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Brazil Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

Brazil is home to a large number of higher education institutions, including many that offer master’s degree programs. Among these institutions, there is an increasing acceptance of Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) as a valid qualification for admission.

This is especially true for HNDs in fields such as business, engineering, and computer science. While HNDs are not universally accepted in Brazil, they are becoming increasingly recognized as a valid form of postsecondary education. 

For students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Brazil, this is an important development. With a growing acceptance of HNDs, the possibilities for international students are expanding.

Criteria For Admission To Brazil Universities and Schools For Master’s Degree

Securing admission for a Master’s degree in Brazil’s universities and schools requires understanding and meeting specific criteria. This is particularly important for international students who hold HND certificates, as well as those who have graduated with second class or third class degrees. Below are the key admission criteria that candidates need to fulfill to enhance their chances of acceptance into Brazilian postgraduate programs:

  • Language Proficiency: Since most courses are taught in Portuguese, non-native speakers are generally required to prove their proficiency in the language. This is often done through standardized tests such as the CELPE-Bras. Some universities may offer programs in English or other languages, in which case proficiency in the respective language will be required.
  • Entrance Examination: Depending on the institution and program, applicants may need to sit for an entrance examination. These exams assess the candidate’s knowledge in their field of study and sometimes their research capabilities.
  • Research Proposal: For research-oriented Master’s programs, candidates might be asked to submit a research proposal. This document should outline the proposed research area, objectives, methodology, and its relevance or contribution to the field.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters from academics or professionals who can attest to the applicant’s abilities, character, and suitability for postgraduate study are often required. These should provide insight into the candidate’s potential for success in their chosen program.
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Meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission, as selection processes are competitive, and requirements can vary significantly between institutions and programs. Candidates are encouraged to thoroughly research their chosen universities and programs to ensure they provide all necessary documentation and meet specific requirements and deadlines.

Brazil Universities that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs 

Finding a university in Brazil that aligns with your academic background and future goals is crucial for international students, especially those with HND certificates, second class, and third class degrees. Below is a curated list of Brazilian universities known for their inclusive admission policies and programs designed to accommodate a diverse range of academic qualifications for Master’s degree programs:

1) Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Renowned for its research output and academic excellence, USP is welcoming to international students with varied academic backgrounds. The university offers a range of Master’s programs across different fields, with specific departments more flexible regarding the academic qualifications of applicants.

2) Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) 

UNICAMP is another top-ranking institution in Brazil that values diversity in its student population. It has a history of accepting students with HND certificates and lower-class degrees into its Master’s programs, especially in engineering and technology fields.

3) Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

UFRJ is known for its comprehensive programs and has departments that consider applicants with HND certificates and lower undergraduate classifications for their Master’s degrees, particularly in the sciences and humanities.

4) Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)

 With a wide array of postgraduate programs, UFMG provides opportunities for students with diverse academic records. The university emphasizes the potential for research and practical experience, making it an attractive option for those looking to enhance their qualifications.

 5) Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)

Recognized for its commitment to academic inclusivity, UFRGS offers several Master’s programs that are open to students from various educational backgrounds. The institution values the unique perspectives and experiences that such students bring to the academic community.

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

 While PUC-Rio maintains high academic standards, it also appreciates the importance of diverse educational experiences. Certain departments are more flexible in their admission criteria, particularly for programs in social sciences, arts, and humanities.

Each of these universities has its own set of admission requirements and processes, so it’s essential for prospective students to directly contact the admissions office or visit the official university website for detailed information regarding specific programs of interest. This proactive approach will ensure that all application materials are accurately prepared and submitted within the given deadlines.

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Brazil Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

In addition to the prominent universities listed earlier, there are several reputable schools in Brazil that offer welcoming admission policies for international students with HND certificates, second class, and third class degrees looking to pursue Masters Degree Programs.  

1) Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (Poli-USP)

Known for its strong emphasis on engineering and technology, Poli-USP is a school that values practical experience and academic achievement. It provides a pathway for HND holders and graduates with lower classifications to join its Master’s programs, especially those focused on innovation and development.

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 2) Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)

FGV is a leading school in Brazil for economics, business, and public administration. Its Master’s programs are designed to incorporate students from a wide range of academic backgrounds, including those with HND certificates and lower undergraduate classifications, offering a rich environment for academic and professional growth.

3) Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA)

ITA is a prestigious institution specializing in aeronautics and aerospace engineering. It provides opportunities for students with diverse educational backgrounds to enroll in its Master’s programs, focusing on equipping them with the skills needed in the highly technical fields of aeronautics and space.

4) Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo da Fundação Getulio Vargas (EAESP-FGV): 

As part of FGV, EAESP is particularly noted for its Master’s programs in business administration. The school welcomes international students with HND certificates and those who have earned second class and third class degrees, recognizing the unique perspectives they bring to the business world.

5)  Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN)

Affiliated with the Universidade de São Paulo, IPEN focuses on nuclear research and offers specialized Master’s programs in the field. It accepts students with varied academic records, including those with HND certifications and lower degree classifications, interested in nuclear science and technology.

Each of these schools has specific admission criteria and processes tailored to accommodate students with diverse educational experiences.


Can I use HND for Masters abroad?

Yes, you can use a Higher National Diploma (HND) as a qualification for a master’s degree program at many universities abroad. However, the specific requirements will vary depending on the university and the program you are applying to.  

Does Sweden university accept HND for Masters?

While HNDs are not generally accepted as a direct entry qualification for Swedish universities, there are some exceptions. Some Swedish universities will accept HNDs from students who have already completed a certain amount of university study, typically at least one year. Additionally, some universities will consider HNDs for admission into master’s degree programs if the student has also completed a bridging program, which is designed to prepare students for postgraduate study.

How much does a Master’s degree cost in Brazil?

The cost of a master’s degree in Brazil varies depending on the institution and program you choose, but typically falls between R$10,000 and R$60,000 per year. Public universities in Brazil are generally more affordable than private universities, but they can also be more competitive and may have more rigorous entry requirements. 

 Does France accept HND for Masters?

Yes, in France, some universities do accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) as an entry qualification for master’s degree programs. This is especially true for HNDs in fields such as engineering, technology, and business. 

Does the University of Aberdeen accept HND for Masters?

The University of Aberdeen does consider HNDs for admission into its master’s degree programs. However, HND holders may be required to complete a bridging course or program to make up for any gaps in their education. The university offers a variety of bridging courses that can help HND holders prepare for postgraduate study. Additionally, the university may consider work experience or other qualifications when assessing an HND holder’s application for a master’s degree program.


In Brazil, a growing number of universities and schools now accept Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) as a valid qualification for entry into master’s degree programs. This is especially true for HNDs in business, engineering, and computer science. HNDs from accredited institutions in Brazil are typically considered to be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, and many universities will accept them as such for admission into their master’s programs. It’s important to note that HND holders may still be required to meet additional requirements, such as English language proficiency or work experience. Overall, Brazil is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for students with HNDs

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