The Federal University of Pará (UFPA) was founded in 1957, as a non-profit public higher education institution located in the large city of Belem, Para. The university is officially accredited/recognised by the Brazilian Ministry of Education as a prominent, coeducational higher education institution.
The university has over 40,000 students enrolled in its courses, which are offered across its many campuses in the cities of Belém, Abaetetuba, Altamira, Bragança, Castanhal, Cametá, Capanema, Breves, Tucuruí and Soure. The large university population is divided into 34,500 undergraduate and 6,500 graduate students.
The university offers bachelor degrees in the fields of arts and humanities, business and social sciences, language and culture, medicine and health, engineering and science and technology. Postgraduate degrees (master's and doctorate) are offered in all of the above-mentioned areas, except medicine and health and language and culture (doctorate degree).
Among UFPA research teams, there are many nationally recognised groups, particularly in the fields of parasitology, tropical diseases and geosciences. UFPA is considered the greatest university in the North region of Brazil and is a reference in the areas of biomedical sciences and biology research, the latter due to the city’s location as a gateway to the Amazon river and house to the Amazon rainforest.
Pará’s capital city is Belém, a city with a tropical climate. It is very humid and moist, with no dry season. This gives the tropical rainforest vegetation the ideal amount of moisture in which to thrive. The Amazon is home to an astounding variety of species; both plant and animal. This area is known for being home to portions of the Amazon River and its jungle, as well as for its abundant rubber and timber plantations.
Some of the most popular attractions include Estacao das Docas (Station of the Docks), Teatro da Paz (Peace Theatre) – dating back as far as 1869 and taking one of the many river tours that are conducted on a regular basis.
One can also drop by the Mercado Ver-o-Peso, the largest free fair in South America, as well as the Mangrove of Herons Garden, a contemporary-styled park in the Cidade Velha area of Belém.
Notable alumni include Professor Jean Hébbete, an economist and one of the greatest figures in research involving the Amazon's social conditions. One of the Brazil’s greatest geneticists, Dr. Maria Paula Cruz Schneider, was a student of the first biology major of the University. Her research focuses mainly on polymorphism.