Brazil Leadership Program


In partnership with the Lemann Foundation, the Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, offers scholarships for Brazilian civil servants from the Central Bank of Brazil, the Ministry of Government Finance, and the Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management to enroll in a Masters programs in Accountancy, Finance, Law, or Policy Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

What is the duration of the scholarship?

The scholarship covers the full tuition and university fees for the required time it takes to complete the given Masters program, which may be twelve months (two semesters and two summer sessions) to three semesters. Masters programs vary in their duration.

What is the duration of the Masters programs?

Accountancy is twelve-months, starting in the U.S. summer (in June), with an opportunity for students to take a refresher or more basic course, and ends the following summer. Law also has a summer start (in early August) with a research and writing course, and concludes the following summer.  Finance is to be completed in three semesters, with the two-semester option only available after careful consideration.  Policy Economics likewise recommends that students finish coursework in three semesters, though there is the two-semester option in special cases.

Does the scholarship pay for living expenses?

The scholarship pays for full tuition and university fees, but fellows are expected to pay for their living expenses with their salaries from the sabbatical that they will have received from the Brazilian government. It should be noted that the cost of living is low in Champaign-Urbana.

Is there a defined number of vacancies available?

There will be up to 8 scholarships awarded in 2019 and nine awarded in 2020.

How do I apply?

Students must apply to both the Masters program of their choosing in Illinois and to the internal selection process administered by Enap, Esaf, and UniBC, the three Brazilian civil service schools respectively associated with the Central Bank of Brazil, the Ministry of Government Finance, and the Ministry of Planning, Budget, and Management.

Links to the admissions process for each Masters program in Illinois are provided below:

Master of Law (LLM) –

Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) –

Master of Science in Finance –

Master of Science in Policy Economics –

The internal selection process varies across Enap, Esaf, and UniBC. Interested applicants are encouraged to speak to the respective civil service school or ministerial officials where they are employed.

What are the deadlines?

The deadlines of each given Masters program vary, but in order to apply for the Lemann Brazil Leadership scholarship, students should apply in December. Please note that students can submit their application at this time, and send their GMAT, GRE, and/or TOEFEL score later on, but no later than the recommended deadline of each Masters program.

Are there any tips to write the personal statement or to ask to be included in the letters of recommendation?

The personal statement should not repeat what is evident in your resume, or CV, but rather should add something new or not necessarily apparent in your file. Please check the FAQ web pages of each Masters program in this regard.

Letters of recommendation should come from someone who knows your academic work.  But if you’ve been working for some time and lack academic contacts, a co-worker or manager is fine.

In the U.S. context, letters of recommendation talk specifically about the applicant’s strengths and capabilities. It is important for interested applicants to explain to their Brazilian recommendation letter writers that U.S. admissions committee look for details about the kind of papers the student wrote in a class, or the kinds of reports or problem-solving s/he produces in their job. This specific type of recommendation letter is expected by most admissions committees in U.S. universities.

Is an applicant required to have previous training in the given Masters program to which s/he is applying?

Generally, applicants to any Masters program must have earned at least a Bachelor’s degree or a comparable degree in any area from a recognized institution of higher learning. Other than that minimum requirement, the specific admission requirements vary by program. Some students have their Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the field of the Masters program to which they are applying. Others have taken only one or two classes in the field of a given Masters program. Rather than a specific course or field of study, admissions committees look at the entire application.

Are GMAT, GRE, and /or TOEFL needed to apply?

Aside from the TOEFL or IELTS score reported from ETS or IELTS, standardized tests to be admitted to a program vary. Accountancy requires the GMAT, but there is no minimum cut-off. Finance asks for the GMAT or GRE. Law requires TOEFL only. MSPE encourages but does not require applicants to take the GRE.

 Are students required to write a final paper?

There is no final project in Masters programs in Accountancy, Finance, Law, or the MSPE at Illinois.

 Are there opportunities to improve English skills?

All classes are taught in English, though students come from all over the world. With generally limited numbers of Brazilian students, Masters programs tend to have large number of international students from across Asia and North America. Accountancy has a conversation partner program for students to improve English skills.  Law students are asked to sign a pledge to speak English. Policy Economics arranges some trips each year to visit federal trade commission or regional federal reserve banks. For family members of enrolled students, Masters students from the Department of Linguistics offer the Special English Class (SEC, and there a list of other English resources in the community (