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Brasão da PUC-Rio

Graduate Program in Design

More information

+55 21 3527-1595
+55 21 3527-1596

Departamento de Artes & Design
Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225
Casa das Artes
Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ

Office hours:
8:30am to 11:30am and
1:30pm to 4:30pm

General Information

Program Overview and History

Since its creation, the Graduate Program in Design at PUC-Rio has been responsible for the consolidation of research in Design in the country. Its Master's course was established in 1994 and has had over 130 defended dissertations. It is a pioneer of its kind in Brazil, along with the Doctoral course in Design, which started in 2003.

The Graduate Program in Design aims to provide academic training for research-professors, contributing to the formation of human resources in the area of the Design, with views to Brazilian technological, scientific and cultural development. It also aims to qualify researchers and professionals interested in increasing their potential for generation, diffusion and optimization of aesthetic and technological knowledge related to the productive process of goods and services.

Its Concentration Area, “Design and Society” encompasses studies on the multiple aspects and the various interfaces of Design with Technology, Art, Human and Social Sciences, highlighting the received influences and the consequences of the designer’s practice for the culture, the society and the environment, having as a guiding thread the investigation of its relations with users and the production process.

The investment in the preparation of graduates, researchers and professionals of high capacity, besides being of great importance to the field of Design, is essential for the constitution of competent and qualified critical mass. Thus, it becomes possible to base, systematize and discuss, among others, the body of knowledge, the methodology, the mode of action, the application and the results of Design.


The Graduate Program in Design has, through its Master’s and Doctoral courses in Design, the following objectives:

Concentration area and lines of research

Concentration Area: Designer and Society

Lines of Research 1: Design : Communication, Culture  and Arts

This line of research is focused on the critical reflection on objects and languages generated by technological and artistic means. It comprises materiality and visuality in its semiotic, aesthetic, educational, historical, sociological and morphological aspects in the field of subjectivity. It emphasizes interdisciplinarity as the foundation of the praxis of Design. It has three laboratories that develop research projects linked to the offered disciplines and to the dissertation topics already defended or still in progress. They are:  Laboratory of Sensitive Representation /LARS, and Communication Laboratory in Designer/LabCom-Design, Laboratory of Design History

Lines of Research 2: Design: Technology, Education and Society

This line gathers the laboratories that bring students and faculty members of the graduate program together. These laboratories operate as research cells that facilitate the advisory of dissertations and thesis related to these topics. Currently, five laboratories belong to this line of research: Laboratory of Electronic Art/LAE, Laboratory of Living room Design /LILD, Laboratory of Echo Design/LGD and Laboratory of Administration of Design/LGD and Laboratory of Pedagogy of the Design/LPD.

Lines of Research 3: Ergonomics and Usability and Human-Computer Interaction

Usability as a problem implies the learning of new methods and techniques and the emphasis on human communication with technological systems, from the analysis of the activities of the tasks involved in the interactions with: products; computer programs; information on non-computerized media; spatial environment; transport systems. It should be noted that when mentioning user, operator, maintenance and consumer, individual, cultural and instructional differences are considered, including users with special characteristics and needs, such as the elderly.

Research laboratories

The Program has 12 laboratories, which are environments that function as research cells, joining professors, doctoral, master's, undergraduate students and researchers around the research projects. The spaces contain computers, internet and other necessary equipment for the successful development of the works.

Course Recognition

Master’s and Doctoral Degrees

CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Eduction Personnel; from Brazilian Ministry of Education) evaluation: grade 4 (in a 3 to 7 scale) for the 2010-2012 period.
Approved by the CNE/CES MEC n.288/2015 of July 08, 2015.
Granted degrees: Master and /or Doctor in Design

Requirements for obtaining the Master’s and Doctoral degrees


Obtainment of a minimum of 24 credits in Graduate disciplines, distributed as  the following:

The graduate student must be approved in a foreign language exam (English, French or Spanish);

The graduate student must present, defend and receive approval of his or her Master's Dissertation (ART 3000).

Important note: Even if the discipline that is taken in another Program is worth more than 3 (three) credits, only 3 (three) credits will be used. If the discipline is worth less than 3 (three) credits, they will all be fully used.


Obtainment of a minimum of 48 credits in Graduate disciplines, distributed as follows:

The doctoral student must be approved in two foreign languages exams (English, French or Spanish). The result of the Master’s language exam may be transferred to the Doctoral language exam.

The doctoral student must present, defend and pass the Qualifying Examination (ART 3007).

The doctoral candidate must present, defend and receive approval of his or her Doctoral Thesis (ART 3001).

Important note: Even if the discipline that is taken in another Program is worth more than 3 (three) credits, only 3 (three) credits will be used. If the discipline is worth less than 3 (three) credits, they will all be fully used.

Admission and Enrollment

Requirements for admission:

Master’s degree

Doctoral degree