Sao Paulo

QS Staff Writer

Updated July 15, 2021 Updated July 15

QS Best Student Cities ranking: =76th

With six institutions in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, São Paulo certainly has strong credentials as a study abroad destination. Leading the pack is Universidade de São Paulo, ranked joint 116th  in the world.

The largest city in the southern hemisphere, São Paulo is vibrant, and somewhat chaotic. If you like your cities full-on, São Paulo could be right up your alley.

Carnivals take place through the year, the city’s nightlife is known for its intensity and its food is famed for both diversity and quality. In short, there’s no shortage of the Brazilian joie de vivre in this sprawling metropolis.

It’s also a melting pot of different cultures, with large Italian, Arab and Japanese communities.

São Paulo is also Brazil’s cultural and financial capital and its generous smattering of world-class universities mean it’s firmly at the center of the Brazilian academic world.

The city scores particularly well in the employer activity indicator of the QS Best Student Cities ranking, showing that its graduates are in high demand. In the student survey, when asked what they liked most about the city, students frequently referred to the “many different job opportunities available.” 

Are you studying in São Paulo? Rate your experience!

Internationally ranked universities in Sao Paulo

Universidade de São Paulo (USP); Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp); Universidade Estadual Paulista "Júlio de Mesquita Filho"Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)Pontificia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP)Universidade Federal de São Carlos

More about Sao Paulo

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Universidade de São Paulo (USP) (joint 116th)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, 
view the methodology.


This article was originally published in November 2015 . It was last updated in January 2020

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