Studying in Italy: FAQ
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Studying in Italy: FAQ

Written by Sarah Hastings-Woodhouse

If you’re planning on studying your Masters or PhD in Italy, there’s a lot to consider. You’ll be wondering what university you should go to? Where you could live? How much is it all going to cost?

To help you get started we’ve put together a list of common questions about postgraduate study in Italy!

#1 How much does it cost to study a PhD in Italy?

The cost of studying in Italy can vary considerably depending on your chosen project and whether you study at a public or private university. Programme fees at public universities are generally between €900 to €4,000 per year, with an average of €1,630.

PhDs at private universities vary between €6,000 and €20,000 per year.

You can find out more about how to apply and the documents you’ll need in our guide to Italian student visas.

#3 What universities offer postgraduate courses in Italy?

There are several types of institutions offering Masters and PhD courses in Italy. These include state-funded and private universities (università), polytechnics (politecnici) and specialist schools focusing on arts and performance subjects.

Which is the ideal university in Italy for you will depend on your preferences and goals. All of them offer high-quality, accredited programmes in a range of disciplines!

If you’re looking to narrow down your search, international rankings are one place to start. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 universities in Italy, using three reputable world rankings for 2023. It’s important to remember that each ranking system uses a separate methodology, and that there are currently no postgraduate-specific rankings.

We have more information on how to make the most of rankings in our guide.

#5 What types of scholarships are available for international students in Italy?

International students in Italy may be able to receive funding from a variety of sources. Scholarships, grants, and fellowships may be available from universities, government institutions and private organisations.

Many universities offer fee reductions according to financial need. Whether you’re entitled to a reduction (and how large it will be) depends on your university. It’s always best to check with the university you’re interested in to see what’s on offer and what you might be eligible for.

The Italian government offers grants for international students that provide €900 per month towards living costs and tuition fees. You can apply for one through the Study In Italy website. Many regional authorities in Italy also offer financial support for university students.

#6 What are the academic requirements to apply for a PhD in Italy?

The academic requirements to apply for a PhD in Italy vary according to the particular programme and university. Generally, you will need a relevant Masters degree from an accredited university. If you got your Masters outside of Italy then you’ll need to check that it meets the requirements to be recognised as a valid degree in Italy.

Depending on your native language and the language you’ll be studying in, you may also have to take an Italian or English language test.

You can find out more in our Italian PhD application guide.

#7 Can you study in English in Italy?

Yes, many Italian universities offer a range of English-taught courses. These are available in most disciplines. You may also choose to study in Italian, in which case you will need to take an Italian language test such as the Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera (CILS) or Certificato di Conoscenza della Lingua Italiana (CELI).

#8 What is the average length of time to complete a PhD in Italy?

A PhD programme in Italy usually lasts a minimum of three years but may take up to four depending on the programme structure and institution.

#9 How much does it cost to live in Italy as a student?

The cost of living in Italy can vary widely depending on your lifestyle and location, but some basic estimates put the average monthly cost somewhere between €600 and €800.

This usually covers costs such as food, transportation, and accommodation. Other costs, such as textbooks and extra-curricular activities, will need to be taken into account.

#10 Where will I live as an international student in Italy?

There are a number of accommodation options for international students in Italy. These include university-own accommodation, which generally costs between €300-600 per month, and private flats, which cost an average of €600 per month.

#11 Can you work while studying in Italy?

Both EU and non-EU students can work while studying, but only for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Hours spent on an internship will not count towards this quota.

Common jobs include working in a service industry – in a restaurant or coffee shop for example – or at your university as an administrative or research assistant. It should be noted that many service industry jobs will require a basic level of Italian.

#12 Can I work in Italy after my studies?

EU and EEA nationals have the same access to the job market as Italian nationals, and can work in Italy after graduating without a separate work permit.

Other international students will need to convert their study permit to a work permit. This can be either a full work permit (Permesso di Lavorol) if you have a job offer, or a 6-12 month extension of your current residence permit (Permesso di Soggiorno) if you’re still looking for work.

Have a question we’ve not answered here? We have plenty more information on studying in Italy, covering course types, accommodation, funding, student life and more.

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Last Updated: 26 May 2023

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