• 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. 

Prospective Students


During the two centuries of its existence, the Scuola Normale Superiore has earned itself a special reputation in Italy and abroad characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour. The highly selective admission process gives students access to a unique educational system in which the keynote is the interweaving of teaching and research: students become engaged in research at an early stage, and this is the key strength of their study course. In addition, students at the Normale can avail themselves of the opportunity to attend study and research programmes at prestigious universities and research centres abroad.


The undergraduate course is the baseline degree course of the Scuola Normale Superiore. The course culminates in the awarding of a degree certificate and is taught in concomitance with a study course at the University of Pisa. The course syllabus differs from traditional university courses in its emphasis on research as an instrument and method of teaching. The direct and continuous exchange of ideas among students and with older students, teachers and researchers is an integral part of the Scuola’s teaching model, together with the policy of encouraging student residence on campus.

The call – for around 60 places offered each year – is open to candidates worldwide in possession of a study diploma valid for admission to Italian universities and no more than 22 years of age. Selection is based exclusively on the results obtained in the written and oral tests that are held each year between the end of August and the month of September. The entrance examinations may be taken in various languages.

For further information: didattica@sns.it


The PhD course is a post lauream course culminating in the international PhD (Philosophiae Doctor) degree. It is equivalent to the doctorate courses issued by Italian universities and has a duration of three or four years depending on the chosen discipline. Its stringent selection process, its decidedly international character, its policy of creating incentives for the furthering of research study and the annual verification of the results obtained are the key features of this  course.

The call – based on publications and examinations – is open to graduates worldwide. All those admitted receive a scholarship that is one of the most generous offered by the Italian university system.

For further information: phd@sns.it

Call 2016-2017