Private educational organizations in Italy can create a more collaborative and interactive study environment for their students for various reasons. Private universities typically have smaller class sizes, offering a more intimate and personal learning environment. This allows students to receive individualized attention from their professors and mentors.

Additionally, due to strong industrial ties which is typical in private universities, students can also benefit from numerous job placement and internship opportunities. International students studying in private universities in Italy can therefore expect an enriching and unique study abroad experience.

For anyone interested in pursuing higher education in a private university in Italy, this article offers some benefits of Italy’s higher education sector and a brief introduction to some of the most popular private universities available for international students in Italy.

Top Private Universities in Italy

Italy’s many prestigious private universities are renowned for their quality education. Here are 7 top private universities in Italy for international students.

1. Bocconi University

  • Admissions
  • Location: Milan, Italy | Medium of Instruction: English, Italian

Established in 1902, Bocconi University is a reputed private university in Italy that is renowned for its excellence in fields like management, social sciences, and economics. It offers students a stimulating study environment with much emphasis on innovation and research.

Bocconi University offers a wide range of programs among which programs like Master of Science in Finance, and Bachelor of Science in Economics and Management have garnered much popularity. Some famous graduates of Bocconi University include Mario Monti, a former Prime Minister of Italy, and Emma Bonino, a former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

2. European University of Rome

  • Admissions
  • Location: Rome, Italy | Medium of Instruction: English

Founded in 2004, the European University of Rome boasts a multicultural and international study environment. It offers degree programs in various fields like international relations, business administration, communications, and humanities. A distinctive feature of the university is its commitment to offering a global perspective through English-taught programs, international study programs, and internship opportunities.

The European University of Rome’s international reputation and diverse student community make it an attractive choice among international students. Additionally, the university is also known to offer numerous career opportunities to students and produce graduates with high employability thanks to its many International connections

3. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

  • Admissions
  • Location: Milan, Italy | Medium of Instruction: Italian, English

Italy’s largest private university, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore was founded in 1921 and is reputed for its strong Catholic values and excellent academics. The university offers a great range of study programs across a variety of disciplines like communication, economics, social sciences, and law.

A unique feature of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore would be its focus on social responsibility and ethics concerning education. The university’s international reputation also gives way to a diverse student community. Additionally, its global alumni network, reputed faculty, and the opportunity to live and study in famous cities like Rome, Piacenza, and Milan further attract international students from around the world.

4. LUISS Guido Carli University

  • Admissions
  • Location: Rome, Italy | Medium of Instruction: Italian, English

LUISS Guido Carli University is a prestigious private institution in Italy and was established in 1974. It excels in fields like business, political science, and economics, offering a range of programs like a Master’s in International Relations, and a Bachelor’s in Economics and Business.

LUISS Guido Carli University also heavily focuses on interdisciplinary education, incorporating practical skill learning with theoretical knowledge. A popular graduate from this university includes Franco Gallo, former president of the Italian Constitutional Court, and former Minister of Finance.

5. Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

  • Admissions
  • Location: Milan, Italy | Medium of Instruction: Italian, English

Established in 1996, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University is a popular prestigious private institution that is reputed for its excellence in biomedical and medical sciences. It offers numerous popular programs, including psychology, medicine, and surgery. The university is also affiliated with the San Raffaele Hospital, providing students with direct access to practical training, clinical and research experiences, and career opportunities.

San Raffaele University is perceived to be an attractive choice among international students, due to its advanced research facilities, world-class faculty, and picturesque campus location. However, the admissions to San Raffaele University is quite competitive and students must go through a rigorous selection process.

6. IULM University – Milan

  • Admissions
  • Location: Milan, Italy | Medium of Instruction: Italian, English

Established in 1968, IULM University-Milan is a reputed private university in Italy that specializes in tourism, communication, arts, and languages. It is renowned for its interdisciplinary education approach, combining practical experience with theory.

IULM University is an attractive option among international students due to its emphasis on internationalization, its diverse student community, and its modern facilities. Additionally, the university also offers numerous internships, language courses, and study abroad programs.

7. John Cabot University

  • Admissions
  • Location: Rome, Italy | Medium of Instruction: English

Established in 1972, John Cabot University’s American liberal arts education stands out among other Italian universities. This university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate English-taught programs, delivered in a multicultural and international setting.

John Cabot University is reputed for its many graduates with successful careers, in various fields worldwide. The university is also able to offer its students valuable internship and networking opportunities, due to its international connections.

FAQs about Studying in Private Universities in Italy

What Are the Advantages of Enrolling in a Private University in Italy?

Studying in private universities in Italy can be beneficial for international students, mainly in terms of the learning environment. Private universities typically offer a more tailored education and an intimate learning environment that allows students to interact more closely with professors as well as receive individual attention. This can lead to increased clarity in understanding subject matters and encourage critical thinking.

Additionally, private universities also tend to have strong industrial relations, due to which students can benefit from numerous networking, job placement, and internship opportunities. These connections can offer valuable practical training and increase the employability of graduates.


Italy is home to numerous private institutions renowned for their academic excellence. These universities offer a diverse and unique learning environment, paving the path for the academic and professional success of its graduates. Private Italian universities serve as ideal options for international students interested in pursuing a high-quality education, due to their emphasis on personalized attention, and strong international reputation.


We hope this article will serve as a guide in your search for the best private universities in Italy. For more study options, check out available programs at our Open Courses Page! You can visit the Study in Italy Page to read more articles about studying abroad!

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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