• 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 four academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences, placed in Pisa; the Department of political and social sciences and the Ciampi Institute, located 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  Sciences, and the Department of Political 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 Department of Political 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. 


Ph.D Programmes at Scuola Normale Superiore are post-graduate training paths aiming to provide an advanced training with structured specialistic teaching and supervised research activities.
The programme is oriented to the development of an innovative research project. The quality of the PhD courses is founded not only on the in-site teaching and research activities but on a strong  international network, where Scuola Normale Superiore plays a relevant role.
At the successfull completion of the Programme, the Scuola Noramale Superiore awards the student with the Ph.D. (Philosophiae Doctor) Degree, which is legally equivalent to a Research Doctorate.
Selection for admission to the Ph.D. programmes are open to italian and foreign citizens holding a M.Sc degree or equivalent title. Candidates are selected on the basis of their qualifications, a research project to be attached to the application, and an interview.
All Ph.D. positions are covered by scholarships, and every student can access the university canteen for free. In addition, the Scuola may fund study and research activities carried outside its premises.
Ph.D. courses are based on the academic structures of the Scuola: Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Polical and Social Sciences.
Ph.D. Programmes for the a.y. 2017/18 are listed below.
Ph.D. Programmes for the a.y. 2018/19 and information on the open calls are available at the link: http://phd.sns.it/
Department of Political and Social Sciences

The Istituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali is the outcome of the merging between the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (Decreto 8/8/2013, published on G.U. n. 272 of 20/11/2013). It promotes advanced study in the fields of human and social sciences through the following PhD courses:

Dean: DELLA PORTA Donatella Alessandra

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Arts offers courses in literature, linguistics, history, philosophy, history of art and archeology.

Faculty of Sciences

The default language of the courses offered in the first three years is italian. For the more advanced courses of PhD and laurea specialistica the default language is english.
Different choices might be made in agreement with the teacher of the course and the students attending it.
The Faculty of Sciences offers courses in the following sectors: