The University of São Paulo

The University of São Paulo (USP) is one of the most reputable higher education and research institutions in Brazil and is featured among the world’s top universities. It is a public institution, maintained by the State of São Paulo. This means that students do not pay any type of fees to study at the university, which is fully maintained by state taxes. In the Brazilian system, the free public higher education system is the one that maintains the highest quality standards in teaching, research and extension, the “tripod” that supports the Brazilian public university system. This is why USP rises each year in international rankings and is always in first place at them, not only in Brazil but throughout Latin America. The university has the best researchers in the country on its faculty, which reflects on the quality of teaching at undergraduate and graduate level. With several campi distributed throughout eight cities within the State of São Paulo (Bauru, Lorena, Piracicaba, Pirassununga, Ribeirão Preto, São Carlos, São Sebastião e São Paulo), USP schools provide students with a fertile environment for education and research.


USP was created in 1934, through the combination of several preexisting schools. The newly created Philosophy, Sciences and Portuguese School and the Physical Education School of the State of São Paulo were merged to schools of Law, Medicine, Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Odontology, as well as the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture. This was put into effect during the Getúlio Vargas government, after the 1932 Constitutional Revolution.


At first, a large number of foreign professors was invited to give lectures, and with that they presented new European research standards. They helped transform USP into an essential driving force for the nation’s progress and, during its first twenty years, several new schools were established.


In present days, USP offers 312 undergraduate programs, with 58.823 students enrolled. There are also 222 graduate programs, with around 30.000 students. In addition to that, the University also values social responsibility, represented by the extension area: there are 934 different extracurricular courses involving specialization, improvement, updating and diffusion courses, with over 29,000 students. USP has 48 schools and institutes, 4 museums, 4 hospitals and health centers, as well as several libraries.


One of USP’s objective is to develop a lively teaching atmosphere, which can keep up with the transformation of knowledge and establish constant dialogue with society in a productive integration of education, research and extension. There are nearly 6.000 professors, over 99% of them with doctorate degrees and 88% working exclusively in the University; 14.800 members of administrative staff and an annual budget of about $1,75 billion (in 2015).

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