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.