University of Catania
  • No. Students: 40000
  • No. Staff: 1623
  • Study mode: 91 On campus
  • Languages of instruction: English, Italian
  • Phone:
  • +39800644590

Photos of university

The University of Catania (Italian: Università degli Studi di Catania) is a university located in Catania, Sicily. Founded in 1434, it is the oldest university in Sicily, the 13th oldest in Italy, and the 29th oldest university in the world.

Following the Italian higher education reform introduced by the law 240/10 and adopted by the University of Catania in its new Statute, faculties have been deactivated and departments have been reorganized. The University of Catania has now 17 departments, the Faculty of Medicine, and two special didactic units established in the decentralized offices of Ragusa (Modern Languages) and Syracuse (Architecture). That, additionally to the traditional assignments of scientific research, are in charge of the organization and management of educational activities. A special didactic unit is also the school of excellence "Scuola Superiore di Catania", a higher education centre of the University of Catania conceived in 1998 to select the best young minds and offer them a course of studies including analysis, research and experimentation.

A special didactic unit is also the school of excellence "Scuola Superiore di Catania", a higher education centre of the University of Catania conceived in 1998 to select the best young minds and offer them a course of studies including analysis, research and experimentation.

  • Department of Political and Social Sciences

  • Department of Economics and Enterprise

  • Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment

  • Department of Drug Sciences

  • Department of Humanities

  • School of Medicine and Surgery

  • Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering

  • Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences

  • Department of Chemical Sciences

  • Department of Industrial Engineering

  • Interdepartmental

  • Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture

  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

  • Department of Education Sciences

  • SDS of Foreign Languages and Literatures

  • Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy

The foundation of the University of Catania, the oldest in Sicily, dates back to 1434, when the king of Spain, Alfonso of Aragon (who was also King Alfonso I of Sicily) authorised the establishment of a Studium generale with the privilege of issuing legally valid academic titles - baccellierati, licenses and degrees - in the four core disciplines of theology, canon and civil law, physical (medical) and joint philosophy, liberal arts (literature), the papal recognition arriving ten years later from Pope Eugene IV.

Prior to this, the main centres of education were in Palermo, Messina and Trapani. However, none of them held the jus  doctorandi or the right to grant degrees which could only be given by the Pope. In 1444, the first four faculties of Medicine, Philosophy, Canonic and Civil Law and Theology and Arts were established. Students began to attend classes in 1445, however it was not until two centuries later that the university gained its own establishment in Piazza Università. It still stands in the Piazza today, in the former grounds of the hospital of St. Mark’s. The former building was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1693 and students were left without a place to continue their study. In the interim period before it was rebuilt, the resourceful students, unperturbed by such events and endowed with infinite determination, transferred classes to wooden huts near the harbour. The new building, designed by Giovan Battista Vaccarini, is a magnificent  monument of Baroque architecture.

The University of Catania was not only structurally powerful. It also held the exclusive right by Royal Decree to grant degrees within the Reign of Sicily. Although the hierarchical power of the university was  in the hands of the Church, the Rector, an elected student in his last year of studies, had the power to put students on trial.

25 Chimes of the Cathedral bell marked the beginning of the academic year. Throughout the year, a porter marked daily any professor absence. The figures were then taken to a notary who subtracted a day’s wages from their pay. At the end of his studies, a student was awarded his degree in the Cathedral as well as a gold ring and a blessing from the Archbishop. Although this ceremony and many other traditions have fallen into disuse, the academic structure of the university is still as strong today as it was in the first half of the 15th century when it started out with just ten students.

Today the university buildings are spread throughout the city, with a contrast between the modern, hi-tech “University City”, and numerous historical buildings in the old city centre. It offers an attractive portfolio of academic titles and is committed in the creation of a “laboratory” where the ancient Mediterranean culture meets the new technologies, in order to offer advanced training experience. Students wishing to take an undergraduate degree will find our university to be a high quality educational institution. Excellent departments and support services are offered throughout all of our university sites in Catania, Syracuse and Ragusa. Here, students may also discover a culturally dynamic environment suitable for growing as students and individuals as well.

Admission Requirements for non-EU students 

You belong to this category if you are a non-EU citizen and are resident outside Italy when you submit your application for pre-enrolment to the university. The number of places available to these students is restricted and the quota for each course is fixed annually.
The application process is as follows:

  • If you want you can have a preliminary assessment of your educational background in order to obtain an eligibility letter for enrolment.

  • Pre-enrolment on your chosen university course: the pre-enrolment application form for your chosen program must be submitted to the Italian diplomatic representative in the country where the qualification was awarded, before the deadline set by the same diplomatic representative;

  • Enrolment on the university course. Enrolment can only be considered complete after the student has passed any mandatory university entrance tests or exams.

These are the step to follow if you want to enrol in a Bachelor degree course at the University of Catania:

  1.  Check the list of available seats for the academic year to see whether there are available places in the course you are interested in. The pre-enrolment can be carried out for one course only among those indicated. The list is usually available from March.
  2. Contact an ENIC/NARIC evaluation center in order to obtain a “Statement of comparability” of your Secondary School leaving qualification. The procedure is online, you can do it through our reserved page on Cimea web site.
  3. If you prefer you can eventually contact the Italian Embassy in the country where the qualification was awarded in order to obtain the “Dichiarazione di valore in loco” DOV (for the high school diploma).
  4. If you need a pre admission letter for the Italian Embassy fill in our online form (from the beginning of March till 30th June) for the evaluation of application by entering your personal and academic data and upload the required documentation (Copy of the passaport, Statement of comparability and language Certificates are compulsory).
  5. Once you have entered your data and uploaded the documents submit the online application form for administrative review. You will receive an e-mail (normally within 30 days and not later than 2 months) informing you of whether or not you can proceed to pre-enrolment at the embassy. The request of the elegibility letter it is not compulsory to enter a Bachelor degree!
  6. Apply for pre-enrolment through the Italian Embassy/Consolate in your country and ask for a visa type D "Application to Italian Universities" filling Form A.
  7. Ask the embassy the release of the Italian Fiscal code (don’t worry if they cannot issue it, you’ll be able to ask for it also once you arrive in Italy but it’s better to have it in advance)
  8. Find out if your pre-application request has been accepted: contact the Embassy or Consulate where it was originally submitted to have all the information about the Italian language test and admission test, collect your Study Visa and documents.
  9. Contact the Foreign Students Office to check the procedure to register for entry test.
  10. When you arrive in Italy: Introduce yourself to the Foreign Students Office – Catania, P.zza Bellini 19 2nd floor - (bring with you your passport and study documents) and pay the fee of 40€ to take entry test if due (the office will issue you the fee you’ll have to pay)
  11. Take the Italian language test unless you have a certificate indicating that your Italian level is not lower than B2, in this case you are exempted from the test;
  12. Take admission test.
  13. Pay the enrolment fee. 
  14. Lessons will start after the 10th of October.

Remember: The University does not offer housing service, so please find a place where to sleep before you arrive in Catania.

University of Cataniais a non-profit public higher education institution located in the urban setting of the small city of Catania, Sicilia. 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 Catania (UNICT) is a very large  coeducational higher education institution. Università degli Studi di Catania (UNICT) offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees in several areas of study. This 586 years old higher-education institution has a selective admission policy based on entrance examinations. The admission rate range is 20-30% making this Italian higher education organization a very selective institution. International applicants are eligible 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.

Accommodation and Meals 

The University of Catania offers to the Erasmus students the possibility to book a room in university residences and also through safe housing platforms or students associations housing support programs. Moreover, the incoming students have the possibility to use the university catering services. 

Pubblic free transport

​The University of Catania offers free pubblic transport opportunity within Catania urban area (metro and bus) to all Erasmus incoming students. The service and modalities of use will be presented during the Welcome Days.

Non-EU Students Support Service (Cultural Mediator)

​The Cultural Mediation Service of the University of Catania offers to Non-EU students support for the completion of the necessary bureaucratic practices before and during their stay in Catania. ​Moreover, cultural mediation is an useful and necessary function to facilitate the integration process of foreign students. It is to be considered as a "bridge" between local institutions and students, thus fostering reciprocal knowledge of cultures, values, traditions, laws and social systems, in a perspective of interchange and mutual enrichment. 

Prevention and Risk Protection

According to Italian national regulations, the University of Catania provide information and/or training sessions on prevention and risk protection to all the Erasmus incoming students during the Welcome Days organized at central level or during specific sessions organized at department level (with the involvment of professors referents for safety and prevention).

School of Italian Language and Culture

The School of Italian Language and Culture is a Special Teaching Structure of the University of Catania founded in 2016, on a proposal of the Department of Humanities, to promote the historical and advanced knowledge of Italian Language and Culture for foreign students and workers. The courses are free of charges for Erasmus incoming students.

Languages Centre

The Languages Centre (CLA) was founded in 1995 by the University of Catania for the promotion of foreign languages and is supported by the use of multimedia instruments.

IT Services

Erasmus incoming students will benefit from free WiFi account within the University of Catania structures and will have access to the students didactic platform (Studium Platform) and to laboratories. 

University Sport Centre (CUS)

CUS is a national association which has been operating for the last sixty years. Its main aim is to sustain the practising, promotion and subsequent growth of physical education and university sports activity, by organizing sporting events at local, national and international level.

European Documentation Centre

The European Documentation Centre Network (ECDs) was set up by the European Commission in 1963 with the purpose to identify the needs of researchers, students and citizens. Therefore, EDCs are contractually entitled to receive, free of charge, most publications of the European Communities institutions. There are now more than 600,00 such centres, mainly located in universities. 

Libraries and Documentation

The Library and Documentation Centre was created in 1992 to coordinate and develop the activities of the University Library System and aims at restoring and exploiting the historical, scientific and documentary heritage of the University of Catania.

University of Catania on map :

Study programs at University of Catania :