The University of Padua

The University of Padua (UniPd), founded in 1222, represents one of the very first universities founded in Italy, right after Bologna and Modena.

To Bologna, in particular, Padova owes much, maybe everything.

It was precisely a group of students who had emigrated from the University of Emilia who founded the University of Padua to create an educational environment as stimulating and dynamic as possible, free from the rigid controls and pressures exerted on student guilds.

“Universa Universis Patavina Libertas” is the University’s motto, an Athenaeum for all, in which freedom has always acted as the master.

In particular, freedom of thought, opinion, and religious and political freedom, even in historical periods where students or faculty suspected of heresy or believed to be unbelievers, were elsewhere persecuted and not accepted in academic circles.

university of padova

Medicine and Surgery 

Since 2019, the University of Padova has also hosted a degree in Medicine and Surgery taught entirely in English. Since it is pretty recent, not all academic years are active. They follow this scheme:

Academic Years Active Years Non-Active Years
2019/20 1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
2020/21 1, 2 3, 4, 5, 6
2021/22 1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6
2022/23 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 6
2023/24 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 6
2024/25 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

In the academic year 2022/2023, the course will hold 76 students:

  • 51 for EU citizens and non-EU ones living in Italy;
  • 25 for non-EU citizens resident abroad (one of which is reserved for the Marco Polo program).

Please note that this number might also change in the following years.


Medicine and Surgery’s headquarters are at Collegio Morgagni, mainly inside the auditorium “Aula Morgagni”. Some extracurricular lessons are also held nearby; for example, students will learn lab safety techniques at the Skill Lab.

The main hospital where students can do internships and clerkships is the Policlinico Hospital, where students can attend right from the first year.

Since Padova is not a vast metropolis, the University of Padua can be easily reached on foot from any part of the city or by bike if you want to blend in the city environment since almost everyone owns or rents one in many stations all over the city. Collegio Morgagni is also close to the train station (a 20-minute walk or an 18-minute bus ride) for those living nearby; driving is also not recommended since there are few free parking spaces, and those that are paid have high charges.

Suppose you’re looking for accommodations in Padova. The best places to search would be the “university areas”: the most well-known is Portello, in the northeastern city and around 10 minutes on foot from the university. However, be careful since it’s extremely popular, so finding an apartment is not always easy.

Alternatively, students can rent apartments near the city center, in all the main city squares (or “piazze” in Italian). The most known is around “Prato della Valle,” but any in that area will do; the only downside is that the prices can rise a little.

Educational plan 

The educational plan has no division between clinical and preclinical years since you start attending internships right from the first year. However, in the first two years, you will study introductory subjects to understand the different medical topics better. From the third year on, you will go into more depth and explore pathology-related topics.

As previously mentioned, internships and clerkships start right from the first year. Of course, initially, the hospital experience is mainly focused on radiology and neuro-radiology so that the student can become acquainted with the different anatomical areas and understand better the topics of the following years.

Internships, on the other hand, are highly stimulating: right from the second semester of your first year, you will have Basic Life Support (BLS) training, which is mandatory and to be completed by the end of your second year, but also Laboratory Safety lessons, prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers and pain assessment training.

If you’re interested in research, you only need to wait for the second year: the “principles of basic research” internship aims to provide students with the opportunity to come into contact with the world of biomedical research by attending laboratories and working alongside researchers.

University of Padua also offers linguistic activities: from the first year, students will participate in medical language courses: for Italian students or those who have at least a B2 in Italian, they will be held in English; for international students not meeting those requirements, they will be held in Italian, to help them communicate with patients and doctors during clerkships.

Moreover, specific requirements are needed to move onto the second year: ARLs and having passed “The Building Blocks” exam, which will guarantee access to the second-semester exams “Biological Molecules 1 and 2”.

Those who scored sufficiently well on the IMAT to be eligible to enter Padova but scored below the minimum threshold of 6/10 in one or more of the subjects of which the test is composed will have to pass an online test named ARL, generally held in December, January, June and September.

Failure to pass prevents them from taking the exam of the corresponding discipline (General Biology for ARLs in Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry Propaedeutics for ARLs in Chemistry, Physics and Biophysics for ARLs in Physics and Mathematics, Human Sciences for ARLs in Logical Reasoning). Before the test, simulations are made available on the Moodle platform, with which one can practice and are very similar to the official test. However, these remedial tests tend to be pretty feasible!

Attendance is mandatory at 75% and it’s strictly controlled. Students must either sign an attendance sheet or input two codes on the university app: one corresponding to the lesson and the other to the desk number they’re sitting in.

The first year

Lessons at UniPd usually start around the second half of October for the first year but will begin in late September for the following ones. Medicine & Surgery professors are mainly Italian teachers with previous experience abroad, most of whom also teach Medicine in Italian. In the first year, you will have five exams, only one of which is annual.

First semester

  • Cell Function, Cell Physiology and Architecture (11 CFU): It’s a written test with multiple-choice questions comprising embryology, histology and general biology.
  • The Building Blocks (12 CFU): It’s divided into four modules, namely Organic Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Introductory Biochemistry and Medical Physics. The exam comprises 10 multiple-choice questions, 2-3 open questions and exercises for each module.

Second semester

  • Biological Molecules 1 (12 CFU): deals with Molecular Biology and Medical Genetics. The exam is divided into two parts: the one dealing with molecular biology has a variable number of multiple-choice and open questions. In contrast, the genetics part will only have multiple-choice quizzes.
  • Biological Molecules 2 (8 CFU): A written exam with 20 multiple-choice questions and 10 open ones dealing with advanced biochemistry topics. The total mark will be the sum of the two: 20 points for the first part and 10 for the second.
  • The Approach to Patients (8 CFU): It’s the first annual exam you will encounter in your career. In the first semester, you will study three main topics: Bioethics, Brain, Mind and Behaviour and History of Medicine, really focusing on how to talk to patients and on how to view them as people and not just diseases. At the end of the first semester, you can take a partial examination with four open questions to answer in one hour: two of which deal with Brain, Mind and Behaviour and one each for the remaining two. During the second semester, you will study the last topic called “Interview and Data Collection;” the exam can be done alone or with the other modules during the summer and it is divided into a written and an oral, including the verification of the student’s ability to collect the medical history.

The schedule of the University of Padova can vary highly. Usually, lectures are held either in the morning or in the afternoon. It’s rare but possible to have full days from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., with a one-hour lunch break from 12.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

For further information, the timetable for the first semester of all years is available here.

Pros and cons of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Padua


  • It’s a “university city” whole of life and young students with deep-seated roots in Medicine and Psychology.
  • The University of Padova is known for its prestige in Medicine and Surgery since famous historical figures such as Morgagni or Falloppio have studied there.
  • The University building is extremely close to the hospital and you can start attending from the first year.
  • International students make up more than 60% of the class, creating a cosmopolitan environment that allows you to come into contact with many different cultures and traditions.
  • All pupils are exceptionally welcoming, inclusive and ready to answer questions.
  • Classes are relatively small: this enables you to interact better with professors and always to find a seat in the class, even if you’re late.
  • There are many activities in Padova, such as university parties or the so-called “University Wednesday” (Mercoledì Universitario in Italian) in all the city bars. However, there are also sporting activities such as soccer or cheerleading.
  • The English degree is equivalent to the Italian one; they are equally recognized 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.


  • Despite being highly qualified and fluent, professors are still Italian. Consequently, their pronunciation is not always perfect, and their English is not that British.
  • Since this is still a relatively new course, some bureaucratic problems, especially from an organizational point of view, are slowly improving thanks to the communication with the secretary’s office and professors.
  • Many of the mandatory extracurricular classes are outside the university schedule. You must also book your name for the activity exceptionally quickly, as only a few places are available each time.

Lunch and libraries 

Padua offers many study rooms and libraries where you can study in peace.

The medical library is the Pinali Library, located inside the University Policlinico. It was desired by Professor Vincenzo Pinali, a professor of Clinical Medicine from 1857 to 1875. It has 101 places for study and consultation + 21 computer stations.

However, the most famous one attended by students is “Fiore di Botta,” the campus for Biology and Biomedicine, located inside a beautiful park. You can book your place in any library you want thanks to the app “Affluences”, where you can also see a map of all libraries in Padova.

There are also many classrooms scattered throughout the city with areas where you can talk and then repeat aloud, and some can also be found in the university building (study room list). You can book your place in the university app, in the area dedicated to study rooms and booking.

Since the University is close to the hospital, students can eat at the hospital canteen at subsidized prices. If you wanna try something new, don’t worry: being directly inside the city and in the so-called “Hospital Area,” there are thousands of cafès and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy your meal.

In the university area, students can use the service in ESU cafeterias. The cost of the meal varies depending on the type of student and ISEE. For a full meal, the regular price is 4.70 euros; for a reduced 3.50. The canteen service is accessed through a QR code that can be generated on the ESU portal.

The main canteen is North Piovego (G. Colombo, 1), about 12 minutes on foot from the University campus. Located in the Piovego area, it provides a pizzeria service, sandwiches, and salads, in addition to traditional meals. It is a massive facility with a large number of seats. It is a good cafeteria for a quick lunch, but the quality is not top-notch.

For the same price, students can use affiliated canteens such as ACLI-Pio X Catering,  Belzoni Catering (the closest to the University) and Murialdo Catering.

Studying abroad 

There is an opportunity to participate in an Erasmus+ study and an Erasmus+ traineeship program.

The locations with which University of Padua has agreements are numerous, located in different European states, although, unfortunately, not enough to cover all applications. Those who win the Erasmus call also get a free language course, which takes place the year before departure. The Erasmus scholarship consists of a fixed monthly fee, depending on the country, a variable fee based on ISEE, and a lump sum for necessary round-trip travel.

Moreover, if you wish to do an experience in Switzerland that after 2014 is no longer under the regulations of the Erasmus+ program, you can apply to the Swiss European Mobility Program (SEMP), an ad hoc agreement to allow student mobility from Padova to Swiss Universities.

Lastly, UniPd promotes student mobility to countries outside Europe. The new Ulisse program provides for periods of study, thesis research or internships at specific universities on five continents (Europe, the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa) with which the University has signed mobility agreements.

For more information: Study Abroad.

Bureaucracy and secretary’s office 

Main office: 

  • Address: 

Casa Grimani, lungargine Piovego 2/3, 35131 – Padova

  • Phone: 

+39 049.8273131

Fax: 049.8276434

  • Email: 

[email protected]

  • Hours: 
    • Monday and Wednesday: from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday: from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Thursday: from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    • Fridays: from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (reception of Back Office Sectors by appointment only – counters closed)
  • Phoning Hours: 

Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Tuesday also from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Medicine and Surgery Office: 

  • Address: 

Via Nicolò Giustiniani, 2, 35128 Padova (PD) – Italy

  • Phone: 

+39 0498213950

  • Email:

[email protected]

  • Hours:
    • Monday and Wednesday: from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday: from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Thursday: from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    • Fridays: from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m


The enrollment process essentially consists of 2 stages:


2) ENROLLMENT (once you have passed the test).

The following instructions cover the necessary steps for pre-enrollment/enrollment for the Medicine and Surgery course.

Please bear in mind that international candidates must submit the required documents to verify the foreign entry title to the Admissions and Welcome unit of the Global Engagement Office, email [email protected] within the given deadlines as specified on this page.

1) IMPORTANT: Read the Call for admissions (click on the link for Medicine and Surgery and then download it to refer to it easily). It is a document that contains all the necessary information: dates, links, how to take the exam and deadlines.

2) After finishing the registration process on Universitaly, it is necessary to wait at least one hour before pre-enrolling on the Unipd website.

3) If they still need to do so, the candidate must proceed with the registration. Upon completion, you will receive a username and an activation code. You must activate the account by selecting three security questions and setting a password to authenticate immediately on the portal. After registration is complete, specific documents must also be uploaded.

4) At this point, you will be able to log in with the new credentials provided and follow the pre-enrollment procedure by clicking on the headings Home >Pre-enrolment for limited access degree programmes> Type of degree > programme ‘First-cycle degree’ > “Assigned and Booked candidates – Medicine and Surgery.”

Only doing this will generate the registration fee, which must be paid on time via MAV or pagoPa.

5) Once you are finally “Assigned” or “Booked” to Padova in the IMAT ranking list, it is necessary to complete the ENROLLMENT procedure. The candidate must fill out the application by clicking on Home > Enrolment > “Immatricolazione standard 1 anno >

Immatricolazione corsi ad accesso accesso programmato > Tipologia corso “Corso di laurea magistrale a ciclo unico 6 anni” > Medicine and Surgery, simultaneously paying the first instalment of tuition fees.

For more information: Enrolment and Transferring Procedures.


A transfer is a procedure that allows students to continue their studies at the University of Padova, begun at another Italian university. To transfer to UniPd, you must follow specific procedures depending on whether you’re an EU or non-EU student.

However, transferring does not imply the automatic passing of exams already passed, nor therefore access to a course year after the first. Specific regulations need to be met to transfer to a year different than the first: the number of available places for the year you’re applying to and the number of credits obtained in the previous years.

Moreover, the number of credits will be fully recognized if the candidate is transferring from another program in Italy entirely taught in English, while only about 50% for the Italian Medicine and Surgery applicants. For other degree courses taught abroad, the Evaluation Committee will proceed exclusively with analyzing the programs of individual teachings.

For more information, click this link and download Annex 3 under “Degree programme regulations”.


The University of Milan provides qualifying students with financial support throughout their careers. Students of any course can apply for scholarships if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • For students eligible for regional scholarships.
  • For students with disabilities
  • For international students
  • For students who are working
  • For students in custody
  • For students living in the same household
  • For deserving students
  • For the birth of children
  • For female students and students with refugee status
  • For recognition of degrees under the agreement with Cimea

For more information: Tuition Waivers and Incentives or Scholarships for International Students.

Moreover, UniPd, the Veneto Region, and other organizations offer various scholarships and awards to support students, such as the Student-Athlete Dual Career Scholarship.


There are several opportunities for those staying in Padova: in addition to the private market, residency for off-campus students is provided by ESU, the regional agency dealing with the right to study in Veneto: in 14 residences, there are more than 1,600 beds available, 230 of which are reserved for Erasmus students, in addition to another 900 offered in agreement with private non-profit institutions.

On the other hand, specific student leases, promoted by ESU and the City of Padova and the University, provide more secure and economic contractual conditions for those who rent a house privately.

The application for an ESU residence must be submitted exclusively via the web through the ESU website starting at the end of June, with different deadlines depending on whether the student is enrolled in the first year, subsequent years or in graduate schools and PhD programs.

Moreover, UniPd’s new Housing Office supports international students arriving in Padova to attend an entire course of study through a wide range of services, such as orienting them through the private housing market or translating contracts and explaining them in depth.

You can also book accommodation in one of the private colleges or a Catholic University College available, but you must contact them directly.

For more information: Arriving and Living.


In conclusion, studying in Padova means all of this, but also something equally important: studying in the capital of the Spritz!  An international aperitif cocktail, costing a few euros (here and only here!), the official savior of endless studying. He’s always there waiting to welcome you warmly, or instead, with a few ice cubes and in the shade of the city’s best views (especially on Wednesday nights).

If that alone is not enough to make you fall in love, then what will?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *