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General Overview

Located 35 kilometers south of Milan in northern Italy, the University of Pavia is an ancient university steeped in scientific history that allows its students to study modern science in a historic city.

courtyard in Palazzo Vistarino, the student residence in Pavia The University of Pavia is one of the oldest universities in Europe. An edict issued by King Lotharius quotes a higher education institution in Pavia as already established in 825 AD This institution, mainly devoted to law studies, was then chosen as the main education center for northern Italy. Enlarged and renovated by the Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, it became the University of the Duchy, officially established as a Studium Generale by Emperor Charles IV in 1361.

Alessandro Volta (1745-1827/inventor of the battery) is only one of a large group of famous professors who taught at the University of Pavia. quiet cobblestone street To mention just a few, let us recall Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832/famous anatomist) and Camillo Golgi (1843-1926/neuroscientist). Scarpa was professor of anatomy and medicine. Many parts of human anatomy are today named after him, e.g. "Scarpa's triangle" and "Scarpa's fascia." Golgi invented the so-called "black reaction," which, for the first time, displayed the ramified structure of nerve cells. This was the key to open the chapter of neuroscience nowadays advancing so quickly. For this discovery, Golgi was given the Nobel Prize in 1906, together with the Spanish Santiago Ramon y Cajal. The "Golgi apparatus" is only one of the many microstructures that are today named after him. Today the University boasts 24,000 students, both from Italy and from overseas. In 2013, 4,408 students graduated and 639 obtained a post-graduate qualification.

Today Pavia is a research university, offering a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching organized in 18 Departments and has study programs at all levels: bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, research degrees, and specialty schools. Research is carried out in departments, institutes, clinics, centers, and laboratories in close association with public and private institutions, enterprises and companies.

Situated only 35 kilometers from Milan and linked by suburban rail, statues in the courtyard of Palazzo Vistarino Pavia (originally Ticinum) enjoys the advantages and services of its near neighbor. However, it offers a calm, captivating and cooperative environment with a higher quality of life. It also has a series of sports centers available for students to use, including those run by CUS (Center for University Sports). Pavia is a place for students to call home. Founded in Roman times, Pavia's population today is made up of approximately 70,000 inhabitants and 24,000 students. It was the Longobard capital for two centuries and its fascination remains intact with the center's maze of narrow streets, ancient churches and elegant buildings all bordered by the River Ticino.

There are 19 museums and collections (9 university museums, 1 civic museum, 5 university collections, 2 civic and 2 diocesan collections), wide and shady street in Pavia 2 multi-use cultural centers, 4 public libraries (and 18 university circuit libraries), 4 cinemas and theatres, 10 sociocultural meeting places, a music conservatory and 2 civic schools of music and arts. Culturally speaking, Pavia has much to offer. The countless events, festivals, exhibitions, concerts, meeting places and university sports events combine to create an intellectually stimulating stage and the ideal place to live and study. Learn more about Pavia at Vivi Pavia.

Language Requirements

Though Pavia is an Italian-speaking city, no prior knowledge of Italian is required for this program. It is relatively easy to live and study in Pavia with English because English is the second language of the European Union and many Italians speak it routinely.


All students who participate in this program are housed in Palazzo Vistarino, a recently-renovated 18th Century palace in Pavia. Students will live in single rooms and will have their own bathrooms. Breakfasts are provided at Palazzo Vistarino. Students will have access to the University of Pavia's dining halls for their lunch. However, students are responsible for providing their evening meals.


Students must be academically prepared for this program, meaning they have completed the MCB Core (MCB 150, 250/251, 252/253, and 354). Applicants must be in good health and have the kind of flexibility and sensitivity to others that will allow for successful adjustment to an unfamiliar cultural setting.

The program is designed for students in the spring of their third year or fall of their fourth year. Applicants should have an overall grade point average of at least 3.0.


If you intend to study abroad in the fall semester, the absolute application deadline is February 15th. If you intend to study abroad in the spring semester, the absolute application deadline is September 15th. Please refer to our "The Study Abroad Process" page for more information.

You can find more information about the LAS-MCB in Italy program and its application here.