Department of Earth Sciences

Living and Studying in Coimbra

A City and unforgettable University


Studying in Coimbra is different from studying elsewhere in the country. The relationships are stronger, the feelings, joys and sorrows are deeply experienced in Coimbra. The friendships that are built during a five or six year’s degree period often last for a lifetime.

Having such a high international prestige, recognized quality of its faculty members and cosmopolitan nature of the academy (accommodating about 60 nationalities), the University of Coimbra is not only an excellent choice for your studies if you are pursuing the best training for your career, but also the certainty to live a rich and outstanding experience at many other levels. In addition to a training of excellence, you can enjoy a range of services and infrastructure that will smooth your integration. You can also find cultural offerings as well, sports and leisure that will enrich your academic record. Finally, the connections between the city traditions and the university create a unique academic environment. Studying in Coimbra is an experience that can only be understood once experienced!

With seven centuries of history settled in building the future, having enormous wealth and a diversity of offers in many different domains, the University has affirmed as a promoter of change and leads the process of creating and disseminating knowledge in many areas. 

The University of Coimbra is the oldest in Portugal and one of the oldest in the world having been created in the thirteenth century, in 1290, with the document "Scientiae thesaurus mirabilis" signed by King Dinis. The Bull "De statu regni Portugaliae" of Pope Nicholas IV, dated August 9, 1290, acknowledges the “General Studies (Estudo Geral)”. The University established in Coimbra and later in Lisbon and Coimbra again, until the year 1537 when it has definitely established in the latter city. 

Thus, studying at the University of Coimbra implies becoming part of a gallery of outstanding personalities from all domains of Portuguese life. It was here that one of the Portuguese winners of the Nobel Prize received his doctorate degree, and it was rector in Coimbra the first elected President of the Portuguese Republic. It was also in Coimbra that studied many compelling references from Portuguese cultural fields such as Eça de Queiroz, Almeida Garrett, Antero de Quental, Virgílio Ferreira, Miguel Torga, Zeca Afonso, among many other personalities.

A distinctive feature of the University of Coimbra is the connection to the community. Over the years, the University has developed skills in areas that have made it a fundamental pole of cultural and scientific activity of the country. R&D at the University of Coimbra has always favored its vanguard tradition, which reflected in many national and international projects awarded. 

Surely you've heard of cars that do not need a driver or that are capable of traveling miles and miles spending little quantities of fuel, robots that obey to orders given by the human voice or help astronauts performing their tasks, or of revolutionary methods for the treatment of several diseases. All these, and more, are examples of innovation at the University of Coimbra. But they are far from being the only ones. There is also innovative work in areas such as legal sciences, languages and literature, economic theories, sociological research, sports science and many others. At a time when the exchange of knowledge is so important, the University clearly encourages interdisciplinary projects to consolidate the knowledge here generated. 

The University of Coimbra also works as a fundamental mechanism at the level of entrepreneurship and enterprise development, especially in technological areas of IT by connecting research with the market, stimulating distinct types of partnerships with companies, thus ensuring the practical application and transfer of knowledge produced in about one hundred and fifty centers and research units, thereby facilitating the integration of our students into working life.

In Coimbra, the FUTURE intersects with PRESENT and PAST.

Adapted from the pre-university Manual

(C) The Office of Image and Communication of the University of Coimbra