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Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro – PUC-Rio

Department of Arts & Design

Brazil Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

PUC-Rio was the first private higher education institution in the country, created by the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1940 by Cardinal D. Sebastião Leme and Father Leonel Franca S.J.

It is thus a Catholic university based in Christian humanistic principles.

International Role

PUC-Rio receives students from more than 200 universites from different parts of the world. Besides student exchange collaborations, the university maintains academic partnership with more than 60 other international institutions. To check the current international agreements, verify the link http://www.puc-rio.br/english/pdf/agreements20160714.pdf

National Role

PUC-Rio's Graduate Program in Design was the first Master and Doctor degree graduate program in Design in South America. It was the only Doctor degree program in Brazil for many years. As such, it plays a very central role in Design education and research in Brazil. The Graduate Program in Design at PUC-Rio maintains formal partnership and collaboration activities with the following Brazilian graduate programs and institutions: Universidade Estado de São Paulo, Unesp/Bauru – Programa de Mestrado em Design. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – COPPE, Programa de Engenharia de Produção. Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – Instituto de Medicina Social. Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – ESDI, Programa de Mestrado em Design. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina – Programa de Engenharia de Produção, Curso de Especialização em Engenharia de Produção. Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – Departamento de Design e Curso de Mestrado em Design. Universidade Estadual da Bahia – Programa de Design, Curso de Especialização em Design. Universidade Anhembi Morumbi – Departamento de Design; Programa de Mestrado em Design.

Main Focus

As part of PUC-Rio’s dynamic environment, the Department of Arts & Design offers undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs in many design areas.

Through research and social activity, the department seeks a scholarly education that stimulates technical development, critical consciousness, and social commitment, aiming at the students benefit in the ever-changing cultural and economic reality of their careers.

Students have access to well-equipped labs that support experimental and learning activities. From video editing, computer graphics and coding to 3D scanning and printing, our labs provide the means for the development of high-quality presentations, models and prototypes.

Faculties and Departments

Department of Arts and Design:

Bachelor Program in Design

Graduate Program in Design

Continuing Education in Design

Bachelor Level Programs

Bachelor in Design, 4-year course – six Major areas: 

  • Multisensorial communication and arts
  • Body and fashion
  • Strategy and management
  • Interaction and digital experience
  • Product and innovation
  • Environmental, social and human sustainability

Master Level Programs

Master in Design – 2-year program – three main lines of research

  • Design: Communication, Culture and Arts
  • Design: Technology, Education and Society
  • Design: Ergonomics, Usability and Human-Computer Interaction 

Research Activity and Main Areas

Since its foundation in 1994, our Master Design Program has been responsible for the consolidation of design research in Brazil. It is the first of its kind in Latin America and has had more than 350 research dissertations approved. Following its success, the Doctoral Design Program was founded in 2003 and has had more than 130 thesis approved up-to-date.

The Design and Society concentration area approaches distinct aspects of design and its interface with technology, arts and social sciences.

The primary goal is to highlight design’s impact on culture, society, and the environment, investigating its relationship with users and productive processes.

The PPG Design Graduate Program is supported by 15 research labs where 14 senior academics and their students undertake a variety of research projects in their respective investigation areas. The Research Lines at the Graduate program in Design are:

  • Design: Communication, Culture and Arts
  • Design: Technology, Education and Society
  • Design: Ergonomics, Usability and HCI

Doctorate Level Programs

Doctorate in Design – 4-year program – three main lines of research

  • Design: Communication, Culture and Arts
  • Design: Technology, Education and Society
  • Design: Ergonomics, Usability and Human-Computer Interaction 

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

All subject areas are open to exchange students.

Application Deadlines

May and October are the months when international students must apply to come to PUC-Rio. If applying in May,  the exchange period starts in July/August and the student stays until December of the same year. If the students apply in  October, the exchange period begins in February/March of the next year and the students stay until July.

To check all details, students must verify on 


Teaching Languages

Each semester there´s a variety of courses in English.  Courses are updated every semester and can be checked on http://www.puc-rio.br/ensinopesq/ccci/download/courses_in_english.pdf

Semester Dates

First term –  Begins February/March – Ends July

Second term – Begins August – Ends December

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

International Office help students to accommodate during their stay in Rio, once the campus doesn't offer option inside it.


Bachelor: 12.518
Master: 1541
Doctorate: 1166

Exchange Students

Incoming: 1304
Outgoing: 537
Others: 6959

Teaching Staff

Professors: 94
Lectures: 14
Part-time Teachers: 80

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