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SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme - Frequentely Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here you can find the answers to many questions about SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme at NOVA and about the steps to take after the programme (which schools and programmes you can apply, admission requirements and application deadlines). 

In case you don´t find the answers to your questions please don´t hesitate to contact us by email supernova@unl.pt .


How can I apply for a university course at NOVA after SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme?

Can students from outside the European Union apply for a university degree in Portugal?

SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme provides preparation for higher education at a top European University.

After the programme, students can apply for an undergraduate programme or an integrated master's degree in NOVA in accordance with the regulations in force.

Students from outside the European Union:

Students from outside the European Union can apply for a university course in Portugal through special conditions defined in the International Student Statute. Please note that application requirements and deadlines vary between NOVA Faculties.

Learn more about applying for an undergraduate programme or an integrated master's with NOVA through the International Student Statute.

See also the frequently asked question: "undergraduate programme/Integrated Masters at NOVA after the Pre-University Semester".

Students of the European Union:

Portuguese or other European Union students must apply for Portuguese higher education in the scope of the National Access Contest and in accordance with the conditions and deadlines defined by the General Directorate of Higher Education.

More information for Portuguese candidates / More information for other European Union candidates

The acceptance in a degree programme at NOVA is guaranteed after attending SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme?

The completion of SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme does not guarantee direct access to one of NOVA's Undergraduate Programmes, and those interested must apply at the end of SUPERNOVA Foundation Programmeto the School in which they intend to enter.

However, some of the Schools guarantee special immediate admission conditions for SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme students. Specifically, for this purpose, students at the end of the SUPERNOVA must fulfil the following 3 conditions:

  1. Pass to all disciplines chosen from the SUPERNOVA study plan. The SUPERNOVA study plan includes the following mandatory components and the disciplines required by each School mentioned in condition 3:
  • Club of Ideas, available in Portuguese and English, candidates can choose according to their fluency of the language; and
  • Compulsory English language course, except for candidates who can certify level B2 or above according to the CEFR (1 hour per day); or
  • Compulsory Portuguese language course, except for candidates who can certify level B2 or above according to the CEFR (1 hour per day).
  1. Have a minimum attendance rate of 80% in all SPU enrolled classes.
  2. Comply with the specific criteria for progression to the School they intend to enter (all disciplines below refer to the offer available to the SPU program):
    • Pass Mathematics; and
    • Pass Physics and Chemistry Principles
  • NOVA IMS - Data Science
    • Pass Mathematics; and
    • Pass one of the subjects offered by NOVA IMS
    • Pass one of the subjects offered by NOVA FCSH.
  • NMS | FCM
    • Pass Biology; and
    • Pass Physics and Chemistry Principles
  • NOVA Direito 
    • Pass one of the subjects offered by the Law School with a minimum grade of 12 points (out of 20)
    • Pass Mathematics with a minimum grade of 14 (out of 20); and
    • Pass one of the subjects offered by NOVA SBE.

Note: To pass a course, the student must obtain a minimum grade of 10 (out of 20), to fulfill the conditions of direct access to each School it is important to take into account the minimum grade required above.

At the end of the SUPERNOVA, if the students do not meet any of the above requirements, they can always apply directly to a NOVA School like any other candidate under the International Student Special Regime. In this case, they will have to present the Faculty´s admission tests and start a new application process that does not guarantee immediate admission. However, at this stage, the frequency of SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme will give a positive weight during the analysis of the application.

When is it compulsory to send the language certificate?

If English or Portuguese is not the native language in your country of birth, it will be mandatory to send a certificate declaring an English or Portuguese level above B1, taking into account the language of instruction of the degree (s) you intend to enter upon completion of SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme.

This certificate must be from an internationally recognized examiner, such as IELTS, Cambridge, TOEFL, etc. stating your level of proficiency within the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The grades of the transcript of records or the number of hours or levels attended are not enough, the declaration must indicate its reference level within the CEFR.

Which curriculum is accepted as a High School Certificate of Conclusion?

If you hold any of the following curriculums you may send your application to SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme or directly to most Nova University Schools:

  • A Qualification giving access to Higher Education, meaning any diploma or certificate issued by a competent authority in the country in which it was awarded.

  • A Diploma of Portuguese secondary school or equivalent degree.

  • A GCSE, A-Levels curriculum as soon as the candidate has attended from 3 to 5 disciplines with grades A,B or C.
  • An International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)
  • Cambridge AICE diploma

How do I get a student visa?

Documents required

A non-EU foreign student who intends to join NOVA must:

a) Have a valid passport, valid for at least three months for the duration of the intended stay;

b) Have a valid and suitable visa for the intended purpose, if necessary. The visa must always be requested in a diplomatic mission or Portuguese Consular Office abroad.


Residence Visa

The Study Residence Visa is granted to obtain a residence permit for the purposes indicated. The non-EU foreign student must:

  • Have a travel document whose validity covers at least the expected duration of the stay;
  • In the case of being a minor under the national legislation, authorization by the person who exercises the paternal power for the intended stay;
  • It is only possible to obtain the study visa by presenting the following documents:

- Application in own model;

- Valid travel document (more than three months after the validity of the visa);

- Three passport photos;

- Criminal record;

- Medical certificate or health insurance;

- Proof of the conditions of accommodation in Portugal;

- Proof of the existence of means of subsistence in Portugal;

- Proof of Registration or Letter of Acceptance issued by NOVA University.

A student can only enroll in the NOVA if, before leaving his country, he/she has obtained the Resident Visa for Study, whatever the duration of the study period. We remind you of the need to send the application in advance, in relation to the indicated deadlines, since obtaining the Study Visa can take up to 60 days after the application is submitted.


Residence Authorization

The Residency Visa for Study is valid for a period of 120 days (about 4 months). Upon arrival in Portugal, students should contact the SEF - Foreigners and Borders Service to schedule a meeting to obtain the Residence Authorization.

The Residence Permit is valid for one year. The renewal of this document must be made 30 days before its expiration date, by marking a new meeting with SEF - Foreigners and Borders Service.

This information does not replace the consultation with the SEF - Foreigners and Borders Service


Useful Contacts

High Commission for Migration: informacoes@acidi.gov.pt

SOS Immigrant Line: 808 257 257

SEF Contact Centers

Students should try to arrive in Portugal during the day and preferably during the working week, as it will be easier to contact someone if there is a need for help, namely in the NOVA International Development Office. Students should be accompanied by a vaccination report.

The courses taken in SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme can be credited in a subsequent bachelor or integrated masters?

Some SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme courses can be credited in a subsequent undergraduate programme or integrated masters. The credits vary for each School of NOVA. English and Portuguese cannot be credited.


Course accreditation rules

Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT NOVA)

Does not credit disciplines.

School of Social Sciences and Humanities (NOVA FCSH)

Maximum 30 ECTS

Nova School of Business Economics (Nova SBE)

Courses lectured by Nova SBE and another course from one of the other Schools.

Law School (NOVA Direito)

Courses accreditation must be requested to the Academic Division according to the rules available here http://www.fd.unl.pt/Anexos/9056.pdf

NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS)

Maximum 30 ECTS.

Nova Medical School (NMS) - Faculdade de Ciências Médicas. (FCM)

Does not credit disciplines.

Which undergraduate and integrated masters are available after SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme for non-EU students?

After successfully completing the SUPERNOVA Foundation Programme students can apply to the following undergraduate and integrated masters according to the conditions defined by each school. Please note that your application must be made in accordance with the rules and number of places set by each Faculty for International Students.

NOVA School of Science and Technology (NOVA FCT): (Lectured in English and Portuguese)

NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS) - Data Science : (Lectured in English)

NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities (NOVA FCSH): (Lectured in Portuguese)

NOVA Medical School (NMS | FCM): (Lectured in Portuguese)

NOVA School of Law (NOVA Direito): (Lectured in English and Portuguese)

NOVA School of Business and Economics (NOVA SBE): (Lectured in English)

Useful Links