Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

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Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Other names
Former names
Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul (URGS)
EstablishedFirst school 1895, creation 1934, federalization 1950
EndowmentUS$500 million (2012)
RectorRui Vicente Oppermann
Academic staff
2,867 (2014)[1]
Administrative staff
2,731 (2014)[1]
Undergraduates30,785 (2014)[1]
Postgraduates27,216 (2014)[1]
5,575 (2014)[1]
Other students
855 (2014)[1]
Location, ,
CampusUrban and suburban, 371,742 m² of constructed area (2008) and 2,185 ha of total area (2008)[2]

The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul[3] (Portuguese: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS; known as Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul, URGS, between 1947 and 1950[4]) is a Brazilian federal university based in Porto Alegre. UFRGS is among the largest and highest-rated universities in Brazil,[5][6][7] having one of the largest number of scientific publications. UFRGS has over 27,000 undergraduate students, over 9,300 graduate students, and more than 2,500 professors.[8] As a public federal institution, students do not have to pay tuition fees to enroll in courses offered by the university. To be admitted to one of the programs offered by UFRGS, a candidate must be approved in a yearly competitive exam, called the vestibular.


2014 Figures[9]

  • Foundation year: 1934 (first college founded in 1895)
  • Total area: 22,005,051.71 2
  • Built area: 397,389.41m2
  • Undergraduate school (4-6 year course):
- Number of courses offered: 95
- Number of students: 31,587
  • Graduate school (Masters: 2-year course; PhD: 4-year course; Lato sensu programs: 2-year course):
- Number of masters courses offered: 74 (academic masters) + 9 (professional masters)
- Number of PhD courses offered: 71
- Number of Lato senso courses offered: 168 running; 48 concluded
- Graduate students number: 23,298
  • Staff:
- Number of professors: 2,749, from which 89.13% with a PhD
- Administrative staff: 2,731
- Total staff: 5,480
  • Research
- Number of research groups: 900
- Number of professors with registered research project(s): 2,184
- Number of undergraduation students joining research projects: 2,945
  • Partnerships with other institutions:
- Foreign institutions: 128[2]
- National institutions
Public: 253[2]
Private: 212[2]
- Total number of partnerships: 593[2]


UFRGS Entrance

The university originated from the Escola de Farmácia e Química (School of Pharmacy and Chemistry) in 1895. It was expanded in 1896, when the Engineering College was created. This was the beginning of higher education in Rio Grande do Sul. In the end of the 19th century, the Medicine and Law schools were founded, the latter being the first school of humanities tertiary education in the state.

In November 1934, the Universidade de Porto Alegre (University of Porto Alegre) was founded, initially composed of the following units:

The third transformation took place in 1947, when it became the Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul (University of Rio Grande do Sul), URGS, incorporating the Law and Dentistry Colleges from Pelotas and with the Pharmacy College from Santa Maria. These units, however, separated from URGS when the Federal Universities of Pelotas and Santa Maria were founded.

In December 1950, control of the university passed to the Federal Government. After that, the name of the institution became Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul). The institute also has a profound political history. Between 1964 and 1969, during the worst years of the military dictatorship, 33 professors were eliminated, as well as a good number of students[citation needed]. Many high-ranking officials, including three presidents - Getúlio Vargas and João Goulart - as well as the majority of the history, philosophy and social sciences teachers in smaller universities throughout the state were educated in the institution. The climate of intellectual debate and analysis of public issues has also been important in training students (often with scholarships and/or student apprenticeships) to work for non-governmental and governmental organisations which contribute to the critical reflection and planning of development programs.


UFRGS is almost completely located in Porto Alegre, with four campi (Campus Centro, Campus Saúde, Campus Olímpico and Campus do Vale), a few off-campus buildings (e.g. the Business School and the Institute of Arts) and some units in other cities.


Offering graduate and undergraduate courses, UFRGS is the largest university of Rio Grande do Sul. Its more than 300 buildings accommodate 29 colleges, which are divided in 94 departments.

The university spreads through 2,185 ha, and it has 10,607 m² of constructed area. It is divided into four campi and minor units: Centro (Downtown), Saúde (Health Sciences), Vale and Olímpico.

The undergraduate program’s students make up for a population of 26 thousand, while the graduate program has 12 thousand students. The elementary, high-school and technical school sum up to 1,300 students.

The university’s infrastructure comprises more than 500 laboratories, 33 libraries, 37 lecture halls, the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, UFRGS Press, UFRGS Museum, Botanical Garden, Broadcasting Center, Observatory, 3 buildings for Campus Accommodation, 5 refectories, 2 summer camps and several other centers and facilities.

Colleges, Institutes, and Schools[edit]


  • College of Architecture (Faculdade de Arquitetura)
  • College of Communication (Facultade de Biblioteconomia e Comunicação)
  • College of Economics (Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas)
  • College of Education Faculty (Faculdade de Educação)
  • College of Law (Faculdade de Direito)
  • College of Pharmacy (Faculdade de Farmácia)
  • College of Medicine (Faculdade de Medicina)
  • College of Dentistry (Faculdade de Odontologia)
  • College of Veterinary Medicine (Faculdade de Veterinária)
  • Institute of Biosciences (Instituto de Biociências)
  • Institute of Chemistry (Instituto de Química)
  • Institute of Fine Arts (Instituto de Artes)
  • Institute of Food Technology (Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos)
  • Institute of Geosciences
  • Institute of Health Sciences (Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde)
  • Institute of Hydraulic Research (Instituto de Pesquisas Hidráulicas)
  • Institute of Informatics (Instituto de Informática)
  • Institute of Linguistics, Languages and Literature (Instituto de Letras)
  • Institute of Mathematics (Instituto de Matemática)
  • Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences (Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas)
  • Institute of Physics (Instituto de Física)
  • Institute of Psychology (Instituto de Psicologia)
  • School of Agronomy (Faculdade de Agronomia)
  • School of Engineering (Escola de Engenharia)
  • School of Management (Escola de Administração)
  • School of Nursing (Escola de Enfermagem)
  • School of Sports (Escola de Educação Física)

Other units[edit]


SECOM is an executive office of UFRGS directly connected to the Central Administration’s cabinet – as well as to other sectors and the Provosts’ Offices. SECOM defines the communication policies and strategies employed by UFRGS, facilitating services inside the university through the creation of informative and institutional materials. Its goal is to promote new activities and establish initiatives which recognize and publicize the institution’s potential. Some of its sections are the university newspaper, TV channel and radio station.



UFRGS university hospital is a nationwide reference; it is located in the centre of Porto Alegre.

HCPA in Figures - Operations[11]
2009 2010
Consultations 562,507 577,504
Exams 2,811,277 2,767,804
Operations 41,281 42,121
Transplants 411 412
HCPA in Figures - HR[11]
2009 2010
Staff 4,499 4,578
Professors 290 283
Residents 344 414
Undergraduate students 2,100 1,966
Graduate students 559 590
PhD students 300 395
Training hours 200.162 214.576



Undergraduate Research Grant Program

The objective of the Undergraduate Research Internship Program is to integrated students from undergraduate courses into research activities, technological development and, innovation. Besides contributing for students’ academic and professional growth, the program also offers the opportunity to take part in the community of the university researchers fostering dialogue between undergraduate and graduate programs.

Research Promotion Program

The research promotion program has as goal to support the continuity of research projects, the organization of events and the qualification of technical and administrative personnel, besides stimulating the national and international exposure of works made in research by professors, technical and administrative personnel, and students.

Science in Society and Science in School Program

This program has the compromise of stimulating university developed projects which are turned to popularization and spreading of science and technology in a variety of social groups and in school environment, through participation of UFRGS undergraduate students, in activities which enable the permanent development of human capital in these areas.

Journal Editing Supporting Program

The Journal Editing Supporting Program implements ways of support and stimulus for journal editing at UFRGS. Its objective is to grant visibility to scientific periodicals of the institution.


Students are accepted through the vestibular, which is an open examination where the top-placed candidates are offered a placement at the university. Since UFRGS is free of charge, the Vestibular is usually a very hard examination since there are many candidates for few open placements.[12] Examinations take place in January and classes begin in March.


The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, as well as the other Brazilian federal universities, adopted the National High School Examination (ENEM) in 2010 as a standard of admission. The applicants’ participation in ENEM is optative. Hence, their performances in the examination are analyzed together with their performances in the university entrance exam, comprehending 10% of the final grade.

Quality of education[edit]

University rankings
ARWU World[13] 401-500

According to the ranking sponsored by the Ministry of Education (MEC, Ministério da Educação), UFRGS is Brazil's best university[14][15] (in a ranking which doesn't include Universidade de São Paulo—see rankings of universities in Brazil for details). According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities in 2012, UFRGS was placed 71st worldwide.[16]

Notable alumni[edit]

This is an incomplete list of famous UFRGS alumni, sorted by Faculty.

Law School
Philosophy and Social Sciences
School of Medicine
Engineering School
Agronomy School
School of Economics
School of Fine Arts
Linguistics School
Architecture School

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "UFRGS - UFRGS em números 2014" (in Portuguese).
  2. ^ a b c d e "UFRGS - UFRGS EM NUMEROS 2008" (in Portuguese).
  3. ^ Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Federais dominam o ranking das melhores universidades do Brasil" (in Portuguese).
  6. ^ "Infografico - Federais dominam o ranking das melhores universidades do Brasil" (in Portuguese).
  7. ^ "Ranking Inep 2006 Wikipedia" (in Portuguese).
  8. ^ "UFRGS em números".
  9. ^ UFRGS em Números 2014
  10. ^ "UFRGS Web" (in Portuguese).
  11. ^ a b "HCPA EM NUMEROS" (in Portuguese).
  12. ^ Jeter, Jon (June 16, 2003). "Affirmative Action Debate Forces Brazil to Take Look in the Mirror". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  13. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017
  14. ^ "Ministry of Education".
  15. ^ "UFRGS".
  16. ^ "Webometrics World Rankings".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°01′57″S 51°13′10″W / 30.032439°S 51.219313°W / -30.032439; -51.219313