• About SNS

    The Scuola Normale Superiore is a public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour.  Two types of course are available: the undergraduate course and the PhD course.The teaching activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, placed in Pisa, and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, located in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. 

  • Admission

    The evaluation for entrance to the first year of the undergraduate course does not include the high school leaving certificate, and the bachelor's degree is not taken into consideration in the entrance examination for the fourth year course. For each PhD course, candidates’ level of competence, talent, motivations and aptitudes to scientific research will be assessed on the basis of their qualifications and research project and an interview.

  • Academics

    The Scuola Normale Superiore offers two types of course: the undergraduate course, leading to first and second level university degrees, and the PhD course, the international equivalent of the Italian Dottorato di ricerca.The teaching and research activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences.The first two academic structures, housed at the Pisa site, organize courses for both the  undergraduate course and the PhD course. The Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, situated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, deals only with the PhD course.

  • Research

    A highly qualifying feature of the Normale way is the strong link between teaching and research that is a characteristic of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes of the Scuola. The research structures of the two Faculties welcome students with a relevant study interest, enabling them to collaborate in a mature way with the activities of the researchers.

  • International

    The Scuola Normale is an institute of a decidedly international nature. Examinations for admission to the undergraduate degree course and for the PhD course are open to all citizens worldwide. A certain number of places on the PhD course are reserved for students from other countries. During the pre laurea and  post lauream teaching courses, study and research programmes are made available at overseas universities and research centres with which the Scuola forms an intense network of collaboration.  The doctorate course in particular is taught in a veritable graduate school in line with the highest international standards. 

Campus Life

At the Scuola Normale teachers, researchers and students live in the same environment, switching between teaching activities and research in the labs and attending the cultural events organised by and within the Scuola. An optimum teacher to student ratio (about 1 to 10), the seminar method of teaching, the prevalence of interaction and discussion within the academic environment, as opposed to more traditional lectures: these are the basic ingredients of the typical college life of the Scuola Normale. 


In order to make possible and maintain the exchange of knowledge and experience, the Scuola provides each student with:

a) free accommodation in a single room in one of the college dormitories owned by the Scuola (Collegio Faedo, Collegio Carducci, Collegio Timpano, Collegio Fermi) ;
b) free meals in a refectory located in Palazzo D’Ancona and also used by the teachers and the administration workers of the Scuola;
c) free admission to the Library of the Scuola (1 million volumes and 4 thousand periodicals) with free check-out of library resources; d) free access to the laboratories and the research structures of both the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Sciences of the Scuola.

And all this without any financial obligation on the part of the students.

The tuition fees paid to the University of Pisa are fully reimbursed by the Scuola Normale. Meals at the refectory are free, as are accommodation in the dormitories, the consultation of library material and access to laboratory instruments.

Furthermore, the students of the Scuola Normale are granted a small monthly allowance for other study expenses.