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São Paulo State University

São Paulo State University
Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho"
Other name
TypePublic university system
BudgetR$1.496 billion[1]
RectorPasqual Barretti (2021-2025) [2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
22°49′02″S 47°04′10″W / 22.8172°S 47.0694°W / -22.8172; -47.0694
AffiliationsCompostela Group of Universities

São Paulo State University (Unesp, Portuguese: Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho") is a public university run by the state government of São Paulo, Brazil.

Unesp has a combined student body of over 45,000 spread among its 23 campuses. The first of them is the Araraquara Pharmacy and Odontology Faculty, founded in 1923 and incorporated by the state of São Paulo in 1956. Before the university’s official foundation in 1976, its original 12 campuses were public independent faculties.

With a budget of R$2.6 billion in 2015, UNESP currently has 33 teaching, research, and extension units in 23 campuses spread across inland and coastal cities, as well as in the city of São Paulo. It also has 30 libraries, two hospitals, three animal hospitals, five farms, and seven complementary units.[3][additional citation(s) needed]

São Paulo State University is considered the sixth most important university in Brazil, according to the Ranking Universitário Folha, one of the most recognized local rankings.[4] According to the QS World University Ranking, Unesp is the fifth most important university in Brazil, 11th in Latin America, 29th in BRICS, and 482nd in the world.[5][6] It is the only Brazilian member of the Compostela Group of Universities.[7] It is one of the few Latin American universities to be constantly listed as one of the best universities worldwide.


Universities in Brazil are a recent phenomenon, compared to other Latin American countries. The first one was created in 1808 (Rio de Janeiro Medicine Faculty). Before the 20th century, there were no universities in the country. Existing institutions in higher education were either public or church-run independent institutes.[citation needed] Rio de Janeiro Federal University was the first one, containing every faculty inside Rio de Janeiro city in 1926.

São Paulo’s first university was USP, founded in 1933. By the 1950s, countryside people had to move toward capitals for undergraduate study. There were few higher education institutes outside Brazilian metropolises then.[citation needed] São Paulo state government created many colleges outside the capital in the 1950s and 1960s. Prominent cities in the state received these isolated institutes, known as “Faculdade de Filosofia”.[citation needed] In the 1970s, discussions were made within state government on how to coordinate the separate institutes. One Suggestions was to join the 14 institutes in a federation or a single university, which was enacted on subsequently.[citation needed]

Inspired by the University of California multi-campus system, Unesp was founded in 1976. The original campuses were in Araçatuba, Araraquara, Assis, Botucatu, Franca, Guaratinguetá, Ilha Solteira, Jaboticabal, Marília, Presidente Prudente, Rio Claro, São José dos Campos, São José do Rio Preto and São Paulo. Bauru campus was incorporated in 1988.[citation needed]

The name "Universidade Estadual Paulista" was suggested by the first rector of Unesp, Professor Luiz Ferreira Martins. The homage to Júlio de Mesquita Filho [pt] (a journalist) was suggested by Prof. Dr. Moacyr Expedito Marret Vaz Guimarães, then President of the State Council of Education (EEC).[8]

Unesp is one of the six public higher education institutions in the state of São Paulo. The others are USP, UNICAMP, UNIFESP, UFABC, UFSCar and FATEC).


Campus Marília

UNESP has a total of 1,900 laboratories and 30 libraries, which together have around 900,000 books available.[9][additional citation(s) needed]

In addition the facilities encompass museums, gardens, parks, botanical gardens and five experimental farms, totaling an area of 62.8 million m2, of which 745,400 m2 are developed area.

The university also owns the Hospital de Clínicas de Botucatu and manages the State Hospital of Bauru, which together have around 800 beds, as well as veterinary hospitals and dentistry, psychology, speech therapy and physiotherapy clinics.[10][additional citation(s) needed]

Map of the state of São Paulo with districts that are home to a campus of UNESP.
Campus Marília


São Paulo State University has 23 campuses and 33 institutes:[11]

  • Araçatuba Campus
    • Faculdade de Odontologia de Araçatuba (FOA) (Araçatuba Dental School)
    • Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (FMV) (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Araraquara Campus
    • Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF) (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
    • Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL) (Faculty of Science and Letters)
    • Faculdade de Odontologia (FO) (Dental School)
    • Instituto de Química (IQ) (Institute of Chemistry)
  • Assis Campus
    • Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL) (Faculty of Science and Letters)
  • Bauru Campus
    • Faculdade de Arquitetura, Artes e Comunicação (FAAC) (Faculty of Architecture, Arts and Communication)
    • Faculdade de Ciências (FC) (Faculty of Sciences)
    • Faculdade de Engenharia de Bauru (FEB) (Bauru School of Engineering)
  • Botucatu Campus
    • Faculdade de Ciências Agronômicas (FCA) (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences)
    • Faculdade de Medicina (FM) (Medical School)
    • Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ) (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science)
    • Instituto de Biociências (IB) (Institute of Biosciences)
  • Campus Experimental de Dracena (Experimental Campus of Dracena)
  • Franca Campus
    • Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS) (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • Guaratinguetá Campus
    • Faculdade de Engenharia de Guaratinguetá (FEG) (Guaratinguetá School of Engineering)
  • Ilha Solteira Campus
    • Faculdade de Engenharia de Ilha Solteira (FEIS) (Ilha Solteira School of Engineering)
  • Campus Experimental de Itapeva (Experimental Campus of Itapeva)
  • Jaboticabal Campus
    • Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV) (Faculty of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences)
  • Marília Campus
    • Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC) (School of Philosophy and Sciences)
  • Campus Experimental de Ourinhos (Experimental Campus of Ourinhos)
  • Presidente Prudente, São Paulo|Presidente Prudente Campus
    • Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT) (Faculty of Science and Technology)
  • Campus Experimental de Registro (Experimental Campus of Registro)
  • Rio Claro Campus
    • Instituto de Biociências (IB) (Institute of Biosciences)
    • Instituto de Geociências e Ciências Exatas (IGCE) (Institute of Geosciences and Exact Sciences)
  • Campus Experimental de Rosana (Experimental Campus of Rosana)
  • São João da Boa Vista Campus
  • São José do Rio Preto Campus
    • Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE) (Institute of Biosciences, Arts and Exact Sciences)
  • São José dos Campos Campus
    • Faculdade de Odontologia de São José dos Campos (FOSJC) (São José dos Campos Dental School)
  • São Paulo Campus
    • Instituto de Artes (IA) (Institute of Arts)
    • Instituto de Física Teórica (IFT) (Institute for Theoretical Physics)
    • Núcleo de Educação a Distância (NEaD) (Center for Distance Education)
  • Campus do Litoral Paulista (São Vicente) (Campus of São Paulo Coast)
  • Sorocaba Campus
  • Campus Experimental de Tupã (Experimental Campus of Tupã)

Complementary units

  • Unesp, São Paulo
    • Instituto de Física Teórica (IFT) (Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Organization and administration

Unesp is governed by a rector, appointed by the state governor who chooses the final candidate from a list of three nominees. The nominees are selected through elections, taking place among university’s academics held every four years. Usually, the governor selects the winner of those elections.[additional citation(s) needed]

The rector presides over the University Council, composed of directors of every institute in the system and academic representatives. There are ten students representatives. The council makes most decisions that affect the university.[additional citation(s) needed]

Each institute (there are campuses with more than one) has one director and a council who rules with a degree of autonomy.[additional citation(s) needed]

Unesp rectors

  • Luis Ferreira Martins (10/03/1976 – 09/03/1980)
  • Armando Octávio Ramos (10/03/1980 – 08/03/1984)
  • Manuel Nunes Dias (27/03/1984 – 31/07/1984), pro-tempore
  • Jorge Nagle (01/08/1984 – 16/01/1989)
  • Milton Barbosa Landim (17/01/1989 – 15/01/1993)
  • Artur Roquete de Macedo (16/01/1993 – 14/01/1997)
  • Antônio Manuel dos Santos Silva (15/01/1997 – 14/01/2001)
  • José Carlos Souza Trindade (15/01/2001 – 14/01/2005)
  • Marcos Macari (15/01/2005 - 14/01/2009)
  • Herman Jacobus Cornelis Voorwald (15/01/2009 - 14/01/2013)
  • Julio Cezar Durigan (since 15/01/2013-2017)
  • Sandro Roberto Valentini (2017-2021)[12]


Unesp employs about 3,500 teachers, in addition to another 10,600 employees in various positions. The university provides 171 options for undergraduate courses in 62 higher education professions, with a total of over 45,000 students, of which 5,600 new professionals are trained annually by Unesp. About 10,000 students study in 118 postgraduate programs, with 117 academic masters, 6 professional masters and 93 academic doctorates.

The academic year at Unesp follows a two-semester schedule, with slight differences depending on the courses and programs chosen. The spring semester runs from August - December and the fall semester from February - June.[13]

In the recent decade Brazil has generally become more widely recognized as a good academic environment (developing alongside the rest of the countries economy).[14] But with the economic crisis some universities in Brazil have struggled in the last years; the number of publications authored and co-authored from UNESP however, has continually risen since 2012.[15]


Admissions to Unesp are restricted by a state-wide, general admissions exam, known as vestibular. For architecture, arts and design undergraduate courses, additional specific exams are required.

Prepared by VUNESP, an institution specialized in exams organization, Unesp vestibular are held on three days, separated in two phases.

  1. The first phase consists of 90 questions in the following disciplines: philosophy, Portuguese, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geography, history, physics and English or Spanish.
  2. The second phase of exams, separated in two days, is made up of specific questions in Humane and Natural Sciences on the first day. The second day of the second phase consists of specific questions in Languages (Portuguese and English or Spanish) and a writing exam.[16]

A student can only apply for a single course in the São Paulo State University system, preventing a simultaneous application for e.g. History and Geography.

Exchange programmes

Unesp has 140 international exchange and cooperation agreements with institutions of higher education in 52 countries. The main exchange countries for Unesp are currently Argentina, Canada, China, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Russia, the United States and Scotland.[17][18]

To further support international students the university launched a program called "International Courses" in 2013. The program comprised four different areas initially: Agricultural Sciences, Alternative Energy, Dentistry and Literature and Linguistics.[19]

Overview of partnering universities
Country Name of partnering university Website
GermanyG University of Duisburg-Essen

Rankings and reputation

University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[20]301–400 (2023)
QS World[21]=419 (2024)
THE World[22]601–800 (2024)
USNWR Global[23]=497 (2023)
Regional – Overall
QS Latin America[24]10 (2018)
THE Latin America[25]11 (2018)
THE Emerging Economies[26]161
National – Overall
THE National[27]4 (2018)

In 2012, Unesp ranked second among public universities in the "VIII Best Universities Award", annually presented by the student publication guide, Editora Abril.[28]

In 2013, the UK publication Times Higher Education (THE) pointed to Unesp, alongside Unicamp, as one of the World's Top 100 "Young" Universities (under 50 years old)[29] and as the 11th best university in emerging countries.[30]

QS World University Rankings ranked the University of São Paulo as the 9th best in Latin America (2014),[31] the 34th best in BRICS,[31] the 4th best in Brazil, and within the 491-500th best universities worldwide in 2018.[32]

The Academic Classification of World Universities (ARWU) of 2017 ranked Unesp in the 301st-400th group of the best universities in the world and as the third best institution of higher education in Brazil.[33]

The institution was also ranked as the 8th best university in Latin America, the 4th in Brazil and the 408th in the world by the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities in 2017.[34]

Unesp ranked in the 151-200th group of the Young University Rankings 2018 and in the 601-800th group of the World University Rankings 2018 by THE.[35]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2018)

Research an Unesp is centrally organized by the Research Vice-President's office (PROPe).[36] The university currently has its main research focus in the areas of Bioenergy, Biotechnology, Climate Change, Nanotechnology, Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, Pre-Clinical and Clinical development, Public Policy, Sea Sciences and Stem Cell research.[11]

In 2010, UNESCO, an agency of the United Nations (UN), named Unesp as the 2nd university in Brazil in numbers of scientific articles of international level, being responsible for 8% of the national scientific production, alongside UNICAMP and second to USP.[37]

Student life

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2018)

Noted people


This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

Notable alumni of Unesp include (Unesp degree in brackets):

Faculty members

Notable faculty members of Unesp include:


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Universidade Estadual Paulista – UNESP". Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Unesp: Reitoria - Portal da Universidade". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Presentation about UNESP" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Ranking Universitário Folha 2019". Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Unesp: Rankings, Fees & Courses Details".
  6. ^ "QS Ranking 2020".
  7. ^ "CGU Members". Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  8. ^ "UNESP: Câmpus de São José dos Campos - Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia". Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  9. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  10. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  11. ^ a b "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  12. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  13. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  14. ^ "Spotlight on Latin America". Nature Jobs. 2012-09-12. doi:10.1038/nj0389. ISSN 1476-4687.
  15. ^ "Brazil's subsumed science sector struggles to stay afloat". 28 June 2016. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  16. ^ Rohter, Larry (29 December 2000). "Rio Journal; For Brazil's College-Bound, a Brutal Test of Mettle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  17. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  18. ^ "Career guide UNESP - International Exchange" (PDF).
  19. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  20. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2023". Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  21. ^ "QS World University Rankings: University of Sfax". Top Universities. 29 June 2023. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  22. ^ "Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp)". Times Higher Education (THE). 28 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  23. ^ U.S. News. "Universidade Estadual Paulista". Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  24. ^ "QS Latin American University Rankings 2018".
  25. ^ "Latin America Rankings". 18 July 2018.
  26. ^ "World University Rankings". 18 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Best universities in Brazil 2022". 23 September 2021.
  28. ^ "GE divulga as melhores universidades do Brasil em 2012". Guia do Estudante (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  29. ^ "The Top 100 Universities under 50" (PDF). Times Higher Education.
  30. ^ "Brasil tem 4 universidades entre as melhores dos países emergentes". (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  31. ^ a b "UNESP". Top Universities. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  32. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2018". Top Universities. 2017-02-01. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  33. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2017 | Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 | Top 500 universities | Shanghai Ranking - 2017". Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  34. ^ "Latin America | Ranking Web of Universities". Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  35. ^ "São Paulo State University (Unesp)". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  36. ^ "Unesp - Universidade Estadual Paulista - Portal". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  37. ^ "Unesco aponta Unesp em segundo lugar no Brasil em produção científica". (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2018-08-09.
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São Paulo State University
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