General Information and Rules



Exchange students entering both the first-cycle and second-cycle Programs make their choice from our list of available courses. A typical Portuguese student takes four/five courses per semester, corresponding to about 30 ECTS credit units. The programs are structured in semesters, meaning that all courses last one academic semester only.

Each first-cycle course contains roughly 60 contact hours divided into three 90-minute sessions per week. Additionally to the classes, the teaching staff also provides open office time for individual consultations.
There are two sorts of second cycle courses: half-courses, covering one half of a semester, and full-courses covering an entire semester. Each half course contains 18 contact hours, divided into two 90-minute sessions per week. Each full course contains 36 contact hours, divided into two 90-minutesessions per week.

Assessment methods

Students’ course evaluation is conducted on an individual basis, and final grades are on a scale of 0 – 20. Curricular courses or Work Project approval requires that the final grade is equal to or greater than 10.

Each course’s evaluation can be based on a student’s participation in class, coursework, classwork, tests, examinations and other evaluations, according to rules defined by the Course Instructor at the beginning of the academic period, in the course syllabus. Individual written work cannot count for less than 50% of the final grade.

For undergraduate students, there are two turns of exams. Students can only take 2 exams in the second turn.  For the master level, there will only be one final exam period (please see the calendar section).

Grading scale

We use a 0-20 scale to grade students, following the Portuguese convention. The top-grade, 20 points, distinguishes an outstanding performance and is very rarely awarded. The bottom grade, 0 points, is awarded only to extremely disastrous performances. Note also that the fail range is from 0 to 9; hence, 10 points is the threshold to pass. You can compare our scale with the ECTS grading scale in Table 1.

Table 1: Grading scales at Nova School of Business and Economics:

ECTS Scale

% of successful students normally achieving the grade




EXCELLENT – outstanding performance with only minor errors



VERY GOOD – above the average standard but with some errors



GOOD – generally sound work with a number of notable errors



SATISFACTORY – fair but with significant shortcomings



SUFFICIENT – performance meets the minimum criteria



FAIL – some more work or considerable work required before the credit can be awarded

* indicated as "Failed"

Application Procedures and Deadlines

First things first. You must apply to be admitted as an exchange student at our School. Your application must be placed directly by your home university if there is a partnership agreement between the two institutions. The application should be addressed to our International Student Representative.
Application procedures are simple. You need:


Application Procedures First Semester Second Semester

Biographical Data Form (link to be provided by the International Office).

June November
Learning Agreement (to be sent to the International Office). July end November
Please pay attention - late enrolment is not accepted

*June for undergraduate courses / July for master courses
**please check the academic calendar

Please note that the Students Exchange Office may be closed for holidays in August and in the last week of December.

In order to enroll in second-cycle courses, incoming students must have at least 180 ECTS from their home university. Applicants to the Master's programs in Economics, in Finance and in Management are required to hold an undergraduate degree. The Programs demand the use of quantitative techniques, so we expect applicants to have had exposure to adequate quantitative subjects in their previous academic studies. Students are expected to be fluent in oral and written English as the Masters are totally offered in English.

Learning Agreement

This is the major element of your application. In order to carefully choose the courses to attend at Nova SBE, we suggest that you follow the guidelines below:

• Choose from those courses available to exchange students;
• All courses are taught in English.
• Make sure your academic background meets the prerequisites defined for each selected course. A description of all the courses may be found in the site for each of the academic programs to get an idea of their content.
• Ensure coherence with home university studies. Select courses at Nova SBE that complement those at home and seek the pedagogical assistance from your Student Exchange co-ordinator to design your study plan.
• Learning Agreements are signed once before your arrival and once more after the last enrollment period (should you need to make changes).