University of Pavia


The University of Pavia. Advancing Knowledge since 1361

The University of Pavia is one of the world’s oldest academic institutions founded in 1361. 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 of 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, 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, 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 and 18 university libraries, 4 cinemas and 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 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

The college system: unique in Italy

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, that in total host approximately 2.000 students, has its own particular history and opportunities to offer, including access to many study abroad programmes and sports 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 4 merit-based colleges; 12 public colleges; and 4 private colleges.

Pavia, the city of sport

For 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. With its teams, 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 well-being, integrated with university training.

Pavia, city of health, technology and research

The 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 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: 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.

The international dimension

The University of Pavia is dedicated to preparing its students for lifelong learning and the challenges facing them in an increasingly complex and diverse world. To familiarize students and staff with the global dimension of today’s international relations, more than 200 exchange programmes are available at locations around the world. Mobility schemes such as Erasmus+ for studies and traineeship, the Fund for Cooperation and Knowledge and many other EU and non-EU international programmes offer grants to both outgoing and incoming, local and international students. Every year several hundreds of participants benefit from these opportunities and have the chance to add a valuable international dimension to their curriculum. The international strategy of the University of Pavia sets out three clear objectives in order to keep and strengthen its position amongst the world’s leading research-intensive universities:

  • Embedding internationalization into our core teaching and research activities
  • Creating sustainable recruitment of high-quality international students
  • Developing and maintaining high-quality strategic partnerships as well as Joint Programmes with partners all over the world


The University of Pavia was originally created around schools of law and humanities, soon followed by medicine. Over the centuries, the range of courses on offer has expanded to the natural sciences, pure sciences, engineering, political sciences and pharmacology and, more recently, to psychology, communication and sports sciences thereby confirming Pavia’s vocation as a multidisciplinary university. The University of Pavia offers 83 courses (both Bachelor's and Master's) in:

  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Mathematics, Physics and Natural sciences
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Literature, Languages and Philosophy
  • Pharmacology Health Professions
  • Political sciences
  • Psychology
  • Communication studies
  • Sports sciences
  • Musicology
  • Tourism

Eleven international Masters Degree programmes taught in English by academic staff and visiting professors- are internationalizing the university from within and marking a significant increase in the number of overseas students:

1 Single-cycle Master's degree (6 years): Medicine and Surgery

10 two-year Master’s degree courses in English:

The University of Pavia also offers a Foundation Year, a preparatory course tailored to prospective students who want to access undergraduate degrees at the University of Pavia, specifically designed for students who do not meet the minimum 12 years of schooling.

The University of Pavia stands out for its large number of postgraduate courses, from research-based programmes to courses aimed at gaining entry into specific professions:

  • 29 post-graduate courses that range from the medical, health and pharmaceutical fields to the science sector. A common trait among these is groundbreaking themes studied in highly specialised fields as well as the interdisciplinary approach adopted.
  • 17 International PhD Programmes organised into 5 macro-areas (Science & Technology; Science Engineering; Life Sciences; Humanities and Social Sciences) and 4 Joint doctorate courses with EU Universities.
  • 51 Medical Specialization schools
  • 1 School of Specialization for the Legal Professions

Masters Courses, advanced training courses and PhD Programmes are also offered by the Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia (IUSS).

During this unusual situation caused by Covid-19, the University of Pavia has activated the following exceptional initiatives to support didactics and students during the quarantine.


Lectures are provided via e-learning tools. Lectures are provided as audio/video files, with slides or other digital teaching materials and even via live streaming until the end of June and probably even until the end of July. For additional information on how to register for distance lectures, please see this video-tutorial

Link to the Distance Learning platform of the University of Pavia:


Oral and written exams take place at distance using appropriate tools and software (Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts). Tutorial for written exams (

Graduation exams

Graduation exams take place remotely using Skype or other web-conference tools. The application for graduation, thesis and the other required documents can be submitted online (

University fee

The deadline for payment of the University fee has been postponed to May 30 (


Stay healthy, stay active and make sport at home

  • The sport Centre CUS Pavia has launched the initiative “Train@Home”, which consists of two types of online sessions: “Training” to stay healthy and fit, and “lesson at distance” to follow courses and training in virtual rooms where students can interact with trainers. Lesson and training are scheduled week by week and are available on the website ( of CUS Pavia.
  • Students of the Degree Programme in Physical Sciences and the Laboratory of Adapted Motor Activity (Laboratorio di Attività Motoria Adattata, LAMA) prepared a YouTube playlist containing exercises to train and stay fit. Videos can be found on this page .

Frequently Asked Questions Webpage



Università di Pavia Facoltà di Farmacia

Corso Strada Nuova, 65
27100 Pavia, Lombardy, Italy
+39 0382 987370


Milan, Lombardy, Italy

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