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Graduate Admission

Photography Students of the Scuola Normale of Pisa

» PhD Program

Since its foundation in 1810, the Scuola Normale Superiore has built a reputation as one of the most successful universities – not only in Italy, but at an international level– in terms of offering to its students ideal conditions to train and develop skills in the field of scientific research. Enrico Fermi is but one of its famous alumni that comprise three Nobel prize winners, Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Italian Republic and many successful scientists and professionals. The Academic Ranking of World Universities rates the school among the top five universities in the world, and the first in Europe according to the per capita performance.

The mission of Scuola Normale is to select the best students and provide them with the most favorable conditions to develop their talents. They will join researchers and the Normale academic staff to form a community characterized by a constant exchange of ideas, skills, and expertise through an open dialogue both in Pisa and in Florence, the SNS headquarters.

Students who choose to complete their education at the Scuola will find state-of-the-art facilities in the laboratories plus a unique combination of research groups, dedicated faculty, and one of the largest open-shelf libraries in Europe.

The Scuola Normale Superiore PhD School

All PhD programs are open to both Italian citizens and students from outside Italy. They offer unique conditions for scientific growth. All students admitted to our PhD program receive full financial support. This includes tuition, fees, and a cost-of living stipend (14,084 euro per year, plus free meals). 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. Applications are invited from candidates irrespective of their citizenship who:

  1. will have completed an Italian laurea magistrale or equivalent degree from outside Italy within 31 October 2014
  2. were born after 31 October 1984

Admissions are based on students’ academic work and interviews.  

Application deadline and process

All PhD courses will start from November 1st, 2014. Interviews will be held in July and October. Application for admission must be made online in the SNS website area dedicated to this Call by midnight (CET):

  • Monday, 30 June 2014 for the June session
  • Monday, 15 September 2014 for the October session

Applicants may contact the SNS Student Services offices for information at: All personal data of candidates is protected under and will be handled in accordance with Italian law (no. 196 – 30 June 2003).  

Applicants can apply on this web site