Founded in 1967, the UCP is the fourth university created in Portugal, and has established itself over the years for the quality of its teaching, the rigor of its training, the prestige of its teachers, and the important leaders it has trained, who are renowned not only in Portugal but also abroad. Attended by 19,000 students, 25% of whom are foreigners, it also trains about 8,000 business executives annually in executive training courses. Since 2018, it is considered the #1 Portuguese university in the WUR – Times Higher Education ranking. It is the only non-state university member of the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities.
Throughout the country, in four regional centers (Lisbon, Porto, Braga and Viseu), it participates in the University of Saint Joseph in Macau, and in the International and European Federations of Catholic Universities. Since 2018, its Rector is the President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities.