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The philosophic principles of Medellin University are manifested in the motto "Science and Liberty", and constitute the essence of the institutional course Science and Liberty that initiated in 2004. This course promotes knowledge about and appropriation of the political and philosophical ideals that in 1950 inspired the founders of Medellin University, at the same time as it encourages students' critical, intellectual, emotional, ethical and aesthetic potentials in order to stimulate their development as individuals and citizens.

The history of Medellin University commenced with some brave visionaries' ideas to issue the challenges of a time of social crisis, a moment that is described in the Educational Project of Medellin University (PEI, Proyecto Educativo Institucional) from 2011: "The founders projected Medellin University as a center for the promotion of science through research, for the practicing of liberty by way of knowledge, and for the education of professionals committed to the integral development of their country. These essential characteristics are outlined in the Foundation Act, with the intention that the people who are educated within this framework base their professional practice on the fundamental dimensions of human experience: truth, in search for knowledge; goodness, in ethical attitude; beauty, in the commitment to the development of our country; and unity, in their everyday work to construct a nation in which we all can live in harmony".

The institutional course Science and Liberty is taught in a traditional manner and each semester national and international academics are invited to give a lecture on Science and Liberty reflecting their personal thoughts about this subject. There are four lectures of this kind each semester.