PhD in Italy

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PhD in Italy

Have plans to pursue PhD in Italy? Here is a complete guide for you to go abroad. Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country in the world. Its architectural beauty attracts students from different parts of the world. In addition to the tourist places, it is a land of great cuisines, renaissance period, cultural heritage, fashion, and entertainment but only a few people are aware that it offers quality education.

Italy has also played a vital role in shaping European higher education. Through the Bologna process, Italy has been at the forefront of the education system and built a strong career in the country which makes it an ideal study-abroad destination. When you study in Italy you don’t have to worry about affordability because the cost of study and living in Italy are both available at a low cost. Let’s explore everything you need to know about PhD in Italy.

Nobel Laureates20
Oldest UniversityUniversity of Bologna (1088)
International Students106,611
Typical fees€900-4,000 (INR 77856- 346027)
PhD Length3-4 years
Academic YearOctober to September

Also Read: PhD Scholarships

Why Study PhD in Italy?

  1. Italy is home to several historical and prestigious higher education institutions, including the University of Bologna, the oldest continuously functioning university in the West. Diverse and multicultural in nature, these universities are strong participants in international research programmes and initiatives, like the EUA and IAU, as well as regional partnerships.
  2. Universities in Italy are not only popular for their undergraduate and MS courses but are also known for their comprehensive Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) courses.
  3. Italian influence has also undoubtedly shaped the profile of Western civilisation throughout the ages with contributions to the fields of art, architecture, and sciences, spawning some remarkable and world-famous individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michaelangelo, Columbus and more.
  4. Italian universities are highly reputable and maintain strong connections with other universities across Europe and the rest of the world. Their educational excellence, student mobility principles, and research networks have been attracting increasing numbers of PhD students in recent years.

Also Read: Scholarships in Italy

PhD Specializations

From fashion to education you can pursue PhD in Italy in the specialization you desire. Here are some of the popular PhD in Italy specializations:

Also Read: University of Milan

PhD in Italy Programmes

As mentioned before, Italy is the home to the Bologna Process, which organises different levels of study into a three-cycle system, with the third cycle being equivalent to the British PhD qualification. Some universities also offer collaborative doctorates with modules and programmes organised in partnership with foreign universities (an international doctorate) or industries (an industrial doctorate), although the institution issuing the qualification will be the institution of enrolment.

There are two types of PhDs available :

1- The Dottorato (PhD) – Awarded by universities
2- Diploma Accademico di Formazione Alla Ricerca (Research Academic Diploma)- Obtained at one of the High-Level Arts and Music Education Institutions

Also Read: Engineering in Italy


While studying PhD in Italy, each year will be divided into two semesters with a teaching period and an examination period,

SecondMarch-MayJune – July

The usual length of a PhD study is 3 to 4 years, varying on the basis of the institution and the course structure.

PhD Process

One’s PhD programme can vary from university to university, and from course to course. Normally, studying for a PhD in Italy, the process consists mainly of original research work, with some taught courses in the first year. You may also be expected or even invited to take part in tutoring and teaching sessions during your PhD, with these activities limited to 40 hours per week. In addition, you will be expected to have written a doctoral thesis in accordance with your department’s requirements

Also Read: MBA in Italy

Cost of Study PhD in Italy

The cost of pursuing a doctorate in Italy is low in comparison to other European countries and overall possesses no difference between students of different nationalities in terms of fees. The tuition fee in state universities can range from 900 – 4,000 Euros (77,718 – 3,45,414 INR), although annual enrolment in some institutions can be as low as 150 Euros(12,963.74 INR). In the case of private universities, the average fee can range from 6000 to 20,000 Euros (5,18,549-17,28,498 INR).

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  1. Hold a second-cycle qualification (Laurea Magistrale) or equivalent
  2. Obtain academic recognition of their diploma. It’s recommended to contact your university of choice before you apply and ask them for a prior assessment of your eligibility.
  3. For students who aren’t residents of Italy, the application and documents must be submitted to the Italian diplomatic representative in their country of residence (i.e. the Embassy of Italy in New Delhi)

Language Requirements

With descent into a new land comes contact with a new language. While pursuing a PhD in Italy, you will come across a number of programmes in two languages- Italian and English. Top universities in the country offer over 500+ English programmes at every entry level. If you choose to study in Italian, you need to score a good percentage in recognised tests, which are CILS AND CELI. You will be required to take the IELTS examination to prove your proficiency in English

Top Universities for PhD in Italy

UniversitiesWorld University Ranking 2023
University of Bologna 161
Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa201-250
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa183
Sapienza University of Rome201-250
University of Padua201-250
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University201-250
University of Trento401-500
University of Milan301-350
University of Milan – Bicocca301-350

Also Read: MBBS in Italy

Application Process for PhD in Italy

In order to be accepted on a PhD course, you will need to pass a competitive application process, which is available to both resident and international students who have obtained their qualifications outside of Italy. This process is usually online

Each institution establishes the parameters of the course they offer, including the eligibility criteria, regulations, assessment, research goals and fees. This information will be included along with the advertised project or competition call.

  • Academic documentation like certificates (which you need to have acquired recognition for), academic transcript and CV
  • Academic References– Reference letters are usually required from one or two academics who have worked with you
  • Letter of Motivation / personal Statement– This document will need to outline your motivation for applying.
  • Research Proposal – You may be required to submit a research proposal even if you are applying for a particular project
  • Language certificate
  • As part of your application, you may also need to submit a relevant portfolio and list of publications (if any)


Scholarships are awarded to students by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation. Indian students can avail themselves of government scholarships at national and regional levels.

  1. Italian Government Scholarships for Foreign Students – Scholarships are offered to Italian and international students pursuing a Master’s Degree, Higher Education in Arts, Music, and Dance, Research, PhD. , and Language and Italian cultural courses. It amounts to 900 Euros per month for the duration of the study
  2. EDISU Piemonte Scholarships – Meritorious students pursuing Bachelor’s degree, Masters, Ph.D., at one of the Universities of Piedmont.
  3. Università Cattolica International Scholarships – A 30 per cent deduction is awarded by the UCSC to international students
  4. Scuola Normale Superiore PhD Scholarships – PhD scholarships issued to 78 international students.
  5. Scholarships from universities – Many institutions award scholarships based on academic merit, with sums ranging from 12,000 to 20,000 Euros per year.

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Career Scope

Student graduates from the Universities of Italy enjoy favourable employment both in Europe and around the globe. 16 Italian Universities are ranked in the top 300 of the QS Ranking for Employability. They are credited to the active participation of the state in maintaining the quality of education. Graduates from the field of Medicine have the highest employability, followed by Engineering – the IT industry has the highest number of jobs.

Economics, biology, pharmaceutical chemistry, are other sciences that appear attractive in the Italian employment market. International Students can apply for a temporary stay permit(valid for a span of 6 to 12 months) following the completion of their PhD.

They can utilise this time period to find a job in their field of qualification with a company.

Once a job offer has been secured, one can apply for an EU Blue Card. You can apply for it, if your annual salary is of sufficient amount. This will allow you to live and work in Italy on a longer-term basis. There’s no doubt that Italy is a remarkable country, be it in terms of being a tourist attraction i.e. UNESCO world heritage sites, or in terms of the education sector. The country that gave birth to the well-known Roman Empire still is very influential in the various walks of life. 

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How much does PhD cost in Italy?

The cost of PhD in Italy is €1,630 per year. Private universities, charge €6,000 to around €20,000 per year fees for PhD courses. If you are an EU or EEA student, are charged the same fee.

Is Italy good for PhD?

Universities and colleges offer best PhD courses in various specializations. Besides that, the universities of Italy have close links with other European universities.

Do PhD students get paid in Italy?

An international student can easily earn an average salary of €2,800 per month in Italy. The salary may range between €1,100 – €8,400 per month as Italy offers many part-time job opportunities for students.

Pursuing a PhD in Italy will not only be a thrilling and enriching experience but will also pave the way for wonderful opportunities.  Are you ready to pursue your PhD in Italy? Contact our Leverage Edu experts today and book your FREE 30-minute counselling session.

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    1. Hi please get in touch with our experts at 1800 57 2000 they will surely help you

    1. Hi please get in touch with our experts at 1800 57 2000 they will surely help you