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  • Locations: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Program Terms: Calendar Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Exchange applicants only
Program Description:
About the Program Accommodations
Eligibility Dates and Costs
Academics Visa Information

About Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)

  • Why study in Brazil?  Brazil is the 5th most populous country in the world andBeach in Rio is the largest country in South America.  One of the four BRIC countries, Brazil's economy ranks 10th in the world and is a country rich of natural resources.   Portuguese language is  ranked 7th in the world in terms of native speakers. 
  • Founded in 1941, PUC-Rio is one of Brazil's top universities. PUC-Rio has a well-established international program and has active exchange agreements with universities around the world.
  • Approximately 19,000 undergraduate students attend PUC-Rio. 
  • Each year about 1,000 international students study at PUC-Rio.
  • UR students will be required to enroll in a 3-week pre-semester Portuguese language and culture program.  The tuition for this program is covered by the University of Richmond.   Students will continue with Portuguese throughout the regular semester as well.
  • Limited English taught courses are also available during the regular academic term.
  • PUC-Rio offers various activities for international students (
  • Get a first-hand glimpse into the life of a UR student studying at PUC-Rio by reading Diego's blog. Diego studied on this program in Fall 2013.
  • About Rio de Janeiro
    • population of over six million, the second biggest city in Brazil after São Paulo
    • abundant attractions, entertainment, modern amenities, beaches, green space
    • excellent transportation system
    • selected to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games
    • for more information click here:
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Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean’s office to study abroad.  Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if they are on conduct probation that does not expire prior to the start date of the semester abroad program.

Major or minor in Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies (LALIS) 
  • GPA and course prerequisites for LALIS students outlined on the LALIS web page   Read this page carefully for details.
  • Each potential applicant must meet with Prof. Dixon Abreu to complete the aforementionedOpen Air classroom form, and file it with the LALIS department. A copy of this form should then be given to OIE prior to the study abroad deadline.

    Non-LALIS majors and minors
  • Completion of at least two 300-level Spanish language courses or the equivalent
  • 3.0 overall GPA

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Students begin the exchange program with a 3-week pre-semester Portuguese language and culture program.  This pre-semester course meets for a total of 90 hours (8:30 am - 1 pm each day) and is offered at a variety of levels from beginning through advanced. 

Courses at PUC-Rio are generally no larger than 30 students per class and require regular attendance.  Most courses are semester only.  PUC-Rio classes are on a semester credit system.  One academic credit is equivalent to one class hour/week of lecture class, 
or 2 hours laboratory class/week or 3 hours of exercise class/week in a 15-week semester.

The conversion for PUC-Rio is divide PUC credits by 3.5 and round up to the nearest tenth.  So a 4 credit hour class would be 1.2 units.

Academic programs of note are:  communications, international relations, computer science, sciences, design and law.

Except for biomedical sciences, Richmond students may take any course at PUC-Rio as long as they meet the prerequisites.  NOTE:  Richmond students with strong Spanish skills may be eligible to take courses in Portuguese after successful completion of the pre-semester Portuguese course.

For a list of English taught class, click here For information about all PUC courses, refer to the PUC course schedule web page

Grading Scale

The PUC-Rio grading scale is from 01-10.  The conversion scale between PUC and U.S. universities is:

A+ = 10   
A  = 9.5
A- = 9.0   

B+ = 8.5  
B   = 8.0   
B- = 7.5

C+ = 7.0
C  = 6 .5    

Any grade below 6.5 does not transfer back to Richmond.  A passing grade at PUC is a 5, which is a D at Richmond.  This is important to note because students do not earn credit for courses whose grade equivalent is below a "C."

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HomestayPUC-Rio's international office places students in local home stays.  Students will have their own room and most families host two students each semester.  Richmond students will have the option to have breakfast only or to have breakfast and dinner with the families. Most host families live within 15 minutes of campus by bus or taxi.  The number of host families is limited so students must apply early.

Dates and Costs

PUC Calendar 

Costs for AY1819

Visa Information

Passports are required with the visa application. Students are advised to apply early for the Brazilian student visa. As visa regulations change frequently, it is recommended that students call the consulate for the latest information on fees, procedures and required documentation. In some cases, students may be required to submit the visa application in person at the consulate with jurisdiction over student's permanent residence.

For more information, please see the Brazilian consulate web page.

For more information

Contact Michele Cox, Office of International Education. Direct telephone: 804- 289-8838

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This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.