University of Ferrara
  • No. Students: 16183
  • No. Staff: 600
  • Study mode: 78 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: English, Italian
  • Phone:
  • +390532293176
  • Fax:
  • +390532293203

Photos of university /

The University of Ferrara (Italian: Università degli Studi di Ferrara) is the main university of the city of Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. In the years prior to the First World War the University of Ferrara, with more than 500 students, was the best attended of the free universities in Italy. It is organized into 12 Departments. The University of Ferrara offers a unique historical environment. Magnificent reminiscences of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance live on in palaces, houses, churches, museums, squares, courtyards and alleys. Far from being shrouded in the past, Ferrara is a cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly sustainable town where young people can experience a high quality of life, take advantage of well-maintained infrastructures, and pleasantly blend in. Fostering innovative views of the future supported by deeply rooted cultural traditions is a primary goal of the University of Ferrara, which offers a broad range of BA and MA degrees and PhDs in the sciences and the humanities. The whole town is a lively campus thriving on the interaction between national and international students.

The University of Ferrara continues to move forward by promoting internationalisation. Fostering an international scientific and academic community involves a multiple perspective: the pursuit of the highest teaching and research standards strengthened by a focus on specific areas of excellence and thriving on the presence of a strong historical and cultural identity. Ferrara features a latticework of streets, squares and buildings that mingle with teaching and research facilities located in the centre as well as immediately outside the Renaissance walls. Owing to its unique urban configuration, the town presents itself as an open campus closely interacting with the community at large. 

The University of Ferrara looks ahead and the future can only lead to internationalisation. Being part of an International scientific and academic community does not mean uniformity and loss of identity but, on the contrary, sharing the high standards of teaching and research of the world’s best universities while maintaining one’s own individuality and excellence. Opening up entails communication with the rest of the world, finding common ground and creating breeding grounds for innovation, technological development and cultural and scientific growth without losing sight of one’s own roots.  The presence of teaching and research facilities throughout the city makes Ferrara a huge open campus which is safe and welcoming – the ideal place to study or stay. Ferrara campus is not just a university within a city, but rather a city where everything revolves around the University -  it is an integral part not only of urban fabric but also of its activities and characteristics.  Promoting and strengthening the image of the University of Ferrara abroad therefore entails promoting and stengthening the image of the area and the city, which is a Unesco World Heritage site.

  • Department of Physics and Earth Sciences

  • Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology

  • Department of Biomedical and Surgical Sciences

  • Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Engineering Department

  • Department of Humanities

  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

  • Department of Medical Sciences

  • Department of Economics and Management

  • Department of Morphology, Surgery and Experimental Medicine

  • Department of Architecture

  • Department of Law

The University of Ferrara was founded in 1391 by the Marquise Alberto V of Este with the permission of Pope Boniface IX.  The first courses to be inaugurated were Arts, Theology and Law and were taught by famous teachers such as Bartolomeo Saliceto, an expert among jurists.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, Ferrara became one of the most thriving centers of Italian Renaissance culture and the University enjoyed a period of great prestige, thanks  also to the presence of illustrious intellectuals such as Nicholas Copernicus and Paracelsus.  After its assimilation into the Papal State in 1598, the University was transformed from a prestigious Estensi City University to a University in the outskirts.  In the Napoleonic Age, with the plan for national universities, the University lost its power to grant degree titles and normal academic activity did not resume until 1816.  After the unification of Italy, the University of Ferrara became a free university.  In the years preceding the First World War, with over 500 students, the University was the most highly attended free university in Italy. The identity of the University is therefore rooted in a historical and cultural tradition which sets it apart from others. 

The University of Ferrara, one of Italy’s oldest universities, has welcomed and educated illustrious personalities from the worlds of culture, the Arts and Science, such as Nicholas Copernicus and Paracelsus.

Since its foundation it has welcomed and educated illustrious personalities from the worlds of Culture, the Arts and the Sciences.  In terms of its size, facilities and the quality and quantity of education and research, the university is a point of excellence within Italy.  This is also demonstrated  by its excellent position in international rankings.

Admission Requirements

Non-EU citizens living abroad, that wish to study at the University of Ferrara, must first complete an online registration procedure.

Once completed the procedure, the Incoming Students Office will contact the applicant by mail asking for further information on the chosen degree course. This information will allow the University to assess if the applicant fulfills the admission requirements for the selected degree course. If the evaluation will be positive, a provisional letter of admission will be submitted to the applicant in order to start the enrolment process through the Italian Embassy/Consulate.

Documents for admission: 

  • ID card/Passport
  • Hight school diploma qualification trasnalsted and legalised 
  • Bachelor or Master degree qualification translated and legalised 
  • Declaration of value issued by the Italian Embassy

Pre-university school years

The student willing to enroll to an Italian Degree course must have completed at least 12 years of pre-university school attendace in his/her home country (including primary, middle and high school). The indication of the overall school attendance must necessarily be stated in the "Declaration of Value" issued by the Italian Diplomatic Authority located in the country where the student studied.

Students who just attended 10 or 11 pre-university school years have to:

  1. certify they somehow attended the remaining one/two education years at a foreign University in order to meet the requirement of 12 school-year attendance. This period will not be considered to reduce the duration of the student's degree course in Italy, whereas it will simply make the student meet the requirement of 12 school-year attendance, as stated by Italian Government. Once proved the student actually attended 12 years of overall education, he/she has what it takes to enroll in the 1st year (1st level degree only);
  2. get an Italian High School Diploma.

Those students who obtained a Diploma after 10 years of attendance and also obtained a Bachelor's Degree in their home country will be considered as follows:

  1. the University of Ferrara considers 2 out of the years of University attendance to meet the requirement of 12 compulsory school-year attendance;
  2. moreover, the University of Ferrara may decide to partially or totally recognize the remaining University year to reduce the student's study plan.

Registration to admission tests

Students applying for a limited access degree course have to go through an additional online procedure:

  • For Medicine and Architecture: registration throught the platform UNIVERSITALY
  • For all the other limited access courses: registration through the UNIFE portal (non-eu citizens will be direclty registered by the International Mobility Office).

Enroll to a Bachelor's degree/uni-levelled Master's degree

When getting to Italy, the student must have the right documents for enrolment. The documents must be handed straight to the International Mobility Office for a check just after the student arrives in Italy. The documents for enrolment are:

  1. High School Diploma (ORIGINAL HARD COPY) obtained abroad (after at least 12 years of school attendance) translated into Italian language and duly legalised (Legalizzazione dei documenti and Perfezionamento documenti)
  2. Declaration of Value issued by the Italian Diplomatic Authority (Dichiarazione di valore in loco). Student should first check the opportunities for students with less than 12 years of education attendance;
  3. (only for countries where students are supposed to pass a national selection after high school) Certificate proving the student passed the national exam of academic suitabilty, only in case this exam is compulsory in the country where the student attended High School. (i.e. Gaokao in PRC, Vestibular in Brasil, Veveossi Prosvassis in Greece, prueba de selectividad in Spain, prova de Aferiçao in Portugal and so on..).

For non-EU students we also require:

  1. Pre-registration A form;
  2. Passport-sized photo certified by the competent Italian Embassy.

If the student would like to get a partial recognition of his/her previous academic degree, must also provide the Academic transcript (credits, grades) and the related syllabus, or, the Diploma awarded by an Italian institution.

Any certificate issued in a foreign language must be along with an official translation into Italian. The official translation is either processed in the student’s home country or in Italy. The Italian institutions allowed to it are the local Courts or the legally recognised translators. As well as being duly translated, any certificate must be legally recognised by the Italian Diplomatic Authority located in the country where the students got his/her Diploma. Exceptions to this requirement will be made in case of other specific agreements.

University of Ferrara is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the large town of Ferrara , Emilia-Romagna. Officially accredited and/or recognized by the Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca, Italia (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, Italy), Università degli Studi di Ferrara (UNIFE) is a large coeducational higher education institution. Università degli Studi di Ferrara (UNIFE) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees in several areas of study. See the uniRank degree levels and areas of study matrix below for further details. International students are welcome to apply for enrollment.

The formal system for accreditation of State University programs in Italy began in 1933. This law accredits a set of Universities, faculties, and courses. It involves two separate but correlated programs that were instituted at the same time: First, each University went through a four-step process to adopt and approve its own Regolamenti Didattici di Ateneo (RDA). The RDA establishes the rules for the organisation of teaching at the university, including establishing the requirements and objectives of each degree program, the curricula, credits awarded and requirements and objectives of examinations.

The RDA's were developed in consultation with representatives of the individual university, the regional coordinating committee (CRC), employers and the National University Council and are ultimately approved by the Ministry of Education (MIUR). Second, a series of formal, objective standards was adopted as minimum requirements for approval of any programs.


Unife has selected some agencies which will help you to find accommodation in Ferrara. You can contact them to find out about availability, prices and all the information you need. If you are happy with the accommodation, you can sign the lease agreement directly with the agency

Sottotetto service

This service, which was designed to help international students find accommodation even before arriving in Ferrara, is offered by the Ferrara Informagiovani database. This way, students will benefit from a huge variety of accommodation options offered by both agencies and private suppliers

Disability service

The service is intended for disabled students in order to help them during their study and to give them the technical and educational aid necessary for passing their exams.

Psychological counselling

The service is intended for students who need to tackle psychological problems which can affect their study and performance, through a course of psychological counselling

Study method

This is a service for students who wish to be assisted in finding a study method suited to their needs.

Informagiovani Ferrara

A useful place for up-to-date information not only about Ferrara and the culture and entertainment. Offered but also about accommodation, bike rental, discounts for students and a lot of other interesting ideas.

University Language Centre

The language centre organises and coordinates courses for Italian as a second language (L2). The Centre offers: Intensive and longer courses for foreign students learning Italian; Academic and professional English Language Courses; Learning materials for self-learning with multimedia support for Italian L2, English, French, Spanish and German with self-access to the laboratory. The ”Tandem Project” is a loosely-based learning pathway in which different native speakers meet in pairs to practice and improve their language skills

Performing arts

The centre of performing arts at Ferrara University, the CTU (Centro Teatro Universitario) is a university service centre that organises workshops and laboratories for theatrical research. The centre is open to everyone who wants to gain a practical knowledge of theatrical languages. The CTU is not a drama school, but a pedagogical and educational experience through a woekshop. The centre offers opportunities for experimentation that are not product-driven but aimed at developing self-expression and creativity through theatrical practices.

University Sports Centre

The aim of the University of Ferrara sports centre is to promote and increase participation in sports. It houses three multi-purpose sports halls (basketball, volleyball, five-a-side football), two fitness sports halls, a gym hall, a cardio fitness hall (with cardiovascular and body conditioning machines), a spinning/walking hall, a rowing hall and a host of sportspecific facilities, such as football pitches, two rugby pitches, four tennis courts, a beach volleyball/beach tennis field, a golf club and a climbing wall. The facilities are open to University members and to the general public


The University of Ferrara also offers students the opportunity to take part in its historical Choir, which consists of about forty choristers, mainly students, alumni and staff of the University of Ferrara. Since its formation the choir has performed annually as part of the University’s Academic Year Opening Celebrations of the University with an exclusively Renaissance repertoire, enriched by some pieces of sacred music and the famous "Gaudeamus igitur", the eternal symbol of university life. In recent years the choir has been invited to take part in festivals and concerts in different regions of Italy.

University Library Centre

The Ferrara Library Centre works in association with the Institute for Artistic, Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Emilia Romagna Region, the University and the Municipality of Ferrara. It is made up of 64 libraries, including the specialist university libraries, who share the same online catalogue, including bibliographic news, ancient books and multimedia material. Some university libraries contain very rare catalogues and digitalised manuscripts, hence integrating the education and research opportunities. All the libraries are open all week with full opening times.

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Study programs at University of Ferrara :