Although considered one of the leading universities in Latin America, UFM is radically different. Every student, regardless of discipline, takes classes in market economics and studies the social philosophy of classical liberal thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. All disciplines emphasize the role of entrepreneurs in advancing human well-being.
Over the years, UFM has become a popular gathering spot for free-market thinkers. It has presented honorary doctorates to four Nobel Prize–winning economists as well as a long list of other outstanding intellectuals and champions of freedom.
UFM targets the brightest students for admission and it has the most rigorous entrance requirements in the country. The university is emphatic that selection of students be based solely on academic criteria. No information on ability to pay, ethnicity, religion, or other affiliations is requested at any point in the admissions process. Students of all religions are represented, as are members of Guatemala’s indigenous Maya communities. Women generally comprise between 47 percent and 50 percent of the student body.