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The Italian higher education system was reformed in 1999 with the introduction of a three- cycle system. The reform has taken into account the principles of the Sorbonne Declaration and the Bologna Declaration and has aimed to promote the creation of the European Higher Education Area through the harmonisation of the different European educational systems.

The ministerial decrees No.509 of November 1999 followed by the ministerial decree n. 270 of October 2004 laid down the general criteria to be adopted by Italian universities in the reorganisation of their degree courses and established the types of degrees and qualifications that universities are allowed to award. According to the reform university studies are now organized in three cycles: first cycle (undergraduate studies); second cycle (graduate studies) and third cycle (doctoral studies, specialisation degrees and 2nd level Master’s degrees).[1]

The reform has abolished the old four-year degrees and has introduced the following new academic qualifications.

First cycle – Undergraduate studies
First-degree - Laurea 180 3
Second cycle – Graduate studies
Second-degree – Laurea magistrale 120 2
1st Level Master degree – Master universitario di 1° livello 60+ 1+
Third cycle – Postgraduate studies
Research doctorate degree – Dottorato di ricerca - 3+
Specialisation degree – Diploma di specializzazione * 60-300 1-5
2nd level Master degree – Master universitario di 2° livello 60+ 1+

* offered according to national legislation or EU directives for specific areas of study

For more information on the Italian higher education reform, please visit the following institutional web site:

At the University of Cassino all degree programs are organized according to the table above. The only exception is given by the degree program in Law at the Faculty of Law that has a duration of five years.

[1] From the web site:

[Ultima modifica: mercoledì 30 novembre 2016]