PhD in Italy – Fees and Funding Guide 2023
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PhD in Italy – Fees and Funding Guide 2023

Written by Taru Medha

PhD fees in Italy are relatively low compared to other countries, making it a highly sought-after study abroad destination for many international students. This has been made possible because of the well-reputed publicly funded university system. Even though most institutions have their own fee structure, there is a legal minimum fee for enrolment and a maximum level for student contributions which cannot exceed 20% of state funding.

Your PhD fee can change drastically depending on the kind of university and programme you opt for. You can check out the list of PhD programmes in Italy on our website.

PhD fees in Italy

The cost of studying a PhD is significantly lower at a publicly funded university in Italy. Regular fees can vary from €900 to €4,000 depending on where you are from, your family income and the course you are applying to. The average tuition fee is €1,630 per year for a PhD at a publicly funded university in Italy.

At a private university, fees for PhD courses can be as high as €6,000 to around €20,000 per year.

If you are an EU or EEA student, you will most likely be charged the same fee. However, fee structures for an international student (non-EU/EEA) might be different and it is a good idea to check with your university.

These figures do not include the cost of accommodation and living. You can have a look at our living in Italy guide to find out more about the cost of living as a PhD student in Italy.

Even though public universities in Italy do not charge a very high fee for education, there are a lot of ways you can find funding to help cover the cost of your PhD in Italy.

This page gives a detailed guide of the different kinds of funding opportunities and scholarships available if you think a PhD in Italy is the perfect match for you.

PhD scholarships for international students in Italy

You can find funding from a few different sources as a PhD student in Italy. These include fee waivers, scholarships and bursaries provided by the Italian government and universities. Most of these funding options are open to both national and international students.

Scholarships from universities

Many higher education institutions in Italy award scholarships based on academic merit, with sums ranging from €12,000 to 20,000 per year.

  • UCSC International Scholarship is an annual tuition fee reduction offered by the Università Cattolica. This will not make studying in Italy free but will provide a 37% reduction of the total cost of the programme. You must maintain full-time enrolment status and finish your degree on time. If you are unable to graduate on the expected date, you will have to cover all additional costs yourself.
  • Scuola Normale Superiore PhD scholarships are awarded to 75 students by the Scuola Normale Superiore for a duration of four years. The scholarship covers tuition fees, accommodation and additional funding for research activity.

You can also use our course finder to find your ideal Italian PhD programme and enquire about funding options at other institutes using the contact details provided.

Italian government scholarships for foreign students

Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) provides grants for both international students and Italian citizens living abroad. These scholarships are provided for both Masters and PhD levels.

Grants for both PhD programmes and research under academic supervision (Progetti in co-tutela) are awarded for a period of either six or nine months.

Applicants must be 30 years old or younger when they apply. For a PhD grant you do not need to demonstrate proficiency in either English or Italian. You can view the full eligibility criteria on the Study in Italy website.

Applications for MAECI grants are made through the Study in Italy website. You’ll be required to submit a motivation statement explaining why you want to study your chosen programme and how it fits with your future goals. You’ll usually need to apply by June of the year your PhD starts.

EDISU Piemonte scholarships

The EDISU Piemonte provides scholarships for students enrolled at a university in the Piedmont region. These include Piedmontese universities and institutes of advance artistic, musical and choreutic education. These scholarships are provided on the basis of both merit and economic requirements. .

There are also companies and organisations who advertise partial or full funding for certain PhD projects so it’s worth researching what’s on offer.

More about a PhD in Italy

You can also look at our guides on Italian PhD courses, applications and visas to prepare yourself with everything you need to know before you leave for your PhD in Italy.



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Last Updated: 05 May 2023