• 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. 

Undergraduate course - Study obligations and study plans (Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences)

Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences , 
Academic year 2015-2016

Main general study obligations:

Internal obligations (Scuola)

Study plan and courses: students are required to attend lessons and practical and laboratory sessions for the internal courses featured in their study plan (the relevant information for each course can be found on the web page http://www.sns.it/didattica/scienze/ of the website of the SNS). They are also required to pass by the 31st October 2016 the corresponding examinations, which, although intermediate tests are envisaged, are held in one session. Students must attain a mark of at least 24/30 in the examinations.

Qualification and discussions (oral examinations): during the academic year, students take specific tests to qualify for admission to the following year. These may consist of a test on the internal courses or an oral examination.

For the I and II years, there will be an oral test on all the internal courses, on a date set by the faculty council.

For the III year, with the exception of Mathematics students, no specific tests are envisaged, and students are required to sit the intermediate and final examinations of the internal courses of their  study plan.

For the IV year, and for the III year for Mathematics students, there will be an oral examination (a discussion), on a date set by the faculty council, at which the student is required to discuss an advanced research topic.

For the V year no specific tests are envisaged, and students are required to sit the intermediate and final examinations of the internal courses of their  study plan.

Foreign languages: the initial triennium entails attendance of the English language course and of a  second course from among those envisaged by the Scuola in other languages and the passing of the final tests, with the aim of reaching level III in English and at least level II in a second language by the end of the III year. Foreign language tests must be passed by the end of the III year. Students qualifying directly fro the IV year are required to attend the English language course and a second course from among those envisaged by the Scuola, and must pass the corresponding final tests, to reach level III in English and level II in the other language. These objectives must be reached by the end of the V year. Those claiming to possess adequate knowledge of English and/or a second language from among those envisaged by the SNS may be exempted from attendance upon passing an appropriate examination. During the first year of their course at the Scuola, all students must attend at least one cycle of lessons with the mother tongue teacher and take the corresponding test.

External obligations (Faculty)

Courses and lessons, calculation of the mean, weight of the internal courses: by 31st October 2016 students must have passed the achievement tests in the university lessons envisaged in their study plan. They must achieve a mark of at least 24/30 in each examination and maintain an overall mean of at least 27/30, also taking into account the marks attained in the internal courses. The marks attained in the individual examinations contribute to the composition of the mean as a weight. For the university examinations, the weight is given by the number of credits relative to the lessons (CFU). The weight of the internal courses (excluding the lessons with the mother tongue teacher), which is attributed solely for the purpose of forming the mean, takes into account the overall number of hours of the course or of the modules that make it up (excluding the integrated hours of teaching), in accordance with the following scheme:

Hours from 20 to 24: weight 8; from 25 to 29: weight 9; from 30 to 34: weight 10; from 35 to 39: weight 11; from 40 to 44: weight 12; from 45 to 49: weight 13. From 50 onwards: weight 14

In addition:

For the Physics-Mathematics Seminar for Mathematics and Physics students of the first two years, the mark is a single one and the overall weight is 27.

For the courses of Mathematics and Physics for students of Chemistry of the first two years,  the mark is a single one and the overall weight is 27.

For the courses of Mathematics  and Physics for II year students of Biology , the mark is a single one and the overall weight is 16.

For the two Physics courses of the III year for Biologists, the mark is a single one and the overall weight is  13.

For the two Physics courses of the III year for Physicists, the mark is a single one and the overall weight is  14.

III year: students must complete the number of credits specified by the university course and have obtained their degree certificate by 31st October 2016, save for justified dispensations approved by the faculty council (taking into account in particular the attendance of schools and study trips away from the Scuola), and in any case no later than the end of 2016.

V year: students must complete the number of credits specified by the university course in order to  obtain the laurea magistrale diploma. Internal examinations must have been passed by 31st October 2016, save for justified dispensations approved by the faculty council (taking into account in particular the attendance of schools and study trips away from the Scuola), and in any case no later than the end of  2016.

After obtaining the laurea magistrale diploma, in order to obtain the specialized 2nd-cycle diploma, students must take the corresponding examination by 30th November 2017. The examination consists of a  public discussion of a research topic approved by the faculty council.

DISCIPLINARY AREAS AND OBLIGATORY LESSONS

CHEMISTRY AND GEOLOGY

I year

Elements of Classical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Prof. Luigi Rolandi

Elements of Mathematics  (Analysis) Prof. Luigi Ambrosio

Elements of Mathematics  ( Linear Algebra) Dr. Davide Pirino

Seminars on the frontiers of Chemistry Prof. Vincenzo Barone

II year

Classical Electrodynamics I and II Prof. Giuseppe La Rocca

Elements of Mathematics for Biologists and Chemists Prof. Andrea Mennucci

 Virtual Chemistry Laboratory Dr. Giordano Mancini

III year

Methods and models for molecular sciences Dr. Giuseppe Brancato

Elements of Chemistry-Physics Dr. Dimitrios Skouteris

IV  and V year

Two courses (for a total of at least 80 hours, consisting of one or more modules) chosen from the following:

1) the internal courses envisaged in the III, IV and V years (or PhD) from the teaching syllabus relating to  Chemistry and Geology 2) the internal courses envisaged in the III, IV and V years from the teaching syllabus of another disciplinary area 3) those given at the University of Pisa. During the biennium, at least two of the four courses must be chosen within the range of the internal syllabus.

PHYSICS

I year

Elements of Classical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Prof. Luigi Rolandi

Elements of Mathematics  Prof. Luigi Ambrosio

II year

Classical Electrodynamics I and II Prof. Giuseppe La Rocca

Introduction to the theory of representations Prof. Angelo Vistoli

III year

Statistical Mechanics Dr. Davide Rossini

Quantum Mechanics Prof. Vittorio Giovannetti

IV and V year

For each year, two courses (for a total of at least 80 hours, consisting of one or more modules) are to be chosen as a rule from among those envisaged by the internal syllabus (PhD courses included) and the syllabus relating to the laurea magistrale and doctorate courses offered by the University of Pisa. During the biennium, at least two of the four courses must be chosen within the range of the internal syllabus.

MATHEMATICS  

I year

Elements of Classical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Prof. Luigi Rolandi

Elements of Mathematics  Prof. Luigi Ambrosio

II year

Introduction to the theory of representations Prof. Angelo Vistoli

Classical Electrodynamics I Prof. Giuseppe La Rocca

III year

Differential calculus on manifolds Prof. Andrea Malchiodi

Elliptical and modular functions Prof. Umberto Zannier

IV and V year

For each year, two courses (for a total of at least 80 hours, consisting of one or more modules) are to be chosen from among those envisaged by the internal syllabus (PhD courses included), and the syllabus relating to the laurea magistrale and doctorate courses in Mathematics, Physics and Information Science offered by the University of Pisa. During the biennium, at least two of the four courses must be chosen within the range of the internal syllabus.

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

I year

Biology Seminar Prof. Antonino Cattaneo, Dr. Alessandro Cellerino, Dr. Federico Cremisi, Dr. Cristina Di Primio

Elements of Mathematics  (Linear Algebra and Analysis) 
Dr. Davide Pirino

II year

Biology Laboratory I Prof. Simona Capsoni

Elements of Physics for Biologists Prof. Franco Ligabue

Elements of Mathematics for Biologists and Chemists Prof. Andrea Mennucci

III year

Introduction to the structure of matter Prof. Giuseppe La Rocca

Thermodynamics and statistical Physics Prof. Giuseppe La Rocca

Neurobiology I Prof. Antonino Cattaneo

Biology Laboratory II Prof. Simona Capsoni

IV and V year

For each year two courses (for a total of at least 80 hours, consisting of one or more modules) are to be chosen as a rule from among all the internal courses offered.

INFORMATION SCIENCE

IV year

For each year, two courses (for a total of at least 80 hours, consisting of one or more modules) are to be chosen from the internal syllabus (PhD courses included), and the syllabus relating to the laurea magistrale and doctorate courses in Mathematics, Physics and Information Science offered by the University of Pisa. During the biennium, at least two of the four courses must be chosen within the range of the internal syllabus.

  

Study plans

Students of the undergraduate course are required to present a study plan for each academic year, relating to the internal and university courses for the approval of the faculty council. The study plan, which must be drawn up in conformity with the study obligations envisaged by the faculty, is to be handed in to the Servizio Segreteria Studenti (Students' Office) by 15th November 2015, except for the topic of the “interview” (for the III or IV year) and the title of the degree thesis or laurea magistrale thesis where applicable.

The topic of the discussion and the name of the speaker must be submitted by 30th March 2016. Any  modifications to study plans must be discussed with the relevant co-ordinating lecturer and must be submitted by 30th March and approved by the faculty councils. The same deadline is valid for submitting the title and  name of the speaker of laurea magistrale theses.

For the development and presentation of the study plans, students are requested to contact their respective co-ordinating lecturer.

 

Co-ordinators for the study plans:

Chemistry and Geology - Prof. Chiara Cappelli

Physics - Prof. Vittorio Giovannetti

Information science - Prof. Luigi Ambrosio

Mathematics  - Prof. Luigi Ambrosio

Biological Sciences - Prof. Antonino Cattaneo