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Brasão da PUC-Rio

Coordenação Central de Cooperação Internacional

Incoming Students

Courses and Credits


At PUC-Rio there is no minimum of semester subjects or credits required for Brazilian students.

The department suggests it when the timetable for the semester comes out. However, the students can choose to follow it or not making their own schedule.

The study load will depend very much on the course the students are taking.

Exchange students have to register in at least 2 subjects/8 credits per semester and the maximum is 5 subjects/24 credits (1 of which has to be obligatorily the Portuguese course for foreigners equal to 6 credits).

However, PUC-Rio's International Office recommends strongly to incoming students not to take more than 20 credits in total (usually 3 subjects + the Portuguese Course).

ECTS (European System)

The conversion rate to ECTS as practiced between PUC-Rio and European Universities is 1 credit = 1,5 ECTS and European exchange students usually take 20 credits which are recognized as 30 ECTS, but this decision is up to each Home University.

Regarding the Portuguese as a second language class (mandatory), there are five proficiency levels offered in the Portuguese as a Second Language program. Level I, II and III consist of 90 hours of instruction per term (6 hours per week), corresponding to 6 academic credits. Level IV and V consist of 60 hours of instruction per term (4 per week) corresponding to 4 academic credits. In Brazil, a 1 hour/class correspond to 50 minutes.

Pre-Term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive Courses is also offered twice a year: January/February and July (not included in the annual tuition).

The Pre-Term Portuguese as a Second Language intensive course consists in 90 hours of instruction per month.

The Pre-Term Portuguese as a Second Language Intensive course does not provide academic credits or transcripts. Students who take the intensive course will receive at the end of the month a certificate of completion with the final grade achieved.

Students who intend to register for the Intensive Pre-Term Portuguese course AND the following regular term at PUC-Rio will have to comply with all the requirements of each academic period.

Undergraduate students cannot attend graduate courses.

Graduated students must be accept by the department or by the coordinator of a Project before start the application online. The academic coordinator will analyze the student´s submitted materials including his/her application, letters of recommendation and transcript.

Graduate students cannot attend Thesis classes or final project class.

Grading System (Similar to US System):

The conversion rate to Grading System as practiced between PUC-Rio and American Universities is minimum grade: 0 (zero); maximum grade: 10 (ten); and there may be decimal (eg 6.45).

The minimum passing grade: 5,0 (five) for undergraduate students and 6,0 (six) for graduate students.

Conversion Table:

A+=  10 B+ = 8,5 C+ = 7,0 D+ = 5,5
A= 9,5 B = 8,0 C = 6,5 D = 5,0
A-=9,0 B- = 7,5 C- = 6,0 F = Any grade below 5,0

Credits system: 1 credit = 1 class hour/week of lecture class OR 2 hours of laboratory class/week OR 3 hours of exercise class/week, considered a standard term of 15 weeks.

Average grade

Average grade varies per course, in some departments or disciplines a grade 8.0 (eight) may be common, while in another course it will be very difficult to achieve. Talk to other Brazilian colleagues from each class at the beginning of the semester to get an idea of how the class is graded.

In Brazil, the grades are public information and will be posted on bulletin boards, on behalf of the student at the end of the semester.

Contact / Social Media


Rua Marquês de São Vicente 225,
Edifício Padre Leonel Franca - 8º andar, Gávea
CEP 22451-900
Rio de Janeiro - RJ - BRASIL

Office hours

Monday to Friday:
9h to 12h and 14h to 17h

Contact us

Contact form

E-mail: incoming2@puc-rio.br