Admission Requirements for Higher Education in Brazil

Brazil attracts students from all over the world. Higher education in Brazil is provided by universities, colleges, university centres, centre of technological education and higher education institutes. The Brazilian higher education comprises of free public and paid private universities.


The eligibility criteria are different for undergraduate programmes and for post-graduate programmes for students who wish to get admission into Brazilian universities. 

For Undergraduate Programmes 

Students must have completed secondary education in order to gain admittance to an undergraduate programme, i.e. they must hold a Certificate of Secondary education (Certificado de Ensino Medio). Along with the secondary education certificate, they should have the results of either Vestibular or ENEM entrance examination.

For Postgraduate Programmes

Postgraduate studies encompass – Master’s and Doctorate/PhD Degrees.

For the Masters Pogramme -

A student who has finished 3 years of undergraduate university education is eligible to apply for Master’s degree programme in Brazil.
If you wish to go for PhD later in life, then choose a Master’s degree that is considered as’strictu sensu’. A ’Lato sensu’ degree denotes a specialization in professional areas such as medicine or law. 

For Doctorate/ PhD programmes- 

For admission to a Doctorate/PhD programme, students are required to have a ’strictu sensu’ Master Degree. Students currently enrolled in an Undergraduate or a Master programme that will end before the PhD programme may also apply, but they have to state their existing circumstances and their obligation to achieve the necessary certification by the time the PhD course starts.

For Post-Doctorate Programmes-

A candidate is eligible to apply for a Post-Doctorate programme, if he/she has completed a doctorate programme. Your profile should include the research, training and specialized course details. 

Admission Procedure- General

Abide by these general steps-

Step 1: Choose the higher education institution or university where you wish to study and download the application form from their respective website. 

Step 2: Fill in the application form and send it to the institution along with testimonials of past education completed. The English Language Proficiency test score should also be mentioned in the application form.

Step 3: The institute then goes through your application and if all the criteria are met, you’ll get a letter of acceptance from the institution. Once you receive the acceptance letter, you can apply for a student visa or pass (International Students). 

Each institution admission procedure and requirements vary depending upon the field of study. So, contact the respective institutions to obtain more information about the same.

Brazilian Entrance Examination

The prospective students are required to sit an entrance exam in order to gain admittance to both a public and private university in Brazil. Before registering, you’re required to select the university and course or degree programme you wish to pursue, as each university has its own examination.  Depending upon the Higher education institution, you are required to appear for either the “Vestibular” exam or “ENEM” exam, or both. 

For Undergraduate Studies

Vestibular: Students to sit an entrance examination called the Vestibular to gain admittance to the Universities in Brazil. The minimum grade to be attained in Portuguese and another subject is 3 each, and a score greater than 1 is needed in all the remaining subjects.

High School National Exam or ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino Medio): This exam is used by some of the Universities in place of ‘Vestibular’ for admissions. 

For Post-Graduate Studies

You are required to take entrance examinations for admissions to post-graduate studies. These entrance exams are subject specific and are designed by the individual institutions. 
For Postgraduate Study in Brazil, additional requirements may involve submitting:

official records of your qualifications;
a research application;
a letter of recommendation from a professor or your tutor;
a letter stating your reasons for applying;
ID photos.

The requirements vary depending on the field of study and the university to which a student is applying.

Proficiency in Portuguese

Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners or CELPE-Bras (Certificado de Proficiencia em Lingua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros)

All the international students applying to study in Brazil are required to demonstrate their Portuguese language proficiency by taking an examination known as CELPE-Bras. The CELPE-Bras is offered in Brazil and many other countries with the help of the Brazilian Ministry of International Relations (MRE). 

Proficiency in English Language

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language- It tests the proficiency in English language in academic settings.

IELTS: International English Language Testing System- It tests the proficiency in English language of non-native speakers.

Programme-Specific Admissions

Click through to know about the admission requirements and procedure-

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