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History of the development of Graduate Studies in Geography

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.

Post Graduate Policy

The Graduate policy followed the restructuring of higher education in the country in 1968, when Geography at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro was placed next to the Institute of Geosciences in the Center for Mathematical and Nature Sciences.

Although this was quite controversial, considering the social nature of Geography, it undoubtedly brought closer Geography and the Natural Sciences, especially Geology, and also Engineering, that sought to incorporate knowledge of the national territory into the technique, a new reality that was reconfigured with the expansion of the industrial economy, increasing urbanization and the expansion of the border of resources by the Northern Region, the Amazon.

UFRJ’s internal context was reflected in the graduate program, creating connections and alliances between the programs that were conceived, in a certain way, breaking out of their borders. In the case of Geography, when approaching the Natural Areas and Engineering, going beyond the Social Sciences. Over the years, the articulations with other programs the University have grown numerous and, today, there are several partnerships of Professors of Geography teaching subjects in other graduate programs at UFRJ, whether in the Social Area, in the Technical Area or Natural Sciences. There are several joint research projects, in addition to the mobility of students studying disciplines in different graduate programs.

Professors Founders

The Graduate Program in Geography owes its creation to a small group of professors who worked hard for the conceiving of the Master’s degree program, Prof. Eduardo Marques, Prof. Maria Do Carmo Correia Galvão, Prof. Bertha Koiffman Becker, Prof. Lysia Maria C. Bernardes, Prof. Maria Therezinha De Segadas Vianna, and, soon after, Professors Jorge Xavier da Silva and Maria Regina Mousinho De Meis. These professors composed the internal faculty of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the Graduate Program in Geography.

Visiting professors from other institutions, such as the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics – IBGE – and from foreign universities, took on the classes, research activities, and counseling of graduate students.

Visiting lecturers from several other institutions, national and foreign, also had a very significant presence for the consolidation of the Graduate Degree in Geography at UFRJ, extending their work to dissertation counseling and participation in Examining Boards. The strong relationship with professors of the Graduate Program in Geography of the University of São Paulo-USP and researchers of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is noteworthy.

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