The Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalan: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spanish: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, UAB) is a public university mostly located in Bellaterra, near the city of Barcelona in Catalonia.
As of 2005, it consists of 50 departments in the experimental, life, social and human sciences, spread among 11 faculties and three university schools. All these centers together award a total of 77 qualifications in the form of first degrees, diplomas, and engineering degrees. Moreover, almost 90 doctoral programs and more than 100 other postgraduate programs are offered. UAB gathers more than 50,000 students and more than 3,000 academic and research staff. The UAB is a pioneering institution in terms of fostering research. There are many research institutes in the campus, as well as other research centers, technical support services and service-providing laboratories.
The Autonomous University of Barcelona was officially created by legislative decree on June 6, 1968. Previously, during the Second Spanish Republic, there had been plans for constituting a second university in Barcelona, but due to the Civil War and the following years of poverty under the early dictatorship did not allow these plans to become a reality until that year.
On July 27, a disposition to the decree is added, stating the creation of the Faculty of Letters, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Economical Sciences. Around ten weeks later, on October 6, the first course of the Faculty of Letters is inaugurated at Sant Cugat del Vallès Monastery. During the same month, the Faculty of Medicine is set at the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona.
In 1969, an agreement is signed for the acquisition of the terrains where the University Campus is nowadays. During that year too, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Economical Sciences start running. During the following three years, several Faculties and Professional Schools are created, and the construction works at the Campus terrains take place. At the end of this period, most existing Faculties and Schools are settled in the campus.
At the end of the dictatorship in 1976, the University introduces a plan to create a model of democratic, independent university, described in a document known as Bellaterra Manifesto, which includes a declaration of principles. Two years later, after the approval of the Catalan Statute, the University Council agrees to recourse to the Generalitat de Catalunya.
During the period between 1985 and 1992 the University undergoes several Faculty reforms and the creation of several new Faculties. In 1993 the Universitary Ville is inaugurated as a students residence integrated inside the Campus complex.