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Study in Italy
Italian higher education for international students


Specific Qualifications / Programmes

The present section gives the list of a number of qualifications the acceptance of which for admission to Italian H.Ed. programmes is subject to specific conditions.
Check if your case falls within one of the following categories. If so, you have to meet the admission requirements stated for the qualification/programme concerned.

1) School leaving qualifications awarded after 10/11 school years

A) Do you hold a secondary qualification awarded after 10 or 11 years of global schooling?
If so, you have:

  • a) either to give evidence that you have also completed 2 years or 1 year, respectively, of university studies in the system of reference;
  • b) or to take the Italian school leaving diploma.

It deserves mentioning that, in the case quoted under letter a) the additional study period completed after secondary education is accepted only for matriculation in the 1st year of the Italian H.Ed. course of your choice.

B) Do you hold a 10-year secondary qualification and have also completed 3 years of university studies in your home country?
If so, the host Italian H.Ed. institution may operate as follows:

  • a) accept 2 years of your university studies to fill in the gap in your secondary education up to the general requirement of 12 years;
  • b) evaluate the remaining 1 year towards a reduction in length of the Italian H.Ed. programme you have requested.

The same type of evaluation is applied to 11-year secondary qualifications accompanied by a 2/3-year period of university studies.

C) Do you hold a secondary qualification shorter than the required 12 years? And have you also attended a post-secondary professional institution in your home country?
Your post-secondary studies may be accepted to fill in the gap in your secondary education on condition that you have already been awarded the corresponding post-secondary diploma.

2) Qualifications from pontifical universities based in Italy

Holders of qualifications awarded by university institutions which, located in Italy, are accredited by the Holy See, are eligible for matriculation. Their documents must be certified only by the competent Vatican authorities (Sacra Congregazione per l'Educazione Cattolica), and legalised by the stamp office of the Prefecture in Rome (Prefettura di Roma, Ufficio Bollo).
Once completed the procedures for the certification and legalisation of their documents, individual applicants may deliver just their photocopies either to the Italian institutions concerned or, if they still live outside Italy, to the relevant Italian diplomatic authority (Embassy/Consulate) in their country of residence. They will submit their original documents only at the moment of actual enrolllment, after passing the required admission tests (if any).

3) US High School Diploma (HSD)

Holders of the HSD must:

  • either have also successfully completed 2 years of college education and hold the promotion to the 3rd year;
  • or hold the promotion to the 2nd year of college and have earned 4 Advanced Placements (APs) in as many subjects related to the Italian programmes of their choice; an AP in Italian is valid for admission to any programme, independently of its subject field.

When applying for access to the Faculty of Medicine, HSD holders must:

  • have also obtained a BA/BSc including pre-medical subjects;
  • prove to have deserved the type of grades which grant admission to US medical schools; they may apply to the "Institute of International Education" in New York for such a statement of admission.

4) British Secondary Qualifications

The British secondary qualifications normally accepted consist of 6 passes in different subjects, at least 3 of which must rank at advanced level.
The 3 A-levels must be related to the chosen Italian programme (course requirements). An A-level in Italian is valid for admission to any programme, independently of its subject field.

5) Greek Qualifications - "Apolityrion"

The Greek qualifications acceptable for matriculation purposes in Italian university-level institutions are:

  • either the Apolityrion along with the Veveossi Prosvassis (certificate of academic suitability); the Apolityrion grade must be 10/20 at least (the minimum grade needed for promotion in Greece),
  • or just the Apolityrion, when conferred before 1999 to students who may give documentary evidence that they lived in Italy in the years 1999-2001 (that is in the transition period fixed by the Greek legislation to obtain the certificate of academic suitability).

6) Diplomas from border schools in Croatia, Slovenia, and Switzerland

Final qualifications awarded by those border schools in the quoted countries that offer Italian as official tuition language are accepted for admission to university-level studies in Italy, but limitedly to those subject fields for which they are valid in the respective H.Ed. systems.
See Enclosure, point 1.for the list of border schools in the mentioned countries.

7) European High School Licence (Law No. 102 of 3.01.1960 and Law No. 577 of 19.05.1965)

The final qualifications awarded by the European Schools in Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands have all legal validity for admission to university-level institutions in Italy.
See Enclosure, point 2 for the list of countries and schools.

8) Diplomas from Foreign Schools in Italy

In Italy operate some foreign schools offering courses of primary and secondary education. The final qualifications awarded by a few of them -belonging to France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, and Switzerland- have been recognised for enrollment at Italian universities under specific conditions. Such conditions are clearly stated in the agreements signed by Italy with the respective countries of reference.
As a general rule, holders of final secondary qualifications from one of such schools may get admission and also exemption from the preliminary test of competence in Italian on condition that:

  • Italian was included in their secondary curricula as an L2 (foreign language),
  • and they passed the related final tests.

See Enclosure, point 3 for the list of countries and schools.

9) Secondary Qualifications from the Republic of San Marino

Final qualifications awarded by the secondary schools of the Repubblica di San Marino have been recognised as equivalent to all legal effects to the corresponding upper secondary diplomas conferred in conformity to the Italian school legislation (Law No. 760 of 18.10.1984).

10) International Baccalaureate

The IB conferred by a number of schools worldwide is recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education (Miur) as equivalent to the Italian school leaving diploma, provided the curriculum corresponds to the one attached to the recognition decree of that particular IB programme and if it includes the Italian language. IB holders may be exempted from the preliminary exam devised to check their competence in Italian, provided their curricula included the Italian language.

A general condition required by MIUR is that IB holders were admitted to the respective IB programmes after obtaining the promotion to the last form but one of global schooling in the system of reference (i.e. the 11th or 12th form, if the school system consists of 12 or 13 years of global schooling, respectively).
The list of schools conferring recognised IB diplomas is available in Enclosure, point 4.

11) Diplomas from Italian sections at foreign schools abroad

The school leaving qualifications from Italian sections opened within foreign schools abroad are accepted for matriculation only to those Italian 1st cycle programmes that are similar to the courses they grant admission to in the respective foreign countries.
The specific admission conditions in the country of reference must be stated in the "Dichiarazione di Valore in loco" issued by the competent Italian diplomatic authority.
See Enclosure, point 5 for the list of countries and schools.

12) Admission to the studies in dentistry, medicine, etc.

In Italy, degree programmes in dentistry, human medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine belong to the 2nd university cycle but are structured differently from the majority of Lauree Specialistiche / Magistrali - LS / LM. The same applies to some degree courses in architecture and building engineering. They all build up a sort of typical category of long, single-cycle degree programmes, named Corsi di Laurea Specialistica/ Corsi di Laurea Magistrale a ciclo unico (CLSu/CLMu).

As to access and admission conditions, CLSu/CLMu:

  • are open to holders of a school leaving diploma (min. 12 years of global schooling); as to additional requirements in the case of the US High School Diploma (HSD), go to point "3" of this section;
  • admission is limited by numerus clausus; therefore all applicants, Italian and foreign, have to pass a competitive admission exam which is defined at national level but takes place at individual universities; contents are the same for all candidates, independently of their nationality; the exam is administered in Italian.

Here is the list of other main features common to all CLSu/CLMu:

  • Course length: from min. 5 to max. 6 years, depending on the subject field (medicine takes 6 years);
  • Workload: 300-360 ECTS credits (1 credit = 25 hours, covering all teaching/ learning activities, students'personal study included).
  • Curricular structure: the curriculum is structured in just one long study period, awarding a single 2nd degree (master-level degree) in one of the the subject fields mentioned above; CLSu /CLMu curricula are harmonised in conformity to the relevant EEC Directives regulating professional recognition.
  • Academic value of the final degrees: all the LSu/LMu have just an academic validity, for example to pass on to 3rd cycle programmes.
  • Transition to active life: LSu/LMu holders may work in dependent positions up to the highest managerial functions; they are allowed to practise the related self-employed professions only after passing the relevant State examination for the professional license.

13) Admission to an Italian 1st cycle programme by reduction in length

Candidates who, in addition to their school leaving qualifications, have completed a H.Ed. period in countries other than Italy may ask for a reduction in the length of the chosen Italian H.Ed. programmes, provided the Italian curricula resemble the foreign ones.