Study medicine in Italy for international students

Italy has been for a long time, an epicenter of education and culture. And when it comes to medical and dentistry studies, the country prides in hosting some of the best schools in Europe. And if you choose to study medicine in Italy, not only you’ll get an outstanding training to become a doctor, but you’ll also learn in one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

Why study medicine in Italy?

Apart from visiting a country where the culture, history and food are some of the best attributes, studying medicine in Italy comes with many other perks:

  • Admission is way easier, since you’d only get to sit one admission exam: the IMAT.
  • It’s cost-effective: both the tuition fees and living expenses are lower in Italy than in many other European countries. And scholarship and working are even possible for foreign students.
  • Prestigious universities with big names that have been around for 500+ years. 
  • You can study in English in most of these high-profile institutions 
  • European MD degree which will allow you to practice as a doctor everywhere in Europe and even in the USA. 
  • More chances of entry, with some universities reserving some extra spots just for non-EU international students.

How many years to study medicine in Italy

To become a doctor in Italy, you need a postgraduate degree, a doctorate that will allow you to practice worldwide. This M.D program lasts an average of 6 years and is divided into 2 parts.

The first part consists of 2 years of pre-clinical training and serves as basis for general understanding. Students will have foundational subjects such as anatomy, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, physiology, etc.

From the third year till graduation, students undergo clinical training. This phase includes subjects such as general surgery, pathology, internal diseases, etc. Students will get practical skills and training that will help them make use of their theoretical knowledge.   

Entry requirements to study medicine in Italy 

To be able to enroll in medical school in Italy, you need to pass first and foremost the IMAT (International Medical Admission Test). The other requirements are proof the student meets the general qualification for university studies:

  • High-school diploma or any equivalent that prove you’ve graduated from secondary school
  • Medical certificate as a proof of good health
  • Proof of English proficiency for programs taught in English (TOEFL or IELTS Academic)
  • Any other document your university requires such as a motivation letter or a statement of purpose.

Learn also how to apply to Italian universities.   

What is the IMAT test? 

The IMAT is the official admission exam candidates who want to study medicine in Italy must pass. It assesses candidates’ knowledge in several scientific subjects namely: math, physics, chemistry and biology. The test also measures students’ level in general knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving. 

Usually, the IMAT to qualify for public medical schools in Italy takes place every year in September. The exam is on paper format in several test centers in major cities worldwide. 

Moreover, the exam lasts 100 minutes during which students have to answer 90 multiple choice questions with 5 possible answers. Each good answer is worth 1.5 points and a wrong answer gets you a penalty of -0.4 points. Lastly, each unanswered question counts for 0 point.  

Cost of studying medicine in Italy for international students

To study medicine in one of the top universities in Italy, you should expect to spend between €10,000 and €20,000 per year. Even though this looks quite expensive, this is way lower than what you would pay if you study in the UK, in the US or in Canada. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that public medical schools in Italy don’t have a fixed tuition fee. And these fees to study medicine in Italy are calculated based on family income. 

Moreover, it can happen that public universities charge as low as €4,500 per year for medical studies. Lastly, non-EU international students are charged higher tuition fees than European ones. 

Read also our overview of the living and study cost in Italy.

Study medicine in Italy with scholarship

To the question: is there any way to attend medical school in Italy at a lower price, the answer is yes. The country’s universities partnering with regional organizations offer several scholarships to both local and international students. In an effort to make higher education accessible, these scholarships consist either in reduction in tuition fees or in grants or support in housing or other living expenses. 

Here are some of the best scholarships to study medicine in Italy: 

DSU Italian State scholarships for international students

This scholarship program is for both local and international students in Italy and include education at undergraduate, master and PhD levels. It provides a specific amount to cover the cost of living, a full or half discount on accommodation and food costs. 

The procedure as well as the amount of the scholarship depends on each university as well as the student’s income level. However, the amount varies between €1,000 and €6,000 per year. As for the universities in Italy providing state scholarships to study medicine, there is the University of Milan, University of Turin, University of Bologna, Pavia, Siena as well as the University of Padova.

Scholarship based on merit from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Skilled students in their fields, including the medical one, can benefit from a scholarship opportunity from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development in Italy. This program primarily targets international students who are skillful in the academic, sportive and artistic field. 

Unicamillus University Scholarship

Being a private international medical school in Italy, Unicamillus has several numbers of full or partial funding for European and non-European students. The program’s purpose is to encourage highly motivated students with no sufficient financial resources to study medicine in Italy. 

The scholarships take the form of “loans of honor” and covers entirely or partially the student’s tuition fees. Moreover, the awarded amount usually ranges between €6,000 to €10,000.

There are other scholarship programs from public universities in Italy you can apply to fund your medical studies. Start by a look at our guide on the best scholarships in Italy. 

Can I study medicine in Italy in English?

The good news for international students is that most medical schools in Italy offer courses in English. In fact, English-taught MD programs have been introduced in Italian universities since 2009. 

And for those with financial difficulties, these public universities might even offer to lower the tuition fees. To sum everything up, Italy is the go-to place to get a medical degree in a conducive learning environment. 

Read also our guide on how to study in English in Italy.

Here are the best universities that offer medicine study in English in Italy:

University of Pavia

This institution started to exist in 1361, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. It’s also among the most prominent institutions in Italy and in Europe, with 9 faculties spread all over the city. The Medicine and Surgery program of the university also offers its students to study in one of the country’s most popular and cutting-edge research hospitals: the San Mateo Medical Center.

Learn more about this medical school.

Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences

This medical school, also called UniCamillus is a private medical school that is on the way to become one of the best of its kind in Italy and Europe. The institution earned its approval and accreditation in 2017 and has since built its reputation of excellence in the medical world. UniCamillus consists of 4 departments including a department of medicine and surgery, nursing and physiotherapy. The medical program lasts for 6 years and the tuition cost ranges between €12,000 to €20,000 depending on the student’s financial capabilities. 

Learn more about the medicine program at UniCamillus

University of Milan

The University of Milan is one of the best research universities in Italy and as such it offers one of the best medical programs in the country. The institution is also among the public universities in Italy where you can study medicine in English. Moreover, the medical school of the university, which started to exist in 1924, stands out for its innovative teaching methods associating academic training with clinical experience and in-depth research. 

Learn more about the University of Milan’s medicine program

University of Turin

Another high-profile university in Italy, the University of Turin, has been around since 1404 and the medical school since 1436. It’s another public university in Italy where you can study medicine in English. In this regard, the medical school aims to provide its students a training equipping future doctors with skills they can use both nationally and internationally. The institution then provides numerous services for students such as employment services and the Erasmus+ program.

Learn more about the university and their medical program.

University of Bologna

The last medical school in Italy that deserves attention turns out to be also the oldest university in the world. The University of Bologna’s roots date back to the 11th century, and the medical school exists since 1179. And since then, this learning institution has constantly remained at the top of Italy’s finest schools with no sign of relenting. One of the things responsible for the medical school’s reputation is the core values and medical standards they uphold in their teaching. The medicine program lasts for 6 years, divided in 3 programs of 2 years each.

Learn more about the university and its medical program.

Read also our ranking of the top universities in Italy

About Herilalao

A versatile freelance content creator and SEO specialist, I have a passion for writing and a knack for optimizing online visibility. I help businesses and individuals enhance their online presence through engaging and well-researched content. From writing informative articles to optimizing websites for search engines, I thrive in finding ways to create and manage content that not only resonates with readers but also boosts visibility and drives organic traffic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.