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Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa


The “Scuola Normale Superiore” of Pisa, a university center for teaching and research, is based on a model which shaped European educational history. Founded by Napoleon in 1810 as a branch of the “Ecole Normale Superieure Paris”, it has been educating students and carrying out research for nearly two centuries.

It has independent legal status and autonomy in its teaching, research, organizational, financial and accounting functions. It issues its own governing statute and internal regulations.

Studying at the “Scuola Normale Superiore” of Pisa is completely free. University of Pisa fees are fully refunded to students by the School, which also provides its undergraduate students with a monthly allowance to defray expenses. Doctoral students receive more financial aid than in other research doctorates considering the package as a whole, which includes fellowship allowance, travel funds, research funds and free board.

Entrance to the “Scuola Normale Superiore” of Pisa can be obtained only by competitive exams in which a commission of internal and external professors evaluate the overall capacities (good basic knowledge of the subject area to be studied, solid general education, aptitude for research, critical capacity) of the candidate.

The School is articulated in two Academic Classes.
The Faculty of Arts offers courses in literary/language areas, history, philosophy, art history and archaeology, as follows:

  • Ancient History and Languages
  • Italian Literature and Linguistics
  • Art History and Archaeology
  • History and Paleography
  • Philosophy

The Faculty of Sciences offers courses in the following fields:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Information Science
  • Mathematics

In the school there are two types of course:

  • Ordinary course:  admission procedures are open to all students completing secondary school who wish to undertake their university studies in a setting particularly qualified for a modern humanistic and scientific preparation. It is also open to any student who has already completed a 1st -level (three-year) university degree and who wishes to complete his/her studies at the Scuola Normale of Pisa.
  • In fact, with law number 308 of 18 June, 1986 the “diploma di perfezionamento” which the “Scuola Normale” confers was recognized as fully equivalent to all other Italian PhDs.