Scuola Normale Superiore

The Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS) is the oldest higher learning institution in Italy, founded in 1810 by Napoleon I in Pisa as a twin institution of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
Academic activity is carried out in two main areas, the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Sciences , and at two levels, the undergraduate and the doctoral (PhD):
- Faculty of Arts includes the areas of Ancient History and Classical Philology, Italian Literature and Linguistics, Art History and Archaeology, History and Paleography, Philosophy.
- Faculty of Sciences includes the areas of Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Information Science.

The Undergraduate Course accompanies the Bachelor and Master courses provided by the Italian Universities. The admission is based only on a demanding competition, composed of both written and oral tests. The Scuola Normale is free for its students. The tuition fees paid to the University of Pisa are fully refunded by the Scuola Normale. SNS also contributes to the study expenses of the students with a small monthly stipend. During the five years they spend at the Scuola Normale, students are provided with: – free accommodation (en-suite single rooms) in one of the college dormitories owned by the SNS, with the exception of holidays; – free meals; – free access to the Library of the Scuola Normale Superiore; – exchange scholarships with foreign universities and free access to research facilities.
Every year, in May-June, the Scuola Normale Superiore announces a competition based on candidates’ degrees and work to date for some doctoral (PhD) position . Economic support for PhD students includes a contribution for accomodation and meals and funds for mobility and research. The PhD diploma of Scuola Normale is legally equivalent to the Phd of italian universities.

The Scuola Normale organizes its activities in buildings of great historical and architectural value, most of which overlook Piazza dei Cavalieri, in the heart of the city of Pisa. The Scuola Normale system includes room, board and further services. The dormitories, the laboratories and the library are available 11 months out of the year. Students live and sleep in en-suite single rooms, and have at their disposal a free cafeteria, which is also used by the researchers and the professors.
Since its foundation, three Nobel Prize winners were educated at SNS: Giosuè Carducci, Enrico Fermi, Carlo Rubbia, two Presidents of the Italian Republic: Giovanni Gronchi and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, and two Prime Ministers, Massimo D’Alema and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
Scuola Normale Superiore  ranks 1st among Italian and 10th among World universities in the Shanghai rating by size.

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