Located in Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA) is a Federal Institute of Higher Education, in operation since March 1961, when it was founded under the title of Catholic College of Medicine of Porto Alegre. Federalized in 1980, it was named Federal College Foundation of Medical Sciences of Porto Alegre (FFFCMPA). In January 2008, it obtained the status of university, being re-named as Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA).
UFCSPA holds undergraduate programs, stricto (master's and doctorate), and lato sensu (specialization) graduate programs, as well as medical residency programs. For an example of excellence in education, 97% of the university’s faculty staff hold master’s and doctorate degrees. In 2019, when considering only undergraduate programs by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (according to its punctuation in IGC), UFCSPA scores as the best institution in Brazil. In the general index, it is the second-best in the state and the eighth-best federal university in the country. It is also among the best universities in the world, among the 150 best universities in Latin America and among the 500 best universities in emerging economies according to the last Times Higher Education rankings, as well as among the 600 best institutions in Medicine according to the last QS Rankings by Subject. In the last Times Higher Education impact ranking, which is related to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UFCSPA is among the top 400 institutions in the world in the general ranking, and is the 57th best-positioned institution regarding SDG 3, “Health and Well-Being”.