The institutions of higher education active in the State of São Paulo are amongst the best in the country, with many also being recognized beyond Brazil’s borders, being in the highest positions in international rankings in Latin America (QS University Rankings and Times Higher Education University Rankings).
With 25.2% of all Brazil's institutions of higher education, São Paulo is home to, in addition to an extensive private network, three state universities, two state colleges and 61 state technical faculties, as well as five federal institutions of higher education (three universities, one college and one institute of education, science and technology) and a significant number of municipal institutions, according to data published in 2014 by the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (Inep).
By offering almost 1.2 million places, with a faculty comprised of approximately 74% Masters or PhD's, the undergraduate courses in the State graduated 246,913, equivalent to 29.4% of the national total (Inep - 2014). Post-graduate students in the State represented 28% of the national average, awarding diplomas to 19,000 students in 2014, according to the Coordination for Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (Capes).
With prominent activity in a wide range of knowledge areas, some of the best institutions of higher education, according to Capes, are situated in the State of São Paulo. The state universities are distinguished among them.
University of São Paulo (USP)
The University of São Paulo (USP) is the largest and most important institution of higher education and research in Brazil, internationally recognized as distinguished among the Latin American universities (Latin America’s first place in the international rankings QS World University Ranking and THE World University). USP has a number of campi, distributed throughout various cities in São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Piracicaba, São Carlos, Pirassununga, Bauru and Lorena.
Its structure includes teaching units, museums, research centers, hospitals and specialized institutions. The university offers 300 undergraduate courses, frequented by 55,000 students, in addition to 676 post-graduate courses divided into 353 Master's and 323 PhD's, frequented by 30,000 students (2014).
Campinas State University (Unicamp)
In addition to the units situated in the municipality of Campinas (the main campus and the Campinas Technical College - Cotuca), the Campinas State University (Unicamp) also includes the College of Applied Arts, the College of Technology and the Technical College, in Limeira; the Piracicaba Dental College; and the Multi-Disciplinary Center for Chemical, Biological and Agricultural Research - CPQBA, in Paulina.
Eighteen thousand students study one of its 66 undergraduate courses, taught at 24 education and research units, as well as 153 post-graduate courses (75 Master's, 70 PhD's and 8 specialty), frequented by around 16,000 students (2014).
São Paulo State University Júlio de Mesquita Filho (Unesp)
The São Paulo State University Júlio de Mesquita Filho (Unesp) is present over virtually the entire territory of São Paulo, with campi in 24 cities.
Unesp has 35 colleges and institutes offering 155 undergraduate course options to some 37,000 students. It also has 146 post-graduate programs, offering 124 achademic Master's degrees, 19 professional Master’s degrees and 112 PhD's to more than 13,000 students.