Brazilian Educational System
People who have not had access or the opportunity to enter Brazilian Universities have the option of taking sequential courses. With an average length of two years, these courses teach practical functions and skills that the student shall later carry out on the market. At the end, the student shall receive a University-level diploma.
Those who choose this type of higher education have the opportunity to expand their personal knowledge in a given area. Instead of taking a full-length graduation course of four years in business management, for example, the student can start a specific sequential course in Human Resources and finish it in a much shorter time.
Professional people who are already on the labor market but who need a university-level diploma are the main group to benefit from this type of educational qualification. According to the 2007 edition of the Census of University Education, Brazil has 609 sequential courses of presential nature.
Types of Courses
As established in the National Education Bases and Guidelines Law (LDB) and supervised by the Secretariat for Higher Education (Sesu), sequential courses are offered in two different ways: specific training and complementary studies.
Recommended for people who have completed their middle schooling and who need short-term University qualifications to either start work or to move up in the labor market. They shall be authorized in advance by the Ministry for Education and Culture (MEC) and have a minimum class load of 1,600 hours and 400 school days, including time for internships or other kinds of professional or academic practices.
Complementary studies: Recommended for those who already have a professional qualification, these courses are offered by Universities and other higher education institutes with graduation courses already accredited by the MEC. The curriculum proposal, class load and time frame for completion are established by the institution and shall have at least half the proposed class load related to one or more of the graduation courses regularly offered at the institution.
In both types, the student does not gain access to graduate courses (master’s and doctor’s degree studies) but only to specialization courses.
Source: (content in portuguese)
Ministry of Education