Global Affairs

Brazil: Race and Higher Education

This course is offered every other year, on even years. Next offering is May/June 2016. Exact dates will be made available in fall 2015.

This course analyzes the historical and cultural contingency of race-based affirmative action policies in Brazil and to analyze the broader contemporary controversies and social implications of the globalization of higher education.

Brazil has the largest (and by most measures, best) higher education system in Latin America, and enrollments have undergone explosive growth over the last 20 years. We begin with an historical overview then move to an analysis of contemporary issues. Students gain an understanding of the variety of higher education institutions in Brazil (federal and state public institutions, private non-profit and private for-profit universities, etc.) and become familiar with issues of internationalization in higher education, faculty and student mobility, research in a global context, variation among public versus private universities and their economic structures, the role of foreign university partnerships, and other higher education issues.

As a major focus, we use race – an extremely context-dependent ideology – as a main entry point into an examination of Brazilian higher education. Brazil began to implement affirmative action policies in 2003, stoking enormous cultural, legal, and education debates. At the same time, there were also huge changes in funding and government oversight at universities. The terms of the debates around access to higher education are different in Brazil and the United States, and the stakes and stakeholders are different, but the intensity of the issue is very high.


São Paulo, Salvador da Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Program Dates:


Application Deadlines:

Round 1: Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Round 2: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Round 3: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who Can Participate:

  • NYU graduate students
  • Non-NYU graduate students and professionals who are not enrolled at an academic institution

Related Areas of Study:

  • Higher Education Administration
  • International Education
  • Latin American Studies

This is not a complete list. We value diverse perspectives in our programs and encourage students from other majors and professions.


HPSE-GE 2153 Section 099 (Class Number 7193) - Global Perspectives in Higher Education: Brazil (3 Points)
Optional - HPSE-GE 2300 Section 099 (Class Number 7194) - Independent Study  (3 Points) 
**Permission of instructor and advisor is required for registration in the independent study.
3 Credits. Offered through Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology

All program applicants are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to determine if and how this course may be applied towards their program requirements and degree completion.

Draft 2014 Course Syllabus

Draft 2014 Itinerary


Dr. Erich Dietrich
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

Dr. Ollie Johnson, Associate Professor, Wayne State University


2015 Graduate Tuition: $1,479 per point plus registration and services fees

Bursar’s Payment Deadline Dates

Learn about scholarship opportunities

Other Costs:

2014 Housing/Activity Fee: $2100, which includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy: two persons per room), breakfast every day, your domestic flights within Brazil, local transportation to/from site visits, cultural/scholarly event costs, and two group dinners.

Housing and Activity fees are billed through the Bursar and will be due in accordance with the Bursar billing schedule.

International airfare to and from the program location is not included in the program fee. Students must purchase their own round-trip tickets and are responsible for their own accommodation for travel beyond the program dates.

Student will be notified when to book flights. We recommend comparing tickets on multiple sites to ensure the best fare. Past participants have used the following flight search engines: KayakHipmunkVayama Google Flights and for student rates.


The Office of Global Affairs arranges shared occupancy accommodation at hotels in program cities. Accommodation dates correspond with the program dates above.

Flight, Travel, and Visa Information:

Flight: Students purchase their own international travel to coincide with program dates. Please note that the course begins in São Paulo and ends in Rio de Janeiro, so flights must arrive in São Paulo and depart from Rio. Domestic airline bookings within Brazil, from São Paulo to Salvador and from Salvador to Rio are booked centrally (not by the student) and this cost is included in the course activity fee.

Passport: All program participants are required to have a valid passport, which must have an expiration date of February 2015 or later.

Visa: Tourist visas are required for all US Citizens in order to enter Brazil. Citizens of other countries may or may not need a visa. Please check with the Brazilian consulate for details.