University profile

University of Siena

2016/17 edition

About University of Siena


Founded in 1240, the University of Siena has a rich history, a great tradition of teaching, while being fully engaged in research and innovation with mouth-watering international exchange programs for in all areas of academic studies both for home and international (exchange) students.

During its almost eight centuries of existence, the University of Siena has produced knowledge in all areas of study, and is among Italy’s leading universities with results of the highest quality in terms of innovation for research, education and services.

Located in the centre of Europe and not far from the Mediterranean Sea, it has a strong international orientation.

It currently has more than 20,000 enrolled students from all parts of Italy and from foreign countries with Italian and English as the main language of academic instruction.

Because the University’s campus is the city, students arriving from other countries are welcomed with a series of meetings to acclimatize them to Italian culture and language. These sessions are free and take place at the beginning of the first semester. They focus on basic communication in Italian and provide practical information on living in the city of Siena (culture, music, museums, residency permit, banks, post office) and the university itself.

The University of Siena strong points are its great capability to attract students and its high level of teaching and research confirming its position as the best amongst the medium-sized ltalian Universities for structures, study grants and internationalisation, according to the CENSIS Research lnstitute classification 2015 and the survey of the most influential ltalian economic newspaper "Il Sole 24 Ore".

Siena also ranks 7th overall: 1st for study grants; 6th for attractiveness to students from other regions or abroad and 5th for the quality of its PhD programmes (Il Sole 24 Ore - Classification of ltalian Universities 2015).

According to the QS World University Ranking 2014, a leading institution in the field of international higher education information, the University of Siena ranked in the top 200 in Linguistic, and in the top 300 in Medicine.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, now in their 12th year, apply rigorous standards, using tough global benchmarks across all of a global research university's key missions. The results are trusted by students and their families, academics, university leaders and governments. For University of Siena to make 401-500 in the world is an outstanding achievement to be celebrated.

With 15 Departments the University offers;

  • 32 Undergraduate programmes
  • 28 Graduate programmes
  • 5 Long single cycle degree programmes
  • 10 Degree programmes taught entirely in English
  • 12 Doctoral programmes
  • 48 Third cycle specialization programmes
  • 92 Special short programmes

University of Siena also offers a great number of study programmes which include numerous international and interdepartmental collaborations. Annual Summer School programs are run to provide a unique opportunity for students to follow courses taught in foreign languages by visiting Lectures from other partner institutions of higher education all over the world.

Field of studies:

Four lads

Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences programmes:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Economics and Statistics programmes:

  • Economics

Environmental, Earth and Physical Sciences programmes:

  • Experimental Physics
  • Environmental, Geological, Polar Sciences and Technologies

Information Engineering professions and Mathematical Sciences programmes:

  • lnformation Engineering

Life Sciences programmes:

  • Life Sciences

Medical Biotechnologies programmes:

  • Genetics, Oncology and Clinical Medicine
  • Medical Biotechnology

Molecular and Developmental Medicine programmes:

  • Molecular Medicine

Philology and Literary Criticism programmes:

  • Philology and literary criticism

The Department of Economics

The Department of Economics was established in 1987 as a transformation of the Institute of Economics. The Institute of Economics already anticipated almost every feature of a modern and international department. It consolidated, too, that tradition of pluralistic and multidisciplinary debate maintained and fostered still nowadays. The Department’s teaching staff includes economists, economic historians, mathematicians, statisticians and political scientists belonging to the University of Siena.

The Department of Law

The study of law in Siena has its roots in the thirteenth century and has always been a point of excellence of the University.

The Faculty of Law of Siena (now department) has always looked with attention to social development and international relations with the whole world.

Thanks to the many agreements signed and the different networks to which he subscribes, the Department of Law offers the student and the newly graduated many opportunities for internships and apprenticeships for the approach to the world of work in various professional fields at prestigious international credit institutions.

Companies, institutions and national and international bodies. The experiences of cooperation with numerous foreign legal institutions also allow, thanks to the important ERASMUS project, a continuous and fruitful exchange between students and teachers.

The Department of Political Science and International Sciences

The Department of Political and International Sciences aims to raise the level of technical skills and cultural officials and executives in multiple administrations, organisations and national and international bodies.

The training of the Department of Political Science and International is in the field of political science in the broad sense, including the area of law, economics, history, political science and sociology, turning to those students who aspire to work as officers or directors of various kinds in public administrations at national level, in diplomacy, international organizations interstate and the European institutions, international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), associations held for national and international cooperation, between agencies dealing with migration and refugee associations for social assistance, development projects and missions election monitoring organisations in the private complex of businesses and services in the field of management and human resources management in enterprises, in trade unions and in some professions like journalism and communication in general.

In addition to offering a preparation able to provide the student with all the necessary tools to approach the world of work, the Department promotes projects of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary and based on cooperation with institutions, local, national and international.

The Department of Business and Law

The Department of Business and Law (sectoral breakdown) was formed through the merger of the Department of Business and Social Studies and the Department of Economic Law.

The DSAG intends to play an active role in the construction of the third mission university, represented by the use of the potential of universities to support in raising competitiveness in the knowledge economy and the socio-economic and environmental impact of a given area.

Area business economics

analysis of the principles and tools of management and control, with reference to the economic and business implications of the innovations that involve both private sector companies and public administration. In this area of research are also part and the analysis of the relations between regulation and accounting.

Legal Area

of particular importance is the research carried out in relevant sectors of economic law: they are addressed, including by using the method of economic analysis of law, the problems of commercial law and business, labour law public and private sectors, the antitrust law consumer law. The analysis of contract law, even in a European perspective, is conducted taking into account the needs of the market and changes in the regulatory system.

Department of Philology and Criticism of Ancient and Modern Literature

The Department of Philology and Criticism of Ancient and Modern Literature proposes to offer in terms of both scientific and educational research, literary and philological skills that relate to the study of literary texts from the ancient world to the modern world, in every literary genre.

Department of Education, Human Sciences and Intercultural Communication

The Department is distinguished by its methodological and thematic pluralism, which enables it to emphasise extensive interaction between the areas of education, humanities, languages, and the social sciences. This allows the Department to offer a wide range of training and educational programmes.

The Department has a history of coordinating and promoting theoretical and applied research projects aimed at:

  1. Improving and changing life and work styles;
  2. Strengthening cultural, linguistic and professional competency in adults and professionals;
  3. Studying the role of new languages, technologies and the media in the historical development of groups and social communities;
  4. Providing services to public and private organizations, administrations and professional associations in the realm of personnel development (educators, language experts, school teachers, cultural managers, trainers and middle-management).

Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences

Our Department was born out of an idea and a challenge. The idea was to bring together all those scholars working in our University in the political, social and cognitive sciences. The challenge is to build a community of scholars interested in working together, in an interdisciplinary way, on common research projects and in offering courses which will be more in line with the needs of our society and able to train students for the new professions and the specialisations of the social sciences. This is quite an innovative step in the cultural academic tradition of Italy. In the past, only a few Italian departments have hosted such a plurality of scientific and methodological approaches that cut across traditional scholarly disciplines.

Department of Historical Science and Cultural Heritage

The new Department of Historical Science and Cultural Heritage aims to interact with a significant number of intellectual resources with proven excellence in the areas of historical disciplines, archeology, history of arts and entertainment, and the history of philosophy.

In a variety of methods and courses of study, the students all have in common the study of human societies and production - at all levels: political and economic, cultural and philosophical thought, documentary, artistic and entertainment - in their relationship with time, and with the spaces.

Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Neuroscience

The Department of Medical Sciences, Surgical and Neuroscience stems from the desire of aggregation of the initial proposal of three departments: the Department of Internal and Specialised Medicine, the Department of Surgical and Surgical Specialties, the Department of Neuroscience. It meets the objective of overcoming the disciplinary fragmentation between different organizational structures, favoring large aggregation in the context of organic continuity between the Scientific-disciplinary areas.

Department of Medical Biotechnologies

The scientific project at the base of the Department of Medical Biotechnologies aims for the development of biotechnological methods for medical diagnostics with research characterized by transversal projects involving research teams in different disciplines.

Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine

The Department includes multidisciplinary teaching and research activities.

The research project aims to favour interactions between basic, pre-clinic and clinic research.

The teaching project includes the following degree courses, which are managed directly by the Department:

  • Midwifery
  • Heath Care
  • Prevention in the environment and the workplace
  • Biotechnologies

or the following ones, which are managed in collaboration with other Departments:

  • Long single cycle degree in Medicine and surgery
  • Nursing
  • Biomedical laboratory techniques
  • Second cycle degree for health professions in Nursing and midwifery

Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy

The Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy brings together researchers from biotechnologies and molecular sciences, including expertise in bio-chemistry, molecular biology, chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry and technology. The Department coordinates undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Chemical Sciences, in Pharmacy as well as in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies. The Department has an active PhD Program in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences as well as in Molecular Biotechnologies. The Department also offers Masters degrees and a Specialisation Course in Hospital Pharmacy.

Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics

DIISM (Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione e Scienze Matematiche) started its activities in November 2012, when the former Department of Information Engineering (Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione - DII) joined the former Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (Dipartimento di Scienze Matematiche ed Informatiche "R. Magari" ). The Department consists of 80 scientists , whose research and education activities cover the fields ranging from engineering to mathematics and computer sciences.

The teaching activities include three bachelor degree programs and four master degree programs for a total of 800 students. The high staff to students ratio (1 to 10), well equipped classrooms, and especially high-level laboratories (they cover an area of 1500 square meters) allow students to become active players in the educational process. Internationalization is also a pillar of the Department teaching activities: two of the master programs are entirely taught in English "Computer and Automation Engineering" and "Electronics and Communications Engineering"; likewise the PhD program "Information Engineering and Sciences PhD" is taught in English; it is frequented by a number of students that ranges from 55 to 65, with an average of 25% of students coming from abroad.

Department of Life Sciences

The Department of Life Sciences carries out research in the fields related to the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, development, pathology, origin, evolution, distribution, taxonomy and interaction with the environment. The pharmacology and toxicology of the interactions of chemical substances with biological systems are also studied.

Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment

The DSFTA Department is an integrated structure with a high profile in scientific research and education. It takes advantage of the experience of the researchers from the original departments and their participation in international research collaborations in a wide range of disciplines, thus allowing for the development of innovative and multi-disciplinary research activities.

Future career prospects: (including links with industry and career outcomes)
Every year our University offers to the students the opportunity to meet the most important local and national enterprises in the “Career Day”. During this event each student can have an interview and submit his/her own CV.

Furthermore the University of Siena through to the Placement Office – Career Service- supports the students and the graduates to find a job or a stage.

English language support

CLA - University Language Centre

The University Language Centre (Centro Linguistico di Ateneo - CLA) is responsible for the teaching of foreign languages to University students and staff, and prepares students for international language certificates.

Facilities and support arrangements (including library and study resources, IT and family support)
Libraries & resources

  • 5 area libraries with 13 service points
  • 36 computer labs (828 places)
  • WiFi access in every building

Fees, funding and costs (cost of living)

The cost of living in Siena

The average cost of living tor a student in Siena, depends on individual requirements and lifestyle, the main expense being accommodation.

  • Full meal at the canteen €4.00
  • Meal in a pizzeria €20.00
  • Breakfast in a bar €2.50
  • Bus ticket (valid for 1 hour) €1.20
  • Student season (three-month) ticket/bus pass €56.00
  • Specialist medical visit €36.00


Tuition fees are up to 2,500.00 Euros per year, according to the different fields of study (please note that the second instalment is based on the family income).

The annual fee is divided into three instalments, as follows:

  • 1st instalment: fixed rate based on the type of degree course (humanities, science, EU regulated).
  • 2nd instalment: calculated based on income
  • 3rd instalment: calculated based on merit

The fee can also vary in the presence of any applicable benefits or exemptions.


Siena is located in the heart of Tuscany amid a landscape of gentle rolling hills. Built on three steep hills and encircled by ancient walls, the medieval city of Siena welcomes its visitors with a Latin motto at the Porta Camollia entrance to the centre "Cor Magis Tibi Sena Pandit"

It is a unique city, where students can spend a quiet study period, full of opportunities for their personal enrichment.

The main building of Rectorate is located in the heart of the city, close to the most famous Piazza del Campo; the other sites of the University are also inside the old town.

The transportation system is very efficient and all one requires to do is to know his/her destination and get the necessary ticket. Tiemme Spa-Tuscany Mobility is the official transport organization for the township (refer to for details of bus destinations and their rates).


Main University Accommodation Provider
• Double room: € 235.00

Private accommodation

  • Single room in centre: € 350.00/400.00
  • Single room on the outskirts: € 300.00/350.00
  • Double room in centre (per person): € 250.00/300.00
  • Double room on the outskirts: € 200.00/250.00
  • Studio/bedsit: € 500.00/750.00 (depending on the location)


In 1995 Siena was accorded a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Living in the University of Siena implies life in the city of Siena itself as academic activities are inter-woven within the fibres of traditional or cultural activities of the Senese.

There are lots of traditions but the most famous is the Palio. This refers to an intense contest among the seventeen Contradas of Siena (districts or neighbourhoods into which the town is divided) that has been ongoing since the city’s earliest days.

The city of Siena also has a timeless historical dimension. There are lots of tourist attraction sites in this small city with the most popular being the city square (Piazza del Campo).

How to apply

May-June: pre-enrolment at the Italian Diplomatic
August to October: deadline for applications
Early September: Italian Language Test for non-EU citizens
Early September/Early October: deadline for application for DSU grants
Early October/Early January: classes - first semester
Mid-January/End February: examinations - winter session
Early March/End May: classes - second semester
Early June/Mid July: examinations - summer session
September: examinations - autumn session

Contact details

+39 0577 235028
+39 0577 232392
via Banchi di Sotto 55
Social media accounts