Evaluacion, Acreditacion y Certificacion de la Calidad Educativa)

The National System of Evaluation, Accreditation and Certification of Educational Quality set the criteria for evaluation, accreditation and certification to ensure quality education. It work towards improving the quality and standard of education institutions and university programmes by developing accreditation and evaluation processes. 
It is formed as a specialized technical agency under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Education, and is involved in public law and public autonomy- financial, administrative and technical.

Contact details:
Calle Manuel Miota 235 San Antonio - Miraflores, Lima - Peru 
Phone: (511) 6371122-6371123

Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educacion)

The Ministry of Education is responsible for the education system at all level in Peru. It formulates the national education policies and directions of the education system in Peru. It also ensures quality education for all students. 

Contact details:

193 Commerce Street, San Borja 
Lima, Peru 

Switchboard: (1) 615-5800 


International Students

Entry Requirements: International students require a visa in order to enter Peru. A tourist visa is sufficient. Once you enter Peru, you can change the immigration status to student. 

Study and Living: Peru is an economical study and living destination. 
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