The Scuola Normale Superiore has put out to tender, for the academic year 2016/2017, 62 places for the first and second year and 10 places for the fourth year of undergraduate studies (call).
In addition, for the current academic year, the call has been integrated with additional places for two new degree courses, Neurosciences (2 places) and Materials and Nanotechnology (6 places), by the Scuola Normale in collaboration with the University of Pisa (integration of call).
The undergraduate course, admission to which is by call, is equivalent to the university degree course and leads to a degree certificate. Teaching is divided between the Scuola Normale, where students attend courses and seminars focussing on the rapid development of an approach to scientific research, with yearly assessments on specific research themes, and the University of Pisa. Students are required to meet the highest of standards of academic performance.
The entrance examination has always been the keystone of the institution. A commission of lecturers and researchers from the Scuola and from other universities evaluates the candidates’ talent for study and research. The examinations are both written and oral, based on the Humanities or the Sciences, depending on the subject chosen by the candidate for his academic career. The stringent selection process is fundamental for maintaining a high academic level: those passing the examinations will keep their status as a “normalista” for the duration of their cursus studiorum. 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; the same goes for any other certificate awarded previously.
The research and teaching activities of the undergraduate degree course follow one of two fundamental directions: the Humanities or the Mathematical and Natural Sciences. These are study areas linked to the tradition of the Scuola, renowned since its inception for the high level of its teaching and for its research in the so-called “pure” disciplines.