With the long directorship of Gilberto Bernardini, which started in 1964, the Scuola Normale assumed its present framework, defined by the law of March 7 1967 as a Scuola Normale Superiore of university and doctorate studies, at first as dependent on the University of Pisa but very soon afterwards as an autonomous entity.
The 1969 Statute defined the new structure of the Scuola Normale and its profile as an institution of high scientific training: it established, among other things, a considerable broadening of the internal teaching staff as well as the creation and the expansion of the research structures and an increase in the number of students of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes. The law of June 18 1989 defined the equality of status of the doctorate diploma of the Scuola Normale with the title of research doctor granted by the Italian universities.
The academic year 2014/2015 saw the broadening of the teaching prospectus of the Scuola Normale regarding the specialisation course. The merger with the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (the Italian Institute of Human Sciences) (SUM) of Florence gave rise to the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, sited at Palazzo Strozzi, which also offers opportunities for post-graduate studies in the field of the social sciences. The inclusion of the Institute in the life of the Scuola Normale has meant a rewriting of the statute, with official effect from 2014; there are now three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities (formerly the Faculty of Arts), the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences (formerly the Faculty of Science) and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Scuola Normale Superiore nowadays is an élite school with an egalitarian basis that rewards merit, talent and the potentialities of its students independently of their social origins and their previous studies. The aim of the Scuola Normale is the formation of scholars, professionals and citizens with a wide cultural background and with a strong critical attitude.
A fundamental role is also played by the relationships and the collaborations that the Scuola Normale has been able to establish in all these years with the main university and research institutions both national and international, favouring in this way the mobility of both students and professors and their involvement in courses of study and research programmes.
The Scuola Normale aims to provide its students and alumni with placement services to promote the relationships and the links with important professional institutions and to favour a qualified insertion of its graduates in the world of work.