Last updated on 2 December
Universities are competent to recognise periods of study abroad and foreign academic qualifications, for the following purposes:
- access to higher education;
- continuation of university studies;
- award of Italian university qualifications.
The universities exercise this competence under the scope of their autonomy and in accordance with their respective regulations, without prejudice to the relevant bilateral agreements (Lisbon Convention of 11 April 1997, ratified in Italy by Law No 148/2002). Read the Convention at the following link
For purposes other than those listed above (e.g. participation in public competitions or access to regulated professions), the request must be submitted to other State administrations. For more information, see the CIMEA website (Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence, the Italian ENIC-NARIC centre). The purpose of full recognition of a foreign academic qualification is the award of an Italian university qualification. This procedure was once identified as equivalent, but this term is no longer used in Law No 148/2002.
It consists of an analytical recognition of a foreign academic qualification, the contents of which must correspond fully and in detail with the Italian academic qualification for which equivalence is requested.
Read the law ratifying the Lisbon Convention at the following link
In order to apply for full recognition, you must hold an academic qualification obtained abroad:
- issued by a university or other institution at university level belonging to the official education system of the country of reference;
- completing first or second level (bachelor’s or master’s degree) and granting admission to studies at the next level in the system of reference.
You must also:
- find an academic qualification that corresponds in nature, level and content to the qualification you hold and for which you are requesting recognition in the study programmes of the selected university, in the academic year in which you are requesting recognition. Recognition may not be requested for courses of study not yet commenced or in the final year of the course;
- have a knowledge of the language in which the course is delivered at the chosen university (Italian or English) of at least B2 level or another level indicated by the chosen university.
Please note that:
the official checks also extend to the academic qualification immediately preceding the qualification for which recognition is sought: secondary school diploma if you apply for recognition for a single-stage bachelor’s or master’s degree; a bachelor’s degree if you apply for recognition for a master's degree;
for national courses with a limited number of students, you must contact the relevant University Students’ Secretariat for information before submitting your application for recognition.
How is the application assessed?
Every university has its own body responsible for recognising foreign academic qualifications.
If bilateral agreements establish equivalence between qualifications (e.g. Italy/Austria), once administrative checks have been carried out on documentation, the body decides on equivalence, followed by the award of the corresponding Italian academic qualification. In the absence of bilateral agreements on equivalence between qualifications, the application for recognition may conclude with:
- full recognition of the qualification and granting of the corresponding Italian qualification;
- a refusal of recognition, if deficiencies are found. In this case, you can consider registering for the relevant course of study according to the regular procedures (i.e. by passing the applicable admission selection procedure) and applying to shorten the course.
The recognition procedure ends within 90 days of receipt of the application + 30 days to gather all the required additional documents.
All the information about means of authentication, identification and signature accepted for the procedure, type and format of documentary evidence, expected costs and online payment arrangements, as well as any additional language(s) in which the procedure may be conducted, are stated by the individual Italian institutes and universities on their websites.
Further information on which office to submit the application to, when to send it and the documents to be enclosed is available on the websites of the individual universities/polytechnics together with the expected costs.
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MEANS OF REDRESS AND APPEALS
An appeal against implied refusal or rejection may be lodged with the regional administrative courts within 60 days of notification of the final decision or with the Head of State within 120 days of notification of the final decision.
(for information on the organisation of the regional administrative courts, please refer to the following link:
(to find out about the system of appeal to the Head of State, please refer to the following link:
It is also possible to submit an application against implied refusal or rejection to the Ministry of University and Research for review within 120 days of notification of the final decision.
(Article 48(3) of Presidential Decree No 394 of 31 August 1999).
To read Article 48(3) of Presidential Decree No 394 of 31 August 1999, please refer to the following link:
Recognitions for which other authorities are responsible.
Academic recognition of a foreign higher education academic qualification in the field of art, music and dance awarded by a university, polytechnic, higher school, higher institute or academy.
For information, please refer to the following links:
Academic recognition of a foreign higher education academic qualification awarded by religious institutions.
For information, please refer to the following link:
Academic recognition of a foreign research PhD
For information, please refer to the following link:
For additional information:
Titoli accademici esteri
Riconoscimento accademico (equipollenza)