Enrolling in a first cycle or single cycle degree programme – foreign qualification


You can be admitted to a First Cycle or Single Cycle Degree Programme if you hold a foreign secondary school diploma, which

  • was obtained following at least 12 years of schooling;
  • was obtained following a final period of at least two years of successful attendance in a foreign educational system;
  • grants access to a programme at a university in one’s country of reference which is similar to that being applied to in Italy. If entrance exams are established for university admission in your country (i.e. the Selectividad in Spain) you must pass this academic test.

In calculating the above-mentioned twelve years, if necessary, a pre-school year may be considered provided that:

  • attendance during that year was compulsory and an integral part of the curriculum;
  • the programme included the teaching of mother-tongue literacy and the first elements of arithmetic calculation.

If you hold a qualification obtained at the end of schooling lasting less than 12 years, in addition to the original secondary school diploma, you must submit an academic certificate stating that you have passed all the required exams:

  • for the first year of university studies, in the case of local school systems of eleven years;
  • for the first two years of university studies, in the case of local school systems of ten years.

Such academic certification (in addition to secondary school diplomas obtained following less than twelve years of schooling) allows matriculation only in the first academic year of the programme. Enrolment in a shortened programme may be possible only if the duration of previous university attendance is greater than the period required to make up for the missing school education.

The following certifications may also be accepted for the integration of educational systems lasting less than 12 years:

  • final qualifications for post-secondary studies in a subject related to the chosen programme obtained from a non-university higher education institute;
  • certificates from universities regarding the successful completion of Foundation Courses.


If you hold a US qualification (American High School Diploma), you must demonstrate that you have passed at least 3 US Advanced Placement (AP) exams, with a score from 3 to 5, in subjects which are different from one another and related to the degree programme you wish to enrol in. Please remember that APs are only courses accredited by the College Board. You can have the College Board send your test results to the University of Cagliari and thereby avoid the legalization of their certification. For further information, please read Annex 1 of the Ministerial Memo for A.Y. 2018/19.

If you hold a UK qualification, Greek qualification or a qualification issued by ecclesiastical universities located in Italy and approved by the Holy See, please read Annex 1 of the Ministerial Memo for A.Y. 2018/19 to learn about the requirements for the suitability of the qualifications.

If you hold a qualification obtained from schools in border areas or Italian sections of foreign schools, international baccalaureate qualifications, qualifications issued from the Republic of San Marino, qualifications obtained from foreign schools in Italy or European schools, please read Annex 2 of the Ministerial Memo for A.Y. 2018/19 to learn about the suitability of your qualification.

Holders of qualifications listed in Annex 2 are exempted from the quota of reserved spaces for non-EU students residing abroad.


Your foreign secondary school diploma must be legalized, translated and submitted with a declaration of value except for exempted cases or when you are allowed to submit alternative documents.

In order to obtain the required documents, contact the Italian Embassy in your country in advance and submit:

  • your high school diploma;
  • (only if the education system in your country lasts 10 or 11 years) the certificate attesting to the completion of academic studies or a post-secondary qualification issued by a non-university higher education institute;
  • (only if entrance exams are required for admission to university in your country) the certificate proving that you have passed the academic test(s);
  • (only for students applying for a shortened programme) the documents required for application for a shortened study programme.

You must obtain the following documents from the Italian Embassy:

Please remember that if you are a non-EU citizen with residency abroad, you must also pre-enrol and apply for an entry visa for study purposes.

The Student Administration Office might need to check also the school reports of the last two years, in order to verify that your diploma was obtained following at least two years of successful attendance in a foreign educational system.

Any questions?

You may contact the Student Administration Office segrstudmedicina@unica.it for any questions concerning the suitability of your qualifications.

How degrees earned abroad are evaluated

A formal verification is carried out by the Student Administration Office after online matriculation is completed and original documents are provided.

The verification includes degree title, nature, duration and level, issuing institution, previous education, academic rights and actual completion and awarding of the qualification(s).

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