7 best public universities in the Southeast region

Having quality higher education is the goal of many people, from those who are still in high school to those who are already trained, but still want a new qualification. Here we will talk about the 7 best public universities in the Southeast, for you to know and maybe study at one of them.

In the past, public universities had only one form of entry: the famous entrance exam. It turns out that they consisted of very difficult tests, which do not always prove a person’s knowledge. Now that has changed and they already allow students to enter through Sisu.

São Paulo is the most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil, which is why it concentrates the main universities in the Southeast. Still, there are really cool options for those who want to study in Rio de Janeiro or Minas Gerais, for example. Check out the best public universities in the Southeast.

1 – USP


The University of São Paulo (USP) appears in all rankings when it comes to the best universities in Brazil. Its foundation took place in 1827, as a Faculty of Law, but it was only in 1934 that it started to be treated as a university, expanding the number of courses and offering opportunities directed to other areas.

It is a university maintained by the Government of São Paulo, being the most prestigious in the country in different years and even appearing in global education rankings. Adding all the campuses, there are 246 undergraduate courses and 229 graduate courses, with 5,800 teachers and around 100,000 students enrolled.

Only in 2015 did the USP university council approve the adhesion of new students through the Unified Selection System (Sisu). Its main campus is known as Cidade Universitária Armando de Salles Oliveira, located in São Paulo, but there are still other USP units in the capital.

  • Website: https://www.usp.br/
  • Phone: (11) 3091-3116
  • Address: Butanta, São Paulo – SP

2 – UFRJ


The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) appears every year in the rankings that consider the best federal universities in the country, and generally in the top positions. It was in 1792 that its foundation took place, but the title of university came only in 1920, today considered a center of excellence in Latin America.

Its main headquarters is in the capital of Rio de Janeiro, operating in another 10 municipalities in Rio de Janeiro. All of this to offer study to thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, it has a hospital complex that performs hundreds of thousands of consultations per month.

Among the undergraduate courses offered by UFRJ, we can highlight:

  • Administration;
  • Astronomy;
  • Actuarial Sciences;
  • Right;
  • Geology;
  • Degree in music.

In total, 139 courses are offered, with 40 libraries and hundreds of laboratories in their university centers.

  • Website: https://ufrj.br/
  • Phone: (21) 3938-9600
  • Address: Av. Pedro Calmon. 550 – Rectory Building, 2nd floor – Cidade Universitária – Rio de Janeiro, RJ.

3 – UFMG


The Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) is the main university in the state and appears in the top 5 when it comes to the best public universities in the Southeast. Its foundation happened in 1927, with the union of the faculties of Law and Medicine, of the Faculties of Engineering and Dentistry and Pharmacy. Initially it was statewide, until federalization in 1949.

The quality of undergraduate courses is proven year by year in national exams. Currently, there are 91 face-to-face courses for all areas of knowledge. There are also 5 courses aimed at distance education.

UFM emerges with the second best concept among graduate programs in Brazil. These are options geared towards doctorate and master’s degrees, among other alternatives.

  • Website: https://ufmg.br/
  • Phone: (31) 3409-5000
  • Address: Av. Pres. Antônio Carlos, 6627 – Pampulha, Belo Horizonte – MG.



The State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) is maintained by the Government of São Paulo and is among the best public universities in the Southeast region. In addition, it appears in several rankings that take into account the best in Latin America. Its foundation happened in 1962, being designed to function as a research center.

Today it offers a large number of undergraduate courses, there are more than 150 and graduate courses, over 70. All of this with approximately 8 thousand employees. But, the main focus is research, Unicamp is responsible for about 15% of everything that is produced in this sense in Brazil. That is, if you want to be a researcher, it can be a great option.

Unicamp is not only located in Campinas, it operates in other cities in the region, such as:

  • Piracicaba;
  • Paulínia;
  • Limeira.

Academic studies are divided into four areas: exact sciences, humanities, biological sciences and technologies. It is the way the university is structured.

  • Website: https://www.unicamp.br/
  • Phone: (19) 3521-7000
  • Address: Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz – Barão Geraldo, Campinas – SP.

5 – UFES


The Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES) is considered the best public university in that state. Its foundation occurred in 1954, based in Vitória, and also has units in Goiabeiras, São Mateus, Alegre and Maruípe. As of 2016, they started to accept the Unified Selection System as a form of registration.

We can highlight graduation options, such as:

  • Agronomy;
  • Nutrition;
  • Biological Sciences – Graduation / Bachelor;
  • Accounting Sciences – Bachelor (Night);
  • Accounting Sciences – Bachelor (Night);
  • Economic Sciences – Bachelor’s Degree;
  • Philosophy;
  • Pedagogy;
  • Chemistry;
  • Nursing.

In 2019, he appeared in the 27th position of the Folha University Ranking (RUF), organized by Folha de São Paulo. They offer options for undergraduate, graduate and some distance learning courses.

  • Website: http://www.ufes.br/
  • Phone: (27) 4009-2222
  • Address:  Av. Fernando Ferrari, 514 – Goiabeiras, Vitória – ES.



The Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP) was founded in São Paulo in 1976 and is among the best public options for studying in the Southeast. It has units in 24 cities in the state, appearing as one of the first placed in different national rankings.

Like Unicamp, it has a good position in relation to the production of scientific articles of international level, producing 8% of everything we have in Brazil in relation to the subject. UNESP offers 68 undergraduate courses, in addition to postgraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. We can highlight areas such as:

  • Psychology;
  • Project;
  • Journalism;
  • Right;
  • Social service;
  • International relations;
  • Administration;
  • Tourism.

These are among the courses with the best grades at UNESP.

  • Website: https://www.unesp.br/
  • Phone: (11) 3393-7902
  • Address: Rua Quirino de Andrade, 215 – Centro – São Paulo / SP.

7 – UERJ


The State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) is one of the best in Brazil and the state of Rio de Janeiro. The highlight is the rigorous training during the period in the gym. Currently, there are almost 30 thousand students distributed in the 84 courses offered by UERJ.

In relation to the courses, the highlights are Medicine and Law. To start studying at this university it is necessary to pass the entrance exam or obtain approval by Sisu.

  • Website: https://www.uerj.br/
  • Phone: (21) 2333-7874
  • Address: R. São Francisco Xavier, 524.

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7 best public universities in the Southeast region

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