Masters degree program

Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2016

The graduate program in Ecology at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia – INPA offers a two-year full-time masters course that focuses on academic training in Ecology, directed at research in the tropics.

Presently the course has the second highest evaluation grade by the CAPES Foundation, the governmental authority that manages graduate education in Brazil. CAPES grade 6 (on a scale from 3 to 7) stands for a high quality faculty, competitive scientific productivity, and a significant contribution to human resource training and qualification for research and management in biodiversity and environmental sciences in the Amazon.

Students have to obtain credits from theoretical and practical courses, and have to approve a thesis based on original research data and with potential to be published in indexed journals.

The course is financed by public funds from the Brazilian government, and has no costs to the student apart from the inscription fee for the selection exam (see below).

The main thesis supervisor has to belong to the program’s faculty (see Faculty on this website). Up to two co-supervisors are accepted, who may be external to the program, but need to have a PhD.

All regular classes are taught in Portuguese. The thesis may be submitted as a core manuscript in English, prepared for publication in or submitted to a scientific journal, but it is mandatory to format introductory elements, as well as a general discussion and conclusions in Portuguese.

To study in a masters course in Brazil, candidates need to have a university degree. Diplomas from non-Brazilian universities do not need to be fully legalized in Brazil, but should be registered with the Brazilian consulate in the country of origin. Diplomas in English or Spanish can be presented as original documents only, but diplomas in other languages need to be accompanied by an official translation.

Information about legalization in Brazil of diplomas from foreign institutions can be obtained from Brazil’s Ministry of Education and Culture’s website (in Portuguese).

Candidates approved for the masters course are responsible for obtaining their student visa through the Brazilian consulate in their country of origin, as well as for all necessary procedures with federal police upon their arrival in Brazil.


There are two ways of access to INPA’s masters course in Ecology:

The CAPES/PEC-PG Program 

Nationals from countries listed by the CAPES Foundation (Brazil) for the Programa de Estudantes-Convênio de Pós-Graduação (PEC-PG) may apply for a grant for masters studies in a graduate program of their choice in Brazil. The grant is awarded individually through a yearly selection process among candidates for all recommended masters courses in Brazil. The PEC-PG selection process is independent of specific selection exams offered by the graduate programas.

Candidates must present a declaration of conditional acceptance from the graduate program of their choice.

INPA’s graduate program in Ecology does not require definition of thesis supervisor and research project prior to entry acceptance, but these may be requirements for submission to PEC-PG. In this case, the candidate will have to contact his desired advisor among INPA’s Ecology program faculty (see Faculty on this website).

Non-Brazilian nationals with residence in Brazil cannot apply for PEC-PG grants.

PEC-PG candidates have to be approved in the CELPE-Brasil exam of sufficiency in Portuguese.

Candidates approved by the PEC-PG selection process have their entry into the masters course guaranteed, as well as a two-year grant, and flight tickets to Brazil from their country of origin and back to their country of origin at the end of the two-year period.

Masters students that enter INPA’s graduate program in Ecology through PEC-PG have to pass a sufficiency exam in English up to six months after starting the course.

Click here for more information on PEC-PG.

INPA’s selection exam for the masters course in Ecology

Another way of entering the masters course in Ecology at INPA is the yearly selection exam offered by the program. The call for inscriptions is published every year in July on INPA’s website. Inscription for the selection exam is online on that website from July to September. An inscription fee is payable exclusively through bank deposit in Brazil.

It is not necessary to have a thesis supervisor or project defined in order to make your inscription.

The exam occurs at the beginning of November and is offered nationwide in several Brazilian cities. It is not possible to take the exam outside of Brazil.

The exam is comprised of a written test with questions about general knowledge in Ecology, and a multiple choice test for sufficiency in English.

The course usually reserves two positions for non-Brazilian students every year.

Further details on the selection process are available in the call for inscriptions.

The selection results are published in December.


Classes for new students in the masters course start in March. Thesis submission is due in February two years later.

The graduate program has no funds to cover travel expenses to or from Manaus. INPA does not provide student accommodation.

All efforts are made to seek scholarships for all masters students that enter the course via the selection exam, but we cannot guarantee that all students will obtain scholarships every year. As required by Brazilian funding agencies, priority for scholarship assignment is given to Brazilian students.

For more information, check the program regulations (in Portuguese) on this website at Program/Rules and Regulations.

INPA has no student accommodations. Students usually share rented flats and houses in the vicinity of the Institute.

The vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for travel and residence in the tropics.

Some regions of the Amazon are more prone to malaria infection than others, which also varies among years and with local human population density. Malaria infection in the more urbanized areas of Manaus is rare, but may occur in the outskirts. Infection with the dengue, zica and chikungunya viruses may occur in the city.

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