Best Universities in Portugal

7 minute read

Looking for a University to study abroad without breaking the bank yet fulfilling your dreams of quality education? Well, according to QS World Ranking some of the World’s best universities are in Portugal. Unfortunately, it’s often overlooked. But do not worry your dreams are our responsibility, we have curated a list of some of the Best Universities in Portugal with detailed information about which universities have the best courses to offer. 

Why Portugal?

The question is not why Portugal, the question should be why not Portugal? 

  • Portugal has some of the best universities. The Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto is a leading European Architecture School for decades, and Universidade Nova de Lisboa has earned a place in the QS World Ranking top 50 Universities under 50 years and Universidade Católica Portuguesa has a World class Masters in Management.
  • Cost of living is comparatively lower in Portugal than in other European countries.
  • The Weather in Portugal is very pleasant with only around 90-100 days of rain and all year bright sunny days with 3 months of tolerable winter. 

Cost of Studying in Portugal

The tuition fees are based on the actual costs of the courses, depending on the individual courses’ needs of equipment, facilities, and laboratories. All the Universities award merit  Scholarships solely based on previous academic performances. 

The average cost of living in Portugal is affordable in comparison to other European countries but the cost of living might differ from one region to another. On average, you will need somewhere between 400-800 EUROS (INR 35-70k).

On average for a month, your food and grocery expenses will be around 150-200 EUROS (INR 13-17k).   

List of the Best Universities in Portugal

These are the 7 best universities in Portugal with their QS ranking, courses offered, and average tuition fees.

QS Ranking 2023CityUniversity NamesCourses OfferedAverage Tuition Fees
274PortoUniversity of PortoUndergraduate and Postgraduate ProgramsUp to 697 EURO (INR 60k)
335LisbonUniversity of LisbonUndergraduate and Postgraduate Programs550-2500 EURO (INR 47k-2.1 Lakhs)
369LisbonUniversidade NOVA de LisboaUndergraduate, Post Graduate, and Doctorate ProgramsUp to 7,900 EURO (INR 6.8 Lakhs)
438CoimbraUniversity of CoimbraUndergraduate, Post Graduate, and Doctorate ProgramsUp to 7000 EURO (INR 6 Lakhs)
501-510AveiroUniversity of AveiroPost Graduate Programs1600-3000 EURO (INR 1.4-2.6 Lakhs)
591-600BragaUniversity of MinhoUndergraduate, Post Graduate, and Doctorate Programs5500-6500 EURO (INR 4.7-5.6 Lakhs)
801-1000LisbonUniversidade Católica Portuguesa- UCPUndergraduate, Post Graduate, and Doctorate Programs490-579 EURO (INR 42-50k)

University of Porto

In terms of enrollment, the University of Porto is the second largest. It was established in 1911 and now with 100 years of history, has been one of the sought-after Universities for its European Architectural courses. It is also known for its noted teaching and research facilities and outputs. Bonus points, the acceptance rate is more than 50 per cent.  

University of Lisbon

University of Lisbon is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Europe. Universidade de Lisboa is a public University and it acquired its current status in the year 2013 when Universidade Técnica de Lisboa and Universidade de Lisboa were merged. It offers a plethora of courses bringing together Arts, Science, Management, and Technology. The quality of teaching and research is appreciated worldwide.

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Universidade NOVA de Lisboa is a public university located in the heart of Lisbon. It was established in 1973. Since it is the latest addition to the list of public universities, it has earned the name NOVA, “new”. It caters to more than 20,000 students and is known for its Sociology and Anthropology courses. Most of the courses are taught in Portuguese and some of the Postgraduate courses are taught in English as well.

University of the Coimbra

University of Coimbra is the oldest university established in 1290. It is a public research university. It is one of the oldest in the world, continuing and dedicated to giving quality education to its students. In 2013, UNESCO declared the university a World Heritage Site, for its unique architecture, unique culture, and the historical role it played. Programs such as medicine, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, and architecture are the most sought-after and very difficult to get admission to.   

University of Aveiro

The University of Aveiro is a public university under private laws located in Aveiro but its campus is extended to Agueda. It was founded in 1973. The university offers various degrees in post-graduation but the most highlighted courses are Chemistry and Tourism Management and Training. 

University of Minho

University of Minho is a public university distributed over four campuses in Braga and Guimaraes. It was established in 1973 and was named the “New Universities”. With more than 19,000 students, it is one of the largest universities.

Universidade Católica Portuguesa- UCP

It is known as the Catholic University of Portugal and it is a concordat university. This university is recognized as one of the best universities by Times Higher Education World University Ranking in 2021. It is headquartered in Lisbon and has three other campuses in Braga, Porto, and Viseu. Universidade Catolica Portuguesa is internationally renowned for its quality of education, teaching, and research facilities. 

Eligibility to study in Portugal

One of the most important eligibility criteria to get admitted to the best universities in Portugal is to be qualified in any one of the following English tests: 

  • IELTS Scorecard
  • TOEFL 
  • C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency
  • PTE Scorecard

The interested candidates must check with the individual institution/university to see which English test is preferred and what is the minimum required score. In universities and Polytechnics where lectures and classes are held in Portuguese, one might also need to prove their Portuguese language proficiency.

Admission Process to study in Portugal

  • Undergraduate students

Apply online through the official Portuguese website dedicated to Higher Education. One can choose up to six universities/polytechnics and study programs one would like to apply for, in order of preference.

  • Post Graduate students

The applicant needs to possess a relevant Bachelor’s degree or Diploma. Apply online through the official website of the chosen universities. One may need to have the documents translated if requested by the institution to which one is applying.

The admissions system in Portugal involves entrance exams that can be taken separately, depending on the country you are coming from. If one is a European citizen or recently lived in Portugal, one may take the exam when the national session is scheduled. Also, one may replace this test with the final exams from one’s home country, if one gets them recognised at your local Portugal embassy. Often students from European countries are exempted from appearing in the entrance exams.

Prospective students coming from non-European countries are viewed as “international students” and have the possibility to take the entrance exams locally, at the Portuguese embassy from their home country. The candidates also must have a minimum schooling education of 12 years. 

Documents Required

To get admission to the best universities in Portugal, some documents are required:

  1. Complete Application Form
  2. Proof of passed entrance examination (mostly applicable for Bachelor’s degrees)
  3. A recognised/authentic certificate stating completion of high school/Bachelor’s degree
  4. One should get their high school degree officially recognised at a Portuguese embassy or consulate in their own country or the local embassy from Portugal.
  5. Transcripts of all the academic records
  6. Motivation letter/Cover letter
  7. Recommendation Letter
  8. Proof of Payment of application fee
  9. Portfolio (required for some degrees only)
  10. Documents related to former studies must be presented in original form and as English translations.
  11. Passport

Career Scope in Portugal

After completing their education, students have a wide range of opportunities. They can take up research work, get into lectureships, get self-employed, and work in MNCs depending on their field of study and interest. Apart from these, International Students from Non-European/EEA countries can work up to 20 hours per week while they study and work full-time during holidays in Portugal. 


Is Portugal a student-friendly country?

Portugal is an International student-friendly country with a welcoming culture.

What is the average tuition fee for International students in Portugal?

The average tuition fee for International students in Portugal is somewhere between 3500-7000 Euros per year (INR 3 Lakh-INR 6 Lakh).

Is it necessary to learn Portuguese to study in Portugal?

It is not necessary to learn Portuguese but in some selected Universities it is a prerequisite and mandatory to pass the admission test.

Is IELTS mandatory for International students?

For English-Taught programs, IELTS is mandatory but there are a few Universities that do not require IELTS only if the scores of the previous educational tests were good per standard in English.

Is the Study gap acceptable in Portugal?

Yes, the Study gap is acceptable for up to 6 years in the Universities of Portugal but it needs to be justified.  

If you are considering taking admission to any of the above-mentioned Universities or facing any problem regarding admission to higher education in Portugal, kindly get in touch with Leverage Edu for further assistance on the toll-free number 1800-572-000 or you can email us at [email protected]

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