Full academic recognition of foreign qualifications

How to get full recognition in Italy of a qualification from a foreign university.

Before inquiring at our offices about the recognition of foreign qualifications, please read carefully the webpage Types of recognition of foreign qualifications in order to understand which type of recognition you need and which administration is responsible.

What full academic recognition means

Full recognition of a foreign academic qualification is aimed at obtaining an Italian university qualification: it consists in the analytical recognition of a qualification obtained abroad, the contents of which must fully and accurately match those of the Italian qualification for which recognition is being requested.

If you earned an academic qualification abroad

  • issued by a university or other university-level institution belonging to the official education system of the country concerned, and
  • which concludes the first or second cycle (Bachelor’s or Master’s degree) and allows admission to the next cycle of studies in the system of reference,

you can apply for full recognition at an Italian university.

Application assessment at the University of Bologna

The Degree Programme Board is the body that assesses applications for recognition of foreign qualifications.

If there are no bilateral agreements between two countries concerning mutual recognition of qualifications, your application for recognition may end with:

  •  full recognition of your qualification and issuing of the equivalent Italian qualification (such cases are extremely rare);
  • a denial of recognition if the Board finds shortcomings: in this case, you can enrol in the degree programme you are interested in by following the standard admission procedures and apply to shorten the degree programme.

If bilateral agreements are in place establishing mutual recognition of qualifications (for example between Italy and Austria), once administrative checks on the documents have been completed, the Board approves the recognition and then issues the corresponding Italian qualification.

How to apply at the University of Bologna

To apply for recognition:

  • search in the programme catalogue of the University of Bologna, in the academic year in which you submit your application for recognition, for a degree programme which, by nature and in terms of level and content, corresponds to the qualification you have and for which you are requesting recognition. You cannot apply for recognition for degree programmes that have not yet been activated until the last year of the degree programme;
  • you have to know the language (Italian or English) that the degree programme is taught in at the University of Bologna at least at B2 level;
  • for degree programmes with restricted access at a national level, please contact the Student administration office first.

You can submit your application at any time of the year. Fill in the application for recognition of the foreign qualification [.pdf 479 KB] and submit it:

  • if you are an EU or non-EU equivalent student, to the Student administration office that manages the degree programme for which you are requesting recognition;
  • if you are a non-EU student and are resident abroad, via the Italian diplomatic representation in your country, which will send it to the Student administration office responsible for the degree programme concerned.

Please note that the Degree Programme Board must also assess the qualification immediately preceding the one for which you are requesting recognition (secondary school diploma if you are requesting recognition for a single cycle degree or master’s degree, university degree if you are requesting recognition for a master’s degree). Carefully read the page Translation, authenticity and value of foreign qualifications and attach to your application:

  • a copy of your passport or, only for EU students, of your identity card;
  • only for non-EU students with EU equivalent status: a copy of your residence permit providing the status of EU equivalent student;
  • a passport size photo, which must be certified if you do not submit your application in person;
  • if you are applying for recognition of a first cycle or single cycle qualification: the original foreign secondary school diploma and foreign academic qualification and their translation, with confirmation of authenticity and documents concerning their value;
  • if you are applying for recognition of a second cycle degree: the original foreign academic first and second cycle degree qualifications and their translation, with confirmation of authenticity and declaration of value;
  • an original certificate listing all exams passed, translated and with confirmation of authenticity for each academic qualification submitted;
  • the official syllabi of all the learning activities you completed to obtain the foreign academic qualification, translated into Italian. The syllabi must be accompanied by a declaration of the issuing institution, confirming their authenticity and that they correspond to the activities you completed: this declaration must be attached to the syllabi, specifying the total number of pages. It must be signed and stamped and must include a confirmation of authenticity; alternatively, each page must be stamped, signed and it must include a confirmation of authenticity;
  • information on the grading system adopted at the university where the academic qualification in question was earned and for which you are applying for recognition. This information may already be contained in your exam certificates or in the Diploma Supplement. If not, you can hand over the relevant documentation without having to complete any formalities (such as printing the web page of the university where you earned the degree);
  • the documents required to prove knowledge of the language (Italian or English) in which the degree programme is taught at the University of Bologna (see below).

Language proficiency

For degree programmes taught in Italian, you can submit one of the following certificates/qualifications: 

  • Italian Language competence certificates corresponding at least to level B2 as determined by the Council of Europe, issued as part of the CLIQ (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità) quality system: CELI B2 (Università per Stranieri di Perugia), CILS B2 (Università per Stranieri di Siena), PLIDA B2 (Società Dante Alighieri), CERT.IT B2 (Università Roma Tre);
  • “Diploma di I o II grado in Lingua e Cultura italiana” awarded by the “Università per Stranieri di Siena” or “Attestato di conoscenza della Lingua e Cultura italiana” corresponding to levels C1 or C2 awarded by the “Università per Stranieri di Perugia”;
  • a 5-year or 4-year secondary school diploma received from an Italian school abroad;
  • one of the secondary school leaving qualifications listed in Annex 2 of the Ministerial Memo for A.Y. 2020/21, where it is expressly stated that exemption from the Italian test for admission to the degree programmes is allowed;
  • a certificate supplementing the middle school diploma obtained in Argentina, certifying that the study plan included Italian language lessons for at least 5 years;
  • a secondary school diploma or academic degree of the Italian educational system, taught in Italian. 

Alternatively, you can take an Italian language test for admission to the degree programmes of the University of Bologna.

For degree programmes taught in English, to demonstrate your knowledge of English for admission to the degree programme you are requesting recognition for, please refer to the procedures established for the current year. See the Admission section on the website of the degree programme you are requesting recognition for.

Application fee

To start the recognition process, payment of a €600 fee is required: the recognition process starts on the date the University of Bologna receives the payment.

The fee is always due and is not refundable, whatever the outcome of the process. We recommend that you first contact the degree programme offices (Degree Programme Office or Degree Programme Tutor) for information on recognition.

To pay the fee you must:

  • register on Studenti Online and access the “Admission application” section
  • select “Other qualification” and “Richiesta equipollenza titolo accademico conseguito all'estero”
  • enter the data of the foreign qualification you are requesting recognition for and other required information
  • make the payment.