(Corso di Laurea Triennale)
1st cycle degree
One-cycle Master Degree
(Laurea Magistrale a ciclo unico)
2nd cycle degree
(Corso di laurea Magistrale)
2nd cycle degree
(Scuola di Specializzazione)
1st level Specialization
Short vocational Master's Degree
(Master di I livello)
1st (level) University Master's degree
(Dottorato di ricerca)
Specialization School II
(Scuola di Specializzazione II livello)
2nd level Specialization degree
Advanced Master's Degree
(Master di II livello)
2nd level University Master's degree
In compliance with the 270/2004 reform, Italian university studies are organized in 3 cycles.
I. First cycle.
Undergraduate studies consist in the Laurea Triennale - CL (1st cycle degree courses) aimed at providing undergraduate students with an adequate command of general scientific principles and mastery of methods as well as specific professional skills. The general access requirement is the Italian school leaving qualification (Diploma di Superamento dell'Esame di Stato conclusivo dei corsi di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore), awarded on passing the relevant state examinations, after completion of 13 years of schooling; comparable foreign qualifications may also be accepted. Admission to individual degree courses may be subject to specific course requirements. First cycle degree courses last 3 years. The Corso di Laurea Triennale-CL (1st cycle degree) is awarded to undergraduates who have earned 180 credits.
II. Second cycle.
Graduate studies include:
A) Corsi di Laurea Magistrale - CLM (Master’s Degree);
B) Corsi di Specializzazione di 1° livello-CS1 (1st level specialization);
C) Corsi di Master Universitario di 1° livello-CMU1 (1st level vocational University Master’s Degree).
A) CLM are aimed at providing graduates with an advanced level of education and training for highly qualified professions in specific areas. Access to CLM requires an Italian 1st cycle degree (L) or a comparable foreign qualification; the course lasts 2 years. The degree, Laurea Magistrale - CLM (2nd cycle degree), is awarded to graduates who have earned a total of 300 credits, including those awarded for the 1st cycle degree that have been recognized for access to the CLM (max. 180); an original dissertation is also compulsory. A limited number of CLM are regulated by specific EU directives (CLM in dentistry, human medicine, veterinary medicine) and share the following different features: access to the course requires the Italian school leaving qualification or a comparable foreign qualification; admission is always subject to entrance exams; the course lasts 5 years (human medicine takes 6 years).
B) CS1 provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for highly qualified professions; they may be set up exclusively on the basis of specific Italian laws or EU directives. Access requires a Laurea (1st cycle degree) or a comparable foreign qualification; admission is subject to a competitive examination; course length varies between 2 and 3 years. The final degree, called Diploma di Specializzazione di 1° livello-DS1 (1st level Specialization degree) is conferred to graduates who have earned a total of 300-360 credits, including those awarded for the 1st cycle degree that have been recognized for access to the CS 1.
C) CMU1 consist in advanced scientific courses or higher continuing education studies. Access requires a Laurea (L) or a comparable foreign qualification; admission may be subject to additional conditions. The course lasts minimum 1 year. The qualification Master Universitario di 1°livello-MU1 (1st level University Master’s Degree) is awarded to students who have earned at least 60 credits.
III. Third cycle.
Postgraduate studies consist in the following types of degree courses:
A) Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca-CDR(Research Doctorates );
B) Corsi di Specializzazione di 2° livello-CS2 (2nd level specialization courses);
C) Corsi di Master Universitario di 2° livello-CMU2 (2nd level University Master’s Degree courses).
A) CDR train postgraduates for very advanced scientific research or for professional appointments of the highest consequence; they envisage the use of suitable teaching methodologies such as updated technologies, study periods abroad, training periods in specialized research centres. Access is by an Italian 2nd degree (LS) or a comparable foreign qualification; admission is via highly competitive exams; the official course length is minimum 3 years. Doctoral students must prepare an original dissertation in order to be awarded the 3rd cycle degree called Dottorato di Ricerca-DR (Research Doctorate).
B) CS2 are aimed at providing postgraduate students with the knowledge and skills required for highly qualified professions; they may be set up exclusively on the basis of specific Italian laws or EU directives. Access requires an LS (2nd cycle degree) or a comparable foreign qualification; admission is subject to a competitive examination; course length is normally 1 year, except for all CS2 in the health sector which may take up to a maximum of 5 years.
C) CMU2 consist in advanced scientific courses or higher continuing education studies. Access requires an LS or a comparable foreign qualification; admission may be subject to additional conditions. Studies last minimum 1 year. The degree (Master Universitario di 2° livello-MU2) is awarded to postgraduates who have earned at least 60 credits.
Classes of Degree Courses: the contents of individual degree courses are defined autonomously by each university. Individual institutions, however, when setting up a CL or a CLM, have to adopt a few general requirements fixed at national level in relation to groups (classi*) of similar degree courses; such national requirements may not bind more than two thirds of each curriculum. * Degree courses sharing the same educational objectives and the same fundamental types of teaching and learning activities are organized in groups called "classi di appartenenza" (classes of degree courses).
University Educational Credits: degree courses are structured in credits (crediti formativi universitari). One university credit corresponds to 25 hours of work per student, including individual study time. The average annual workload of a full-time student is conventionally fixed at 60 credits.