Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

The  Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (, located in Pisa (Tuscany), is a public university that holds a unique position within the Italian higher education system. It is both a university in its own right, offering Masters and PhD courses, while for undergraduates it works in conjunction with the University of Pisa. Potential undergraduates undergo a rigorous public competitive examination and only the very best are creamed off to combine their University of Pisa studies with the additional academic curriculum provided by the Scuola Sant'Anna. Students live and study at the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna totally free of charge, however they are required to get top marks in all their exams and show proficiency in two foreign languages.

The Scuola Sant'Anna is active in the fields of EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES (Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology, Medical Sciences, Industrial and Information Engineering) and SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Management, Law, Political Sciences).

Masters and PhD courses attract highly accomplished students and scholars from all around the world (about 30% of the PhD students are from outside Italy). Scholarships are offered, but only to the highest achieving students.


Undergraduate Courses (“Corsi Ordinari”): these courses are aimed at students from the University of Pisa who wish to integrate their studies with specialized courses at Sant’Anna. If they fulfil their academic obligations, the students receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pisa and a first-level diploma from the Scuola Sant’Anna at the end of their third year, a postgraduate degree from the University of Pisa and a second-level diploma from the Scuola Sant’Anna at the end of their fifth year.

Master's Degrees and Graduate Programmes (two years): Master's Degree courses (corresponding to a M.Sc.) and Graduate Programmes are organized in collaboration with prestigious Italian and foreign universities. Attendance on all courses is compulsory and there is a significant workload, aimed at achieving extremely high standards.

PhD Programmes and Doctorates (three years): the Scuola Sant’Anna offers both PhD courses and International Doctoral Programmes, involving various forms of collaboration and joint ventures with foreign universities. To gain admission, students must have successfully completed their graduate studies (M.A., M.Sc., which in Italy is a Laurea Specialistica or Laurea Magistrale, or equivalent degrees) although some of the programmes allow applications before graduation.
The three-year programmes include structured courses alongside supervised research. Periods in other Italian and foreign institutions are also encouraged by the School, which gives extra financial support to such students.

Master’s (one or two years): there are two levels of Master’s: a first level Master’s is for graduates with a bachelor's degree (having completed at least three years of university studies), a second level Master’s is for applicants with an Italian second level degree or a European degree that entails having completed at least four years of university studies. Admission is by a selection procedure. The year of study is divided into a period of classroom work followed by an internship in either a company or a public or private institution. These courses are aimed at broadening knowledge and expertise in innovative areas of strategic importance for the manufacturing and industrial world. All the masters courses are characterized by a strong interdisciplinary and applied approach.

Advanced Education – These programmes are aimed at industry, companies and organizations. The Scuola Sant'Anna also offers short training courses on various issues (Peace-keeping, Human Rights, Insurance, Social Policies, Health and Management, Environment, etc.) mostly open to students from all over the world and to professionals who want to increase their knowledge and skills.
With regard to the Masters and Advanced Training Courses, the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna has adopted a Quality Management System (QMS) in compliance with ISO 9001:2008.

The Institutes of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

The Scuola Sant'Anna is a research university where students, researchers and professors form part of a scientific community aimed at combining a diversity of knowledge and creativity with advances in scientific discoveries and technological innovation.
To achieve excellence in their field of study, students have the opportunity to use the laboratories and research facilities of the various Institutes of the Scuola Sant'Anna.
There are currently six institutes, which all aim at developing graduate programs where rigorous traditional courses are combined  with opportunities for research, service learning, internships, and entrepreneurship, both nationally and internationally.

Biorobotics Institute

Institute of Life Sciences

Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies (TeCIP)


Institute of Economics

Institute of Law, Politics and Development (DIRPOLIS)

Institute of Management



International Relations Office
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Phone: +30 050 - 883712/3173/3705


Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna is located in the heart of Pisa, within a fourteenth-century Benedictine monastery, which has been entirely restored and converted into a modern campus. Pisa, a former Maritime Republic, is one of the most charming towns in Italy. It is world famous for the Leaning Tower, which stands in the magnificent “Piazza dei Miracoli”. The river “Arno” runs through the town, which is only a few kilometres from the sea and yet also close to the hills. Pisa is just one of the main attractions in Tuscany, which is one of the most beautiful regions in all Italy. Tuscany was the birthplace of the Renaissance and of the Italian language, and boasts an artistic, cultural and landscape heritage, which makes it a must for tourists from all over the world.

Video presentation to introduce you to the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna