1. How is higher education organized in Portugal?

Portuguese higher education is comprised of university education and polytechnic education, both taught by public and private institutions.

2. How is the degree obtained?

Both university institutions and polytechnics confer a degree. At the university, the study cycle has 180 or 240 credits and a normal duration between six and eight curricular semesters. In polytechnics, the cycle has a normal duration of six semesters, corresponding to 180 credits. Exceptionally, in cases covered by national or European Union legal rules, it is possible to have in this modality a duration of up to seven or eight curricular semesters and a training of up to 240 credits.

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3. How is the master’s degree awarded?

The cycle of studies corresponding to the master’s degree has 90 to 120 credits and a duration, in general, between three and four semesters. University education ensures the acquisition of a specialization that deepens competences of an academic nature using research activities and the polytechnic guarantees the achievement of a specialization of a professional nature.

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4. How is a PhD awarded?

The degree of doctor is conferred by universities and university institutes to those who have obtained approval in the act of defending the thesis and in the curricular units of the doctoral course, when available. The most frequent is that there is a duration of six to eight semesters and from 180 to 240 credits.

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Source: Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES) and High Commission for Migration (ACM) 

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