International Medical School in Naples Federico II

Year after year, Federico II has been one of the most desired medical schools in Italy. Why?

It’s an especially attractive option for Non-Eu candidates as it offers quite a lot of Non-Eu spots and the IMAT score needed is relatively lower than other universities.
Studying in Naples comes with all the benefits the South brings – a warm climate, equally warm peoplelower costs of living, fewer rules, more ‘dolce far niente’.

Napoli Federico II opened its medical school in English in 2015. It’s the older one of the two medical courses in Naples, as the second is in the University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”.

After doing some research you’ve probably found out that Luigi Vanvitelli university is seated in Caserta – an area outside of Naples. Intuitively you might come to the conclusion that Federico II is located in central Naples, whereas Vanvitelli – in an entirely different city. This might influence your choice of preferred university.

Make no mistake, though, it’s quite the opposite!
Vanvitelli’s medical course in English is located in very central Naples (though the rest of the faculties are indeed in Caserta), whereas Federico II’s lectures and training take place in a hospital far from the center but still within the city of Naples.

Here’s Federico II’s campus location:

Now that we’ve cleared this confusion, let’s see what else Federico II offers. We asked Paula, a first-year student in Federico II to share her experience and give an insider’s view of the med school there. Dig in!

The University


[Disclaimer]: The minimal IMAT scores differ from year to year. Also, keep in mind that the EU and Non-EU ranking lists work entirely differently.
The following are the scores for acceptance to the academic year 2020/2021:

  • EU minimal score: 42.1
  • Non-EU minimal score: 31.7 (1st ranking)


Classes are relatively compact and consist of 40 students (15 Eu and 25 Non-Eu). Napoli Federico II is the only med course in Italy reserving more places for Non-Eu candidates than European. More Europen candidates mean that a large portion of the students is Italian. As this is not the case in Federico II, the class dynamic is much more diverse.
Compared to other English-taught medical Universities in Italy, this University has the advantage of more teacher-student interaction, due to the reduced number of course attendees.

Professors’ English language level is excellent, although with a noticeable Italian accent, similarly to other universities. Regardless of the location and ranking of a given university, you’ll always find the English level of professors in Italy to be more or less the same, so we don’t advise focusing on this matter when it comes to choosing your preferred university.

On the other hand, something more noteworthy of your attention when picking a med school is mandatory attendance. In general, Italian universities have obligatory attendance between 70-75%. The degree to which this rule is executed, however, varies among the universities and the individual professors. Some universities are known to be more strict, for example, the ones in Milan and Padova, while others are more laid back, especially in Southern Italy.
So attendance in Napoli II is mandatory but not strictly regulated.


Classes are held on the medical campus, situated in the heart of a huge hospital complex – the Federico II University Hospital. It’s a 30min metro ride from the city center, as the metro station “Policlinico” is right in the middle of the hospital complex.

In the hospital area, you can find everything you might need – bars, restaurants, a shopping mall, mini-market bookshops where you print, photocopy or scan books at discounted prices.

Having everything you might need close to the campus is a great benefit! As busy as med student life gets, you’ll certainly appreciate any time-saving convenience – from spending minimal thought on where and what to eat, to printing all those hundreds of pages long notes at a minimal cost.


There’s a variety of exam modalities: only written, only oral, or mixed.

A typical exam consists of two phases: first passing a written exam MCQ exam with a minimum of 18/30 to be allowed to the second oral phase of the exam. Some other times a written exam is sufficient to pass the subject but you can choose to sit an additional oral exam if you want to elevate your grade.

In case all exams are not finished in the given year, you do NOT have to repeat the year. Instead, there are progression requirements: in order to sit an exam, you need to have already passed a particular preceding subject. 

Language Certificate

At the end of the first semester of the first year, one of the exams you’ll need to take is the English language. Interestingly, there are no prior accompanying English language classes and the timing of testing your English knowledge is a bit counterintuitive but in any case, as it makes more sense to test it at the beginning of the semester. In any case, it shouldn’t be a problem after you followed a whole semester’s worth of English-taught medical lectures. If you hold a previous certificate, however, you’d be exempt from taking the exam. 

Costs and Scholarships

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee is fixed, regardless of the student’s income.
It’s 156€ for Non-Eu students and 356€ for Eu students.
This is an insanely attractive fee. In most universities, the tuition fee is based on the student’s income and it can go anywhere between 0 to 3500€. So yes, you may end up paying nothing but you’ve got no guarantee how much you’d have to pay until you’re already enrolled at the university and several months into your first semester. Having the certainty of knowing your exact tuition fee beforehand is a great benefit.


The Regional Agency issuing university scholarships is called ADISU. Make sure to follow their website for application deadlines (usually around August) if you’re planning to apply to this university. Submitting your documents to a CAF office (Centro di Assistenza Fiscale) can help you out with the scholarship application process. The maximum amount awarded is 5200€ per year.

Student Discounts

You can get a student discount “smartcard” which allows getting a full 3-course meal for under 3 euros at the bars and restaurants around the hospital. This is a great advantage.



The University dorms are located pretty far away and take approximately 1,5 hours to reach the campus! They are, however, still an option to consider if you’re on a budget – about 200 € monthly. 

To compare, if you rent a private room by yourself, the rent is not much higher (200-260)but you’d also need to pay bills and internet (another 60€approximately). So living in the dorms could save you more than a hundred euros per month.

Private Housing

Living close to the campus and the hospital has the obvious benefits of a shorter commute and is also slightly cheaper than living in the center.

But of course, if you’d like to live in the heart of Napoli and closer to the beach, you can opt-out for a room or an apartment in the center and use the metro for a 30 min ride to arrive at the campus.

  • single room in a private apartment: 200 – 260€ 
  • studio apartment (monolocale): 300-350

Monthly bills and internet are around 50-60€, and grocery shopping between 120-200€, depending on your lifestyle.

The City

Alright, you guys, the first and the last thing you need to know about Naples: it’s the home place of Pizza.

Just kidding. Napoli has so much more to offer!

Situated on a magnificent coast where mountains and sea meet, it is surrounded by two volcanoes– Mount Vesuvius (which is still an active one!) and the Phlegraean Fields.

It’s the 3rd largest city in Italy with 3 million inhabitants. The city is proud of its rich history, art, and architecture. It is, however, also one of the poorest places in Europe, with an unemployment rate of almost 11%.
Paula says that most of the food offered in supermarkets is grown locally, and you could hardly find imported goods, which means less diversity (especially in fruits and vegetables).

In a city this big you’ll find everything you might need – shopping malls, cinemas, sports clubs, and gyms.. you name it.
The city is very well connected with 7 metro lines and countless busses.

Nightlife will certainly not disappoint, as there’s always something to do! The streets are always full of students at night. There are plenty of nightclubs and bars, and the beach is a great place to hang out with your friends.

Living in such a vibrant and mesmerizingly beautiful city with a coastline right in its center must be mindblowing. When picking a university, make sure you don’t underestimate how you feel about the city. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “environment dictates performance” and I stand by it. Studying medicine can be extremely taxing on your energy levels and 6 years are not a short time. After a while, medical students get used to the high-level learning demands but ironically absolutely lose the ability to relax. Having a calm laid back environment might really help you unwind when you need it.

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