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PhDs in Brazil and São Paulo

  • The figure for Brazil is 6% higher than in 2017, when 21,591 PhDs were awarded.
  • São Paulo, which saw a slight growth of 0.5% over 2017, accounted for 32% of all doctorates granted in Brazil.
  • The three state universities (USP, UNICAMP, and UNESP) awarded 23% of the country’s PhDs in 2018 and 76% of all PhDs granted by state universities that year.


  • There is a strong association1 between the annual rise in the number of PhDs awarded and the number of scientific papers published2
  • The values of m in the graph represent the change in the number of articles published per PhD graduate in each incline period
  • Between 2005 and 2010, more than 100 Brazilian journals were added to the Web of Science, resulting in a period of faster growth, as shown by the sharp incline in the total publications line
  • Considering only articles published in foreign journals, the association remains linear throughout the period (R2 = 0.99), indicating 2.2 more articles published by each new PhD graduate


Notes (1) The values of R2 are greater than 0.97 in all periods considered (1994–2005, 2005–2010, 2010–2018). The association is not considered evidence of a causal relationship. In this case, both variables are linked to the expansion of graduate studies in the country. (2) Papers published includes Articles, Proceeding Papers, and Reviews with at least one author based in Brazil and indexed by the Web of Science/Clarivate

Sources Capes/MEC and Incites/Web of Science/Clarivate