Study in Portugal
Portugal is a country rich in history and culture that has greatly influenced the world. Presently, studies indicate that Portugal is the 7th most peaceful and the 13th most globalized country in the world. It also ranks 19th place in the world in quality of life.
More than just a sunny Mediterranean tourist destination, Portugal has become in recent years a great place to receive quality higher education. 35 public universities and more than 94 private institutions offer a multitude of undergraduate, post-graduate, doctoral and research programs. Portugal's oldest university dates from 1290, and is the 9th oldest university in the world.
Student information about cities in Portugal
Find the best information about what to expect when studying in top cities in Portugal. Read about degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
- Study in Lisbon
- Study in Porto
Structure of the Higher Education
Portuguese universities ("universidade") are focused on theoretical education, while polytechnics ("politécnico") are the best choice for vocational studies. Private higher education institutions cannot operate without having been recognized by the Ministry of Education.Polytechnic institutions award the Licenciado degree after the 1st cycle of studies and the Mestre degree after the 2nd cycle of studies. In certain cases, the Licenciado is awarded after seven or eight semesters. The Mestre degree is awarded after a period of studies of three to four semesters. Access to the Mestre is open to holders of the Licenciado or an equivalent foreign higher education qualification.Courses leading to the licenciado degree at universities are awarded after a period of study of six to eight semesters. Courses leading to the mestre degrees are awarded after a period of three to four semesters. The Mestre can also be awarded after as much as 10 to 12 semesters. The Doutor degree is awarded only by university institutions and require writing and defending an original thesis.
The Agregação is the highest academic qualification, reserved to holders of a Doutor degree. It requires the capacity to undertake high-level research and special pedagogical competence. It is awarded after passing specific examinations.
General application requirements
In order to qualify for admission to higher education student are required to:
- Have a high school diploma officially recognized by a Portuguese embassy in your home country.
- Submit your study application through the Portuguese online system.
- Send all required documents to the university (application form, your school history and study plan).
- Get a European Health Insurance Card or private health insurance.
- Bring your vaccination record card.
- All foreign exchange students coming from non-EU countries should hold a study visa valid for one year.
- Students coming from EU member states are allowed in the country by presenting valid identification.
- Students staying in the country for more than 3 months should request a residence permit valid for one year from the Immigration Services.
Find more information about studying in Portugal.
Universities may have different application requirements, so make sure you ask for detailed information from the university you plan to attend.
Read this article and check out details about applying to a university in Portugal.
Study fees and quality
Portuguese university programs are affordable. The average undergraduate tuition at a Portuguese college is not more than 1,500 USD per year. Credentials and diplomas earned at Portuguese universities are recognized throughout the European Union.
The Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior (Higher Education Accreditation and Evaluation Agency) ensures that Portuguese universities keep up to date with international standards.
Portuguese is the world's third most-spoken European language, also spoken in Brazil and some African countries. Affordable Portuguese language learning online courses are also available.
Strategic partnerships between Portuguese universities and international schools have resulted in quality distance learning programmes. Furthermore, thousands of foreign students visit Portugal every year as part of student exchange programmes.
Language of instruction
If you want to study abroad in Portugal, you can find many public universities providing academic courses taught in English, ideal for international students. Most English programmes offered are taught or research Masters as well as PhDs. At the undergraduate level, the majority of courses are held in Portuguese, or are bilingual (Portuguese, with some classes held in English). In some cases, teachers will allow international students to submit essays or deliver exams in English, even if the programme is not officially bilingual. Generally, graduate and postgraduate programmes offered in English include disciplines like management, software engineering, neuroscience, international studies along with many other study abroad opportunities.
In order to pursue English-taught programmes, applicants are required to prove a sufficient level of knowledge of English. Although the expected level of command may depend on the curriculum, the minimum average English language requirement is the equivalent of 5.5-6.5 score in the IELTS test or 79-80 points (Internet-based TOEFL test).
English language preparation for studying in Portugal
Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Portuguese universities offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.
Foreign students coming from EU countries are not required to have a visa for entry into Portugal. For longer periods of study, EU students may have to show proof sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. Most non-EU nationalities need a study visa if they plan to stay in Portugal for longer than 90 days. Students may ask for detailed information from the Portuguese embassy in their country. Students need the following to apply for a student visa for study in Portugal:
- Valid passport expiring no earlier than three months after returning home;
- Completed application form;
- One passport size photograph;
- Proof of proper accommodation;
- Valid ticket or other proof of departure arrangements;
- Proof of sufficient financial means to support themselves;
- Proof of health insurance coverage.
For more information about the study visa for Portugal.