jump to contents


Home »Studying in Italy »Admission to degree programmes »Admission to 1st cycle degree programmes »

Study in Italy
Italian higher education for international students
italiano  italiano  italiano  italiano  italiano 

Admission to 1st cycle degree programmes

The list of 1st cycle programmes (Corsi di Laurea-CL3) in offer at Italian universities is available online in the websites of the Ministry of Education, University and Research and of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs:

  • Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR): università > studenti stranieri),
  • Ministero degli Affari Esteri (MAE): politica estera >politica culturale > attività > cooperazione universitaria > iscrizione studenti stranieri).

You may also apply for information to the universities themselves (database of Italian universities available at Cerca università).

The list of 1st cycle programmes (Corsi di Diploma Accademico di 1° livello-CDA1) in the arts and music in offer at Afam institutions is available online in the website of the Ministry of Education, University and Research, Afam.

You may also apply for information to the individual Afam institutions; their list is available online (go to Istituzioni Afam and select from the menu on the left the category of Afam institutions you are interested in).

General educational requirements
To be eligible for admission, you have to:

1) hold a foreign school leaving qualification that:

  1. satisfies the requirements for access to university education in the awarding country; and that
  2. was conferred on completion of min. 12 years of previous global schooling; a pre-school year may be calculated to make up the 12 indispensable schooling period only when it is an integral part of the foreign curriculum so that its attendance is compulsory, and its syllabus includes development of reading and writing skills in the mother tongue.

2) be competent in Italian (go to Competence in Italian).


  • If in your home country admission to universitiy-level studies is subject to special exams, you must give evidence to have passed such selections with the required scores. In the negative, the host Italian institution may decide to submit you to a selective examination; go to exams of academic suitability for details and exceptions.
  • If your secondary qualification was conferred after a school period shorter than 12 years, check the instructions under "point 1" of the section "Specific Qualifications".
  • If you hold one of the qualifications listed under points 1-5 of the section "Specific Qualifications", check the respective admission conditions.
  • If you wish to be admitted to a degree programme in architecture, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, go to "point 12" of the section "Specific Qualifications (for information on "Corsi di Laurea Magistrale a ciclo unico-CLMu").
  • Admission examinations to enter specific 1st cycle programmes at individual H.Ed. institutions (universities as well as AFM institutions) are all administered in italian (go to Admission Exams).

General procedures
The evaluation of foreign secondary qualifications to the only end of admission to Italian H.Ed. studies is a task of individual institutions. Both universities and university-level H.Ed. institutions make their decisions in full autonomy; they apply their institutional regulations which take into account the bilateral agreements and multilateral conventions signed by the Italian government, the latest of which is the so-called Lisbon Convention, as well as some general admission rules agreed upon at national level.

Usually those foreign school leaving qualifications are accepted that grant admission to comparable H.Ed. programmes in the awarding countries; whenever possible, admission to the Italian programmes concerned is made subject to the same conditions as applied by the respective H.Ed. systems of reference.

Acceptance means that applicants to matriculation on the basis of foreign school leaving qualifications have no longer need to ask for the equivalence of their secondary qualifications to the Italian school leaving diploma.
It is up to the Italian H.Ed. institution chosen by each applicant to evaluate the suitability of the foreign secondary qualification concerned; it may decide to:

  • fully accept it;
  • reject it (they have to motivate their refusal);
  • accept it conditionally, e.g. by attributing a "debito formativo" (e.g. attendance of an additional course in a certain subject) that the applicant is expected to satisfy within the first year of the Italian programme.

Italy has extended the application of the Lisbon Convention far beyond its contracting parties; therefore, as a matter of fact, all school leaving qualifications are accepted, independently of the applicants' citizenship (Eu/non-Eu) and of the awarding countries (Eu member states, non-Eu countries in Europe, any other country worldwide), provided they meet the two conditions mentioned under "General educational requirements" here above, or provided they are included in the section "Specific Qualifications".