University of São Paulo - Brazil


Postgraduate studies – Master’s and doctoral students

Postgraduate students (Mestrado and Doutorado) may apply either to take courses or to carry out research activities only. A combination of the two schemes is also possible. Students willing to attend courses should be nominated by the deadlines, whereas students willing to carry out only research activities may be accepted on a rolling basis and plus they will need a supervisor. Postgraduate students should be nominated by email only. No nomination via Mundus is required, therefore only applications submitted by undergraduate students can be received through that nomination/application system (see section on application procedures below).

Please note that if you are applying directly through one of our Local International Offices operating at the faculty level, especially if there is a direct bilateral agreement between your department and one of USP, you might receive different instructions.

To be eligible for an exchange place you will need to be nominated by the Study Abroad Advisor/Exchange Coordinator of your home university.

Before you apply

Some master’s curricula designed overseas may be equivalent to Brazilian bachelor’s degrees and therefore international students enrolled in subjects whose curricula at their home institutions are structured in a different, hence asymmetric way, e.g. Bologna second-cycle (Master’s) degrees,  may be advised to attend courses at USP preferably at the undergraduate level if they do wish to take courses only, but do not intend to carry out any research activities under the supervision of a USP faculty member/researcher at all. (see also Structure of degree programmes).

Nota Bene: postgraduate courses are fully accredited for the period of five years, but are not continuously offered. All designed courses are closely related to research interests of professors who do not offer them every single semester and not even every other semester. If you are considering attending classes, please notice that the course list may be subject to changes, therefore the learning agreement will not necessarily be set in stone at the application stage. The final course list will be made available only a few weeks before classes start.

Length of stay

A study period abroad at USP can last up to 12 months. For a student to have access to all facilities available at USP and especially discounts on restaurants (Cafeteria/Bandejão) and public transport, her/his stay should last a minimum of more than 3 months (from 91 days on). Students who stay at USP for 3 months (90 days) or less are regarded as special students and therefore will have limited access to facilities and services available at USP and in São Paulo State.

Research-based exchange

Exchange students whose aim is to perform research activities at USP under the supervision of a faculty member/researcher will need an invitation letter (see section on application procedures below).

Students looking for a supervisor may check the full list of accredited supervisors at (option: Orientadores > Listar orientadores por Área de Concentração, then one will be able to browse the course catalogue by School/Institute and then by Postgraduate Programme/Area of Concentration). Their profiles and research interests will be found on the webpage of the relevant Schools/Faculties/Institutes, generally in the main menu, option Ensino (Education) > Pós-graduação ((Post)graduate (programme)). One can also browse their full academic profiles at the Lattes platform (Plataforma Lattes). The Lattes platform is the major scientific information system and integrated data-base maintained by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) to manage information on science, technology, and innovation related to individual researchers working in Brazil.

Before contacting a potential supervisor, the student should take her/his time to gather as much information as possible about the professor’s work before e-mailing her/him. When contacting a professor, the applicant should be precise about her/his own research interests and also attach a CV and a draft research proposal. Students who need help to find a supervisor should contact either the relevant Local International Office operating at the faculty level or the Mobility Team of the Central International Office.

Course-based exchange

The course list is available at (option: Catálogo de disciplinas > Listar Disciplinas Catalogadas por Área de Concentração). Then one will be able to browse the course catalogue by School/Institute and then by Postgraduate Programme/Area of Concentration and check the full details regarding each single module.

The final course list for the relevant upcoming semester is made available at (option: Disciplinas Oferecidas > Listar Disciplinas Oferecidas por Área de Concentração. Then one will be able to browse the course catalogue by School/Institute and then by Postgraduate Programme/Area of Concentration and check the full details regarding each single module including the timetable (Turma).

Programmes, Areas of Concentration and Research Interests

When applying, students will be required to indicate a Postgraduate Programme, its relevant Area of Concentration and possibly the corresponding Research Interests. A full list of Programmes and Areas of Concentration is available at (option: Orientadores > Listar orientadores por Área de Concentração, then one will be able to browse the Programmes and Areas of Concentration by School/Institute, besides being able to check the professors/supervisors who are involved in them. One or more Areas of Concentration (white rows) may be part of a Programme (blue rows). Research interests of potential supervisors are normally listed on the website of each single department and will be related to a specific Programme and its relevant Area of Concentration.

Nomination and Application Deadlines

The deadlines listed below are valid only for nomination of students whose main/only objective is to attend courses. Students willing to carry out research activities only may be nominated on a rolling basis:

1st Semester (from February to June): Please nominate your students until October 5th (students should submit their applications at the latest at October 15th);

2nd Semester (from August to December): Please nominate your students until May 5th (students should submit their applications at the latest at May 15th).

The following details should be informed by email :

  1. Student’s full name;
  2. Email address;
  3. Level of study (whether master’s or doctoral).

Application procedures

Once you have been nominated as an exchange student by the Study Abroad Advisor/Exchange Coordinator of your home university, you will be emailed instructions to complete your application and will be required to submit the following documents, regardless of the type of mobility (taught or research only):

  1. Application form (download the template);
  2. Proof of Enrollment in a degree-granting programme at the home university (Master’s or doctoral);
  3. CV;
  4. Diploma(s) and Transcript of Records of previous as well as current degree programmes;

  5. Passport (bio-data page);
  6. A recent colour photo (in .jpg format);
  7. Research Proposal/Work Plan* that should contain: full name and further relevant details; the intended period of exchange clear – start and end dates of the mobility in the format dd/mm/yyyy; research topic/title; and project description (aims, methodology, expected outcomes and detailed timetable indicating the timeframe for each broad stage considering literature surveys, data collection, production, modelling, review, analysis, testing, reporting etc.);
  8. Learning Agreement* (download the template) – mandatory only for students applying for taught courses;
  9. Invitation letter: mandatory only for students willing to carry out research at USP (a one-page letter written by a professor who accepts to supervise the postgraduate research student;
  10. Letter of Recommendation from Professor/Supervisor/Faculty for participation in the relevant exchange program at USP.

* students applying for a combination of the two schemes (taught and research) may provide only the research proposal/work plan and then choose courses upon arrival, if applicable, provided that the exchange period starts before classes start.

Once the successful applicant is accepted, the School/Institute itself (not the Central International Office) will send the acceptance letter directly to the address informed by the Study Abroad Advisor/Exchange Coordinator, who will also receive a copy of the letter by email.

Language Requirements

Most classes at USP are taught in Portuguese only. Therefore, the student must have a good command of Portuguese (at least B1 level according to the CEFR) in order to attend classes. No specific certificate of language proficiency is required. For information on the availability of study options possibly taught in English, please refer to or to the Local International Offices operating at the faculty level.

There are no specific language requirements for students who wish to perform research activities only. The activities can be carried out in the language agreed upon by the student and the supervisor who accepts her/him.

Visa Information

If accepted for an exchange period at the Universidade de São Paulo, the student will receive an Acceptance Letter directly from the relevant Faculty/School/Institute. Providing the original document at the Brazilian diplomatic representation PTEN or ES in their home country is a mandatory step for students to request the appropriate Student Visa (VITEM IV).

For stays lasting no longer than 3 months (90 days), students may apply for a Visit Visa (Visto de Visita).

Mercosur citizens may be enrolled holding a Mercosur Visa. Nevertheless, they will not be able to receive any scholarship from whatever Brazilian funding agencies or institutions, if applicable. If granted a scholarship within the framework of a Brazilian programme, the student should apply for a Student Visa VITEM IV.

Further information is available at

Medical Insurance

The student will also have to provide evidence of medical insurance or appropriate and valid travel medical insurance policy for registration upon arrival. Students must purchase their Health/Travel Insurance in their countries of origin before travelling to Brazil (this must cover the entirety of the stay in Brazil). International students will have access to the Brazilian Public Health System only in emergency cases.

Tuition fees

USP is a public state institution that welcomes exchange students at no cost, except for a few short summer, winter and extension courses (refresher, diffusion, specialization, professionalizing, extension, etc) that are either free of charge or offered at reduced fees.

National Foreign Registry

The former National Foreign Registry (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro – RNE), the long-term identity document issued after Federal Police registration, has been renamed Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM). Visitors will be required to register with the Brazilian Federal Police office within 90 days upon arrival and apply for a CRNM – information available in Portuguese only. For further information, please contact the Local International Office operating at your host school.

Housing Options and Campus Life

USP does not provide housing facilities for exchange students within the campuses. The search for accommodation must be carried out by the students themselves according to their economic conditions and personal interests.

For further information regarding alternative housing options outside the campuses, please contact the Local International Office of your host school. Alternatively, there are some options available at

USP has university restaurants for all students. Several campuses offer free bus transportation. Please check the relevant website (available in Portuguese)

Mobility Team

For more information about the exchange at USP, please contact the person at USP in charge of the exchange programme with your home university:

Africa and Southern

The Americas (North, Central, South)

Asia, Middle East and

Eastern, Western, Central and Northern