Duração do curso
Master – 18 to 24 months PhD – 24 to 48 months
Academic Master And Phd In Law And Development

The Master and PhD Programs in Law and Development of FGV Sao Paulo Law Schoolwere conceived to form researchers and excellent professors, with theoretical and methodological rigor, and to produce research that sheds light on our country’s challenges, finding ways to overcome the obstacles that prevent our development. The program is consolidated as a locus of excellent research production in Law in Brazil, and gathers researchers, professors, and students with various degrees, research agendas, trajectories, and aspirations, creating a diverse academic environment and combining empirical and theoretical research of interdisciplinary perspective. The Academic Master and PhD programs of FGV Sao Paulo Law Schoolform researchers who can deal with the specificities of Law and the singularities of the institutional context of a developing country. It is addressed to scholars who wish to participate in an innovative educational experience in Brazil. The Academic Master was founded in 2008, and the Academic PhD in 2020. The Master program has received a high score from Capes, and has trained several researchers and professors.

Alunos e alunas em sala de aula do Mestrado Acadêmico

Why choose FGV Sao Paulo Law School Academic Master and PhD programs?

Focus on Law and Development

The area of concentration of the program - Law and Development - is acknowledged in numerous research centers around the world, and addresses, above all, the study of the relations between the legal field and the processes of political, economic, and social development. The legal field comprises a set of norms, interpretation systems, and rationalization of such norms, as well as institutions that are responsible for their elaboration and application. The development process, on the other hand, has overcome the idea of economic growth towards the promotion of freedom, fundamental rights, democracy, exceeding our colonial past, and the fight against race and gender oppression. The current scope of the field of Law and Development is the investigation of Law in the context of developing countries (law in context) from two main assumptions: that the political, social, and economic organization of each country is closely related to its legal system; and that, throughout history, nations have developed economically, politically and socially in different ways. Hence, researchers must analyze not only the formal structure of Law, but also its concrete functioning and consequences to society. This field has strengthened over the years, by analyzing the Law concerning the various aspects of the economy, politics, and society. The variety of themes and problems for research, and the urge to observe law in context have directed the studies to an interdisciplinary, empirical, and international vocation. This is the distinctive characteristic of FGV Sao Paulo Law School Academic Master and PhD Programs. 

Research lines

To organize the thematic diversity of its area of concentration, the program is divided in two research lines. The first one, Law of Business and Economic and Social Development, studies the normative field that regulates the business environment. The second, Institutions of the Ruled-based Democracy and Political and Social Development, investigates the operation of the Institutions of the Rule-based Democracy , which are responsible for the production, interpretation, and application of Law. Departing from these lines of research, professors, students and researchers develop their projects in research units oriented to collective studies and shared reflections. 

Interdisciplinary Approach

The preparation of a generation of researchers with solid theoretical and methodological education necessarily goes through an interdisciplinary formation of empirical vocation and sensitivity to what is being produced, nationally and internationally, in the legal field. FGV Sao Paulo Law School believes that interdisciplinarity is essential to train professionals capable of identifying synergies and issues for cooperation between different areas of knowledge, for the investigation and promotion of development goals. The program acts with constant communication with other FGV schools, such as the schools of economics and administration, and with national and international education and research institutions, fostering an ongoing dialogue and exchange of ideas among professors, students, and other collaborators dedicated to the field of Law and Development. 

Contemporary Curriculum

The curriculum of the Master’s program, as well as the PhD program, is composed of mandatory, optional, and elective disciplines. The mandatory disciplines include those related to Law and Development, research methodology, qualification laboratory, and professors’ training. The choice of elective disciplines must be based on the student’s line of research: Law of Business and Economic and Social Development, and Institutions of the Rule-based Democracy and Political and Social Development. The elective disciplines may be taken freely, up to the limit of credits, and are based on the professors’ research agenda. The student can also take short courses of the Global Law Program, an international exchange program for professors, offered in English; disciplines from Master and PhD programs of other FGV schools; and also from other institutions, partners of  FGV Sao Paulo Law School. The program also has a set of disciplines that provide methodological training necessary to write excellent scientific papers, and a strong Teacher Training Program that concentrates on theoretical and practical dimensions related to legal education.  

To achieve the Master’s title, a student must fulfill 24 credits in disciplines, 16 credits in research and mentoring (of which 8 are achieved through the approval of semester assignments, and completed upon the thesis  approval), and 2 credits in the Teacher Training Program. In addition, the student must be approved in the qualification exam and schedule his/her thesis evaluation board in the minimum time of 18 months and maximum of 24 months.  

To get the PhD title, the student must fulfill 44 credits in disciplines, 32 credits in research and mentoring (of which 16 are achieved through the approval of semester assignments and completed upon dissertation approval), 2 credits in the Teacher Training Program, and 4 credits in a teaching and research internship. In addition, the student must be approved in the qualification exam, and schedule his/her dissertation evaluation board in the minimum time of 24 months and maximum of 48 months. 

Excellence academic staff

Professors in this program are PhDs, most of them fully dedicated to the institution and to research, and part of them has academic titles in other areas, which provides an interdisciplinary approach to the topics discussed  throughout the disciplines. The faculty’s profile expresses the program’s academic plurality: a diverse group, both regarding academic trajectory and in terms of tenure and  gender, capable of covering a broad field of research and ensuring the training of students with academic rigor. In common, they have the reflection on the role of Law and institutions in a developing country like Brazil, the theoretical and methodological rigor, the interdisciplinary and international dialogue, and empirical foundation. All permanent professors of the program offer disciplines, advise Master and PhD research, and take part in research projects.  


The program offers the students a highly international environment, due to the constant interaction with foreign researchers and institutions. Students have access to disciplines taught in English by foreign and Brazilian professors on topics related to their line of research, and the opportunity to participate in international exchange programs in institutions with which FGV Sao Paulo Law School has agreements. In line with its academic project, the program stimulates international collaboration in research, as well as the participation of its professors and students in international academic events in their area. The purpose is to insert professors and students internationally, not only to reach consolidated spaces of academic production, but also to articulate, critically, the efforts of national and international research, having in mind the issues of Brazilian development. FGV Sao Paulo Law School keeps the Global Fellowship Program, whose goal is to create bridges between Brazilian and foreign researchers in different stages of their careers, facilitating the experience of exchange, strengthening inter-institutional partnerships, and fostering the internationalization of intellectual production of the program’s academic community. 

Research Lines

Global Fellowship Program

The Global Fellowship Program aims to strengthen the international academic environment of FGV Sao Paulo Law School, by bringing together senior scholars and young researchers from all over the world, fostering an internationalization effort among Brazilian scholarship holders (professors and students), and opening up opportunities for cooperation in various levels.

Pesquisadores em biblioteca

Academic Master and PhD

Find more about the program


Talk to the coordinator

Mario Gomes Schapiro