A non-EU citizen residing overseas wishing to enrol at a university in Italy must:

  • possess a qualification with the minimum necessary requirements
  • present a pre-enrolment form to the Italian diplomatic-consular Representation present in the country of origin together with the requested documentation.

Below are general rules regarding all three study cycles of Italy’s university system. One should always check with the relevant Italian diplomatic-consular Representation the documents and requirements for enrolment.

Academic qualification: minimum requirements

Cycle I/Single Cycle: the non-EU citizen residing overseas may be admitted to Italy’s university system if in possession of a final certificate from a secondary school that:

  • has been issued by official schools of the school system of origin
  • is valid in the country of origin for enrolment at university or to access a study course similar to that which the student wishes to follow in Italy
  • has been issued after at least 12 years of pre-university schooling (primary and secondary education).

Cycle II/III: each university decides independently about the suitability and equivalence of the qualification awarded overseas. The following is generally requested:

  • academic qualification or title, cycle I or II, issued by an official institution of the country of origin enabling access in that schooling system to cycle II or III courses
  • foreign qualification awarded by a non-university Higher Education institution together with a secondary school certificate issued after at least 12 years of overall schooling.

To be admitted to cycle 1 and 2 courses, some qualifications are subject to restrictions:

  • final secondary school qualifications awarded after 10/11 years of overall schooling
  • academic qualifications of Pontifical Universities in Italy
  • US High School qualifications (HSD)
  • UK secondary school qualifications
  • Greek secondary school qualifications –”Apolityrion”
  • secondary school certificates awarded by border schools
  • qualification awarded by European schools pursuant to Law 102 of 3/10/1960 and Law 577 of 19/05/1965
  • secondary qualifications of foreign schools operating in Italy
  • final qualifications of secondary education institutes of the Republic of San Marino
  • International Baccalaureate (BI) diploma
  • qualifications of “Italian sections” of foreign schools

Help with recognition of academic qualifications:

  • “Transcript”: serves to assess the basic knowledge of the student, and is issued by the competent academic authority. It consists of a list of examinations taken by the student, the marks for each exam and educational credits (CFU = ECTS) associated with each subject
  • Diploma “Supplement”: this document is drafted in two or more languages, and gives information on the student and his studies, using models in keeping with those adopted by European nations

Pre-enrolment application

This preliminary procedure involves the relevant Italian diplomatic-consular Representation at least one month prior to deadlines established for Italian students.

The following documents are usually requested:

  • study qualification as per the above requirements
  • pre-enrolment form
  • proof of economic means or proof of possession of sufficient financial means to support oneself for the full academic year
  • choice of health insurance coverage or a private insurance policy, Italian or foreign, or a consular declaration demonstrating the ability to cover medical expenses should the need arise
  • official translation into Italian of all foreign language documents, done by sworn or non-professional translators. In the second case the translation should be legalised at the relevant Italian diplomatic-consular Representation
  • legalisation of document or with a procedure guaranteeing the authenticity of official documents, including the qualification. The competent authority should be asked whether the relative law provision is in force in the country in which the qualification was awarded, before requesting the Declaration of equivalence of qualification from the Italian diplomatic-consular Representation
  • declaration of equivalence or document providing information on the legal status of the institution issuing the qualification, duration of the study course and equivalence of the qualification awarded overseas. It must be requested to the relevant Italian diplomatic-consular Representation
  • two passport size photographs, one of which authenticated by the Italian diplomatic-consular Representation
  • diploma certifying knowledge of Italian language, if held.

For cycle II and III courses it is necessary to request from the Chancellor of the chosen institute the recognition of academic title.

After the student has provided all the requested documentation, the relevant diplomatic-consular Representation sends the material to the chosen university, which will assess:

  • the comparability of qualifications
  • the overall preparation of the student
  • the possibility of admitting the student depending on quotas (number of available places for foreign students for each study course, decided independently by each university).

If the student meets all three requirements, the university shall communicate the fact to the relevant Italian diplomatic-consular Representation, which:

  • informs the student
  • issues the visa for study reasons/University (which can be issued only to allow students to enrol in Italy)

Within eight days of entering Italy, the student must send the application for a residence permit for study reasons/university attendance to the relevant Questura (police headquarters) of the city in which he intends to live and study.