Foreign Qualifications

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Foreign Qualifications

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Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

In Portugal, higher education qualifications attained abroad may be validated in three different ways: Equivalence, Recognition or Registration.

Equivalence and Recognition

The Equivalence and the Recognition are types of acknowledgement of foreign higher education degrees that are based on a scientific reassessment of the work done to obtain the degree.
| The Equivalence is a process through which foreign academic qualifications are compared to the Portuguese qualifications, with regard to the degree (Graduate, Master’s, Doctorate), the programme duration and syllabus, and to the scientific field (for example, equivalence is granted to a ‘Licenciatura’ Degree in Philosophy);
| The Recognition is granted when there is no available programme in Portugal with the same characteristics in terms of syllabus, but the level is considered the same. Because of this, recognition is granted only to the level of the degree.

The holders of foreign higher education qualifications may request recognition or equivalence from Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa), should the latter include similar scientific areas in its study programmes.
In order to obtain equivalence or recognition of foreign higher education qualifications in scientific areas that are not within the ULisboa study programmes, we suggest that you extend your search to all the higher education institutions in Portugal.
Equivalence to ‘Licenciatura’ Degrees must be requested directly at the ULisboa Schools.
As per Equivalence requests to Master’s or Doctorate Degrees, these must be made at the ULisboa Rectory Building, where the University Administration is located, just as recognition requests to any level of Degree.


The registration of a diploma is a way of recognizing foreign degrees of identical level, objectives and nature, to the Portuguese ‘Licenciatura’, Master’s and Doctorate Degrees, embodying its holders with the same inherent rights.
This method applies exclusively to the higher level degrees included within the list created by the Foreign Degree Recognition Committee, and which are granted by higher education institutions recognized by the competent authorities in the country where the diploma was issued.
This process aims at simplifying the recognition of foreign degrees, promoting the circulation of graduates in education as well as in the job market.
The registration of a diploma may be presented at the ULisboa Rectory Building or at the Directorate General for Higher Education, and also at other higher education institutions in Portugal.