It is not surprising that when choosing to pursue higher education, students often opt for Europe. It offers both an abundance of history and a diverse array of universities to choose from. One of the most notable European countries for higher education in Italy. In addition to its long history of academic excellence, the country is also rich in culture and cuisine. Moreover, many students who go on to study at Italian universities, also pursue language courses and become proficient in the countries native language. To get a better understanding of all that Italian universities have to offer, this article reviews some of Italy’s best biology universities.

Top Schools Offering Biology in Italy

1. University of Padua

Situated in the northern Italian region of Veneto, the University of Padua is ranked among the very best institutions for higher education in Europe. It is said to have been founded in 1222 by a group of students and professors who abruptly left the University of Bologna in search of more academic freedom. The first courses to be taught at the university concerned theology and law. However, the University of Padua has expanded over its many centuries and now includes over forty departments and a student body with over 60.000 members.

One of the university’s most prestigious departments is its Department of Biology. Its scientific field encompasses the majority of fields in modern biology. All programs offered by the department are organized to include both experimental and theoretical work. Thus, while receiving an exceptional theoretical education, students at this top-notch biology school are also able to make use of the rich collection of instruments and research facilities. As a result of this type of blended education, upon receiving their education, biology graduates have the chance to work in some of the most prominent research centers in Europe.

2. University of Florence

The University of Florence is a public research institution located in the exquisite Italian city of the same name. The roots of this center for higher education date back to the Studium Generale established by the Florentine Republic in 1321. At its beginning, the university centered on three core areas of study – Civil and Canon Law, Literature, and Medicine. During its existence, it expanded and came to be home to many world-renowned scholars, such as Giovanni Boccaccio, who lectured on the Divina Commedia. Presently, it is ranked among the best and largest Italian universities with numerous campuses scattered throughout Florence and beyond.

Today, the University of Florence is made up of various departments, one of which is its esteemed Department of Biology. At the undergraduate level, biology students have a chance to choose between two scientific programs – Biological Sciences and Natural Sciences. During these three-year programs, students acquaint themselves with the broadness of their respective research fields and come to gain crucial theoretical and practical knowledge. In this way, at the end of their undergraduate studies, they are prepared to decide on their future specializations and graduate programs.

3. University of Milan

Another research institution worthy of mention is the University of Milan. Among the best biology universities in Italy, it has consistently been considered the most prestigious university in the country and is the only one to be a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). In addition to its academic prestige, the University of Milan is also among the largest in Europe, as its student body numbers over 60,000 students. As a result of both its size and quality, the university has been home to prominent alumni such as the former Prime Ministers Silvio Berlusconi and Nobel laureate in physics, Riccardo Giacconi.

Students who wish to pursue a degree in biology may do so at the university’s Department of Biosciences. The main goal of the undergraduate program is to provide students with a solid basis in biological sciences. Moreover, during their undergraduate years, students are also introduced to methodologies and technologies incremental in their scientific field. Once they have obtained a bachelor’s diploma, students may choose more specific fields of study during their graduate program. It is important to note that both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Department of Biology are centered on providing an interdisciplinary education.

4. Sapienza University of Rome

The Sapienza University of Rome, commonly known only as Sapienza, is a leading center for higher education located in the Italian capital. The university is also among the oldest in the world, as it was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, as a Studium for ecclesiastical studies. In the past couple of years, it has continuously been ranked as the best university for the study of classics and ancient history. Due to its academic prestige, it has educated most of the Italian ruling class as well as many Nobel laureates, Presidents of the European Parliament, and European Commissioners.

The Biology and Biotechnology Department “Charles Darwin” (DBBCD) is located on the main campus of Sapienza University. The campus is dedicated to educating students on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as remaining at the forefront of scientific innovation. The department considers itself to be a multidisciplinary environment, as its teaching and research activities span over diverse biological topics. In addition to the aforementioned, it is also the home to research centers for microscopy and nanotechnologies.

5. University of Bologna

Situated in the Italian city bearing the same name, the University of Bologna is an institution with a centuries-old tradition of excellence. As it was founded in 1088, the University of Bologna is the oldest university in continuous operation in the world. It is also the first university in the sense of a higher-learning and degree-awarding institute. Furthermore, this institution was the home of the first woman to earn a university degree and teach at a university, Bettisia Gozzadini.

Concerning its biological studies, the University of Bologna offers programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its long history of excellence is evident in this field, as the Department of Biology has graduated world-renowned experts in biological fields ranging from ecology to nanotechnologies and molecular biology. The curriculum on all educational levels is constructed as multidisciplinary and thus allows future biology experts to gain a comprehensive and all-encompassing higher education. Indeed, the University of Bologna is among the best biology universities in Italy.


We hope this article on Italy’s best biology universities was insightful and helpful to you. To learn more about studying in Europe, check out the Available Programs for International Students in Europe.

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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