The University of Messina

The University of Messina is a public university established in 1548 with a strong focus on research. The Department of Biomedical, Dental and Morphological and Functional Imaging Sciences offers undergraduate and postgraduate study programs, including Medicine and Surgery.

To gain admission, students must pass the highly competitive IMAT test, which evaluates their biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and logical reasoning knowledge.

The department is the only institution in the region of Sicily that offers these programs and has modern facilities and highly qualified faculty members. The IMAT test has a national ranking for EU citizens, and the chosen university determines the ranking for non-EU citizens.

University of Messina’s Minimum Admission Scores

  • Non-EU: 36.9 
  • EU first round: 35.2
  • EU last round: 33,5 (scrolling n°12)

University of Messina’s Places available

There is a total of 83 places:

  • EU: 41 places
  • Non-EU: 42 places
university of messina

The University of Messina International Medical School (UniMe-IMS) began in 2018-2019. It offers a single-cycle degree course in Medicine and Surgery, designed to provide theoretical-practical and methodological knowledge to train medical doctors. The program aims to equip students with decision-making and operational autonomy for promoting health, preventing disease, and treating patients nationally and internationally. Additionally, the program teaches the fundamental methodological principles of scientific research and cultural bases for lifelong learning.

The course of study is six years long and includes 360 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits, following current Italian and European legislation. At least 60 ECTS credits should be acquired through specific professional skills training activities.

Upon completing the program, graduates can access public exams for Specialization Schools or Specific Training Courses in General Medicine. They can also pursue Second-Level Master’s Programs and Ph.D. programs.

The course is conducted in English, and admission is required to have a minimum level of B2 proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference of languages (CEFR). Italian language courses are offered in the first two years at the University Linguistic Center (CLAM) or equivalent organization to ensure productive learning during professional activities at the patient’s bedside. The minimum level of knowledge required for the Italian language is B1 (CEFR).


The Faculty’s headquarters of Medicine is located at the Polyclinic Gaetano Martino in Messina, a unique and impressive place that is worth exploring. The polyclinic is a vast and modern facility that offers top-notch medical services and facilities.

You can take the shuttle that departs from the Polyclinic to get to the Torre Biologica, the building where classes are held

To reach the Polyclinic, you have several transportation options to choose from. You can take the tram or bus, with the Zir-Buonino tram being the only one available. However, the shuttle 1 and various buses are also available and can be used to get to the polyclinic.

If you prefer driving, you can park at the polyclinic’s pavement car park or park for free in the outdoor areas, but it is best to arrive early to secure a spot. The polyclinic also has a spacious and well-equipped parking lot that is available for visitors.

If you are new to the city and plan to rent a flat, you can live in the city center or the polyclinic area. If you decide to live in the city center, you can expect a journey of about 30 minutes by bus from the cathedral towards Piazza Cairoli to reach the polyclinic. On the other hand, if you prefer living in the polyclinic area, you will have the faculty within a walking distance.

However, it is worth noting that the polyclinic area is more peripheral and, therefore, more dangerous, especially at night. So, taking necessary precautions and being vigilant when walking around the area is essential.

Educational Plan

The study plan of the University of Messina is divided into two parts.

  • The first two years of the university are preparatory, where students cover the basic subjects. These basic subjects include anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, general pathology, and microbiology. During this period, students also take courses in statistics, physics, and chemistry to strengthen their foundation.
  • From the third year, the clinics begin, and students start their first internships after the valedictorian and the white coat distribution. This is the time when students apply the knowledge they have gained in the classroom to real-life situations. In reality, the first contacts with the clinic are made from years 1-2 with the CPR, the laboratory with interactive dummies. In the second year, there is also a more theoretical approach alongside communication skills.

In many cases, the examinations are integrated exams, comprising several tests that average each other out. These exams are typically held at the end of each year and cover all the subjects taught in that particular year.

There are no actual bar exams, but there are many preparatory subjects. From the second year, each year is preparatory to the next. This means that each year builds upon the previous year’s knowledge and prepares students for the coming year’s subjects.

Foreign students who wish to study medicine in Italy must pass a B1 test in Italian by the third year. This test ensures that they understand the language, which is essential for communicating with patients and colleagues. Students can take the test through Rosetta Stone or through courses offered by the university.

Exams at the University of Messina

At the end of each lecture period, students must take an examination to evaluate their understanding of the course material. The examination period is divided into nine sessions, which occur throughout the calendar year. These sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • Two examination sessions are held between January and February
  • One examination session is held in April
  • Three examination sessions are held between June and July
  • Two examination sessions will be held in September
  • One examination session is held in November

Please note that the majority of these examinations are conducted orally. Additionally, students must have a minimum attendance of 75% to be eligible to take these exams. 

First year at the University of Messina

The academic year is divided into two semesters, with classes for the first year usually commencing towards the end of October. However, the exact start date may vary depending on when the test is scheduled. From the second year onwards, classes typically begin at the end of September, after the exam session.

During the first semester, you must attend a series of lectures covering various subjects. These include:

  1. The Living Matter (12 CFU): This course covers chemistry (1st semester) supplemented with biochemistry (2nd semester). It is an annual oral examination that assesses your knowledge of both subjects. The chemistry component is taken first, followed by biochemistry.
  2. Cellular and Molecular Biology (8 CFU): This course is an oral examination that covers biology and molecular biology. You will be tested on your knowledge of these subjects and your ability to apply them to real-world scenarios.
  3. Physics, Statistics, and Bioinformatics (10 CFU): This course consists of three components – physics, statistics, and bioinformatics. The physics exam is a written exam with multiple-choice answers, while the statistics and bioinformatics exams are oral. For the bioinformatics component, you will need to complete a project on a protein, too. It is important to note that you must pass all three components in the same attempt; otherwise, you will need to retake the entire exam.

The second semester is also divided into several courses, which include:

  1. Early Clinical Contact: This component takes place towards the end of the second semester and is designed to provide students with practical experience in a clinical setting. There is no exam associated with this component; it is purely a practical activity.
  2. Histology and Embryology (8 CFU): This course is a challenging oral examination that covers histology and embryology. There is only one professor for both subjects.
  3. Body Architecture (5 CFU): This course consists of an oral anatomy 1 exam. You will be asked one question each about muscles, joints, and bones. 
  4. Genetics (6 CFU): This course is an oral examination that covers genetics. There are four different professors covering different parts of the subject. One part is more clinical, while the other is more laboratory-based.

Attendance is compulsory for all courses, and strict records are kept using a geo-localized application. As previously mentioned, you must have at least 75% attendance to pass the course. For the first year, there is an online attendance recovery system that allows you to watch recorded lectures to make up for any missed classes.

Classes typically run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, with a lunch break from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm. There may be longer days, and in the third year, there is also a Saturday morning class. 

Pros of Studying medicine at the University of Messina

  • The English degree is equivalent to the Italian one; they are equally recognised in Italy and the EU. For non-EU countries, it is necessary to check individual regulations. After graduation, you can register for the Postgraduate test in Italy.
  • The university has a small number of students in class, which allows for more personalized attention from professors. This means that students can interact more closely with their professors, ask more questions, and receive more feedback. The professors are friendly, approachable, and always willing to help students with their academic and personal problems. 
  • The university has good student representatives who are elected by the students to represent their interests and concerns.The director is committed to improving the quality of education, and the university regularly invests in new facilities and technologies.
  • Unlike other courses in Italy, there isn’t as much competition or rivalry in the English course. 
  • The university provides a cosmopolitan environment with students from all around the world. This enables students to learn about various cultures, languages, and traditions.
  • The professors are very helpful, and they invite students to attend workshops and seminars to enhance their knowledge and skills. For example, the physiology professor organizes workshops. This provides a unique opportunity for students to learn from experts in their fields and interact with other students.
  • If you graduated from high school with a score of 100, you only need to pay the matriculation tax. This means that high-achieving students can enroll in the university without worrying about the financial burden. 
  • The university recognizes a high percentage of exam credits, which means that students who have attended other universities need not retake the same exam.
  • The university is located within the polyclinic.

Cons of Studying medicine at the University of Messina

  • The exams are scheduled with a gap of 15 days between them. 
  • The frequency of lectures is quite strict
  • Since this is a new course, there is not yet a rich tradition of study materials or prior student experiences to draw from. 
  • It is worth noting that some of the professors who teach this course have excellent English speaking skills, while others may not be as fluent.

Lunch and Libraries at the University of Messina

If you are wondering where to eat, there are several options available. Firstly, if you want to bring your own food from home, an outdoor area with tables and chairs is available. Although there is no classroom equipped with microwaves, there is a plan to create one, making it easier for you to heat up your food.

If you don’t want to bring your own lunch, several cafeterias are available inside and outside the polyclinic. Another option could be grabbing some snacks and drinks from vending machines. You can also order takeaway if you prefer.

Additionally, there is a canteen where you can get food and pay according to your income. 

Regarding study spaces, there are many libraries available to you. The most popular ones are the library at the polyclinic and the one at the university’s central location. The library at the polyclinic is also a medical library, which makes it a good option if you need to do research in that field. Although there are no designated study rooms, you can usually use any available empty classrooms. The library at the polyclinic has reduced hours, but it can be helpful if you have some hours to spare during your classes.

Studying abroad

The University of Messina is committed to achieving an international dimension through its cooperation agreements with universities, higher education institutions, and research centers in various countries. These agreements are designed to promote academic and scientific excellence, foster student mobility, and enhance research activities.

  • Cooperation agreements 

Cooperation agreements are formal documents that establish and regulate the relationships between the University of Messina and other universities or higher education institutions in other countries. These agreements define the scope, duration, financial aspects, and the specific activities to be carried out by the parties involved. The agreements can be proposed by a structured professor of the University of Messina or by another university/higher education institution of another country. The single student can propose an agreement with a university, too. Prior to the actual agreement, the parties may sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which expresses their interest in establishing a relationship.

The University of Messina offers two main types of cooperation agreements: framework cooperation agreements and specific agreements. A framework cooperation agreement is a general document that expresses the willingness of the parties to cooperate but leaves the operational details to be determined at a later date. A specific agreement, on the other hand, covers a particular scientific field and outlines the planned activities to be carried out by the parties, such as international mobility activities. These agreements can also establish study courses that lead to the award of double degrees.

A framework cooperation agreement may include supplementary documents known as additional protocols to regulate the implementation of specific activities, such as the mobility of teachers and/or students outside the Erasmus+ program.

  • Erasmus

The Erasmus Plus program is an inter-institutional agreement that allows for mobility flows of students and teachers, both outgoing and incoming, for various activities. These activities include student mobility for study purposes, allowing students to attend courses, prepare dissertations, or pursue doctoral degrees in a higher education institution in one of the participating countries. Student mobility for traineeship purposes enables students to carry out traineeships at universities, companies, training and research centers in one of the countries participating in the program. 

Moreover, thanks to a project, students now have the opportunity to attend seminars all over the world.

Secretary’s office

  • General secretariat: it doesn’t work really well

For any information and the completion of any paperwork, please refer to:

  • Student secretariat: it is essential for any information regarding registration and enrolment.

Location of the Student Secretariat:

Palazzo Mariani, Piazza Antonello – Messina.

Once you arrive, please address yourself to Medical Area Unit 1. ( [email protected] )


“Gaetano Barresi” Human Pathology of Adult and Developmental Age;

Biomedical, Dental and Morphological and Functional Imaging Sciences;

Experimental Medicine and Clinics.

Useful numbers :

+ 39 090 6768582 Alfonso De Salvo (responsible for the operational unit)

+ 39 090 6768583 Antonina Buccafurri (deputy responsible for the operational unit)

+ 39 090 6768587 Luigi Barraco

Receiving hours:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8.30 – 12.30

Tuesday and Thursday 14.30 – 16.00

  • Didactic Secretariat 

Location: 2nd floor of Pavilion F, A.O.U. Policlinico “G. Martino” – Messina.

Administrative contacts: Dott. Massimo Marchello.

Telephone number: +39 090 2212643

E-mail: [email protected]

Student Reception Hours:

Monday and Thursday from 09:00 am to 12:00 pm , Tuesday from 2:30 pm to 4:30pm.

Info Point, it is very useful for any telematic and computerised information about registration!

Opening hours of the Info Point in Piazza Antonello (Palazzo Mariani):

Moday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm;

Friday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm;

Telephone number: +39 090-6768300.

Call reception hours are from 11 am to 1 pm and 2:30 pm to 4 pm, Monday to Thursday. Fridays from 11 am to 1 pm

[email protected]


After passing the admission test, you need to proceed with the enrolment process. The enrolment process is considered complete only after the first installment of the enrolment fee is paid. It is highly recommended that you contact the Info Point if you have any doubts regarding the enrolment process. They will guide you through all the necessary steps to complete the enrolment process. Although it may seem difficult, with the help of the experts, you can ensure that you do not make any mistakes! 

Transferring to the University of Messina

Transfers from other universities and internal transfers within our university are regulated by a specific call for applications published on the university website.   All interested parties must

  • connect to the ESSE3  platform 
  • click on the “Admission Competitions” link 
  • choose the “Competitions registrations” item 
  • select “Announcement of transfers/enrolment in course years subsequent to the first”. 

Click here to see an example. 

Student facilities unit

The Unit is responsible for managing tuition fee reimbursement applications and part-time collaborations. Students can apply for a reimbursement of tuition fees that were not owed or paid twice.

The “Casa Unime” program is an innovative initiative that assists qualified students at UniME who live outside of Messina with their rent payments. Students residing in other municipalities in Italy and abroad who have a registered rental contract of 10 months or more in the Municipality of Messina can apply for this program.

The winners will receive a reimbursement of up to a maximum of 2,000 euros per year for their rent, based on their personal/family income. Additionally, each year, the University offers its students the opportunity to work part-time for its various administrative structures.

ERSU scholarship

The Regional Agency for the Right to Higher Education (ERSU) regularly announces scholarship programs, including free accommodation, international mobility scholarships, and degree awards.

The institution provides:

  • scholarships 
  • accommodation places 
  • rental subsidies 
  • scholarships for international mobility 
  • degree award 
  • restaurant service

Tuition fees

The tuition fees at UniME are determined based on the student’s financial status. Students who are financially independent will consider their own income. Students who are not financially independent will consider their family income. However, a fixed tax of €156 applies to all students.

International students must also have a document (indispensable for calculating fees to be paid to get access to service facilities such as the canteen) issued by the Italian diplomatic/consular authorities in their Country of origin certifying their family/personal income in that country.

Italian students (with an Italian or a foreign qualification and residing in Italy) pay the tuition fees on the basis of the ISEE-U. 

University of Messina’s Accommodation

Living in a student residence hall can be an excellent option for students who want to be close to their peers and the university. University Residences are usually located on or near the university campus, which can make it more convenient for students to attend classes, participate in extracurricular activities, and meet new people.

If you’re interested in renting a room in a University Residence, it’s essential to apply well in advance of the academic year start date. The application should be sent to the ERSU (Regional Agency for the Right to Higher Education), which works to ensure that students have access to quality higher education. The ERSU schedules arrivals and books rooms for students, and the earlier you apply, the better your chances of getting the room you want. Keep in mind that the number of rooms available for foreign students and visitors is limited, and the assignment of rooms is subject to availability.

If you’re an international student or visitor, the UniME International Relations Unit can assist you in the booking procedure. They can help you with everything from filling out the application to finding the right room for your needs. The UniME International Relations Unit is dedicated to providing you with the support you need to succeed in your academic studies.

University Residences are typically located at the ERSU Annunziata Campus (Contrada Battaglia, SS. Annunziata) and the ERSU Papardo Campus (Contrada Papardo, Ganzirri – Engineering Department). 

Additionally, residencies specifically for medical and surgical students are being constructed within the polyclinic.


As you end this informative mini-pathway of studying medicine in English at the University of Messina, I would like to provide you with more details about the city and the university. 

Messina is a peaceful and affordable city located on the northeast coast of Sicily. Its mild climate and proximity to the sea make it an ideal destination for students seeking a relaxed and comfortable environment to pursue their studies. You can enjoy a laid-back lifestyle in Messina while receiving a high-quality education.

The cost of living in Messina is relatively low compared to other Italian cities. Even in the city center, affordable accommodation options are available, with rents ranging from 200-220 euros per month. This makes it an attractive destination for students who want to save on living expenses while still enjoying city life’s benefits.

Messina is also known as a student-friendly city, with numerous bars, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, and tobacconists throughout the area. You’ll never be far from anything you need and always find a friendly face to welcome you.

If you need more information about the university, please visit their website . I wish all the future freshmen the best of luck in their academic pursuits!

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