There are currently 77 higher education institutions in Italy. 55 of these are state universities, 3 are technical universities, 14 are private universities, 2 universities for international students and 3 postgraduate universities1. However, there are many more higher education institutions such as art colleges, conservatories and institutes. State universities are funded by the government meaning they require little to no tuition whereas private universities rely solely on tuition for funding. Technical universities offer specialized professional degrees. 12 universities in Italy feature in the top 500 universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings of 2019, with the Polytechnic School of Milano featuring in 149th place. There are approximately 83’900 international students in higher education institutions in Italy. For more information, please refer to the official government website: http://www.miur.it/guida/guide.htm.
The educational system in Italy follows the traditional path of a Bachelor’s followed by a Master’s and then a Doctorate. As Italy is a part of the Bologna Declaration, credits are easily transferrable within Europe. Bachelor’s degrees (laurea Triennale) last three years. Master’s degree (leaurea magistrale) take two years to complete. Medical, veterinary, pharmacy and architecture degrees generally take between five to six years to complete. Law students must take a five-year degree known as the Laurea Magistrale a Ciclo Unico, which are similar to Integrated Master’s programs. Doctorates last a minimum of three years.
There is no centralized system of administration for application to higher education institutions in Italy, meaning that students are required to apply to their desired universities individually. Prospective undergraduate students require an Italian secondary school leaving diploma or an equivalent foreign certificate such as the International Baccalaureate. However, individual universities may require additional entrance exams. Moreover, certain international private universities may base their requirements on an SAT test instead. Master’s degrees require a valid Bachelor’s degree and Doctoral degrees require a Master’s degree in order to be accepted.
Students are required to pay an enrolment fee when registering for their course. Public universities’ tuition generally ranges from 550 to 4000 euros per year for their undergraduate courses. Students from medium to low income families are eligible for grants from the government.
Information for International Students
The official language of instruction is Italian, meaning that non-native students are required to pass a proficiency test. However, there are degrees that are taught in English as well. EU students are do not require a visa to study in Italy whereas non-EU students are required to acquire a visa. Students are also required to get their documents translated into Italian when applying for a visa.