Skip to content

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

General Procedure

Recognition in Italy of Foreign Academic Qualifications

The recognition of foreign academic qualifications is regulated by:

  • Italian Presidential Decree no. 394 of 31 August 1999, art. 48 (recognition of foreign academic qualifications)
  • 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)
  • Italian Legislative Decree no. 165 of 30 March 2011, art. 38, paragraph 3.2 (General rules on the organisation of employment in public administrations) as amended by Law no. 15 of 25 February 2022.

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. This also applies to degrees obtained in countries other than signatories of the Lisbon Convention and regardless of the nationality held.

In application of the principle of substantial difference, introduced by the Lisbon Convention, each university recognises degrees awarded in another state unless it finds a substantial difference between them and the degrees it awards. The substantial difference may relate to educational systems, institutions or qualifications.

The recognition of foreign degrees at unibz

You can apply for the recognition of a foreign academic title of first cycle (bachelor), second cycle (master) or third cycle (PhD) to obtain a corresponding Italian final title (laurea, laurea magistrale, PhD) issued by the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (unibz). The University can only recognize equivalent qualifications to those that it offers and awards.

It is possible to apply throughout the year.

EU citizens, as well as persons treated as equivalent (non-EU citizens regularly residing in Italy, as per article 39, paragraph 5 of Law Decree no. 286 of 25 July 1998, as amended), submit all documentation directly to the Student Secretariat.

Non-EU citizens residing abroad submit all documentation via the competent Italian diplomatic or consular representation abroad.

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

Maximum envisaged duration: within 90 days of the application.

1. Information about the possibilities for recognition

The Student Office can provide initial information about recognition and the procedure for obtaining it:

  • for study programmes of Faculties at the Bozen-Bolzano campus: (Tel. 0471/012 200)
  • for study programmes of the Faculty at the Brixen-Bressanone campus: (Tel. 0472/012 200).

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 

Contact the Student Office by e-mail to receive the payment request (150 euro).

After making the payment, send your application with the required documents via e-mail to the Student Office, which will send you a receipt. 

3. Formal check of the application 

The Student Office 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 Office 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 establish:

  • full recognition of the foreign academic qualification (in rare cases)
  • partial recognition of the foreign academic qualification by recognizing single 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 Office of its decision.

5. Issue of the recognition decree from the Rector 

The Student Office will issue a recognition decree from the Rector and inform you of the outcome within 90 days of the application. The Rector’s decree can establish:

  • full recognition of the foreign academic qualification;
  • partial recognition of the foreign academic qualification. Partial recognition allows a study programme to be shortened. You must therefore apply for the study programme in question and pass the selection procedure. If you are awarded a place on the course, you will be able to enrol;
  • refusal of recognition if not all requirements are met or if there are one or more substantial differences between the degree awarded abroad and the corresponding degree offered at unibz.

6. Closure

The Student Office will send you the recognition decree digitally signed by the Rector in pdf/A format via e-mail. No decree will be issued in paper form.

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 Office 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).