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The University of Pavia (Italian: Università degli Studi di Pavia, UNIPV or Università di Pavia; Latin: Alma Ticinensis Universitas) is a university located in Pavia, Lombardy, Italy. There was evidence of teaching as early as 1361, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. It was the sole university in Milan and the greater Lombardy region until the end of the 19th century.
Currently, it has 18 departments and 9 faculties. It doesn't have a main campus, its buildings and facilities are scattered around the city, earning the city of Pavia its title "a city campus". The university caters to more than 20,000 students who come from Italy and all over the world. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate programs, over than 40 master programs and about 20 doctoral programs, including 8 English programs.About 1,500 students who enter the university every year are international students.
The university operates multiple cultural and scientific museums, including the University History Museum, a botanical garden, research centers, university libraries and a university press. The university is also affiliated with Policlinico San Matteo, where every year, hundreds of medical students from the university perform clinical rotations during their clinical years.
The University of Pavia is a member of the COIMBRA Group and European University Association. It also participates in the Erasmus Programme, which allows student exchanges between the University of Pavia and various universities in Europe.
Today, the University continues to offer a wide variety of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary teaching. Research is carried out in departments, institutes, clinics, centres and laboratories, in close association with public and private institutions, enterprises, and factories.
Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage
Department of Economics and Business Sciences
Department of Biology and Biotechnology "L Spallanzani"
Department of Political and Social Sciences
Department of Earth and Environment Sciences
Faculty of Engineering
Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
Department of Chemistry
Department of Humanities
Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine
Department of Mathematics
Department of Physics
Department of Nervous System and Behavior Sciences
Department of Law
An edict issued by the Frankish king of Italy, Lothar I (ruled 818-55) mentions the existence of a higher education institution at Pavia as early as AD 825.This institution, mainly devoted to ecclesiastical and civil law as well as to divinity studies, was then selected as the prime educational centre for northern Italy.
In 1361, the institution was officially established as a studium generale by the Holy Roman emperor Charles IV, who granted the same teaching privileges enjoyed by the University of Paris and Bologna, allowing the institution to teach canon and civil law, philosophy, medicine and liberal arts. It was then expanded and renovated by the duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, becoming the sole university in the Duchy of Milan until the end of the 19th century. Gian Galeazzo worked tirelessly to consolidate the institution and in 1389, he obtained a permission from Pope Boniface IX to teach advanced theology courses.
It was divided into two distinct universities — of jurisprudence (teaching civil and canon law courses) and of arts (teaching medicine, philosophy and liberal arts courses). A rector was elected every year, normally a student who was over twenty years old.The institution offered bachelor, licentiate and doctoral degrees. Despite the politics and hardships due to wars and pestilence, it experienced great growth and the institution was considered to be prestigious as evidenced by the influx of foreign students at the time.In 1412, Filippo Maria Visconti further consolidated the universities, invited prominent scholars to teach there and declared an edict giving serious penalties aimed at preventing students from going elsewhere to study.
Towards the 15th century, prominent teachers such as Baldo degli Ubaldi, Lorenzo Valla, Giasone del Maino taught students in the fields of law, philosophy and literary studies.
During the ongoing Italian War of 1521-6, the authorities in Pavia were forced to close the university in 1524.However, during the 16th century, after the university was re-opened, scholars and scientists such as Andrea Alciato and Gerolamo Cardano taught here. During the Spanish colonization, the research and educational activities of the university stagnated, but there were still prominent scholars such as Gerolamo Saccheri who was still involved with the university.
The rebirth of the university was, in part, due to the initiatives led by Maria Theresa and Joseph II of the House of Austria, in the second half of the 18th century. The initiatives included massive renovations to the teaching programs, research and structure rehabilitations, which were still retained by the university until now.
Throughout its history, the university had benefited from the presence of many distinguished teachers and scientists who wrote celebrated works and made important discoveries — chemist Luigi Valentino Brugnatelli, mathematician Girolamo Cardano (born in Pavia, 1501–76), physicist Alessandro Volta (chair of natural philosophy 1769-1804), poet Ugo Foscolo(chair of eloquence 1809-10), playwright Vincenzo Monti, jurist Gian Domenico Romagnosi, naturalist Lazzaro Spallanzani, mathematician Lorenzo Mascheroni and anatomist Antonio Scarpa.
In 1858, the University was the scene of intense student protests against Austrian rule in northern Italy (through the kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia). The authorities responded by ordering the university's temporary closure. The incidents at Pavia were typical of the wave of nationalist demonstrations all over Italy that immediately preceded the Unification(1859–66). During the 19th century, the medical, natural science and mathematics schools were graced by prominent scientists who propelled the status of the university to new heights. Three Nobel Prize winners taught in Pavia — physician Camillo Golgi (at Pavia from 1861), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1906 for his studies on the structure of the nervous system, chemist Giulio Natta (at Pavia between 1933 and 1935) and physicist Carlo Rubbia. In addition, distinguished mathematicians Eugenio Beltrami, Felice Casorati and Luigi Berzolari were regular teachers in Pavia. It was also in the University of Pavia, in 1912, Carlo Forlanini discovered the first successful cure for tuberculosis — artificial pneumothorax. In the 1960s, the Faculty of Economics and Commerce as well as Engineering were added to the current lineup of faculties.
During the 20th century, teaching and research activities were carried out by additional prominent scholars such as Pasquale Del Giudice and Arrigo Solmi for law history; Contardo Ferrini and Pietro Bonfante for Roman law; Luigi Cossa and Benvenuto Griziotti for economy, Giacinto Romano for medieval and modern history and Plinio Fraccaro for ancient history.
Also critical to the university's reputation was its distinguished record of public education, epitomized by the establishment of private and public colleges. The oldest colleges, the Collegio Borromeo and Collegio Ghislieri, were built in the 16th century, and in more recent times others were founded through both public and private initiatives — the Collegio Nuovo, the Collegio Santa Caterina and the other eleven colleges managed by EDiSU. In 1997 the IUSS, was established, a Higher Learning Institution (Italian: Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori) similar to the Scuola Normale Superiore and Istituto Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa. The IUSS is the federal body that links the colleges of Pavia which constitute the Pavia University System.
How to apply
If you are an international student and you want to enrol in a First, Second or Single Cycle Degree Programme at the University of Pavia, find out all the information needed to help you choose and register for a programme, completing the procedures in good time.
Enrolment procedure for non EU-citizens residing outside Italy
Pre-enroll at the italian embassy
The regulations concerning the enrolment of EU and international citizens in Italian universities are outlined in the MIUR. International students residing abroad have to contact the Italian embassy or consulate in their country and submit a pre-enrollment application to our university DIRECTLY to them, the deadline is July 24, 2019. Pre-enrollment is not necessary if you are already in Italy with a regular permit of stay. It takes time to prepare documents and get an appointment, so contact the Italian embassy well in advance. Find here the Italian embassy in your country and check in their webpage which documents they ask.
Italian language examination
International candidates, who wish to enrol in degree courses taught in Italian, must pass the Italian language examination. Only candidates that pass the Italian examination can enrol in Pavia University. The examination will be held on September 2. In order to take the test prospective Students are requested to display the proof of payment of the registration fee (amount due: € 60.00).
General culture examinations
If you have a compulsory test in your country to access the university, you will need to sit a test also in our free access courses. If you pass an access test, no culture test is required.
Students who are not in the rankings, or are not in a suitable position to be accepted, can submit a request, within specified dates and after the publication of remaining seats, about:
- Admission to another Unipv course (at the condition that the DOV states that the previous diploma is eligible for that academic course)
- Re-assignation, for the same academic course or for another, in another University. Interested students must contact the Institute in which they want to apply for details about their enrolment procedure.
Candidates who have done the admission test in a different University can ask the re-assignation in a Unipv course at the condition that the DOV states that the previous diploma is eligible for University enrolment. To submit the re-assignation request, interested students must send a Direct Line through this link, attaching the certification of Italian language proficiency (or a document that shows its exemption) and the permission from the chosen University. Requests must arrive within the dates chosen by the University. After the deadline, reassignation will be completed.
University of Pavia is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the urban setting of the large town of Pavia (population range of 50,000-249,999 inhabitants), Lombardia. This institution has also branch campuses in the following location(s): Cremona. 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 Pavia (UNIPV) is a large coeducational higher education institution. Università degli Studi di Pavia (UNIPV) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees in several areas of study. 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.
University of Pavia Facilities
- 2 campuses (Pavia and Cremona)
- 20 University colleges
- 35 libraries
- 1,250,000 books and journals
- 19 museums and collections
- 4 cinemas and theatres
- 12 cultural centres
- 1 music college
- 2 civic schools of music and arts
- Internationally recognized as European City of Sport 2014
- 2 multi-sport centres
- 4 public swimming pools
- 3 private sports clubs
- 26 school and 8 university gyms
- 20 playing fields
- 15 football pitches
- 5 boules areas
- 4 private equestrian centres
- 20 tennis courts
- 10 facilities offering golf, skating and five-a-side football
Town of Pavia
- Situated only 35 km from Milan
- Trains to Milan every 10 minutes
- Population of 70,000
- 23,500 students
- 1500 international students
- 2700 professors, lecturers, native language teachers and administrative staff
- 18 departments
- 77 courses taught in Italian
- 39 Bachelor’s degrees
- 38 Master’s courses
- 12 Master’s degree courses taught in English
- 19 Ph.D. courses
Graduate employment rate
- 82% graduates find employment within a year of graduation
- 93% find employment within three years of graduation
- 94% find employment within five years of graduation
- Master’s degrees in science, engineering, medicine and pharmacology have a 95% post-graduation employment rate
- Top 10 among all Italian Universities
- 301-400 World Overall Ranking
- Top 300 among EU Universities
- 581-590 World Overall Ranking
- Top 250 World Ranking by Subject: Medicine
- Top 200 World Ranking by Subject: Civil & Structural Engineering
- #35 World Ranking by Subject: Classic & Ancient History
- 101-125 Europe Teaching Ranking 2018
- 401-500 World Overall Ranking
- 400+ International partnerships
- 700+ Erasmus exchange agreements
- 3000 scholarships