University of Siena

The University of Siena was founded in 1240.
The history of the University of Siena has evolved alongside Tuscany’s cultural tradition since the Middle Ages. The oldest document testifying to the university’s existence is a decree of the city’s Podestà (chief magistrate) dated 26 December 1240, which reveals the unusual fact that the University was funded directly by the city council. In fact, citizens who rented rooms to students were required to pay a tax, which the council used to pay the teaching staff, who were among the best in their field.
The city’s university grew constantly during the twentieth century, passing from four hundred students enrolled between the two World Wars to over twenty thousand students in recent years. At the same time the number of faculties increased from the original Medicine and Surgery and Law to include Pharmacy (1933), Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences (1962), Economics (1966), Arts and Humanities in Arezzo (established in 1969 as the faculty of Education), Arts and Humanities in Siena (1970), Engineering (1992) and Political Science (1997).
Academic structures are now going to change in accordance with new national Law; starting form September 2012 the University of Siena will be composed of 15 Departments, which will manage research and didactics: Information engineering and mathematics, Physical, earth and environmental sciences; Life sciences; Biotechnologies, Chemistry and Pharmacy; Medical Biotechnologies; Molecular and developmental medicine; Medicine, surgery and neuroscience; Education, human sciences and intercultural communication; Philology and ancient and modern literary criticism; History and cultural heritage studies; Social, political and cognitive sciences; Political and international studies; Political Economics and statistics; Business and legal studies; Law.
The University of Siena awards:

  • 30 first cycle degrees (the period normally required for each is 3 years)
  • 28 second cycle degrees (the period normally required for each is 2 years)
  • 3 single long cycle degrees (the period normally required for each is 5 years)
  • 1 single long cycle degrees (the period normally required for it is 6 years)
  • 12 PhDs (the period normally required is 3 years)
  • 22 First level Master’s degree (period of study required 10/16 months)
  • 46 Second level Master’s degree (period of study required 10/16 months)

Overall, the University of Siena has about 16189 first and second cycle students, 405 doctoral students and 715 students enrolled in its post-graduate courses or in specialisation courses. The research and teaching staff comprises 749 persons; the technical and administrative staff numbers 1013.
The University of Siena has always seen the process of internationalization as the means to and primary aim of the recognition and enhancement of its training and research activities and carries out several strategic actions and programmes in the field of the international cooperation.
Almost all departments of the University of Siena are located in the core of the city, either in prestigious buildings of the old city, or in an ever-growing number of modern structures which are located in the outskirts of the city.