Last updated: 11 December 2015
Brazil has a some of the best universities in Latin America, offering engineering and technology programmes with several specialisations. In this article we list the most important and prestigious universities in the technology field in Brazil.
Brazil is home to some of the most relevant universities and educational institutes in Latin America, with some standing out on a global level. The more sought after universities are public institutions operating with federal or state governmental funding, where tuition is free. Even though there are 18 international level universities, there is still a long way to go until the country reaches education of global quality.
Engineering education is a traditional field in Brazilian universities, being available in many of them. The largest institutions tend to have colleges and facilities focused on the teaching and research in this area. There are more than 36 different specialisations available with notable differences among them. The courses with focus on technology such as electrical, electronics and mechanical are the most common.
Main Universities with Engineering and Technology Programmes
Most of the main universities in Brazil in the engineering and technology field are public institutions, which are among the best in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. One of the main similarities among them is the presence of specialisation programmes, which include post-graduation and research groups in specific knowledge fields.
USP, the Universidade de São Paulo, is a public university currently considered as the best in the country, and 143rd in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. The undergraduate degree with focus on engineering and technology takes place in Escola Politécnica in the city of São Paulo, and in Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos in the city of São Paulo. USP also has post-graduation courses, doctorate and PhD courses.
USP offers the following undergraduate courses, all of which are top rated:
- Aeronautic engineering
- Computing engineering
- Electronics engineering
- Mechanical engineering
Escola Politécnica currently has 4 500 undergraduate students and 2 500 of post-graduate. The institution research in several fields, totalling 15 different departments.
Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos has around 70 research groups, 2 564 undergraduate students, and 10 post-graduate programmes with 1 300 students. Since its creation in 1940, 8600 students have graduated from the institution.
Located in the city of Campinas, UNICAMP, the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, is one of the main institutions in the country with graduation courses in several fields and is one of the most prestigious in Brazil. UNICAMP is the 195th best university in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings. The university has one of the most competitive admission processes in the country, with 52 000 candidates for every 3310 seats.
The College of Technology located in the city of Limeira was founded 45 years ago. The electrical and electronic engineering courses at UNICAMP were elected as the 47th best in the world by the QS World University Rankings. The institution promotes extensive research programmes in several courses, especially engineering with laboratories for telecommunications, semiconductors and computing. The postgraduate courses received maximum score from CAPES and the equivalent of 30% of all PhDs in electrical engineering in the country graduated from this university.
UFSC, or Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, was founded in 1960 in the state of Santa Catarina, with campuses located in several cities. The university is considered to be ranked 24th best in Latin America according to the QS University Rankings, and the 7th in Brazil according to RUF, the Ranking Universitátio da Folha. UFSC has a maximum score on IGC, the General Course Ranking, promoted by MEC. The engineering courses focused on technology offered are aeroespacial, mechatronics and automotive.
The technology institutes are located on the Joinville campus and in CTC, the Centro de Tecnologia da UFSC, in the city of Florianópolis. The facility has laboratories for telecommunications, integrated circuits, machinery, microprocessors and bioengineering.
Founded in 1920, UFRJ, the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, is highly recognised countrywide for its quality in education and research in several knowledge fields. The university has campuses located in Cidade Universitária, Praia Vermelha, Macaé and Xerém, with a total of around 40 thousand students. UFRJ is considered to be the 5th best university in Latin America and the 3rd in Brazil.
Among the technology courses offered are:
- Control and automation engineering
- Mechanics engineering
- Computing and information engineering
- Electronics and computing engineering
- Bioprocesses engineering
The university houses COPPE/UFRJ, the Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Engenharia, with laboratories for integrated circuits, telecommunications, virtual reality, software engineering and solid mechanics. A total of 12 thousand masters and PhDs graduated from the institution. In 2007, their partnership with Petrobras completed 30 years, one of the several partnerships COPPE made with relevant companies in the industry.
UFRGS, the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, is considered the 12nd best university in Latin America according to the QS University Rankings and 5th in Brazil according to RUF. The university was founded in 1934, and currently offers a total of 108 undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The UFRGS College of Engineering is located in the city of Porto Alegre and currently has 9 thousand undergraduate students and 2 thousand post-graduate. The institute offers 13 courses with more than 80 research labs distributed across 16 facilities. The top rated courses are electrics, mechanics and control and automation engineering.
UFPE, the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, was founded in 1946 and is considered by RUF as the 10th best university in Brazil, offering more than 106 courses to more than 30 thousand students. UFPE has campuses in the cities of Caruaru, Recife and Vitória de Santo Antão, all in the state of Pernambuco.
The Centro de Tecnologia e Geociências is located inside the campus of UFPE and houses all the engineering courses of the university such as computing, electronics, mechanics and energy. Among the research groups working at the institution are projects for telecommunications, digital processing, computing engineering, clean technology and electromagnetism.
UFPE has research programmes focused on the areas of bioengineering, nanoscience, nanotechnology and advanced materials.
UNESP, the Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, was founded in 1976 and has facilities located in several cities throughout the state of São Paulo, such as Sorocaba, Bauru, São José dos Campos, Presidente Prudente and the capital, São Paulo. UNESP is considered the most successful example of a multi-campus university, with a total of 22, in Brazil, allowing more diversified activities in nearly every field of experimental and theoretical science.
The engineering courses at UNESP are among the top ten best courses in the country according to RUF, including electrical and mechanical engineering. UNESP has strong research programmes, being one of the largest and most important universities in the country.
Mackenzie, or Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, was founded in 1952 and it is a private institution headquartered in the city of São Paulo, with additional campuses in Barueri, Campinas, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. Mackenzie is the 32nd best university in the country according to RUF.
The engineering course at Mackenzie was created in 1896 with options for specialisation in electrical and mechanical engineering, including telecommunication, automation and mechatronics. Recently the university started building a new facility with focus on graphene research in collaboration with the University of Singapore. Among the projects are design and characterisation of graphene-based modulators, optofluidic fiber devices and microstructures optical fibers.
Centro Universitário FEI, or Centro Universitário da Fundação Educacional Inaciana Padre Sabóia de Medeiros, is a private university with facilities located in the cities of São Paulo and São Bernardo do Campo. In this institution the most important courses are Mechanics and Electrical Engineering, standing as the 7th and the 8th in the country.
FEI carries research in automation, integrated devices and robotics.
UFMG, the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, was founded in 1927 and is currently considered to be the 3rd best university in Brazil according to RUF and 11th in Latin America according to the QS University Rankings.
The university has laboratories used by research groups focused on several knowledge fields, including electrical metrology, distance communication technologies and services, industrial applications, computing and artificial neural networks.
Among the courses offered by the university in the technology fields are aerospace, automation and control, electric and mechanics, which the latter being in 2nd and 4th place respectively.
ITA, or Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, is a public institution related to the Brazilian Air Force. The institute is located in the Department of Aeroespacial Science and Technology in the city of São José dos Campos. ITA is considered a reference in the teaching of engineering in Brazil.
6 thousand students have already graduated from since its creation in 1950. Currently, the institution has 700 undergraduate students and 1700 of post-graduate.
ITA offers the following undergraduate courses and other 22 specialisation post-graduate courses:
- Aeronautics engineering
- Electronics engineering
- Mechanics-aeronautic engineering
- Civil-aeronautics engineering
- Computing engineering
- Aeroespacial engineering