Global Affairs

Brazil: Race, Class and Equity in Higher Education

Course analyzes the emergence and impact of race- and social-class-based affirmative action policies in Brazil, placing the Brazilian situation in the context of contemporary debates about equity and higher education. We meet students, faculty and administrators at universities, activists from the black movement, researchers, and government officials. Cultural experiences complement the academic content: we engage with Afro-Brazilian culture in Salvador da Bahia and experience the marvelous but deeply unequal city of Rio.

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 examine the distinctively fluid concept of race in Brazil and the affirmative action policies based on race and social class to understand Brazilian higher education. Brazil began to implement affirmative action policies in 2003, stoking enormous cultural, legal, and education debates. Since then, the Brazilian economy has expanded and, recently, contracted. Affirmative action policies have been at the center of national debates, and we work to understand those debates in their full complexity.


Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

Program Dates:

Two weeks in Brazil: Check in to hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Sunday June 12, 2016; Check out of hotel, Salvador da Bahia, Saturday, June 25

Additional course meetings will take place before and after travel. Students in New York will join in person; students outside of New York will join by video- or phone-conference. Tentative dates for these meetings are:

  • Pre-travel:
    • Wednesday, May 25, 5:30PM-7:30PM 
    • Wednesday, June 1, 5:30PM-7:30PM
    • Wednesday, June 8, 5:30PM-7:30PM
  • Post-travel: Wednesday, July 6, 5:30-7:30PM

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
  • International Education
  • Latin American Studies
  • African 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)
3 Credits. Offered through Department of Administration, Leadership and Technology

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

Draft 2016 Course Syllabus

Draft 2016 Itinerary


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

Dr. Ollie Johnson, Associate Professor, Wayne State University


2016 Graduate Tuition: $1,538 per point plus registration and services fees

Bursar’s Payment Deadline Dates

Learn about scholarship opportunities

Other Costs:

2016 Housing/Activity Fees: TBD, which includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy: two persons per room), breakfast every day, your domestic flight 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, Visa Information:

Flight: Students purchase their own international travel to coincide with program dates. Please note that the course begins in Rio de Janeiro and ends in Salvador da Bahia; please book your airline ticket accordingly. The domestic airline booking within Brazil, from Rio to Salvador, is 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 January 2017 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 consult NYU's Office of Global Services and check with the Brazilian consulate for details.