International Programs


Because sustainability is a global issue, a technology appropriate for the United States may be inappropriate for another region.  Consequently, in order to promote the cross-cultural skills needed to address the global issues of sustainability, the Mascaro Center sponsors a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs providing faculty and students with the opportunity to work cross-culturally. 


The Pittsburgh IGERT Sustainable Engineering Fellowship program seeks students wishing to study for a PhD in engineering with a focus on sustainable design.  The curriculum and research projects provide the interdisciplinary basis for attacking problems in sustainable engineering.  To promote the cross-cultural skills needed to address the global issues of sustainability, students conduct six-month international research rotations in Sao Paulo, Brazil through a partnership with the University at Campinas. 


The Mascaro Center’s IRES program seeks undergraduate students wishing to participate in a 12-week innovative research experience in sustainable design. Students work in teams co-led by faculty from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Students and mentors live in Brazil with residence at UNICAMP for four weeks. 


An Undergraduate Brazilian Exchange Program

Our goal is to create educational experiences that address concerns for both the human conditions and the global environment through innovation and sustainability. Through this program, the students will learn to develop innovative solutions to real world problems to have the appropriate skills and tools to address the issues we face today and within the next 20 years: sustainable energy, quality health care, abundant water, food, and environmental concerns, especially for the developing world.

This program is an undergraduate exchange program between the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Campinas in Campinas, Brazil, and the Federal University of Espirito Santo in Vittoria, Brazil. Students will take courses – in Portuguese – while studying in Brazil. Students will be provided funds for travel, Portuguese language training and a monthly stipend. For additional information, contact Dr. Melissa Bilec at 

Brazil Courses

ENGR 2210:  Understanding Brazil – Preparations for Research and Study in Brazil  (Fall 2010)
This seminar is specifically designed for students who will be doing research and/or studying in Brazil.  It introduces the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of Latin America in general and Brazil in particular. The seminar is organized and conducted by Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies and features guest lecturers from Brazil, readings from current popular literature and news sources (available from Pitt's Eduardo Lozano Latin American Collection, a library resource of more than 340,000 volumes spanning 30 years), and contemporary films (such as Decade of Destruction: Killing for Land and Brazilian Populations: Stories and Myths). The first half of the course will introduce students to day-to-day life in Brazil as well as its current socioeconomic situation, the influence of politics and ethnic relations, and the many aspects of Brazilian culture. The second half will focus on disciplinary perspectives that allow students to explore regional issues from a variety of viewpoints. The final seminars in the semester will be used for the presentation of individual student reports on a topic related to Brazilian life, such as the governmental structure, university system, and integration of technology with indigenous lifestyles and traditions. This course is required for all IGERT Fellows.

ENGR 1430/2230: Portuguese 3 for Engineers
This third semester of Brazilian Portuguese is specifically designed for engineering students who will be doing research and/or studying in Brazil. The course covers technical and educational terminology through examination of Brazilian sustainable engineering case studies while further advancing the students’ knowledge and ability in Brazilian Portuguese. The course will further enhance the cognitive skills of engineering students, and give them an appreciation of the interrelation of career paths, language skills, and cultural awareness.  This course is required for all IGERT Fellows.  Prerequisite: Brazil 0002 or equivalent.

Click here for a listing of all Sustainability Courses in the Swanson School of Engineering.  

Other Swanson School International Programs 

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