A fantastic sounding full time 4-year course that any student could transfer to called that teaches various natural science topics, notably mathematics, physics, chemistry and molecular biology.
Many past students Ciro talked to however share a common frustration with the course: in the first 2 years at least, the "basic cycle", you have infinitely many courses, and no time to study, and no choice of what to study, it is only in the latter 2 years (the advanced cycle) that you get the choices.
Also, if you get low grades in a single subject, your out. And exams are useless of course.
Here's a Quora question in Portuguese about the course: pt.quora.com/Como-funciona-o-tal-do-curso-secreto-da-USP, the only decent answer so far being: pt.quora.com/Como-funciona-o-tal-do-curso-secreto-da-USP/answer/Victor-Soares-31. Very disappointing to hear.
On the advanced cycle, you have a lot of academic freedom. You are basically supposed to pick a research project with an advisor and go for it, with a small ammount of mandatory course hours. Ciro was told in 2022 that you can even have advisors from other universities or industry, and that it is perfectly feasible to take courses in another university and valiate the course hours later on. Fantastic!!!
Students from the entire University of São Paulo can apply to transfer to it only after joining the university, with the guarantee that they can go back to their original courses if they don't adapt to the new course, which is great!
Not doing it is one of Ciro Santilli's regrets in life, see also: don't be a pussy.
Around 2007, they were in a really shady building of the University, but when Ciro checked in 2021, they had apparently moved to a shiny new entrepreneurship-focused building. Fantastic news!!!
This place has one of the best changes of spawning the first Brazilian Nobel Prize or unicorn.
One of the Brazilians who came to École Polytechnique together with Ciro was from this course. The fact that he is one of the most intelligent people Ciro knows gave further credit to that course in his eyes.