The university system

Italian University System

University education is divided into three cycles comprising programmes of differing duration.

Students must meet specific requirements for admission.

Each programme is assigned a certain number of CFU's, the university credits quantifying the workload.

Bachelor’s degree

Admission requirements: upper secondary school diploma or equivalent foreign academic qualification.
Duration: 3 years
Credits (CFU): 180
Qualification awarded: bachelor’s degree
Objectives: acquire – even through traineeships and internships – knowledge of general scientific principles and methods, competences and useful tools for practicing a profession or continuing university studies
Further study: master’s degree programmes, first level vocational master’s programmes, advanced courses.

Single cycle degree programme

Admission requirements: upper secondary school diploma or equivalent foreign academic qualification.
Duration: 5 or 6 years
Credits (CFU): 300 or 360
Qualification awarded: master’s degree
Objectives: this degree programme does not distinguish between the first three-year period of study and the subsequent two-year or three-year period of specialisation and provides advanced knowledge for highly specialized professions.
Further study: second-level vocational master’s programmes, advanced courses, doctoral research programmes, postgraduate schools.

Master’s degree programmes

Admission requirements: bachelor’s degree or equivalent foreign academic qualification
Duration: 2 years
Credits (CFU): 120
Qualification awarded: master’s degree
Objectives:  provides advanced knowledge for highly specialized professions in specific fields.
Continuation of studies: Second-level vocational master’s programmes, advanced courses, doctoral research programmes, postgraduate specialization

First-level vocational master’s programmes

Admission requirements: bachelor’s degree
Duration: 1 year
Credits (CFU): at least 60
Qualification awarded: no qualification is awarded
Objectives:  This is a study programme for scientific specialization, providing advanced professional knowledge and skills, both technical-operational and design-oriented, and may be organized in collaboration with public or private organizations and institutions

Advanced courses

Admission requirements: bachelor's or master’s degree.
Duration: variable on the basis of the organization of the programme and the competencies it aims to develop.
Credits (CFU): none awarded
Qualification awarded: certificate of attendance certifying the acquired competencies
Objectives: professional and scientific updating

Doctoral research (PhD)

Admission requirements: Master’s degree or single cycle degree
Duration: 3 or 4 years
Qualification awarded: PhD
Objectives: this, the highest level of university education, aims to provide scientific knowledge and competencies required to embark on a university career or work in advanced research centres.

Postgraduate school

 

Admission requirements: master’s degree or single cycle degree.
Duration: set out in the specific programme regulations (at least 2 years)
Credits (CFU): set out in the specific programme regulations (between 120 and 360)
Qualification awarded: Specialization diploma
Objectives: provide professional knowledge and skills for practicing certain professions. In some cases required to obtain the qualification to practice a profession.

 

Second level vocational master’s programme

Admission requirements: master’s degree or single cycle degree.
Duration: 1 year
Credits (CFU): at least 60
Qualification awarded: no qualification is awarded
Objectives: a programme for scientific specialization, it provides advanced professional knowledge and skills, both technical-operational and design-oriented, and may be organized in collaboration with public or private organizations and institutions

University credits

The University Credit (CFU) is a unit of measure of workload in terms of study and learning.

One credit generally corresponds to 25 hours of coursework.

The credits assigned to a course or training activity are earned once the student passes the exam or completes the activity, regardless of the mark awarded.

Full-time students are expected to earn 60 credits in one academic year.

The credits awarded can be recognized for the continuation of other studies, both in Italian universities and abroad.

Admission to programmes

Degree programmes at the University of Milan are divided into programmes with:

  1. open admissions, in which there is no cap on student numbers. Each degree programme defines the basic knowledge and requirements for matriculation; these may be verified through compulsory, non-selective tests for assessing the student’s initial preparation or interview prior to matriculation. If the evaluation test reveals a learning gap, the applicant can still enrol as long as he/she has sat the exam.

  2. limited enrolment, in which only a limited number of places are available, as determined by the University or by the Italian Ministry for Education, Universities and Research (MIUR). To enrol, students must register for an entrance examination, pass it and place themselves high enough in the ranking to be awarded one of the places available. Some programmes base the rankings on applicants’ secondary school-leaving mark (voto di maturità).