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Graduate Admission

Photography Students of the Scuola Normale of Pisa

In 1927 the Scuola Normale had already instituted the equivalent of a PhD course in addition to its ordinary courses. Other Italian universities only officially introduced PhD courses in the 1980s. The Normale’s specialization course (hereafter referred to as PhD) consists of three years of study and research at the end of which, if they have respected their academic obligations, students are awarded a Philosophiæ Doctor (PhD).
Funding for these courses is higher than that of PhDs at other universities: the whole package includes scholarships, transfer costs, research grants and a free canteen.
PhD students are placed in research groups and they live and study within the Normale’s unique system. They share research experiences and learning with other students and with the lecturers and professors. A research plan and a course of study is set up based on the needs and profile of the individual. Students have access to all the facilities offered by the School to help them in their studies.
There are numerous cases of students who, based on specific agreements that bring together faculty and research groups of the School to colleagues in foreign universities, are able to do their thesis work under the joint supervision of universities or doctoral schools outside Italy.
Such students can spend periods of study abroad and discuss their thesis in front of a joint committee.
Admission to the courses is through competitive examinations and tests.
Each year a number of places are made available, usually twenty-five to thirty for each academic class.
From May to June calls for the competition for the next academic year are published, which establish the procedures for registration and participation.
In the Faculty of Sciences the default language of the advanced courses of PhD is english. Different choices might be made in agreement with the teacher of the course and the students attending it