• 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. 

PhD School

The Scuola Normale PhD course is a post lauream study course leading to the international degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor). It is the equivalent of the Italian university doctorate courses and lasts three to four years depending on the student's chosen discipline.

The characteristics of this educational opportunity are the stringent entrance selection, its decidedly international character, the incentives it provides for mobility in the in-depth pursuit of research topics and the annual test of the results attained.  The PhD course, instituted by the Scuola in 1927, was conceived at the very outset as a true cursus of high quality scientific research.

Since 2013, with the establishing of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences in Florence, the number of disciplines in which the PhD course can be taken has been extended to such subjects as Political Science and Sociology.

For more detailed information http://phd.sns.it


Full financial support

All PhD programmes are open to both Italian citizens and students from outside Italy. 

They offer unique conditions for scientific growth. All students admitted to our PhD programme receive full financial support. This includes tuition, fees and a maintenance grant. Support is independent of need provided a student remains in good academic standing and is making satisfactory progress towards his/her PhD degree.  All students will be assigned further funding for their research activity and travel. Each PhD course offers scholarships reserved to students that graduated outside of Italy. Admissions are based on students’ academic work and interviews. 

Candidates are selected on the basis of their qualifications, a research project to be attached to the application, and an interview. The interviews will take place at the SNS sites (Pisa or Florence). 

Further information on the PhD Programmes and on the open calls are available at the link: http://phd.sns.it

Applicants may contact the SNS Student Services offices at: phd@sns.it