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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

General Procedure

Recognition in Italy of Foreign Academic Qualifications and Shortened Study Programmes

The recognition of foreign academic qualifications is regulated by art. 48 (recognition of foreign academic qualifications) of Italian Presidential Decree no. 394 of 31 August 1999 and Italian Law no. 148 of 11 July 2002 (ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in the European Region held in Lisbon on 11 April 1997 and provisions to adapt the Italian regulations).

Universities are authorized to recognize study programmes and periods of education in other countries and foreign academic qualifications that might be used for the purposes of accessing higher education, continuing with university studies and receiving qualifications from Italian universities. Doctorates (PhDs) can only be recognized by the relevant Ministry in Rome. For information please contact the “Studieninformation Südtirol”.

The recognition of Bachelor and Master degrees at unibz

If you have a foreign university qualification that corresponds to a qualification offered by unibz, you can ask for it to be recognized. The University can only recognize equivalent qualifications to those that it offers and awards.

It is possible to apply throughout the year. We recommend applying between 1 September and 31 March, so that you have sufficient time to apply at unibz and enrol for the following academic year in order to take any additional exams that are required.

EU citizens can apply to unibz. The same applies for non-EU citizens with an Italian permit to stay, pursuant to art. 29, section 5 of Italian Legislative Decree no. 286 of 25 July 1998.

Non-EU citizens who live abroad must apply through the Italian representatives (consulates/embassies) in their country. Applicants must meet the established deadlines and provide proof of their knowledge of the Italian language. Their signatures and photographs must also be authenticated by the appropriate Italian representatives in their country. Non-EU citizens who live abroad and receive partial recognition of their exams must apply through the Italian representatives abroad.

Regulation on the recognition of foreign academic qualifications (German/Italian only)

Recognition procedure

Maximum envisaged duration: within 90 days of the application.

1. Information about the possibilities for recognition

The Student Secretariat can provide initial information about recognition and the procedure for obtaining it. Qualifications can be assessed by the relevant contact person, one or more of whom can be found in each faculty. They can take an initial look at your academic career and provide non-binding information about the possibilities for recognition of exams and qualifications.

  • If it is deemed likely that full recognition will be given, you can apply for a qualification to be recognized.
  • If it is deemed likely that only partial recognition will be given, you can apply to study at unibz. If you pass the admission procedure, you can enrol and subsequently apply for exams to be recognized and for your study programme to be shortened.

2. Presentation of an application 

You must hand in your application with the required documents and a payment receipt (150 euro) at the Student Secretariat, which will give you a receipt.

  • For complete recognition, you pay an additional 100 euro if you wish to receive a qualification certificate as well as a recognition decree.
  • For partial recognition, you must pass the admission procedure, enrol and pay the normal enrolment fees for students.

Any original documents provided will be returned at the end of the procedure.

3. Formal check of the application 

The Student Secretariat will check your application and the enclosed documents.
If you are seeking equivalence for a qualification which is not offered by unibz, you will be informed that your request has not been accepted, as the University is not authorized to provide recognition.
If any of the required documents are missing, you will be asked in writing to provide them. The processing period for the application will be extended by the amount of time that it takes for the documents to be sent.
The Student Secretariat will record the application and forward it to the relevant Faculty, along with the enclosed documents.

4. Handling by the Faculty/Course Council 

The relevant Faculty/Course Council will examine the application and make its decision known within 60 days of its receipt. It will check the exams taken abroad and acknowledge their equivalence with the enclosed exam programmes.
The Council can:
a) Establish the complete equivalence of a foreign academic qualification with a corresponding Italian qualification (in rare cases)
b) Partially recognize the qualification by recognizing individual exams. In this case, you must enrol at unibz and take the exams required to complete the qualification.

For partial recognition, the Faculty/Course Council can ask you to pass missing exams and, if deemed necessary, to write a new degree thesis. Normally the thesis must be presented again at the final exam.

The Faculty Secretariat will notify the Student Secretariat of its decision.


5. Issue of the recognition decree from the Rector 

The Student Secretariat will issue a recognition decree from the Rector and inform you of the outcome within 90 days of the application.

  • In the event of total recognition: The decree from the Rector establishes the equivalence of the foreign qualification with the qualification from unibz.
  • In the event of partial recognition: The decree from the Rector will establish the partial equivalence of the foreign qualification with the qualification from unibz. Partial recognition allows a study programme to be shortened. You must therefore apply for the course in question and pass the selection procedure. If you are awarded a place on the course, you will be able to enrol.

6. Collection of the recognition decree 

At the end of the procedure, you can collect the recognition decree from the Student Secretariat.
It is also possible to collect a decree on someone else’s behalf. The designated person must take a proxy letter together with copies of documents proving his/her own identity and yours.

Additional procedure in the event of partial recognition of credits

  1. You apply for the course.
  2. You must then pass the entrance procedure (language exams / admission exams).
  3. If you are awarded a place on the course, you enrol as regular student and pay the tuition fees for the academic year in question.
  4. The Student Secretariat will enter the recognized exams and the correct year of enrolment in the database.
  5. You must take the necessary exams.
  6. Once you have completed your studies, you will be given a final certificate and the qualification (as well as a diploma supplement).
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