How to apply for admission to a doctoral programme

Access to a doctoral research programme is through a public competition.

Every year, the University of Milan publishes calls for applications that set out the requirements, deadlines, access and selection procedures for each doctoral programme.

Both the application for admission to the competition and the application for enrolment must be made online, without the need to hand in any paper documents. Only those candidates who have obtained a degree abroad need to deliver the documents specified in the enrolment procedure to the International Students Office.

Please read the instructions carefully in order to ensure that every stage in the application process is successfully completed. 

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The first thing to do when applying for a PhD progamme is to read the call for application carefully.

The announcement contains:

  • access requirements
  • application procedures and deadlines 
  • information for disabled candidates and LD
  • selection criteria and procedures, and establishment of final rankings
  • enrolment procedures
  • scholarships availability.

To access the doctoral research programmes of the University of Milan, candidates must demonstrate at least Level B2 proficiency in English or in another foreign language indicated in the call for applications, which also specifies timeframes and methods for certifying the language skills declared.

The certificates must attest to proficiency in all the language skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and must have been awarded no earlier than three years from the date of application (two years for TOEFL).
Consult the list of certifications recognised by the University.

The following candidates are not required to provide certification:

  • those who have obtained, or will obtain by 31 October 2019
    • a second cycle (Master’s) degree (or equivalent foreign qualification) where English is the specialist subject, in one of the following classes: LM-37 Modern European and American Languages and Literature, LM-38 Modern Languages for International Communication and Cooperation, LM-39 Linguistics, LM-94 Specialised Translation and Conference Interpreting
    • a second cycle (Master’s) degree taught entirely in English.
  • those who have passed the level B2 English language skills placement test organised by the University, required for admission to the doctoral programmes, or who, by the deadline of the call for applications, have been awarded the level B2 language skills certificate issued by the Language Centre of the University of Milan (SLAM - Servizio Linguistico dell'Ateneo di Milano).

To submit your application for admission to the public competition online by the deadlines indicated in the call for applications:

  1. register on the University portal. 
    This operation is not required if you have already registered on the portal or are in possession of University login credentials  (e.g. if you are a graduate of the University of Milan).
  2. fill in the online admission application form.
    Access the doctoral research programmes admission service using your University credentials and fill in the form
  3. upload the documents required (see list below)  
  4. pay the admission fee
    Pay the 50 fee required by credit card.
    If you are normally resident in Italy you can also pay using the MAV form generated at the end of the online procedure.

Documents required during the online doctoral programme admission process

The online admission procedure requires you to upload the documents (both compulsory and/or optional) specified in the call for applications, which are normally:

  • the Diploma Supplement, issued by the University according to European standards, i.e. a certificate/s in Italian or English issued by the university of provenance indicating the exams taken (with corresponding grades and credits), and showing the statistical distribution of the exam grades of each course.
    This document is not required of graduates and final year students of the University of Milan as the University obtains it as a matter of course
  • curriculum vitae, with a description of any professional experience and other qualifications
  • research project (using Form 1 attached to the call for applications)
  • passport, page/s showing personal details (foreign candidates only)
  • any publications
  • any request for online interview and/or English test (using Form 3 attached to the call for applications)
  • Annex A (attached to the call for applications).

These documents will be accepted in the following formats: pdf .rtf .jpg.

Each file should be no larger than 10 MB: larger documents may be converted into black and white .pdf files with a lower resolution, or split into two or more files.

Letters of reference

If required by the Academic Board and indicated in the programme table attached to the call for applications, the candidate must send by email, as a pdf, one or more letters of reference using the template in Form 2 attached to the call for applications.

The letters of reference must be sent directly from the professors or experts who write them, to the email address of the course coordinator by the deadline of the call for applications.

Candidates can in any case ask for letters of reference to be sent to the course coordinator, even if this is not specifically required in the call for applications.  

The letters of reference are evaluated as part of the candidates’ CVs and are not scored.

For information, contact the Doctoral Programmes Office through the Servizio Infostudenti.


The online admission application cannot be modified or supplemented with further documentation once it has been confirmed.

Assessment of qualifications

The outcomes of qualification assessments and the dates for interview, when available, will be published in the Doctoral Programme information sheet under the section Enrolment.

The final ranking list for the competition is published on the University website and serves as notice to the candidates who do not receive any written communication thereof.  

Applicants admitted to the programmes lose their entitlement if they fail to enrol by the enrolment deadline, and their place is then given to the next applicant in the ranking list. This also applies if an admitted applicant withdraws within three months of the beginning of the programme.

Takeover applicants will be contacted personally by email by the Doctoral Students Administration Office (Ufficio Segreteria Dottorati) with instructions and deadlines for enrolment.

a. Candidates resident in Italy
  1. Access the PhD students enrolment service using the same credentials used for the admission application.
  2. Enter all the details required and upload the photocard and identity document  in one of the following formats: .jpg, .png, .bmp (maximum 2 MB).
  3. If the enrolment fee of 980 (including the accident insurance premium and stamp duty) is due, make payment using a credit card when you enrol online. Alternatively, you can pay using the MAV form issued at the end of the online enrolment procedure.

Payment of the fee (excluding 156 for regional tax and expenses reimbursement) is exempted for:  

  • PhD students who are beneficiaries of doctoral scholarships granted by the University of Milan
  • beneficiaries of scholarships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • beneficiaries of scholarships from the regional education incentive programme (Diritto allo Studio)
  • PhD students without a scholarship

The sum of 156 is deducted directly by the University from the scholarship payable to the beneficiaries of the 2019/2020 competition. All the others must make payment when they enrol online.

The payment of the fee for those students who benefit from scholarships made available by other universities or institutions (specified in the call for applications) is covered by the funding body.


b. Candidates with foreign qualifications

Candidates in possesion of a qualification obtained abroad must hand in to the International Students Office, by the enrolment date, a copy of:

  1. their university degree
  2. a translation of the degree into Italian by an official translator, certified according to current regulations
  3. the “dichiarazione di valore in loco” (Statement of Validity), which must be requested from the Italian diplomatic office in the country in which the degree was obtained
  4. Tax ID Code
  5. Permit to stay (only for non-EU citizens).

The documents listed in points 2 and 3 above may be replaced by:

  • the Diploma Supplement, issued by the University according to a standardized model developed on the initiative of the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES
  • another statement of validity issued by an ENIC_NARIC centre or diplomatic offices in Italy.

Verification of the validity of any qualifications obtained abroad is only done when the official documents are  handed in. Until that point, the candidates are admitted onto the programme conditionally, and may be excluded from the programme if they do not meet the necessary requirements. The University reserves the right to request the Statement of Validity whenever there are doubts as to the validity of the qualification.

c. Final year candidates

If you are in your final year and have been admitted to a doctoral research programme, you cannot enrol online as you have not obtained your bachelor’s degree yet.

To enrol you must:

  1. download and fill in the enrolment form on paper and send it to the Doctoral Programmes Office by 26 September 2019, via the Servizio Infostudenti 
  2. Notify the relevant office, through the Servizio Infostudenti, as soon as you obtain your degree.
d. Candidates residing abroad

If you are resident abroad, you can request a Tax ID Code from the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your country, or from the Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) in Italy. With an Italian Tax ID Code you can access the online enrolment services following the procedures and deadlines indicated.

If you do not manage to obtain the Tax ID Code in time, send an email to, attaching the page of your passport containing your personal details, and stating the doctoral programme you have been admitted to. You will receive a temporary code which will allow you to enrol.

Non-EU citizens who require a letter of admission to obtain a study visa can request one by sending an email to