Admission and Eligibility for Medical Studies in Italy

Eligibility criteria and admission requirements to study medicine in Italy

Italy provides six-year single-cycle medicine programs in medicine and surgery that are globally recognized. The application procedure for medical programs in Italy generally begins in November or December. Italy has 17 universities that offer medical programs. Among the 17 universities, 13 are public universities. These universities are highly ranked and have received accreditation from renowned organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Medical Council (NMC), and others.

The Italian universities’ acceptance rate is highly competitive. The first step in Italy’s medical application procedure is to pass either the International Medical Admissions Test (IMAT) or the university’s entrance exam. Public universities favor IMAT which is conducted by the by Italian Ministry of education, universities, and research (MIUR), and do not conduct their own admission exam. Private universities administer their own admissions tests, and applications for medicine programs can be submitted without taking the IMAT. Thus, private universities are a preferred choice for international students. This article discusses the admission and eligibility for medical studies in Italy at popular universities. 

Admission and eligibility for Medical studies in Italy: Overview

Start of admissions  November to December 
Program offered  Single-cycle masters program in Medicine and Surgery 
Type of entrance test  IMAT (public universities) or university entrance test (private universities)
Minimum eligibility criteria  A secondary school diploma or an equivalent educational qualification (12 years of education)
Basic knowledge of subjects for entrance test  Chemistry, biology, physics and other medical-related subjects 
General documents Passport, acceptance letter, statement of purpose, passport photographs, official transcripts

Rankings of popular Medical universities in Italy

University Name  National Ranking, uniRank 2022 World Ranking US News (2022-23)
University of Bologna 1 122
University of Milan 3 156
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore 15 366
Humanitas University 77 472
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University 74 314
Unicamillus- St. Camillus University of Health Sciences 85

Entry requirements at popular Medical universities in Italy

University of Bologna

The single-cycle medicine and surgery program at the University of Bologna offers a limited number of seats. The admissions are offered on the basis of the national admission test by the MIUR. 

Following are the eligibility criteria for admission

  • Must hold a secondary school diploma or an equivalent educational qualification (12 years of education)
  • Should clear the IMAT examination
  • Must satisfy the Additional Learning Requirement (ALR) i.e., basic knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry, cellular molecular biology and genetics, medical physics

Students who do not fulfill ALR are still admitted provided they complete the supplementary activities offered by the university in their first year of studies.

Enrollment date for IMAT April to June
Application deadline July
Annual tuition fees  EUR 3,315 or USD 3,440*
Entrance test  IMAT
Number of seats  Defined annually by the Italian Ministry of Education, MIUR

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

The admission process in Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore begins in December with the registration for the entrance test. The entrance test is held in April. 

The admission exam is a computer-based written exam that is entirely in English. The test contains 65 multiple-choice questions with five answer options for each question.

Students must ensure they meet the following basic criteria

  • Must be at least 17 years old 
  • Must be in the final year of high school at the time of application or have already completed high school
  • Must show proof of 12 years of education
Application start & deadline  December to June 
Annual tuition fees  EUR 16,200 or USD 16,576*
Entrance test  Medical entrance test 
Number of seats  50 for Non-EU students 

Humanitas University

Humanitas University’s registration for the entrance exam begins in December. The entrance exam takes place in April.

The language of the entrance exam is English. A total of sixty (60) multiple-choice questions must be answered by the candidates. There will be four possible responses, but only one is correct. The test can be taken from the comfort of one’s own home.

Entry requirements for Humanitas University are

  • Valid high school diploma (Foreign high school diplomas must be accompanied by a Declaration of Value issued by the Italian diplomatic authorities)
  • At least 12 years of schooling
Application start & deadline  December to March 
Annual tuition fees  EUR 22,000 or USD 22,510*
Entrance test  HUMAT 
Number of seats  50 for Non-EU students

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

The student must have proof of twelve years of schooling and fill the online application form with the application fee of USD 56.

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University states the following admission requirements:

  • High School diploma*
  • Student must have completed at least 12 years of schooling

*Foreign high school diplomas must be accompanied by a Declaration of Value issued by the Italian diplomatic authorities.

Application start & deadline  N.A
Annual tuition fees  EUR 20,140 or USD 20,607*
Entrance test  UNISAR Admittance Test 
Number of seats  64 for Non-EU citizens 

Unicamillus- St. Camillus University of Health Sciences

The admissions process at Unicamillus University begins in November with the registration for the entrance exam. The entrance exam takes place in November.

The admissions test UCAT is a combination of multiple-choice written exams and a speaking test. It is a computer-based test that lasts for 2 hours. It is divided into five sections as listed below. 

  • Verbal reasoning (44 questions)
  • Quantitative reasoning (36 questions)
  • Decision-making (29 questions)
  • Abstract reasoning (55 questions)
Application start & deadline  November to February  
MBBS annual tuition fees  EUR 20,000 or USD 20,464*
Entrance test  UCAT (UKCAT Consortium)
Number of seats  300 

General eligibility criteria to study Medicine in Italy

In order to study medicine in Italy, you must have knowledge in physics, chemistry, and biology. This knowledge will be tested in IMAT or university entrance tests. NEET scores may be a requirement for Indian students who later want to practice in India. Medical courses by private universities that are taught in English require students to take the IELTS or TOEFL to demonstrate their linguistic competence. For public universities, a B2 level of English language proficiency or higher is required, which is tested during the IMAT exam itself.

Basic qualification High school diploma or in the final year of secondary school (12 years of schooling)
Mandatory subjects Physics, chemistry, and biology 
English language proficiency  IELTS, TOEFL or B2 level of English language

Students in their final year of secondary school can also apply to Italian medical programs offered by public and private Italian universities. Their admission will be finalized after they provide a passing certificate at the time of enrolling.

Admission procedure and required documents

Admission procedure

  • For public universities students should submit their application via the Universitaly platform. For private universities they can fill out the application form on the university’s website and submit it or use Gyanberry application Services
  • Apply for the course of your choice by submitting all of your original documentation.
  • Appear for the entrance test
  • Selected students will receive offer letter from the university 
  • Pay the application fees
  • Apply for your student visa as soon as you receive confirmation of your admission to the medical program.

Required documents

  • Passport 
  • Birth certificate
  • Official transcripts 
  • Photocopy of invitation letter
  • Passport size photographs
  • Report of COVID test
  • Bank receipt
  • Statement of purpose 

Admissions to public universities are restricted and require taking IMAT examinations, whereas private universities conduct their own examinations and offer a decent number of seats to international students. To be eligible to apply for admission, students must have a high school diploma (10+2). Students from last year can also apply, but their admission will be provisional.

The annual tuition for the medical programs is around 3,000 to 4,000 EUR for public universities and 16,000-22,000 EUR for private universities. Thus the cost to study medicine in Italy is a lot cheaper when compared to the cost of studying medicine in Ireland and other European and American destinations. The cost of living is almost 50% less when compared to the cost of living in top European study destinations. To know more about the admission process in Italian medical schools, contact Gyanberry to receive expert guidance. 

*Tuition fees in EUR are converted to USD at the exchange rate of 1 EUR = 1.02 USD. Exchange rates are subject to periodic change.

Frequently Asked Questions

The IMAT exam is not mandatory for private universities since they conduct their internal entrance examination. However, public medical universities in Italy require applicants to qualify in the IMAT. 

To practice medicine in India after graduating from an Italian medical university, the students should appear for the NEET exam and secure qualifying scores before applying to the university. And after graduation, students should pass the qualifying exam mandated by the Medical Council of India to be eligible for work.

Students must make sure they have the following documents ready before applying to medical universities in Italy: Academic transcripts, statement of purpose, passport copy and photographs, birth certificate, and offer letter from the university.