The history of the University of Santa Cruz do Sul blends together with the history of the Associação Pró-Ensino em Santa Cruz do Sul (APESC), its sponsor, founded in 1962. The project responsible for giving rise to UNISC was designed through collective efforts from the community, following the commitment and participation of different segments of a community who believes in higher education as a resource for social development. Thus, UNISC’s social identity is responsible for its growth following technological advances, without neglecting attention to humans and the environment.

The quality of the work the Institution performs is another continuous concern. The economic crisis and the democratization process Brazil took place during the 80s and had significant effects on the University. It helped on establishing and reinforcing principles that resulted especially in democratic life at all levels, participative planning, management transparency and commitment with the community.

The fact that the University bears several projects linked to health, education, sports, environment, communication and technological development supports the bonds of an institution committed to ethical principles and a sustainable development of the community where it is inserted in.


1962 – Foundation of Associação Pró-Ensino em Santa Cruz do Sul (APESC), UNISC’s sponsor.

1964 – Creation of the Accounting Sciences School

1967 – Beginning of the courses offered by the Philosophy, Sciences and Languages

1968 – Creation of the Law School.

1970 – Creation of the Physical Education School.

1980 – The necessary approval from the Ministério da Educação – MEC (Brazilian Ministry of Education) was given to the Institution in order to create the Faculdades Integradas de Santa Cruz do Sul (FISC), gathering four schools under its responsibility and, this way, making it possible to offer teaching undergraduate courses during a special period - summer and winter breaks – and Graduate (Specialist Degree) courses.

1991 – Approval of the consultation letter for the creation of the University by the Conselho Federal de Eduação – CFE (Federal Council of Education) extinguishing the Schools and giving rise to the Departments which began to report directly to the Senior Management

1993 – The institution acquired the title of University of Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC) offering education, research and extension and allowing the development of new courses in different fields like Health and Engineering.

1993 – Creation of the Polo for Technological Innovation in Rio Pardo Valley.

1994 – Implementation of the first graduate course of Master’s degree in Regional Development which, since 2002, has been also offering the Doctorate program.

1998 – Establishment of the University Campus in the city of Sobradinho.

1999 – APESC became the sponsor of Centro de Educação Profissional da  UNISC (CEPRU) [professional education center].

2001 – Establishment of the University Campus in the city of Capão da Canoa.

2003 – APESC purchased Hospital Santa Cruz (HSC), the oldest and biggest health center in Santa Cruz do Sul and region. It soon became a place where the University’s students can perform their internships.

2004 – Establishment of the University Campus in the city of Venâncio Aires.

2005 – Development of a technological incubator called ITUNISC at the University.

2008 – UNISC obtained the highest score at an evaluation performed by the Education Ministry's (MEC) National System for Evaluating Higher Education (SINAES).

2010 – UNISC obtained the highest score, five, at the Avaliação Institucional Externa [External Institutional Evaluation] INEP/SESu/MEC.

2011 - Establishment of the University Campus in the city of Montenegro. UNISC signs her reaccreditation with MEC for another ten years.

2012 – HSC is acknowledged by the Education and Health Ministries as a teaching hospital.

2014 – Official opening of UNISC’s scientific and technological park called TecnoUnisc.