There are 3 main types of academic programs offered by Italian higher education institutes (click on the links to find out more about Bocconi programs):
Bachelor of Science Programs or Corso di Laurea Triennale. It takes 3 years to get a BA/BSc in Italy. This is a relatively recent development because of changes made to the University studies in the country, to make the program more competitive with other European degrees. A flexible format means that students can propose their own study plans, piani di studio, which are subject to university approval, as long as they meet the minimum course requirements established by the government. Degrees can be completed by passing of a set number of exams and a final interview, or thesis (depending on which faculty you attend).
Master of Science Programs or Corso di Laurea Magistrale. This degree is a 2-year program limited to university graduates or those with equivalent qualifications. It includes practical vocational experience relating to a specific profession, usually in the form of an internship. The final examination is the discussion of a written thesis.
PhD Programs or Dottorato di Ricerca. This is the program where students begin to venture into the lofty realms of “third level” or “post-graduate” academic qualification. The doctorate aims to provide students with an extended understanding of scientific research methodology. The course lasts 1-3 years, progression through which is subject to the delivery of an annual report. The doctorate is attained with extensive documentation of research and a final dissertation. Positions are restricted to a limited number of applicants not necessarily Italian but only to students who have completed a Laurea or the European equivalent.
All European Union citizens face the same admission criteria as Italian citizens, i.e. the equivalent of requirements already stated. Italian universities are all prepared to accept a limited number of foreign students. This said, an Italian language preparation course is usually mandatory.