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Admission Requirement for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies in Portugal

Admission to the First Cycle-Undergraduate Studies

Portugal has public as well as private higher education institutions. Students can take admission into the private higher education institutions through the general regime that is held once every year through institutional contests arranged by each higher education institution individually. 

Students can take admission into the public higher education through the general system that is held yearly. Students must submit an admission application on the national contest that is arranged by the Directorate General for Higher Education.

The national contest is held at the end of the school year and is conducted in 3 stages. Pupils can apply to all 3 stages of the national contest.

National Contest- Applying Ways and Means

The application through a national contest must be submitted online.
Follow the steps for application submission:

Step 1: Obtain Student Identification
Students must have a valid Portuguese identification number. If students do not possess that, in that case, they must apply with an internal number that is acquired in one of the Offices of Access to Higher Education-DGES     

Step 2: Request a password
After entering the identification number, email and name in the online application, requests for password. The system then sends an email with a confirmation link, i.e. the confirmation of application. By clicking on this link, students can take out the print of the application confirmation receipt. This receipt must be shown in one of the Offices of Access to Higher Education and after validation of the request, students receive the password in their email.

Step 3: Get an Activation Code
Applicants who have not completed the Portuguese national final examinations are required to obtain an activation code in one of the Offices of Access to Higher Education.

Step 4: Apply
Applicants must log into their account by entering the email and password, and apply to the institution and course you wish to take up. You have to apply to 6 different institutions and programmes, and put them in order as per your choice. 

Step 5: Documentation
The application that wants to replace the Portuguese entrance exam with foreign exams must submit the following documents to the Offices of Access to Higher Education:
  • Online application copy and request application for replacement of the Portuguese entrance exam
  • Secondary school leaving certificate: It should include the final marks attained in the exam of the course that the pupils want to replace with the Portuguese entrance exam, and the final grade of the course.
  • Equivalence to the Portuguese secondary education, acquired in any Portuguese secondary schools 

General Regime Conditions

Students who wish to apply through the general regime to the first cycle, i.e. Undergraduate studies, must satisfy the following conditions:
  • Must possess a secondary school leaving certificate or its equivalent. To know the equivalents, visit the website of General Directorate of Education (Direcao-Geral da Educacao.)
  • Pass the national final examinations of secondary education equivalent to the entrance examinations needed to apply to the specific study programme 
  • Pupils who possess a foreign secondary school leaving certificate equivalent to the Portuguese secondary education, in that case, the entrance examinations are replaced by final examinations of the courses in which the secondary credential was passed.

Special Contests

In Portugal, there are special contests held for applicants with specific qualifications, therefore letting them to take admission into the higher education institution in Portugal. Such applicants are:
  • International students
  • Applicants aged 23 or above and who have passed special examinations that proves their capability to enter higher education.
  • Students who possess a higher education diploma
  • Students who has a specialization technological course 
  • Admission through special contests is local, and takes place in the higher education institutions of the student’s choice.

Special Regimes

Application to special regimes is public and is managed by the General Directorate of Higher Education. There are special regimes in Portugal for the following individuals: permanent employees of Portuguese armed forces; Portuguese officials in national diplomatic missions abroad, and their family; high performance athletes; foreign officials in diplomatic missions accredited in Portugal, and their family; Portuguese nationals in official missions overseas, and their family; and individuals from African Portuguese speaking countries who hold a national scholarship. 

Admission to Second and Third Cycle Studies

Students can take admittance into the second and third cycle via contests that are arranged by each higher education institution individually.

Admission to the Second Cycle-Master’s Degree Programme

Students must satisfy the following criteria to gain admittance into the second cycle: 
  • Students must hold a licenciado degree or legal equivalent;
  • Foreign academic degree holders must have it duly recognised by an able scientific authority of the higher education institution, for being equivalent to the licenciado degree 
  • Students Curriculum vitae- be it professional, academic or scientific must be verified by the statutorily able scientific body of higher education institution in which the student wants to take admission.

 Admission to the Third Cycle of Studies-Doctor Studies

Students must satisfy the following criteria to gain admittance into the second cycle:
  • Students must hold a master (mestre) or legal equivalent;
  • Students Curriculum vitae- be it professional, academic or scientific must be verified by the statutorily able scientific body of higher education institution in which the student wants to take admission.
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