Italy offers a wide variety of options for studying medicine, from Italian-language programs which are available to international students and residents in equal measure, to English-language studies too. Generally, the English-speaking medical schools have very small intakes, compared to the Italian-language ones which are open widely.
State medical schools are among the cheapest medical schools in Europe, which can make Italy a great choice for studying medicine at a good level, without compromising your finances too much.
In order to study medicine in Italy, you don’t need to have completed a previous university degree. You can apply directly from high school, but you should have a strong grounding in science subjects. During the course, this will be improved upon before clinical studies are tackled in earnest. Many Italian universities also offer international partnerships – across Europe or beyond.
How much does medical school cost in Italy?
The average cost of tuition at state medical universities in Italy is €1200 per year. In fact, it depends on the student’s family’s income, and it can be down to zero for European Union students in certain circumstances. Moreover, the cost of living as a student is not particularly high, except perhaps in the biggest cities such as Rome and Milan.
How long will it take to study medicine in Italy?
In Italy, it takes six years of studying to obtain a medical degree. This is followed by a compulsory 6-month internship placement before full accreditation.
Top Medical Schools in Italy
1. University of Milan Faculty of Medicine & International Medical School
The University of Milan is one of the biggest universities in Europe, and counts ten different schools and numerous undergraduate and graduate programs. The Faculty of Medicine has an International Medical School specifically dedicated to welcoming international students, with tuition in English.
In order to gain admission to this medical school in Italy, you will need to sit an admission test which is the same for all Italian universities offering an international medical program – the International Medical Admissions Test, IMAT.
Outside the International Medical School, you can also enroll in the MD program taught in Italian. This is also a 6-year full-time program. The Medicine and Surgery Program is offered in three locations: the Policlinico Hospital, Sacco Hospital, and San Paolo Hospital – depending on locations available for clinical practice.
2. University of Bologna Faculty of Medicine
The Italian-language program at the University of Bologna is a six-year degree in medicine or surgery. It trains students to become competent doctors and exercise a variety of roles within the medical profession. Their curriculum is split across three 2-year programs: basic scientific knowledge for the first two years, then the approach to medical practice is developed in the next two years, and finally in the third section, a comprehensive clinical approach to the patient is taught.
Also part of the study program, there is an internship requirement for a total of 1020 hours divided from the third year onwards, in increasing duration. Moreover, international links with other universities provide medical students with mobility across countries for the internships or tuition.
3. Sapienza University of Rome Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
One of the best medical schools in Italy and a top university in Rome, Sapienza University is renowned for its international approach and for its illustrious history. It was founded in 1303 and the Medical Faculty was opened in 1431. You have a choice of studying medicine in either English or Italian here.
This is a very small intake university, with only 45 students joining every year, of which only 10 non-EU students can be admitted. Therefore, admission is highly competitive. However, the small class number does ensure a very advanced learning experience, which is what makes Sapienza University an attractive place to study medicine.
4. University of Padova Department of Medicine
The University of Padova is one of the best academic institutions in Italy and across Europe, and its medical school is very highly ranked worldwide. It began teaching medicine as far back as 1222. The Department of Medicine has 103 full-time faculty members and 60 MD students – so it offers an excellent student : faculty ratio. There is also the opportunity to study for a PhD within the University of Padova.
Padua offers a great academic environment, being an illustrious city of learning and research with an impressive history. The University of Padova is in the top 250 universities in the world and is recognized as a leading research institution. 90% of its students consider themselves highly satisfied with their experience, according to the university’s own polling.
Finally, it is a unique setting, a low-cost alternative to many other medical schools in Italy, and a greatly interconnected city which is accessible easily by air, road, and rail links.
5. University of Turin Medicine and Surgery Department
The University of Turin’s facilities and classrooms for medical studies are located in Orbassano, near Turin, and include the Scientific Research Institute of the Cavalieri Ottolenghi Foundation. Teaching medicine here goes hand in hand with practical exercise at the San Luigi Gonzaga University Hospital.
The MD program here is taught in English. It gives you access to the Erasmus Plus exchange program within the European Union, as well as many other exchange options for institutions around the world. There is also the option of obtaining an MD-PhD program.
6. Vita-Salute San Raffaele University
Next on our list of top medical schools in Italy is Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. This private university is located in Milan and was founded in 1996. It offers departments of study in Medicine, Philosophy, and Psychology.
The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery offers programs in Medicine, Surgery, and Biotechnology, with practical applications from the first year of study. There are also options to study Nursing and Physiotherapy.
At the heart of the method of Vita-Salute San Raffaele University is its origin in research hospitals, putting a strong emphasis on students carrying out research in a variety of fields. The International Medical Doctor Program is taught in English, takes six years, and has a very selective admission process.
7. University of Milan – Bicocca School of Medicine and Surgery
This medical school in Italy was launched in 1999 and offers a diverse range of courses, having grown significantly since its inception. It is located in Monza near Milan, close to San Gerardo Hospital, where students have the opportunity to carry out hands-on practice and also focus on research in one of its internationally renowned Centers of Excellence.
The medical program here is the Single Cycle Master Degree in Medicine and Surgery, covering six years of tuition and practical experience.
I hope that this article on best medical schools in Italy was helpful.