CONDITIONS FOR ADMITTANCE TO HIGHER EDUCATION

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Conditions for admittance to higher education

General regime to accede to higher education
National and foreign students wishing to apply through the general regime to the first cycle of studies, must fulfil the following conditions:
• Have successfully completed a secondary course or a national or foreign qualification legally equivalent;
• Have set for the entrance examinations required for the degree programme the student wishes to attend and get the minimal mark required (There are higher education institutions that accept foreign tests or exams);
• Have fulfilled the prerequisites for the higher education course the student wishes to attend, if required.

Special conditions
Besides the regime geral (general regime), there are special conditions for top level atheletes, Portuguese citizens on an official mission abroad, national or foreign staff in diplomatic mission, permanent staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces and scholarship holders within the framework of cooperation agreements signed by Portugal.

Special Competitions
Besides the general regime and the special conditions there are also special competitions for applicants with certain specific qualifications thus allowing new publics to accede to higher education in a perspective of lifelong learning, namely:
• applicants over 23 years old who have passed a especial exam for assessing their capacity to accede to higher education;
• holders of a specialization technological course.

Admission to higher education institutions is subject to numerus clausus
Those who meet the following conditions may apply to the cycle of studies that leads to the mestre degree:
• Holders of the licenciado degree or legal equivalent;
• Holders of a foreign academic degree conferred following a 1st cycle of studies organized according to the principles of the Bologna Process by a State that has subscribed this Process;
• Holders of an academic, scientific or professional curriculum vitae that is recognized as attesting the capacity to carry out this cycle of studies by the statutorily competent scientific body of the higher education institution to which they wish to be admitted.
Those who meet the following conditions may apply to the cycle of studies that leads to the doutor (doctor) degree:
• Holders of the mestre (master) degree or legal equivalent;
• Holders of a licenciado degree who have a particularly relevant academic or scientific curriculum vitae that is recognized as attesting the capacity to carry out this cycle of studies by the statutorily competent scientific body of the higher education institution to which they wish to be admitted.
Holders of an academic, scientific or professional curriculum vitae that is recognized as attesting the capacity to carry out this cycle of studies by the statutorily competent scientific body of the higher education institution to which they wish to be admitted.

Organization of higher education
The Framework Law on the Education System (Law nr. 46/86, dated 14 October 1986, further amended by Laws nr.115/97, dated 19 September and nr. 49/2005, dated 30 August) establishes the general legal framework of the Education System.

Higher Education Structure
Higher Education includes university and polytechnic education.
University education is offered by public, private and cooperative university institutions and polytechnic education is offered by public, private and cooperative non-university institutions.
Private higher education institutions must be subject to the previous recognition of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.

Licenciado degree
Both university and polytechnic institutions confer the degree of licenciado (bachelor). In polytechnic education, the cycle of studies that leads to the degree of licenciado has 180 credits and a normal length of six curricular semesters of students’ work. In certain cases namely those covered by internal legislation or by European legislation, the cycle of studies can have up to 240 credits with a normal length of up to seven or eight curricular semesters of students’ work.
In university education, the cycle of studies that leads to the degree of licenciado has from 180 to 240 credits and a normal length between six to eight curricular semesters of students’ work.
In the 1st cycle of studies, the degree of licenciado is conferred to those that, after concluding all the curricular units that integrate the study programme of the licenciatura course, have obtained the established number of credits.

Mestre degree
Both university and polytechnic institutions confer the degree of mestre (master). The 2nd cycle of studies that leads to the degree of mestre has from 90 to 120 credits and a normal length of between three to four curricular semesters of students’ work. In polytechnic education, the cycle of studies that leads to the mestre degree must ensure predominantly that the student acquires a professional specialization. In university education, the cycle of studies that leads to the mestre degree must ensure that the student acquires an academic specialization resorting to research, innovation or expansion of professional competences.

In university education, the mestre degree may also be conferred after an integrated cycle of studies, with 300 to 360 credits and a normal length of 10 to 12 curricular semesters of students’ work, in cases for which the access to the practice of a certain professional activity depends on that length of time established by legal EU standards or resulting from a stable practice consolidated in the European Union. In this cycle of studies the degree of licenciado is conferred to those who have obtained 180 credits corresponding to the first six semesters of work.
The degree of mestre is conferred to those that, after concluding all the curricular units that integrate the study programme of the mestrado course, have obtained the established number of credits, as well as successfully defended in public their dissertation, their project work or their traineeship report.


Doutor degree
The Doutor (doctor) degree is only conferred by university institutions. The degree of Doutor is conferred to those that, after concluding all the curricular units that integrate the study programme of the Doutoramento (doctorate) course have successfully defended their thesis in the public act.
Classification System
The degrees of licenciado and mestre shall have a final classification between 10 and 20 on a numerical scale of 0 to 20, as well as its equivalent in the European scale of comparability of classifications.
The academic degree of doutor is assigned a final classification pursuant to the regulating standards approved by the university that confers it.

 

More informations about the Portuguese Higher Education System and Degrees recognition can be acess at:

General Directorate of Higher Education: http://www.dges.mctes.pt/DGES/en
NARIC: http://www.enic-naric.net
EURYDICE: http://www.eurydice.org
ECAEA: http://www.ec.europa.eu/education/index_en.html