Universities in Italy
Universities in Italy by City:BergamoComoFerraraFlorenceGenovaMilanMonte San QuiricoPerugiaRomeTorinoTrentoUdine
About universities in Italy
Italy is a breathtakingly beautiful country with landscapes and stunning architecture that simply must be seen to be fully appreciated. The country is also a world leader in trade, and a major innovator in fields such as business, medicine and technology, ranked among the 8 most industrialized nations in the world. To continue in this European and world leadership role, Italy must (and does) maintain an elite system of higher education, one that offers its students advanced programs in every key field, with a sharp focus on both theoretical and applied research.
Higher Education in Italy
The beauty of the higher education system in Italy is the variety of offerings it presents, each representing opportunity for different segments of the population, along with the international students who come to study in Italy from abroad. These opportunities are divided between three distinct categories: university education, advanced musical and artistic training, and high level technical studies, each of which receives public funding to ensure the continued excellence of the program and the success of its students. In addition to this diverse system, Italy also offers additional opportunities that focus primarily on training Italy’s adult population in various vocations.
Like many European countries, Italy’s university education underwent a major transformation and renewal in 1999, one predicated on the Bologna Declaration, a bill that in essence aims to systemize and correlate the structure of education at universities throughout Europe—synching them to help improve the overall educational experience for students.
In line with this universal declaration, higher education in Italy is now based on three main cycles, similar to the U.S. system of Bachelor, Masters and PhD degrees, only with a few key differences, as you will see below.
In the first cycle, called Primo Ciclo, students basically have two options. In the first of these, called Corso di Laurea, the Italian equivalent of a Bachelor’s program, students receive three years of general and specialized education, with the ultimate goal of moving on to a Master’s Degree program. No diploma is awarded after completing this track, as it is seen more as a springboard to a more advanced education than a culmination of studies. The second option, called Corso di Laurea Magistrale a Ciclo Unico, which loosely translates to a “single-cycle degree,” is for students who opt not to pursue a Master’s Degree. This educational track, which typically spans 5-6 years in total, is more closely akin to the U.S. bachelor degree, in that students are awarded a meaningful diploma after successfully completing this program.
The secondo ciclo (second cycle) is called the Corso di Laurea Magistrale, a Master’s Degree program offered in every major academic field, and open only to those who have first successfully completed the Corso di Laurea. This program typically lasts two years.
Lastly, in the terzo ciclo, or third cycle, those who possess a Master’s Degree can apply for admission into one of the Dottorato di Ricera (doctorate) programs. Limited space is available in these PhD-level programs, and as a result, candidates must first pass a rigorous selection examination prior to even being considered for admittance. It is in these programs that most Italian research is performed—research that over the years has led to a slew of groundbreaking discoveries and innovations, in major fields that include medicine, biology, ICT, physics and technology.