The Graduate Program in Geography (GPG) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro was created in 1972 with the Master’s degree. The program’s development is a part of a national policy to set up Graduate degree programs for the qualification of professionals. The Doctorate was implemented twenty years later, in 1992.
In 2012, GPG has completed forty years of contribution for the education of skilled professionals and the theoretical-methodological advances on geographical science, as well as acquiring new knowledge about the national reality through multiple lines of research created and promoted within the graduate program. As one of the first Graduate programs in Geography in the country, and prioritizing its upkeep to excellence levels, in 2007 the Program was granted a score of 7 by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).
On the ongoing search for high quality, UFRJ-GPG has always based itself on the linking of teaching and research since its birth, becoming a qualified reference in education and research with international integration. Research projects provide a basis for the Graduate program and result from individual and collective efforts of the Faculty on the building of knowledge through scientific investigation with the engagement of the students towards the training of qualified professionals.
In 2015, there were 127 active students, with 53 part of the Master’s Degree and 74 of the Doctor’s Degree. Postdoctoral researchers have become increasingly numerous; since 2014, seven postdoctoral researchers were welcomed.
The UFRJ-GPG Master of Science comprises a total of 360 hours, distributed as follows: Geography Theory (60 hours), 4 free choice thematic courses (180 hours in total), Master’s
Degree Seminar (75 hours), and Internship in Master’s Degree Research (75 hours).
Upon completion of the mandatory course in Geography Theory and the thematic courses, the student must attend the course of Master’s Degree Seminar and undertake, up until the beginning of the 3rd academic term, the Master’s Qualification Exam, referring to the defense of their thesis project. The public defense of the master’s degree thesis before the examination board will be executed up until the end of 2 (two) years.
The curricular structure of the Doctorate Degree comprises 2 (two) Doctorate Seminars, 2 (two) Thematic Courses, and the Special Studies in Geography and Advanced Internship in Geography courses, totalizing 450 (four hundred and fifty) hours.
The Geography Theory course (60 hours) is mandatory for the students that have not attended it during the Master’s Degree in Geography. After the completion of this course, the Thematic Courses, and 2 (two) Doctorate Degree Seminars (90 hours each), the student must attend the Special Studies in Geography course (90 hours) and undertake, up until the 3rd academic term, the Written Qualification Exam, which enables attendance at the Advanced Internship in Geography course (90 hours). The Oral Qualification Exam, related to the Dissertation Project, must be undertaken up until the end of the fourth month of the 4th academic term. The public defense of the Doctorate Dissertation before an examining board must be done up until the end of a 4 (four) year period.
The GPG has been welcoming postdoctoral researchers for years, most of them granted a specific scholarship from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) or the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). We also accommodate professionals that do not have scholarships, provided the merit of the proponent is certified, evaluated by the curriculum vitae, the work proposal, and the project to be developed at the GPG. It is necessary to probe the permission of the institution of origin of the proponent. As for the interest, there are two distinct situations; one is individual, when the interested party, while searching directly for the program, applies on their own through the notices that allow the granting of scholarships, and the instance of the insertion of newly Doctorates who came from programs related to the GPG. We have noticed that the search for this kind of professional enhancement is growing and the GPG may become more active within this complementary and continued education. Between 2014-2015, UFRJ-GPG has welcomed 7 postdoctoral researchers.
Innovative Education Experiences
All the students are integrated into research laboratories, and their dissertations and theses are articulated towards bigger concerns within the research field of their academic counselors. In the laboratories, the students are granted the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired throughout the programs and to engage in teaching practice co-counseling scientific initiation and master’s degree students (as for the Doctorates). Engaging in laboratories also allows participation in different activities promoted within them such as events organization and team fieldwork, in addition to contact and dialogue with visiting researchers. The tendency for extension activities and active research has been innovative, promoting the articulation between education and research and between the University and Society.