Italian University System - Mini Glossary for International Freshers

Read this page if you are an international student and want to know more about the Italian University System and the main definitions you may find on the Sapienza website

Bachelor’s Degree Programme (Laurea)

Equivalent to a Bachelor of Science/Arts in the European university system, is an undergraduate degree obtained after three years of studies. Students need to have a high school/secondary school diploma earned after at least 12 years of studies or another qualification taken abroad and recognised in Italy in order to be admitted. Students with 11 years of studies may attend an accredited Foundation Programme in order to meet the minimum school years requirement needed to enrol in a Bachelor’s programme.

Foundation Year 

One-year preparatory programme mainly intended for international students needing an additional year of studies before University enrolment, and focusing on admission tests preparation and Italian language and culture.

Master’s Degree Programme (Laurea magistrale)

Equivalent to a Master of Science/Arts in the European university system, is obtained after two years of graduate studies.  A Bachelor’s degree is required for admission.

Single-cycle degree programme (Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico/percorso unitario)

Qualification combining a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in the same programme, obtained after five or six years of studies. General admission requirements are the same as for a Bachelor’s programme.

PhD Programme (Dottorato di ricerca)

Is the highest university degree that is conferred after a Master’s degree by universities. Those studying for a PhD are required to produce original research normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD may be a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher or scientist in many fields.

Specialisation Programmes (Corsi di specializzazione)

Postgraduate Degree programmes for students holding at least a Master’s Degree in a relevant discipline, aimed at providing further specialised training for certain professions (e.g. medical, legal, etc.).

Training Courses (Corsi di formazione)

Courses open to students holding at least a Secondary School Diploma, variable in duration and structure (usually a few weeks to a few months) and granting, in most cases, a Certificate of Attendance. Such courses may also be taken alongside degree programmes.

Advanced Training Courses (Corsi di alta formazione)

Courses open to students holding at least a Bachelor’s Degree, variable in duration and structure (usually a few weeks to a few months) and granting, in most cases, a Certificate of Attendance. Such courses may also be taken alongside degree programmes.

Advanced Professional Courses (Master di 1° e 2° livello)

Post-graduate degree courses, lasting at least one year, aimed at increasing students’ professional education. They qualify people to work in such professions and aim to train specialists for certain professional sectors.

 

(Student) Fuoricorso 

A student enrolled beyond the regular duration of the course – eg: a student in the 4th year or more of a 3-year degree course.
 

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