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Saint Joseph University of Beirut

Coordinates: 33°53′28″N 35°30′30″E / 33.89111°N 35.50833°E / 33.89111; 35.50833
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Saint Joseph University
of Beirut
جامعة القديس يوسف في بيروت
MottoAd maiorem Dei gloriam (Latin)
Motto in English
For the greater glory of God and Excellence of a Nation
TypePrivate Roman Catholic Research Non-profit Coeducational Higher Education Institution
Established1875; 149 years ago (1875)
Religious affiliation
Society of Jesus
Academic affiliations
PresidentSalim Georges Daccache
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Other students
920 registered foreign students
33°53′28″N 35°30′30″E / 33.89111°N 35.50833°E / 33.89111; 35.50833
Campus5 urban campuses in Beirut, 3 regional university centers in Sidon, Zahlé and Tripoli, Lebanon, and 1 in Dubai
Colors   Navy Blue and white
Sporting affiliations
  • Lebanese Universities Sports Federation
  • UniLeague Championship

Saint Joseph University of Beirut (Arabic: جامعة القديس يوسف في بيروت; French: Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, abbreviated to and commonly known as USJ) is a private Roman Catholic research university located in Beirut, Lebanon, which was founded in 1875 by French Jesuit missionaries and subsidized by the Government of France during the time when Lebanon was under Ottoman rule.[2][3][4] It is widely recognized as one of the leading and most prestigious academic institutions in Lebanon and Middle East.[5][6][7][8] USJ's roster of graduates includes seven of independent Lebanon's thirteen Presidents, a Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, two Presidents of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, Governors of the Banque du Liban, hundreds of legislators and ministers, numerous judges, and high-ranking civil servants, among them Commanders of the Lebanese Armed Forces and executives of the Internal Security Forces.[9] As the oldest and foremost French university in Lebanon, it not only promotes Lebanese culture but also upholds a policy of equal admission opportunity without consideration of ethno-religious affiliations. Furthermore, it advocates trilingual education, offering instruction in Arabic, French, and English.[10] Additionally, it is known in Lebanon and the Middle East for its prominent university hospital, the Hôtel-Dieu de France, and for its prestigious and historical Faculty of Law,[11] modern Lebanon's oldest law school and the first law school in Lebanon since the ancient Roman law school of Berytus.[12]

The 12,650-student enrollment is served by an academic staff of 2,000 and a support staff of 540, distributed over its 13 faculties, 24 institutes and schools, across five campuses in Beirut, with regional university centers in Sidon, Tripoli, and Zahlé, as well as one foreign center, the USJ-Dubai, located in Dubai, UAE. The student body represents 45 countries.[13]

USJ stands out as a unique university in the Middle East and the Arab world by being the only one to follow the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which is complemented by its official recognition and compliance with the higher education regulations of Lebanon. USJ has partnerships with over 275 institutions in 42 countries worldwide, including Francophone, Jesuit, and Arab universities.[14]


Entrance to the Medical Sciences Campus.

In 1839, French Jesuit missionaries came to Beirut and established a modest French catholic school.[15] Later, in 1855, the Jesuits missionaries founded a bigger seminary-college in Ghazir. The seminary moved to Beirut in 1875, where it merged with the first school established earlier in 1839. Public authorities quickly graced the new school with the title of "university," which allowed it to grant academic degrees, with a focus on doctoral degrees in philosophy and theology. In his audience of 25 February 1881, Pope Leo XIII bestowed the title of pontifical university on USJ.[3]

The creation of faculties and institutes gradually followed the establishment of the university. For instance, the Institute of Medicine founded in 1883, became the French Faculty of Medicine in 1888, and later the French Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1889. Today, the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy has a reputation for excellence in education and research in the region.[8] A maternity clinic opened in 1896, followed by the Oriental College in 1902. The university has since been noted for establishing a continuous French presence in the eastern Mediterranean.[16]

The School for French Law was established in 1913 under the patronage of the University of Lyon.[17] The Institute for Political Sciences was first established in 1920 and is now known as "SciencesPo Beyrouth."[18] They both evolved into the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Saint Joseph University in 1946. Today, the Faculty of Law continues to offer a rigorous and comprehensive approach to legal education, covering both French and Lebanese law in their entirety.[19] Students have the opportunity to study these legal systems side by side, exploring the similarities and differences between them. Most of the major law classes are taught in French. The Faculty of Law enjoys a strong reputation in corporate law, family law, private international law,[20] as well as in other areas of international law. Current faculty members have contributed to the development of the law in France, Lebanon, the Gulf countries, and other regions of the world.[18] The Institute of Political Science offers the Arab Master's in Democracy and Human Rights, widely regarded as the most prestigious program of its kind in the Arab world.[21]

A statue of Saint Joseph in the Social Sciences Campus commonly known as "Huvelin."

The French School of Engineering also founded in 1913 became the Higher School for Engineering of Beirut (French: École Supérieure d'Ingénieurs de Beyrouth (ESIB)) in 1948.[22] For many years, USJ held a monopolistic position in engineering education in Lebanon and the Levant, training the first generations of engineers in the region.[23]

The university launched Berytech, a business development center, in 2008.[24] In 2012, the Faculty of Economics launched a new master's degree in web science and digital economy, the first of its kind in the Middle East region.[25]

The saying goes that "[i]t is Saint Joseph University of Beirut that has healed, legislated, and built Lebanon." (French: "C’est l’USJ qui a soigné, légiféré, et construit le Liban.")[8] The university ranks very high for the quality of its publications.[26]



Saint Joseph University of Beirut has been consistently ranked as the second-best[27] university in Lebanon, and it has a historical rivalry with the top English-speaking university, the American University of Beirut (AUB).[2] It has also established itself as the foremost French university in the nation and ranks among the most prestigious academic institutions in the Middle East.[5][6][7][28]

The University has 13 faculties, 24 institutes and schools, spread out across five campuses in the city of Beirut, as well as regional centers in three other major cities of Lebanon, and a foreign center in Dubai. It is structured as follows:[29]

  1. Faculty of Medicine (French: Faculté de médecine (FM)) which was founded in 1883. It operates a large university hospital, the Hotêl-Dieu de France, and includes:
    1. The School of Midwifery (French: École de sage-femmes (ESF)) founded in 1922
    2. The Institute of Physical Therapy (French: Institut de physiothérapie (IPHY)) founded in 1956
    3. The Institute of Psychomotor Therapy (French: Institut de psychomotricité (IPM)) founded in 1999
    4. The Higher Institute of Speech and Language Therapy (French: Institut supérieur d'orthophonie (ISO)) founded in 1966
    5. The Institute of Occupational Therapy (French: Institut d'ergothérapie (IET)) founded in 2016
    6. The Higher Institute of Public Health (French: Institut supérieur de santé publique (ISSP)) founded in 2016
  2. Faculty of Pharmacy (French: Faculté de Pharmacie (FP)) founded in 1889 and which includes:
    1. The School of Medical Laboratory Scientists (French: École de techniciens de laboratoires d'analyses médicales (ETLAM)) founded in 1946
  3. Faculty of Dental Medicine (French: Faculté de médecine dentaire (FMD)) founded in 1920
  4. Faculty of Nursing Sciences (French: Faculté des sciences infirmières (FSI)) founded in 1942
Façade of the Humanities Campus.
  1. Faculty of Humanities (French: Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines (FLSH)) reorganized in 1976 and now comprising specialized departments for western literature; sociology and anthropology (including human resources management); history (including archeology, and cross-cultural studies); geography (including tourism geography, and environmental resource management); philosophy (including eastern and western philosophy); and psychology. The faculty includes:
    1. The Institute of Oriental Letters (French: Institut de lettres orientales (ILO)) founded in 1936 and focused mainly on Arabic literature, islamic philosophy, islamic studies, and education in Arab countries
    2. The Lebanese School of Social Work (French: École Libanaise de Formation Sociale (ELFS)) founded in 1948
    3. The Institute of Theatre, Audiovisual, and Cinema Studies (French: Institut d'Études Scéniques, audiovisuelles, et cinématographiques (IESAV)) founded in 1988
      Logo of USJ's Institute of Theatre, Audiovisual, and Cinema Studies (IESAV). Nadine Labaki, a distinguished alumna of IESAV, shines as a prominent figure in the realm of artistic achievements.
  2. Faculty of Languages and Translation (French: Faculté des langues et de traduction (FdLT)) founded in 1980 and which includes:
    1. The School of Translators and Interpreters of Beirut (French: École de traducteurs et d'interprètes de Beyrouth (ETIB))
    2. The Center for Modern Languages (French: Centre des Langues Vivantes (CLV))
  3. Faculty of Education Sciences (French: Faculté des sciences de l'éducation (FSédu)) which includes:
    1. The Lebanese Institute for Educators (French: Institut libanais d'éducateurs (ILE))
  4. Higher School of Arts and Fashion Design (French: École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode (ESMOD)). ESMOD was initially established in 1841 in Paris by Alexis Lavigne, the tailor of Empress Eugénie of France. It is present in Lebanon since 1999 and is now part of USJ
  5. Faculty of Religious Sciences (French: Faculté des sciences religieuses (FSR)) with a long and rich history going all the way back to 1875. It includes:
    1. The Higher Institute of Religious Sciences (French: Institut supérieur de sciences religieuses (ISSR)) established in 1980
    2. Institute of Islamo-Christian Studies (French: Institut d'études islamo-chrétiennes (IEIC)) founded in 1977
  • Law, Political Science
  1. Faculty of Law and Political Science (French: Faculté de droit et des sciences politiques (FDSP)) founded in 1913 and reorganized in 1946. It includes:
    1. The Institute of Political Science (known as "SciencesPo Beyrouth") (French: Institut des Sciences Politiques (ISP)) founded in 1920
    2. The Center for Legal Studies in the Arab World (French: Centre d'études des droits du monde arabe (CEDROMA)). CEDROMA was founded in 1997 following a partnership agreement between the University and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Its purpose is to promote a better understanding of the laws of Arab countries through a comparative law approach, particularly in relation to French law
  1. Faculty of Economics (French: Faculté des sciences économiques (FSE))
  2. Faculty of Business Administration and Management (French: Faculté de gestion et management (FGM)) which includes:
    1. The Institute of Business Administration (French: Institut de gestion des entreprises (IGE))
  3. Higher Institute for Banking Studies (French: Institut supérieur d'études bancaires (ISEB))
  4. Higher Institute for Insurance Studies (French: Institut supérieur des sciences de l'assurance (ISSA))
  • Engineering and Technology, Sciences
    The Sciences and Technology Campus (ESIB).
  1. Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (French: Faculté d'ingénierie et d'architecture (FIA))
    1. Higher School of Engineering of Beirut (French: École superieure d'Ingenieurs de Beyrouth (ESIB)) established in 1948
    2. Higher School of Architecture of Beirut (French: École superieure d'architecture de Beyrouth (ESAR)) reestablished in 2023
    3. Higher School of Agricultural Engineering for Mediterranean Countries (French: École superieure d'ingénieurs d'agronomie méditerranéenne (ESIAM))
    4. Higher School of Food Engineering (French: École superieure d'ingénieurs agroalimentaires (ESIA))
    5. National Institute of Communication and Informatics (French: Institut national des télécommunications et de l'informatique (INCI))
  2. Faculty of Sciences (French: Faculté des Sciences (FS))
  • Other university centers
  1. Japanese Academic Center (French: Centre académique japonais (CAJAP))
  2. Professional Center for Mediation (French: Centre professionnel de médiation (CPM))
  3. Confucius Institute (French: Institut Confucius (IC)) for the teaching of Chinese and the promotion of Chinese culture.
  4. University for All (French: Université Pour Tous (UPT)). UPT provides advanced-level courses that are accessible to everyone in Lebanon, without any requirements or registration, and do not confer academic degrees.

The Social Sciences Campus (commonly known as "Huvelin" after its founder Paul-Louis Huvelin)[30] is known for its competitive bachelor programs that prepare students to pursue advanced master's degrees in top business and law schools in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, other Member States of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada.

Façade of the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory.

Additionally, USJ proudly showcases prestigious institutions such as the Center for Arab Christian Research and Documentation (French: Centre de documentation et de recherches arabes chrétiennes (CEDRAC)), the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory, the Mim Museum for minerals and fossils and its two theaters: Le Béryte and Théâtre Monnot. USJ houses the Bibliothèque Orientale, one of the oldest and most prominent research libraries of the Near East, and a repository for ancient valuable Oriental books and manuscripts.[31]

Inside USJ's Mim museum that houses more than 2000 rare minerals.

The business school has received an "excellent" ranking from Eduniversal.[32]


The Innovation and Sports Campus.

Saint Joseph University of Beirut campuses include:

  • The Medical Sciences Campus (French: Campus des Sciences Médicales (CSM)) on Damascus Street.
  • The Sciences and Technology Campus (French: Campus des Sciences et Technologies (CST)) in Mar Roukouz.
  • The Social Sciences Campus "Huvelin" (French: Campus des Sciences Sociales (CSS)) on Monnot Street.
  • The Humanities Campus (French: Campus des Sciences Humaines) on Damascus Street.
  • The Innovation and Sports Campus (French: Campus de l'Innovation et du Sport (CIS)) on Damascus Street.

The three regional centers are located in Sidon (Southern Lebanon), Zahlé (Beqaa Valley), and Tripoli (Northern Lebanon).

In 2008, Saint Joseph University opened a branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Saint Joseph University - Dubai offers a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Master of Laws (LLM), and a Master of Arts (MA) in translation. The campus is located in the Dubai International Academic City. The university is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority of the Emirate of Dubai.

University Chapel, the Saint Joseph Church of the Jesuit Fathers on Monnot Street.

International cooperation


USJ has more than 275 partnerships with foreign universities, most notably with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. It also has more than 200 professors on missions abroad and a large administrative office in Paris, France.

The university belongs to the following associations which directly link it to over a 100 American, Arab, Canadian, and European universities:

Notable alumni and academics


See also



  1. ^ "L'USJ en chiffres" [The USJ in figures]. USJ.edu.lb (in French). St. Joseph University. 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Herzstein, Rafaël (March 2010). "Une présence française en Méditerranée orientale : la fondation de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (1875–1914)". Matériaux Pour l'Histoire de Notre Temps (3): 4–11. doi:10.3917/mate.099.0004. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  3. ^ a b Herzstein, Rafael (July 2008). "Saint-Joseph University of Beirut: An Enclave of the French-Speaking Communities in the Levant, 1875–1914". Itinerario. 32 (2): 67–82. doi:10.1017/S0165115300001996. ISSN 2041-2827. S2CID 154804454.
  4. ^ Herzstein, Rafaël (2017). "La création de l'Université Saint-Joseph à Beyrouth (1875–1914)". Outre-Mers: 321–327. doi:10.3917/om.171.0321. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Six universités libanaises dans le top 50 du classement arabe". L'Orient-Le Jour. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth (USJ)". www.fiuc.org. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  7. ^ a b reporters, T. H. E. (14 December 2021). "Times Higher Education Awards Asia 2021: winners announced". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  8. ^ a b c "L'Université Saint-Joseph : diversification des formations, ouverture sur le monde et recherche". L'Orient-Le Jour. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  9. ^ "USJ – 90 ans au compteur de la faculté de droit et des sciences politiques de l'Université Saint-Joseph Les premières promotions ont constitué l'épine dorsale de la vie publique (photo)". L'Orient-Le Jour. 3 November 2003. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth (USJ)". fiuc.org. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  11. ^ "La faculté de droit de l'USJ fête ses cent ans : un établissement qui a pesé sur le destin du Liban". L'Orient-Le Jour. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  12. ^ ""Béryte, mère des lois" : plus qu'une devise, un legs historique pour la "thaoura" libanaise". L'Orient-Le Jour. 21 December 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  13. ^ "Programs in English 2021-2022" (PDF). usj.edu.lb. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Saint Joseph University – Beirut". usj.edu.lb. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Étienne F. Augé (2016). "Éducation et culture". Liban. De Boeck Supérieur. ISBN 9782804191078.
  16. ^ Herzstein, Rafaël (1 December 2011). "Une présence française en Méditerranée orientale : la fondation de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (1875-1914), French Presence in the Eastern Mediterranean : the Foundation of the Saint Joseph University in Beirut (1875–1914)". Matériaux Pour l'Histoire de Notre Temps (in French). 99 (99): 4–11. doi:10.3917/mate.099.0004. ISSN 0769-3206.
  17. ^ "Entretien avec Fouad Maroun – 1875-2015 : l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth fête ses 140 ans - Les clés du Moyen-Orient". www.lesclesdumoyenorient.com (in French). Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Site de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth - USJ". www.usj.edu.lb. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Site de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth - USJ". www.usj.edu.lb. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  20. ^ Gannagé, Pierre (2000). "Regards sur le droit international privé des Etats du Proche-Orient". Revue internationale de droit comparé. 52 (2): 417–427. doi:10.3406/ridc.2000.18102.
  21. ^ "The Arab Master Programme on Democracy and Human Rights | The Danish Institute for Human Rights". www.humanrights.dk. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  22. ^ "History". USJ.edu.lb. St. Joseph University. Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  23. ^ Beyhum, Nabil; Tabet, Jade (1990). "Le rôle social des ingénieurs au Liban, idéologies de formation et stratégies sociales". MOM Éditions. 4 (1): 291–307.
  24. ^ Nabil Sukkar (2017). "Forging Research Links Between Academia, Business and Industry in Syria and Lebanon". In Gómez, Aboujaoude; Feghali, Mahmoud (eds.). Modernizing Academic Teaching and Research in Business and Economics. Springer. p. 185.
  25. ^ "Master Web Science et économie numérique". USJ.edu.lb. St. Joseph University. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  26. ^ "USNEWS rankings". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  27. ^ Chrabieh, Pamela (19 April 2013). "Where is Lebanon in World's university ranking?". pchrabieh.blogspot.se. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth Rankings". topuniversities.com. Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  29. ^ "Université Saint-Joseph USJ". www.higher-edu.gov.lb. Retrieved 9 October 2017.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "La faculté de droit de l'USJ fête ses cent ans : un établissement qui a pesé sur le destin du Liban". L'Orient-Le Jour. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  31. ^ "Bibliothèque Orientale de l'Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  32. ^ "Ranked N° 3 Université Saint Joseph - Faculté de Gestion et de Management (FGM) in Lebanon among the 3 palms". www.eduniversal-ranking.com. Retrieved 9 October 2017.[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ Rola el Husseini (2004). "Lebanon: Building political dynasties". In Volker Perthes (ed.). Arab Elites: Negotiating the Politics of Change. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 9781588262660.
  34. ^ a b c "La composition du nouveau gouvernement". www.lorientlejour.com. L'Orient Le Jour. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  35. ^ Amikam Nachmani, (1987) Israel, Turkey and Greece: Uneasy Relations in the East Mediterranean Routledge, ISBN 0-7146-3321-6 p 4
  36. ^ Eliyahu Sasson: Public Activities Knesset website
  37. ^ Joelle Khoury listed as having attended Saint Joseph University on page at brunel.ac.uk