If you are in a search of higher education in a foreign country, Italy may just be the perfect opportunity to get a high-quality education, at reasonable prices, and all that while exploring the culture of one of the most beautiful European countries. Many universities in Italy provide classes in English and accommodate international students.

Italy is famous for improving the modern view of society, and its medical education is one of the best available. They are more oriented to theoretical knowledge and less on practice, but the overall education depends on your chosen university. As you apply to an Italian medical school, please remember that these universities are highly competitive and hard to get into. Since there is a strict policy and a few places available, make sure to follow the admissions process early and submit early.

In this article, we will be talking about the best medical schools in Italy. We listed down their backgrounds and admission links, so you can compare which university is best for you.

Top Medical Schools in Italy

1. University of Bologna

The University of Bologna is considered to be the oldest university in Europe, and it was established in 1088. This University is the cradle for many modern systems of education, and this small town is often overcrowded with students. The University of Bologna is the best medical school in Italy.

This is also one of the most popular universities in Italy because many international students and Italians prefer it over other universities. It has a long history and high-quality education that is known worldwide. This also brings one unfortunate circumstance that rent is high and accommodation hard to find.

2. University of Milan

Although old, the University of Milan is one of the younger ones in Italy and Europe, established in 1924 by the tenacious efforts of the doctor and gynecologist Luigi Mangiagalli. This university is in the heart of Milan, the city of many virtues like fashion, food, and tourism, but also a city where you can get the best education in Italy.

This top medical school in Italy offers six-year education to get your MBBS, and it’s ranked among the 100 top universities. They have clinical and practical education provided in Luigi Sacco Hospital nearby. Unlike most Italian universities, they don’t rely only on the theoretical part and ensure that students have enough first-hand practice.

They are also big on promoting equal rights and opportunities for everyone; thus, international students feel at home from the first day. Being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world will also benefit the experience and further educate every student.

3. Sapienza University of Rome

The Sapienza University of Rome was formed as a research facility in 1303, and today it remains one of the best research universities in Italy. Located in Rome, this university is a dream come true for most travelers and students.

They are not only offering pristine education, the best professors, and practical experience, but they also have a policy of lower prices for students that can’t afford the education. This can be a big benefit for students internationally who are looking for a good and affordable education in Italy.

Sapienza University has three faculties: the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, the Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacy, and Medicine & Psychology. It takes six years to get your degree, and all the while, you are going to live in one of the top destinations in Italy, Rome. It’s worth mentioning that the cost of living in Italy varies from one city to another, but Rome is one of the most expensive cities in Italy, and traffic can be very bad.

4. University of Padua

The University of Padua, another top medical school in Italy, was established in 1222, and since then, many prominent scientists were made right here, including Galileo and Copernicus, among others who changed history as we know it today.

International students are more than welcome in this Italian city, and they make up over 30% of the population in Padua. This amazing place offers not only famous education possibilities but a chance to live in one of the most visited places in Italy.

This university offers medical education in English and Italian, which lasts six years, and it is oriented around the new idea of holistic learning. The clinical approach is available from the first year to teach the students practical and empiric knowledge.

5. University of Turin

The University of Turin was founded in 1404, and it represents one of the oldest and most prestigious medical schools in Italy. The city of Turin, where the school is located, has all the charm and beauty of the historical heritage of Italy, with little fewer visitors. Thus the cost of living is much more affordable.

The MD program at this university is taught in English at the San Luigi Gonzaga University Hospital, and they accept international students each year. Within the campus of this university, there are over 79,000 students in general, and they occupy 120 buildings.

6. Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University is one of the smaller and newer universities in Italy, established in 1996. This university just recently opened its doors to international students, primarily from Europe, but later also non-European students.

Their education system works in smaller groups, which allows more interaction and a better learning process than in more popular and crowded universities. Students have access to the hospital at San Raffaele in Milan where they can learn everything about patient care and get more of a first-hand experience.

7. University of Milano – Bicocca

University of Milano-Bicocca, was established quite recently in comparison to older Italian universities, in 1998. Since then, they have been working hard to produce top-notch doctors and offer many postgraduate education opportunities.

This top Italian medical school closely cooperates with many other universities and hospitals, offering its students the best experience and education, with one big plus on their side, and that is easier access or application than most other schools. Everything is done online, and it’s super convenient for international students.

8. University of Florence

The University of Florence is one of the oldest ones and it was established over 700 years ago in 1321. Today it is one of the top research universities in Italy, with over 60,000 students enrolled. They have been participating in national and international research programs, ensuring their position on the map of the best schools in Italy.

9. University of Pisa

The University of Pisa was officially established in 1343, but many people claim it was founded much earlier. Throughout the turbulent history of Europe and Italy, this university remained one of the most highly-regarded ones and home to many famous people in education and research.

They are trying to attract international students and have 12 Master’s degree programs and an MBA taught exclusively in English. This is a big benefit when it comes to accommodating foreign students that not many universities can offer.

10. Humanitas University

One of the youngest private medical schools in Italy, Humanitas University was established in 2014 as one of many research universities in Italy. They are open to international students and offer high-quality education with a staff that includes 3 Nobel Prize winners.

They are one of the smaller schools, and with that comes a more personal approach to studies, resulting in graduates that have both theoretical and practical knowledge. They offer full classes in English, and you can acquire a diploma in general medicine and one that combines biotechnology and medicine.

Check Also: Cheap Universities in Italy

11. University of Naples Federico II

The University of Naples Federico II is located in Naples, Italy. It is one of Europe’s top universities, founded in 1224. It is a well-known institute in Italy that teaches students about research, clinical training, and the medical sciences. It offers a six-year program covering anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and pathology.

The first three years of the medical program are geared toward theoretical knowledge. At the same time, the next two years are spent in a clinical rotation, where students learn to make diagnoses and treat real patients under the watchful eyes of practicing doctors. Similarly, the sixth year includes thesis work and other forms of research.

As stated earlier, the university dates back to 1224, and the competition to secure a seat in one of its medical programs is real. On the other hand, admissions are based entirely on merit, and things like academic performance, interest in medicine, and soft skills like communication and empathy all play a big role in who gets in.

Also, this institute is your best bet if you’re into research. It has several institutes and centers for research on campus that focus on oncology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, and public health.

12. University of Pavia

Another leading Italian university offering medical programs is the University of Pavia. It is a public research institute in Pavia, Italy. It is also among the oldest universities in Italy, offering graduate and undergraduate medical programs. Also, when it comes to medical teaching and research, only some institutions can match the reputation and legacy of the University of Pavia’s medical school.

The institution’s medical curriculum lasts six years and is broken into three cycles. The first three years are theoretical, the next two are clinical rotations, and the last year is geared toward writing a thesis. Also, students in the medical department at the University of Pavia get a well-rounded education that includes classroom lessons, clinical rotations, and research.

Still, the curriculum is always updated to include the latest medical research findings and better prepare students for the challenges of modern medicine. As we speak of the faculty, the University of Pavia’s faculty is dedicated experts passionate about their students’ success. They care deeply about passing on their expertise to the next generation of doctors.

Also, the medical school in Pavia works with several local facilities to give its students opportunities to do internships. This gives students a chance to get hands-on experience in various healthcare settings.

13. University of Genoa

The University of Genoa was established in 1481 to graduate top-notch medical doctors. Most people agree that its medical program is the best of all the medical schools in Italy. Moreover, the school consistently ranks highly in Italy and internationally.

If you are a professional who wants to teach and do research, the University of Genoa has a lot of research opportunities for you. And the quality of instruction at this institution has earned a sterling reputation, and professors are noted for their accessibility and willingness to help each student succeed.

In addition to having a great academic program, the school has partnerships with many hospitals and research centers that give students a chance to get real-world experience in medicine. The classrooms, labs, and simulation spaces at the University of Genoa are all cutting-edge. Their state-of-the-art classrooms are built around giving students valuable hands-on experience with cutting-edge tools.

Overall, it’s an excellent choice for people who want to gain a top-notch education within their budget. Since the University of Genoa also offers scholarships based on academic excellence and some need-based scholarships.

14. University of Parma

The University of Parma is Italy’s and the world’s oldest medical school, dating back to 962 A.D. The medical school at the University of Parma is highly regarded and famous worldwide. Graduates from this school are in high demand in the healthcare field, and the school itself has gotten good reviews from several rating systems for universities.

This institution is dedicated to research and offers several chances for students to participate in this study area. Also, the school works with top medical research institutions and hospitals to give students real-world experience, which is very helpful.

One of the main hospitals in the area is Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, which is connected to the University of Parma Medical School. Students can get valuable clinical experience in various medical fields and settings by accrediting universities with hospitals.

Also, if you are an international student looking for opportunities in Italy, the University of Parma is involved in several international exchange and internship programs. Students can improve their language abilities and obtain significant international experience with these programs.

15. University of Siena

The University of Siena was established in 1240 and is well-known in Italy for offering top-tier medical programs. The curriculum of the MBBS is divided into six years, with three years of theoretical teaching and 3 three years of clinical training.

This school is well-known for its classes and extracurricular activities, such as student groups, sports teams, and cultural events. In these extracurricular events, students can meet new people, hone their leadership skills, and broaden their horizons by actively participating.

However, to get admission to the University of Siena, students must have a solid grasp of the Italian language. Also, a language test might be required for international applicants before they are accepted into the program. Besides, its entrance test is also quite tough. Students are assessed in various ways, including through their grades, participation in extracurricular activities, and personal statements.

FAQS About Studying Medicine in Italy

Can International Students Enroll in Medical Schools in Italy?

Yes, according to Medschool, international students can enroll in medical schools in Italy. This is a great opportunity for foreign students to get diplomas, at reasonable prices and with experience made in Italy.

They are known to be very friendly with strangers, passionate hosts, and amazing cooks, all of this will add to the experience and enable you to learn so much more than just medicine. Universities in Italy are old, well-known, and established on principles dating more than a century ago. They can be a bit more theoretical, but nevertheless great.

Italian universities offer education in English since 2009, and since then more and more universities are accommodating this new trend.

Learn More: How to Become a Medical Doctor in Italy

What is the Medical Curriculum Like in Medical Schools in Italy?

According to ItalyMedicalSchools, it takes 12 semesters, or 6 years to finish medical school in Italy. The diplomas acquired in Italy are approved worldwide, and job opportunities are many. They offer classes in English but it’s always wise to learn the language because you will come in contact with people outside the classes and with potential patients.

Hospitals in Italy are working closely with universities, and you will have an opportunity to practice your language and acquire knowledge in many schools from day one. This is why it’s important to learn the language, even for basic communication.

See Also: Study in Italy for Free


Universities in Italy offer so much more than simple education. They go along with time and change as they go. The cultural and historical heritage this country has to offer is far beyond anything in other countries, and all of that comes with a decent price tag. Whether you choose some of the oldest universities or go for one that is younger, Italian schools will make sure to produce high-quality doctors and humanitarians ready to take on any position and job. If you have questions about becoming a doctor, make sure to check 6 Steps to Become a Doctor in Italy to find all the answers you need.


We hope that this article on the best medical schools in Italy was helpful. If you are interested to know more information, check out the Available Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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  1. Megan Ostuni September 26, 2023 6:40 pm - Reply

    Which of these medical programs is taught in English please?

    • Hyun Lee October 16, 2023 10:42 pm