Recognition of foreign academic qualifications

Information on how to obtain full recognition (“equipollenza”) of an academic qualification earned abroad.

General information

Universities are responsible for recognising studies abroad and foreign qualifications, for the following purposes:

  • access to higher education,
  • continuing university studies,
  • awarding Italian university qualifications.

Universities exercise such competencies autonomously and in compliance with the respective degree programme regulations, without prejudice to any existing bilateral agreements (Lisbon Convention of 11 April 1997 ratified in Italy by Law no. 148/2002).

For purposes other than those listed above (e.g. participation in public competitions or access to regulated professions) the request must be submitted to other State administrations. For more information, visit the CIMEA website (Information Centre on Mobility and Academic Equivalences, the Italian ENIC-NARIC centre).

The full recognition of a foreign qualification is aimed at the release of an Italian university degree. This procedure was once identified as “equipollenza” (equivalence), but in Law 148/2002 this term is no longer used. It consists in an analytical recognition of a qualification obtained abroad, whose contents must correspond in detail and completely to the Italian qualification for which equivalence is requested.

In order to request full recognition, you must have an academic qualification obtained abroad:

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

You must also:

  • find in the course catalogue of the University of Bologna, in the academic year in which you submit the recognition request, a degree programme that corresponds by nature, level and content to the qualification you have and for which you are requesting recognition. The recognition cannot be requested for degree programmes not yet activated up to the last year,
  • know the language (Italian or English) the degree programme is delivered in at the University of Bologna, at least level B2.

Important:

  • The office’s assessment also extends to the academic qualification immediately preceding the one you are asking to be recognised: your high school diploma if you’re asking for recognition of a first or single cycle degree; your first cycle degree if you are asking for recognition of a second cycle degree;
  • for degree programmes with restricted access at a national level, you must contact the Student Administration Office for information, before submitting the application for recognition.

How the application is assessed

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

In the presence of bilateral agreements establishing an equivalence between qualifications (e.g. Italy / Austria), once the administrative checks of documentation are completed, the Board decides on the equivalence, followed by the issuance of the corresponding Italian qualification.

In the absence of bilateral agreements concerning equivalence between qualifications, the application for recognition may end with:

  • a full recognition and issuance of the corresponding Italian qualification,
  • a denial of recognition if deficiencies are found. In this case you can consider enrolling in the degree programme by following the normal procedures (thus passing the admissions process) and ask to shorten the degree programme.

How to apply

When to apply

You can apply at any time of the year.

How and where to apply

Fill out the application [.pdf] for recognition of the foreign qualification and submit it:

  • if you are a EU or non-EU with EU equivalent status student, you can submit the application to the Student Administration Office of the degree programme you are requesting recognition from,
  • if you are a non-EU student with residency abroad, you can submit the application via the local Italian embassy which will send it on to the Student Administration Office of the degree programme you are requesting recognition from.

The application must include:

  • a copy of your passport or (only for EU students) of your identity card,
  • (only for non-EU with EU equivalent status students) a copy of your residence permit providing the status of EU equivalent student,
  • a passport-sized photo, which must be authenticated if the application is not submitted directly by the applicant at the counter,
  • (if applying for recognition of a first cycle or single cycle qualification) the original foreign high school diploma, translated and certified by the Italian embassy, complete with the declaration of value, where applicable, and original foreign academic qualification, translated and legalised by the competent Italian embassy, complete with the declaration of value, where applicable,
  • (if applying for recognition of a second-cycle qualification) the original first and second cycle foreign academic qualifications, translated and legalised by the competent Italian embassy, complete with the declarations of value, where applicable,
  • the original certificate issued by the competent academic authorities listing the exams passed, translated and legalised by the competent Italian embassy, for each academic qualification,
  • 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 correspondence with the activities completed by the student. This declaration must be attached to the syllabi, and indicate the total number of pages. It must be signed, stamped and legalised. As an alternative, all pages must be signed, stamped and legalized,
  • information on the grading system adopted at the university where the academic qualification in question was earned. The information may already be contained in the exam certificates or in the Diploma Supplement. Otherwise you must submit the documents that explain it, without any formality (e.g. printing the appropriate web page of the university where you earned the degree),
  • the documents required to demonstrate knowledge of the language (Italian or English) the degree programme is taught in at the University of Bologna.

How to demonstrate knowledge of the language

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 within the CLIQ system (Certificazione Lingua Italiana di Qualità): 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 high school diploma received from an Italian school abroad,
  • one of the high school leaving qualifications listed in Annex 2 of the Ministerial Memo for A.Y. 2019/20, where the exemption from the Italian test for admission to the degree programmes is expressly noted,
  • a supplementary certificate attached to a middle school diploma obtained in Argentina certifying that the study plan included Italian language lessons for at least 5 years,
  • a high school diploma or academic degree of the Italian educational system and taught in Italian.

Alternatively you can take one of the Italian language tests for admission to the University of Bologna degree programmes, according to the established schedule.

For degree programmes taught in English, you must refer to the established methods to demonstrate knowledge of the English language for admission to the degree programme you are requesting recognition for, for the current year. See the "Admissions" section of the degree programme’s website.

Fees

To start the recognition process, payment of a € 600 fee is required.

Attention: the recognition process of the foreign qualification begins 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, whether full recognition of the qualification or denial of recognition. It is advisable to contact the degree programme offices (Degree programme office or Tutor) in advance to get information about the recognition.

To pay the fee you must:

  • register on Studenti Online,
  • access the "Entrance exams or requirements check" 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.