Best universities in Italy for International Students

Top Universities in Italy

Italy is not just one of the most picturesque countries in Europe but is also known for some top universities and quality education at affordable fees. Like Germany and France, Europe offers some of the best universities in Italy for international students. There are many public and private universities offering a robust education system in Italy while the cost of living and tuition fees is comparatively reasonable. 

Here are a few reasons for enrolling in the best universities in Italy:

  • It is a popular destination for foreign students.
  • The benefit of learning Italian as a second language.
  • The possibility of selecting an Italian degree in English.
  • Affordable destination.

These factors along with the best universities make Italy one of the preferred choices for international students. At several public universities in Italy, a student can easily find all the required courses, and the tuition costs are competitive with those at private universities. Tables below list some of the best universities in Italy for international students:

Top Universities in Italy

This table offers comprehensive information about the top colleges and universities in Italy.

Sr. No. Name of university Status Annual tuition fee range (EUR) QS World University Rankings 2023 Popular courses
1 University of Bologna Public 500 – 3,000   167 Archaeology, Agriculture and Forestry
2 University of Trento Public 1,000 – 6,000  457 Industrial Engineering, Technical PhD programs
3 University of Turin Public 475 History, Philosophy, Economics
4 University of Padua Public 2,530 – 3,000  243 Business Administration, Economics
5 Sapienza University of Rome Public 500 – 1,000  171 Architecture, Design, Management
6 University of Milan Public 200 – 3,840  169 Data Science, Economics, Computer Engineering
7 University of Naples Federico II Public 416 Biotechnology, Engineering
8 University of Pisa Public 400 – 2,400  404 Computer Engineering, Agriculture, Physics
9 University of Florence Public 160 – 2,650  460 Geoengineering, Arts and Humanities
10 University of Genoa Public 651 – 700  Arts and Humanities, Physics, Astronomy

Best Universities in Italy for Engineering

Sno. University Name Course Name QS Subject Ranking Tuition Fee Duration Session
1. Politecnico di Milano Master of Science in Management Engineering #13 €3.891,59 (total) 2 years 2022-2023
2. Politecnico di Torino MS in Engineering and Technology #33 €921-€2601 (total) 2 years Not disclosed
3. Sapienza University of Rome MS in Engineering #81 €2.924 (total) 2 years 2021-22

Source: QS World Ranking and official university websites

Best Universities for Medicines in Italy

Sno. University Name Course Name QS Subject Ranking Tuition Fee Duration Session
1. Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna Combined Bachelor and Master in

Medicine and Surgery

#89 €500-€1400 (total) 5-6 years 2022-2023
2. Sapienza University of Rome BSc in Nursing #104 €1000 (annual) 3 years 2021-22
3. Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Medicine and Surgery #100-150 €15,800 (total) 6 years 2021-22

Source: QS World Ranking and official university websites

Best Universities for Psychology in Italy

Sno. University Name Course Name QS Subject Ranking Tuition Fee Duration Session
1. Sapienza University of Rome Master Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychological Rehabilitation #70 €1000 (annual) 2 years 2021-22
2. Università di Padova First cycle degree in

Psychological science

#101-150 €2626


3 years 2022-23
3. University of Milano-Bicocca Applied Experimental Psychological Sciences #151-200 €2100 (total) 2 years 2022-23

Best Universities for Accounting and Finance in Italy

Sno. University Name Course Name QS Subject Ranking 2022 Tuition Fee Duration Session
1. Bocconi University Phd in Economics and Finance #15 €20,000 (total) 4 years 2022-23
2. Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna Financial Statements Analysis and Cost Accounting #88 €500-€1400 (total) 2 modules 2021-22
3. Luiss Business School Corporate FinanceMaster in Financial Management #101-150 €16,000 (total) 1 year 2022-23

Source: QS World Ranking and official university websites

Best Universities for Computer Science and Information in Italy

Sno. University Name Course Name QS Subject Ranking 2022 Tuition Fee Duration Session
1. Politecnico di Milano MS in computer science and engineering #49 €.3.891,59 (total) 2 years 2022-23
2. University of Pisa Masters in computer science #139 € 2,400.00 (annual) 2 years 2022-23
3. Politecnico di Torino MS in Computer Engineering #129 € 921-2601 2 years 2021-22

Study in Italy: Study in Italy | Cost of Living in Italy

Eligibility for international students

To acquire admissions in top-ranked universities in Italy, students must fulfill some established criteria.

Here are some of the standard parameters that require careful consideration:

  • High school diploma or bachelor’s degree holder
  • Entrance exams for specific universities
  • Established language proficiency in English or Italian
  • Documents like valid passport, academic transcripts
  • Proof of funding

The best universities in Italy follow a systematic process to evaluate an applicant on all these criteria. So, students need to ensure the availability of all the relevant details.


There are two intakes for the best universities in Italy for international students::

  • First Intake – September
  • Second Intake – February

How to Apply:

Following are the admission requirements and admission process to apply at some of the best universities in Italy:

  • Completion of senior secondary school (only Bachelors)
  • School leaving certificate (only  Bachelors)
  • TOEFL/IELTS English proficiency test results
  • Bachelor’s or equivalent degree (for masters)
  • Academic transcript of previous studies
  • University application form
  • A Letter of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Master’s or equivalent (for Ph.d.)

Cost of Attendance: 

Besides tuition fees and education costs, the overall expenses for international students vary per individual lifestyle and expenditure.  However, here is an approximate and quick estimate for attending some of the best universities in Italy.

The cost of attendance will primarily depend on the university and the location of the accommodations. In Italy, one can anticipate spending between €750 and 1,100 per month on food, groceries, and transportation, as well as €250 to 700 per month on housing costs (excluding monthly utility bills). Additionally, students must monitor their pre-arrival expenses, which include:

  • The TOEFL/IELTS exam costs around €186.
  • A visa fee of around €50 is required.
  • Application charges between €25 – €100 
  • One-way airfares start at €210.

Scholarships for Universities in Italy

The table below offers a chance to attain a scholarship for education in Italy. These are offered at some of the best universities in Italy for international students:

Sno. Scholarship details Duration Eligibility Award Size Program
1. Italian Government Scholarships for Foreign Students 6 to 9 months
  • Age limit – 28 years and 364 days for Masters, 30 years and 364 days for PhD and 40 years and 364 days for Research
Masters/PhD Degrees
2. University of Bologna Study Grants for International Students One Academic Year
  • Should not be a current student at the University of Bologna for First, Single or Second Cycle degree programs.
  • Not benefited with Unibo Action 2 study grant or from the Unibo Action 1 waiver.
  • Not over 30  years of age.
Unibo Action 2 grants up to €11.059.

Unibo Action 1 – full tuition waiver.

Bachelors/Masters Degree
3. Padua International Excellence Scholarship Programme 2 continuous years for Masters and 3 continuous years for Bachelors.  
  • Apply for one or more English taught degrees.
  • Pay the pre-enrolment fee of €30.
A subsistence allowance of €8,000 and a tuition fee waiver. Bachelors/Masters Degree
4. Bocconi Merit and International Awards Every year till course last Outstanding international applicants with academic profiles amongst the top. Merit award- full tuition fee waiver; €12,000 per year (bachelors), €14,000 per year (masters).

Bocconi award – 50% tuition reduction for both degrees.

Bachelor’s/Masters Degree
5. UniversitàCattolica International Scholarships Annual tuition fee International students €2.500 Masters

Visa process: 

The steps listed below must be followed by all foreign students applying for visas to study at the best universities in Italy:

  • The University acceptance letter
  • Type of Visa – Type C (Short-stay), Type D (Long-stay)
  • Fulfill the visa requirements
  • Look for visa application centers
  • IELTS/TOEFL exam
  • Collect all the necessary documents
  • Apply for a work permit

Post Study Work Permit (PSWP): 

Italy allows students to remain and work in the country after they have finished their education under the name “Permesso di Soggiorno,” often known as a residence permit. Depending on the course and university, it can be used for a period of six to twelve months. If a student is unable to find employment, they will be asked to return to their native country.

Italy has some of the world’s oldest colleges, in addition to being one of the most affordable nations to pursue education. As a result of the quality of education and highly rated amenities and facilities, it is slowly becoming a favorite destination for international students.

Top recruiters in the Italian education scene

After completing a course, it is vital to land a suitable job opportunity. Different companies are active in distinct Italian cities. Hence, the placements in Italy are quite subjective.

However, here is a list of top five organizations that hire individuals in different roles: 

  • Amazon Italia 
  • UBS
  • Siemens
  • Franke
  • Coesia

Students can also leverage the existing industrial connections of the top colleges in Italy for employment purposes.

Career prospects in Italy

This table includes five of Italy’s most trending career profiles, along with their approximate annual salary, as per Payscale.

Sr. No. Career prospect Average annual salary (EUR)
1 General Surgeon 50,900
2 Lawyer/Attorney 51,000
3 Marketing Director 93,000
4 Relationship Manager 75,000
5 Software Engineer 31,000

Overall, studying at the best universities in Italy can lead to such high-paying career prospects. However, the scope for other professions in this European nation is tremendous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Who is eligible to apply for a student visa?

Ans: EU/EEA students do not need a visa, but international students need to apply for a student visa to study at some of the best universities in Italy.

Q2: Does the application process involve any fee?

Ans: Although there is a minimum amount that universities charge for applications, there are several public universities in Italy and some private ones where there may be no fee.

Q3: Are there any grants available?

Ans: A lot of scholarships are available in Italy, provided you apply early. You can check the university-specific website or refer to the document mentioned above.

Q4: What courses am I eligible to apply for scholarships for?

Ans: There are several universities in Italy for Masters, Bachelors, and PhDs, and scholarships are available for all the programs as per the university’s discretion.

Q5. Is Italy affordable for foreign students?

Compared to other European countries, Italy is affordable for international students. The top universities in Italy also offer plenty of options for fee waivers.

In addition, scholarship opportunities reduce tuition fees considerably. So, it can be cost-efficient to pursue higher education in Italy.

Q6. Which fields of study are best in Italian universities?

Students can explore various courses in fields like Science, Arts, Design, Education, Humanities, and Hospitality. The top colleges in Italy also offer high-quality education in agriculture and engineering.

Q7. What are the benefits of studying in Italy?

Italy is a scenic destination that offers top-notch food, cultural, and recreational experiences. Hence, along with pursuing higher education, students can learn about the new culture and become fluent in Italian.

Q8. Can one study in top Italian colleges without learning the native language?

Some of the best universities in Italy offer academic programs with English as the medium of instruction. In this case, students have to provide proof of English language proficiency.

However, if a specific course is available in Italian, one must have a decent understanding of the native language.

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