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This college at a glance.

Students enrolled in this school.
Bachelor's programs offered entirely in English.
Master's programs offered entirely in English.

Why should I study here?

The University of Pavia is one of the world’s oldest academic institutions: it was founded in 1361 and until the 20th century it was the only university in the Milan area and the region of Lombardy. Pavia has been a city-campus since its foundation and even today it offers its 24,000 students an experience unique in Italy and rare in Europe: studying at 20 University colleges that are largely independent from the administrative structure of the University. The University of Pavia covers all subject areas and is composed of 18 departments offering study programmes at all levels, from Bachelor’s degrees to Doctorate programmes.Pavia is a small city in northern Italy with 70,000 inhabitants and over 24,000 students. Located only 30 km south of Milan, it is reached by regional and suburban trains every 10 minutes. Pavia is also within easy reach of the Swiss border, Como and the lakes, as well as Genoa and the Ligurian coast. Founded in Roman times, it was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards for over two centuries, and this fascinating legacy of narrow streets, ancient churches, and elegant buildings remains intact and alive day and night with students enjoying their favourite meeting points.Cultural life in Pavia is intense with 19 museums and collections (14 within the university), 2 cultural centres, 4 public libraries, 18 university libraries, 4 cinemas, theatres, 10 social-cultural meeting halls, a musical college and 2 civic schools of music and arts. Life in Pavia is both pleasant and affordable, particularly in comparison with the much higher housing and living costs in Milan and other urban centres in Lombardy. Pavia’s campus offers a unique university experience to students who can enjoy countless events, festivals, exhibitions, concerts, and sports activities at all levels. Pavia, like Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, has a unique college system in Italy, dating back to the 16th century. Each of Pavia’s 20 colleges, which in total host approximately 2.000 students, has its own particular history and opportunities to offer, including access to many study abroad programmes and sport activities. The Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS) offers extra courses to the best-performing students from our colleges. These advanced-level programmes for high achievers are organised by theme into four different academic areas: Human Sciences, Social Sciences, Science & Technology and Biomedical Sciences. Students who successfully complete their studies at IUSS obtain an additional Diploma, alongside their university degree. College life aims at creating an open community where academic achievements, traditional events, parties, and sporting rivalries all play a role. In college, students can also build their first professional network. Access to colleges is based on merit criteria and a parental-income-based fee system. Today, Pavia can count on four merit-based colleges; 12 public colleges, and four private colleges.Pavia, city of sportFor Pavia, the title ‘European City of Sport 2014’ serves as the deserved international recognition for our enduring excellence in sport. The University Sports Centre (CUS) promotes sport among students enrolled in the university by offering a wide range of courses and organizing championships and tournaments. CUS Pavia participates in national and international competitions such as the World University Games. Specifically, sport in Pavia means:

• Olympic and World Championship-level rowing

• Pavia-Oxford-Cambridge-Pisa rowing race

• University championships in the main team sports

• Intercollege tournaments

• Sports programmes specifically designed for disabled students

• Facilities designed for all students’ physical wellbeing, integrated with university training.

Pavia, city of health, technology and researchThe University offers 17 international PhD programmes organised into 5 macro-areas: 

• Science and Technology

• Science Engineering 

• Life Sciences

• Humanities

• Social Sciences

The University of Pavia has indeed a tradition of top-level research and counts three Nobel Prize winners among its full professors (Camillo Golgi, Giulio Natta and Carlo Rubbia). Alessandro Volta, Albert Einstein, Gerolamo Cardano and Ugo Foscolo have also taught here. The University is an active promoter of research in collaboration with the world’s most prestigious academic institutions making Pavia a modern technological centre for advanced research on the reduction of seismic risk (EUCENTRE), cancer treatment (CNAO), nuclear energy (LENA). Seven research centres are based in Pavia and further 21 are located in different sites with in collaboration with other institutions.

In addition to 42 interdepartmental research centres that carry out ongoing and interdisciplinary basic and applied research. It also supports start-ups and spin-offs initiatives, with 25 generated only in the past year.Research activities have resulted in 7 international patents in 2013. The University has just started a new process of selecting flagship projects and it has recently launched Universitiamo: the first Italian crowdfunding university project platform. The University of Pavia also combines research and treatment in three leading university hospitals where around 12.000 professionals are employed. In 1987 the University established its Center for International Cooperation and Development (CICOPS). By offering scholarships and supporting joint studies and international research projects, CICOPS is working towards the creation of an ever-growing network of international contacts, that includes foreign universities, governments and international, non-governmental organisations. Since 1998, more than 200 scholarships have been awarded to academics from 55 different countries to carry out research in Pavia.

What are the admissions criteria?

Applications are accepted from March 23-July 7th. US students must have an IB or 3 AP score of 3+ to apply to schools in Italy. Admissions decisions are based solely on the results of admissions tests, which have questions related to general knowledge, logic, biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Exams are held annually in either September or April in global locations, including NY.

What is student life like?

The University has two main campuses: Humanities and Social sciences in the city center, and the science campus in the western part of Pavia, near the main hospital. Pavia is located in northern Italy with 70,000 permanent residents and over 26,000 students. It is located just 30 km south of Milan, connected by regional and suburban trains every 10 minutes. From Pavia, it is also easy to reach the Swiss border; the lakes of Como and Garda, among others; as well as Genoa and the Ligurian coast. Its fascination remains intact with the center’s maze of narrow streets, ancient churches, and elegant buildings, all bordered by the River Ticino. The University Sports Centre (CUS) promotes sport to students enrolled in the university by offering a wide range of courses and organizing championships. Sport in Pavia means Olympic and World Championship-level rowing The Pavia-Oxford-Cambridge-Pisa rowing race University championships in the main team sports Intercollegiate tournaments Sports programs specifically designed for disabled students Facilities designed for all students’ physical wellbeing, integrated into university training. A number of student associations organize both cultural and sports events and social activities open to all students. Learn more here

In particular, STEP Erasmus Student Network (ESN) Pavia is a volunteering association supporting international students arriving in Pavia. 

Scholarships & Funding

Housing options.

The university works with an agency in town that assists students in finding housing before their arrival. Doubles and singles are options in the various student residences and they range from150-400 euros per month depending on the size and amenities.

Dining information

Additional notes.

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