Requirements and Policies


MSc Course

Students must complete a minimum of 96 credit units divided in 46 for subjects and 50 for dissertation. Additionally, students are assessed through the qualifying and language proficiency examinations.

Direct Entry PhD Course

In the PhD with direct entry, students should complete a minimum of 216 credit units, divided in 66 credits for subjects and 150 for the thesis.


PhD Course

PhD students (those who already hold a master’s degree) should only complete 170 credit units, of which 20 credits account for subjects and 150 for the thesis. This amount is the difference between the required credits for the PhD with direct entry and the MSc courses.

Credit Units

The completion of required studies in MSc or PhD courses is conveyed as credit units.

1.     Each credit unit corresponds to 15 hours of activities encompassing classes, lectures, laboratory or field work, research, study hours, and dissertation or thesis preparation;

2.     The weekly workload of subjects is represented by three algorisms.

Example: 3-0-7

•       the first digit indicates the number of hours of lectures;

•       the second indicates the number of hours for practical classes, exercises and seminars;

•       the third indicates the number of hours for research and study.

In this example, if the subject is taught during 15 weeks, a total of 10 credits will be granted.

Assessment Criteria

In each subject, students will be graded by the following standards:

A – Excellent, entitled to credits - Minimum frequency: 75%;

B – Good, entitled to credits - Minimum frequency: 75%;

C - Regular, entitled to credits - Minimum frequency: 75%;

R - Failure, not entitled to credits;

T - Credit transfer of subjects taken outside USP in a recognized graduate program may be eligible for credit count upon approval by the CCP, limited to a third of the minimum required amount, as observed under USP Charter of Graduate Studies § 3, article 57. If an agreement of academic, scientific, artistic or cultural cooperation exists between USP and another institution (national or international) the fixed limit may be altered by request of the student, requiring deliberation from the CCP and CPG, and approval by the Curricular Chamber (CaC) of the Graduate Studies Council (CoPGr).

1. Students who receive an R grade may retake the subject and a new grade will be attributed. However, the former grade will still remain in the academic record;
2. A student cannot take the same subject in the MSc and PhD courses;
3. Withdrawals from subjects requested within the deadline outlined in the calendar established by the CPG will not appear in the academic record. In doing so, the student must have a consent from the supervisor. Such withdrawal does not change maximum deadlines established in the charter.

Credit Transfer

Credits obtained in graduate subjects at higher education institutions other than USP may be computed up to one third of the value required by the program, provided that:

1.         its inclusion is formally requested by the student to the Program’s CCP;

2.         the request is authorized by the supervisor;

3.         course description is included, containing number of credits and weekly workload;

4.         a certificate of conclusion of the subject is attached;

5.         a favorable pronouncement from the CPG is released, based on a detailed opinion;

      Complementary information may be found in the USP Charter of Graduate Studies, article 72, or through the website