The Italian University system

In compliance with the 1999 reform Italian universities organise their courses in 3 cycles.

Italian University System

First cycle
Undergraduate studies consist in Corsi di Laurea-CL (1st Cycle Degrees) aimed at providing students with adequate knowledge of general scientific principles and mastery of methods as well as specific professional skills.

The general entry requirement is the Italian school leaving qualification (Diploma di Scuola Secondaria Superiore), awarded on passing a state examination upon completion of 12 years’ schooling. Foreign qualifications (if comparable) are also accepted. Admission to individual degree courses may be subject to specific course requirements. 1st Cycle Degree courses (CL) last 3 years. The Laurea-L (1st Cycle Degree) is awarded to undergraduates who have earned 180 credits.
 
Second cycle
Graduate studies include 1) Corsi di Laurea Magistrale-CLM (2nd Cycle Degrees); 2) Corsi di Master Universitario di 1° livello-CMU1 (University Master – 1st level).

CLM degrees are aimed at providing graduates with an advanced level of education leading to highly qualified professional activity in specific fields. Admission to a CLM requires the Italian 1st Cycle Degree (L) or a comparable foreign degree; they last 2 years. The final degree, Laurea Magistrale (2nd Cycle Degree), is awarded to graduates who have earned a total of 300 credits, including those acquired for the 1st Cycle Degree and considered valid for admission to the CLM (max. 180). It is compulsory to present an original dissertation.

CMU1 degrees provide a higher level of specialisation and continuing education in specific fields, and are open to the holders of a Laurea-L, or comparable degree; admission may be subject to other conditions. The minimum period of study is 1 year. The Master Universitario di 1° livello-MU1 (University Master – 1st level) is awarded to graduates who have earned a minimum of 60 credits.
  
Third cycle
Postgraduate studies include: 1) Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca - CDR (Research Doctorate); 2) Corsi di Master Universitario di 2° livello - CMU2 (University Master – 2nd level).

CDR courses aim to train postgraduates for highly advanced scientific research or for professional appointments at the highest levels; teaching methods include the use of the latest technologies, study periods abroad and internships with research centres. Enrolment in a CDR requires an Italian 2nd Cycle Degree (LM) or comparable foreign degree; admission is subject to the passing of highly selective exams; the official minimum period of study is 3 years; The presentation of an original dissertation is compulsory for the Dottorato di Ricerca-DR (Research Doctorate).

CMU2 programmes consist in advanced scientific courses and higher education studies in specific fields. They are open to holders of an LM or comparable foreign degree; admission may be subject to additional conditions. The minimum period of study is 1 year. The degree (Master Universitario di 2° livello-MU2) is awarded to postgraduates who have earned a minimum of 60 credits.