pixel Pre-University Semester - Frequentely Asked Questions (FAQ) | Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Pre-University Semester - Frequentely Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here you can find the answers to many questions about the Pre-University Semester at NOVA and about the steps to take after the Semester (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 nova.semester@unl.pt .


How can I apply for a university course at NOVA after the Pre-University Semester?

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

The NOVA Pre-University Semester provides preparation for higher education at a top European University.

After the Semester, students can apply for a bachelor degree 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 degree or an integrated master's with NOVA through the International Student Statute.

See also the frequently asked question: "Bachelor/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

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 acceptance in a degree programme at NOVA is guaranteed after attending the Pre-University Semester?

The completion of the Pre-University Semester does not guarantee direct access to one of NOVA's Undergraduate Programs, and those interested must apply at the end of the Pre-University Semester to the School in which they intend to enter.

However, some of the Schools guarantee special immediate admission conditions for Pre-University Semester (SPU) students. Specifically for this purpose, students at the end of the SPU must fulfill the following 3 conditions:

1- Pass to all chosen disciplines of the SPU program structure, including those of condition 3.

2- Have a minimum attendance rate of 60% in all SPU enrolled classes.

3- Meet the specific conditions for the Faculty to which 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 SPU, if the student does not meet any of the above requirements, they can always apply directly to a NOVA School like any other international student. In this case, you 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 the SPU will give a positive weight during the analysis of the application.

The courses taken in the Pre-University Semester can be credited in a subsequent bachelor or integrated masters?

Some Pre-University Semester courses can be credited in a subsequent bachelor or integrated masters. The credits vary for each School of NOVA. Mathematics, Biology, Principles of Physics and Chemistry, 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 the Pre-University Semester for non-EU students?

After successfully completing the Pre-University Semester 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)

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