Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Not to be confused with UFCSPA, another federal university in the city of Porto Alegre.
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)
Type Public
Established First school 1895, creation 1934, federalization 1950
Endowment US$500 million (2012)
Rector Carlos Alexandre Netto
Academic staff
2,867 (2014)[1]
Administrative staff
2,731 (2014)[1]
Undergraduates 30,785 (2014)[1]
Postgraduates 27,216 (2014)[1]
5,575 (2014)[1]
Other students
855 (2014)[1]
Location Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Campus Urban and suburban, 371,742 m² of constructed area (2008) and 2,185 ha of total area (2008)[2]
Website www.ufrgs.br

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 one of the largest federal universities in Brazil. It is almost completely located in Porto Alegre, with four campuses (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. UFRGS is among the most highly rated Brazilian universities,[5][6][7] and has one of the highest numbers of scientific publications. UFRGS has over 27,000 undergraduate students and over 9,300 graduate students.[8] The university has more than 2,500 professors. As a public federal institution, the students do not have to pay tuition fees to enroll in the courses offered by the university. To be admitted to one of the courses offered by UFRGS, a candidate must be approved in a yearly competitive exam, called the vestibular.

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. The experience echoes a tradition of social commitment and combativeness. The institute has since been active not only in forming new generations of students, but also in the production of knowledge through high-quality research and consultancies. Today, many of the high-ranking officials in government 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. Among the graduates of UFRGS, there are three Brazilian presidents: Getúlio Vargas, João Goulart, and Dilma Rousseff.


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).



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 campuses 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


Other units


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.


Further information: Vestibular

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.


Further information: Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio

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

According to the ranking sponsored by the Ministry of Education (MEC, Ministério da Educação), UFRGS is Brazil's best university[13][14] (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.[15]

Notable alumni

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


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

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