UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD Exchange: Pontificia Universidade Catolica - Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) (Brazil)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Terms offered: 
Year (Fall-Spring)
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
EA Advisor: 
Natalie Brady
Language of Instruction: 

A nighttime view of Rio.


All students accepted to an Exchange program are automatically considered for an award of $1,000! See Cost tab for more information.

Host Institution
Recognized as the best private university in Brazil, the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) is a private, non-profit, Catholic University that was founded in 1940 with the objective of developing knowledge based on humanistic values. The university now has 20,000 students who come from a variety of religious, ethnic and social backgrounds.

Host City
PUC-Rio is located in Gávea, a neighborhood located in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro.  It's surrounded by some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Rio and is located just outside of the Tijuca Forest, a picturesque national park and the largest urban forest in the world.  A number of city bus lines have stops at the entrance of University that take you directly into the center of Rio.  Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil, with approximately 6.3 million inhabitants.  Rio is the most visited city in the southern hemisphere and is well known for its cultural and natural attributes, such as carnival celebrations, Bossa Nova, beaches (think  Copacabana), Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain, and football.

An aerial view of the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Exchange programs are highly competitive and space in each program is limited. You must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to apply to this program:

  • 3.0 GPA
  • Completion of 2 semesters at UMD
  • PORT104 strongly recommended

Exchange programs are a good fit for students looking for immersion, personal growth, and the opportunity to strengthen qualities such as independence and adaptability.

Student Visa Information
A student visa is required for participation on this exchange. For more information, please visit our study abroad visa guide to view instructions for the country you will be visiting. Please note that visa information is subject to change and you are responsible for checking the embassy website for updates.

  1. Click "Apply Now" at the top of this page. You will log in with your UMD directory ID and password.
  2. Submit all application materials by the deadline listed below. This includes meeting with your EA advisor (listed at the top of this page), requesting a faculty letter of recommendation, and submitting an official transcript.
  3. After the application deadline, we will review all completed applications and nominate students for available spots in each exchange program.
  4. If you are nominated to participate in this exchange, you will work with your EA advisor (listed above) to apply directly to the host university, who will formally admit you to the exchange program.
  5. Nominated students will then work with their EA advisor (listed above) and our partner universities to coordinate all aspects of the stay at the host university such as course registration, visas and arrival.

Academic Planning

Visit the Academics & Study Abroad page which outlines key considerations for your academic planning as you navigate different phases of study abroad:


While attending PUC, students can take classes that focus on Brazilian and Latin American culture, art and design, literature, business, international relations, and history in English.  All international students are also required to take a class in Portuguese as a Second Language.  Students with advanced Portuguese language may be able to take regular classes in Portuguese in a variety of academic disciplines. 


There may be other course offerings on this program that are not currently listed in the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD).  If you are interested in taking a course not listed in the SACD, please submit a transfer credit evaluation request.


All credit you earn on this program will count as transfer credit towards your UMD degree.  Most courses at PUC will be converted as follows:

PUC-Rio Credit UMD Credit
1 PUC credit 1 UMD credit
3 PUC credits 3 UMD credits

The chart above was last approved by the UMD Transfer Credit Committee on April 30, 2015.


Undergraduates must receive a C- equivalent or better in order to be eligible for the transfer of credit.

PUC Grade UMD Grade
6 C -


An aerial view of Rio.
PUC offers housing in the form of homestays, arranged through the university. If a student does not wish to participate in a homestay, they must find individual accomodations:

Exchange Program Cost of Attendance
UMD students participating in an Exchange program have the benefit of paying UMD tuition rates to attend an institution abroad. For specific information about this Exchange program, please reference the Cost of Attendance Chart.

Tuition and fees for exchange programs are charged directly to your UMD account, which means you can apply UMD scholarships, state and federal financial aid, and alternative loans towards the cost of an exchange. Housing costs are paid directly to the host institution or on-site housing agency.

You can use the cost of attendance comparison worksheet to view how study abroad programs compare to each other and the amount you pay on campus at UMD. As always, your EA advisor (listed above) is available to help you complete this worksheet and find affordable programs that fit your study abroad goals.

Exchange Scholarship
All students accepted to an Exchange program are considered for an automatic award of $1,000! To be considered for this scholarship, you must:

  • Be a current degree seeking undergraduate UMD student (graduate students are not eligible for this award)
  • Not currently receive full tuition scholarship/benefits (i.e. Banneker Key, tuition remission, Frederick Douglass Scholarship, etc.)

Additional Financial Resources

Maximize your time abroad by taking advantage of resources at your host institution!

Student Clubs and Organizations
PUC- Rio has sports areas for students to participate in athletic activities. In addition, the city of Rio offers many sports activities for free for students to take part in.

International Welcome/Orientation
PUC- Rio offers a variety of welcome services for international students, including a welcome at the airport, orientation week, a welcome lunch, a city tour of Rio, and more.

Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities*
Resource Guide for LGBTQ+ Identities*

*These resource guides provide general information about services at UMD’s partner institution. For more information, consult your EA advisor.

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Year (Fall-Spring) 2022 03/15/2022 03/25/2022
Fall 2022 03/15/2022 03/25/2022
Spring 2023 09/09/2022 09/15/2022