I am an applicant
What is the National Competition for Access to Higher Education (CNAES)?

The National Competition for Access and Admission to Higher Education is a competition organised, annually, at national level, by the Directorate General of Higher Education – DGES and is aimed at all students who wish to enter public higher education in Portugal.

What conditions should I meet to apply to the National Competition for Access to Higher Education (CNAES)?

-Hold a secondary education course, or legally equivalent qualification;

Have taken, or have taken within the last two years, the national exams corresponding to the entrance examinations required for the different courses and institutions to which they will apply;

-Perform the prerequisites if they are required by the institution for the course you are applying for;

-Not being covered by the international student statute regulated by Decree-Law no. 36/2014, of March 10, amended and republished by Decree-Law no. 62/2018, of August 6.

What documents do I need to have in order to apply for the CNAES?

At the time of application you must have:

-ENES sheet. This document must be requested, annually, in the secondary school where the national final examinations were taken and contains information about the marks of the valid entrance examinations, as well as the conclusion and grade of secondary education;

-Pre-requirements sheet (if applicable) issued by the higher education institution where the course was taken;

-Civil Identification Document.

How to apply to CNAES?

The application to higher education through the national competition is made through the portal of the Direção-Geral do Ensino Superior (DGES).

How do I request my password to apply for CNAES?

To request a password, you should fill in the form from the Directorate-General of Higher Education (DGES) of the password request form and follow the instructions presented.

Find out more here.

After submitting the password request you will receive a confirmation message at the email address you previously indicated in the form. You should confirm the request by clicking on the link in the message received. The confirmation generates a receipt of the password request that you should print and deliver in the place indicated by you (secondary school or higher education access office), so that it can be certified. After certification, you will automatically receive the password at your email address. The password will only be sent to your email address.

How many courses can I apply for?

In the application to public higher education through the national competition, each student may apply to a maximum of six institution/course pairs, that is, to six combinations of institutions and courses, indicated by order of preference, provided that he/she meets the conditions indicated in item 2 of these FAQs.

What are the entrance examinations?

These are the exams required by Higher Education Institutions for admission to their degree courses. Currently, the entrance exams correspond to the national final exams of secondary education.

Where can I consult the entrance examinations required for the courses?

You can consult the Guia das Provas de Ingresso published annually by the Directorate-General for Higher Education (DGES), in www.dges.gov.pt.

What is the validity of the entrance examinations?

Under the terms of Deliberation No. 1233/2014 of the National Commission for Access to Higher Education, national final exams are valid as entrance examinations in the year of their accomplishment and in the two following years.

What are prerequisites?

Prerequisites are conditions of a physical, functional or vocational nature which are particularly relevant for access to certain higher education courses.

It is up to each higher education institution to decide if the candidacy to any of its courses should be subject to the satisfaction of prerequisites and to fix their content.

The prerequisites may, depending on their nature, be eliminatory, be intended for selection and seriation or only for the seriation of candidates.

After disclosure of the results of the CNAES placements (in any of its phases), what should I do?

You should carry out the enrolment and registration in the Institution where you have been placed, according to the procedures set by the Higher Education Institution.

I was placed in the 1st stage, can I apply for the following stages?

Yes, you can. Please note that if you are placed in the next stages, the previous placement is automatically cancelled.

I was placed in the 2nd or 3rd phase. What happens to the documents and values delivered, at the time of enrolment and registration done in the 1st or 2nd phase, respectively?

The Higher Education Institution where the candidate was placed and carried out his/her enrolment and registration shall forward to the Institution of last placement and registration of the candidate all relevant documentation, as well as the amount received as tuition and registration fees the amounts paid, to the institution of destination.

What are special competitions? Who are they for?

Special competitions are competitions of a specific nature aimed at a universe of candidates with specific qualifications, who are seeking an alternative access to higher education, namely:

Students who have passed the especially adequate exams designed to evaluate the capacity to attend higher education for those over 23 years of age

– Holders of a Technological Specialization Diploma

– Holders of a Higher Technical Professional Diploma

– Holders of other Higher Education Courses

– Special Competition for access and admission for International Students

– Holders of double certification courses at secondary level and specialized artistic courses

What are the special schemes?

Special arrangements are a way of accessing higher education for candidates who meet certain specific conditions:

Portuguese Diplomatic Mission Abroad

– Portuguese Scholarship Holders Abroad and Civil Servants on Official Missions Abroad

– Officers of the Portuguese Armed Forces

– National Grantees from Portuguese-speaking African Countries

– Accredited Diplomatic Mission in Portugal

– High Performance Sports Practitioners

– Nationals and Children of Nationals of East Timor


More information available here.

How do I apply/enrol/register at IPC?

To proceed with the application/registration/enrolment you must register on the academic management platform, Inforestudante, and follow the steps in the application guide.

How to change institution/course pair?

At IPC, the application to change institution/course pair is made in the academic management platform, Inforestudante, and is established in specific regulations.


Find out more here

What is the difference between registration and enrolment?

Registration is the formal act by which a student enters a higher education institution for the first time.

Enrolment is the act that allows the enrolled student to attend a specific curricular unit(s) of a course and it is carried out every academic year.

I am a student
Can I change institution/course pair in the same academic year in which I entered higher education?

The change of institution/course pair is not allowed in the academic year in which the student has been placed in a higher education institution/course pair under any access and admission regime and has matriculated and enrolled.

May I cancel my enrolment?

Yes, when requesting the cancellation of the enrolment, for those registered in the 1st year, for the 1st time, the training carried out in a previous moment to the request of cancellation will not be considered in the student’s pathway, in case he/she attends higher education, nor will be able to request the re-entry in the course.

May I withdraw my registration?

Yes, the student can request to withdraw the registration without losing the enrolment. In this situation the training undertaken within the course will be considered in the student’s pathway, should he or she attend higher education again.

I withdrew the registration or cancelled the enrolment, do I have to pay tuition fee?

Yes, the student is obliged to pay the tuition fees according to the date of the application for cancellation or withdrawal as established in the current IPC’s Fee Regulation.

Does the withdrawal from the course give rise to a refund of the tuition fee paid?

No, the amounts paid are not refundable.

What are credits?

Crediting is understood as the recognition of training, professional experience, with the consequent attribution of the corresponding credit units (ECTS) in a study plan of a course taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra under the terms of the applicable legislation.

Consult the Regulation here.

May I enroll at IPC on a part-time basis in an undergraduate course?

Yes, according to the Academic Regulation of the 1st study cycle of IPC, it is understood as part-time enrolment to enrol, in each academic year, up to 45 ECTS of the total number of ECTS that can be enrolled in that academic year.

When registering/enrolling in a degree course, can I choose between part-time and full-time or vice-versa?

Yes, you must make the option between the two schemes in Inforestudante.

I am enrolled part-time. How much is the tuition fee?

The fee payable by the part-time student is a percentage of the fee set for the full-time student:

30% if the student has enrolled up to and including 15 ECTS;

50% if the student is enrolled between 15 ECTS (exclusive) and 30 ECTS (inclusive);

70% if the student is enrolled between 30 ECTS (exclusive) and 45 ECTS (inclusive);

What methods of payment of tuition fees are there?

Tuition fees can be paid:

In one lump sum, upon enrolment or registration, in the total amount set or in instalments, in accordance with the IPC Fees Regulation in force.

Do I have to pay the first monthly fee at the time of enrolment and/or registration?

Yes, the enrolment/registration implies the payment of the first monthly tuition fee.

What is a debt settlement plan? Who can access it?

It is an agreement signed between the interested party and the Higher Education Institution, where the payment of the debt by fees is foreseen, in equal, monthly and successive instalments, according to the Fees Regulation in force.

National and international students enrolled and registered in degree conferring and professional superior technical courses at the IPC may access this regularization plan.

I have unpaid fees. Can I ask for certificates, diploma or degree letter?

Certificates may not be issued for curricular acts of academic years in which the fees have not been settled, without prejudice to the situations expressly provided for by law.

Diplomas and letters of degree shall not be issued to students who, at the date when they request them, are in debt for fees related to the course or study cycle to which they refer, without prejudice to the situations expressly provided for by law.

I have graduated from IPC and wish to apply for Master’s degree in this institution. Do I have to pay the application fee?

No, students who obtained their degree and continue their studies at IPC are exempt from this fee.

How do I apply for the grant for Higher Education students? Where do I get access credentials?

The application for a grant is submitted exclusively online, through the BeOn platform, available here.

More information on this story HERE.

If you are already attending higher education but have never applied for a grant, you should apply for your credentials at the Social Services or Social Action Office of your higher education institution.

If you have already applied for a grant through the BeOn platform in a previous school year, you can use your credentials (they are still active) directly through your personal page at https://www.dges.gov.pt/wwwbeon/.

In case of doubt regarding the grant who should I contact?

The students of the Polytechnic of Coimbra have a vast support network at their disposal. The social assistants of the IPC’s Organic Teaching Units offer opening hours to support all issues related to grants.

Consult contacts HERE

How to apply for student worker status?

The student worker status is applied for through the Academic Management platform Inforestudate.

I am a working student. Can I apply for a grant?

Yes, however, you should bear in mind that your income will be a factor in the assessment.

I am a master’s student. Can I apply for a grant?

Yes, as with the bachelor’s degree, the master’s student can apply for a grant.

What is the Diploma Supplement?

It is a complementary document to the diploma that:

-describes the Portuguese higher education system and its framework in the education system at the date of the diploma;

-characterizes the institution that provided the education and that conferred the diploma;

-characterizes the training undertaken (degree, area, access requirements, normal duration, level) and its goal;

-provides detailed information on the training carried out and the results obtained.

It is a bilingual document, written in Portuguese and English. It has an informative nature, does not substitute the diploma and does not prove the title of the qualification to which it refers.

All 1st cycle courses taught in the Teaching Units of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra.

I am an international student applicant. Does IPC have an application support office?

Yes, IPC has an office to support international student applications. Find out more here.

What is InforEstudante?

InforEstudante is a web application designed to support the students of the Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra. It is part of the NONIO system used by the Academic Management Services of the Polytechnic Institute.

  • Apply to courses;
  • Matriculations and registrations;
  • Access course grades;
  • Access Class Registration, Schedule and Summaries;
  • Access courses information;
  • Obtain your Diploma Supplement;

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) listed above do not dispense with consulting the information available on the DGES and IPC websites and all legislation in force.


Contacts of the Academic Services of IPC’s Schools are available here.