Web Content Display Web Content Display

The University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia is an Italian Public Institution devoted to research and higher education.
Since 1997, IUSS fulfills an advanced teaching and research model successfully implemented by two other prestigious institutions in Italy: the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Scuola Sant’Anna located in Pisa.

The mission of IUSS is to contribute to the academic growth of a small number of students by offering them, at any step of their higher education, qualified programs that enhance every technical skills and knowledge.
IUSS offers a variety of educational and training paths based on a strong interdisciplinary approach. The School is committed to scientific progress by preparing young researchers and developing scientific research programs.

Active entities in the life of our School are:

The School is located in the prestigious “Palazzo del Broletto”, a XII century building downtown Pavia.

September 2019


Dear Students:

Welcome to the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia.

The University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia is for you a strong ally for the construction of your future, and your future is the most precious thing you own at your age. Your future and the future of your country depend on you, on your capacity of understanding the world, of planning its evolution, of contributing to the progress and welfare of people, environment and society.

At the University of Pavia, you will attend lessons that will train you in the disciplines of your degree courses to become medical doctors or engineers, mathematicians or chemists, philosophers or jurists, writers or historians. The University School for Advanced Studies will contribute to the construction of your culture and openness of mind thanks to the Undergraduate courses (Corsi ordinari), which have the purpose to create an integrated vision of the world in order to allow you to face with awareness the major challenges of your future.

Pavia will be your city for some years. It is a little city with a historical and prestigious University, with a network of colleges unique in Italy, with important international research centres and I.R.C.C.S. (health institution with scientific aims); a city that has always provide an extraordinary environment to young men and women who face university studies and to researchers dedicated to develop knowledge in sciences, technologies, human and social sciences. In addition to the synergy with the University and the other institutions of education and research of Pavia, IUSS is federated with other two Italian university schools for advanced studies, the Scuola Normale and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, both located in Pisa. The Federation is an integrated system of privileged education and research in Italy, an environment where strategic projects to face the big challenges of the next decades are developed. At IUSS we have chosen some topics to focus on; among these, the climate changes and sustainability, the natural hazards and its mitigation, the cognitive neurosciences, the neurolinguistics and the philosophy of mind. These topics represent a dialectic and integrated vision that has the centrality of the human being and its relation with the physical and social world as a unifying element.

The continuous interaction between professors and researchers of different disciplines extraordinarily enhances the capacity of studying these topics directly dealing with their peculiar complexity and offering to students a cultured vision of the world.

At IUSS we want students to be in contact with the world of research, we want students capable to create their projects, students who not only learn but also elaborate and propose something new; for this reason we select people who are a cut above and we train them on big challenges and their complexity.

You have passed a very selective admission test and you are among the lucky Italian students who have excellent skills and preparation. We at IUSS have the mission to enhance your talent by stimulating your curiosity, proposing you intellectual debates, asking you for more commitment than will be required to your university colleagues. Your coming years will be beautiful and hard as well for you. All IUSS students nostalgically remember the years of study and can prove the satisfaction they had in the world, once they graduated. The quality of IUSS depends on the quality of its students and it is measured by their success. Our mission is to guarantee each of you the opportunity to develop your own aptitudes and skills, to pursue your goals and ambitions.

My door will be always open to meet you and help you in facing your way.

I wish you good luck!

Riccardo Pietrabissa

Rector of the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia

Dear Students:
Let me welcome you on behalf of my colleagues and of the whole staff of the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia. I would like to take this opportunity to underscore the importance of your choice, and of our responsibility in sharing this educational and scientific experience, and to suggest a synthetic key for you to get acquainted with the core of our offer of courses.

In a world undergoing deep changes, for the first time in the history of our civilization, advanced education is no longer characterized by the difficulty of getting information, but rather, by the need to sort out the few relevant pieces of information from the mass of those that are available and accessible. The choice to live the experience of a further educational path in addition to the standard university one is therefore marked by new and important features.

First of all, the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia, thanks to its synergism with the long-established and prestigious curricular education provided by the University of Pavia, enjoys unique freedom in its teaching approach: the subjects we choose to bring to your attention do not suffer the ties (however essential they may be) of the degree courses. They can range across selected domains, and adjusted to emerging, rapidly modifying cultural stimuli. Furthermore, the organizational structure of our School and the low number of teachers and students involved naturally allow the (largely hoped for) pulling down of disciplinary fences, which still survive as academic encrustations, so that integrated approaches to traditionally separate branches of learning become the rule. Finally, the rich experimental and theoretical activities of the research centers of our School, carried out in connection with a network of Advanced Schools and well renowned international institutions, will lead to close contacts with highly reputed scholars and will train you to look at Europe and at the whole world as the scenery of the choices you will be going to make.

You will soon realize that, in line with this approach, we have avoided all-embracing pannings in order to focus on subjects mirroring both our peculiarities and our ability to attract resources.

Let me make it clear: a study experience in our Advanced School is no doubt a very demanding one. You will be tested along a path requiring commitment, rigor and reliability, and that is why you are entitled to ask for reliability, rigor and commitment from us.

But bridles do not trigger culture, but rather they are just an essential condition to avoid waste and disappointment. We, who teach and do research in the School, are convinced that the real triggers of ideas are actually others, namely curiosity about nature and history, amazement at the world as it is, and fantasy.

All in all, in our view it is these three ingredients that justify the passion which spurred us in the beginning and continues to spur our individual and team choices. We will place them all at your disposal, in order for them to become the basis of your passion and your choices.

Our hope is that you will leave this School with many answers, but most of all, with even more questions: the new questions that will mark the cultural development and the improvement of the social condition of all of us. This is, in the end, the true meaning of the hearty welcome that accompanies this Guide to the standard courses of the next academic year.

Andrea Moro