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.

Dear Students:
I am glad to welcome you as you enter the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia is the latest initiative that concurs to make the “Pavia System” a unique educational environment in Italy characterized by a prestigious, one thousand year old University, by University Colleges with merit-based admission and by a biomedical research network including three clinical research centers (IRCCS).

Not many environments, in Europe and worldwide, can compare with the “Pavia System” that can be ranked among the best international educational structures, thanks to the day by day contribution of the dedication and enthusiasm of the personnel of our School.

In his address, the Vice-Rector Prof. Andrea Moro will illustrate our mission and the spirit that informs our commitment towards our students. For my part, I will briefly report on the important innovations introduced in the last few years of activity of the School.

Through a complex process, IUSS has further strengthened its connection with the University of Pavia by signing, in July 2014, a convention aimed at promoting new teaching and research initiatives and a re-evaluation of the scientific activities of the School.

In this context, in September 2014, a federative agreement with the School of Advanced Studies “Sant’Anna” of Pisa was signed. This agreement is aimed at the integration between the two Schools in matters such as teaching, research and management of resources.

The federation between the two Schools is undoubtedly an important higher education realization, devoted to the most gifted and praiseworthy candidates. At present, it enrolls 500 students in standard courses and 400 doctorate students.

Within this framework, the unifying research approach of IUSS focuses on the core role of the human being and of his relation with environment and society. This theme develops along two lines, the first one emphasizing interdisciplinary investigations in approaching biological, psychological, rational and ethical issues. This concept moves from a broad appreciation of the role that can be played by cognitive sciences (in particular, neuro-cognitive sciences) social sciences and human sciences for the study of individuals and society. The ontological role of language in human thinking and behavior is also emphasized. Human behavior is marked by an interaction with one’s own environment, its modification and a complex dialectic relationship with it. Hence an emphasis on the relation between technologies, risk dimension and uncertainty implications.

This dialectic and integrated approach presently informs the two scientific research areas of the School: that of cognitive, social and behavioral sciences and that of uncertainty treatment and risk assessment.

The reassessment of the School’s objectives has been implemented in recent years through the transition from an Advanced School based on the presence of prestigious teachers giving their outstanding contribution to teaching, to the promotion of merit and excellence in Standard Courses, and to an Advanced School shaped as a Research University in which pre- and post-degree teaching integrates with, and is fed by, innovative interdisciplinary and international research.

In this environment, rich in stimuli, challenges and opportunities, we offer you Standard Courses, Master Courses and Research Doctorates. And it is from here that I wish to express my hope that your experience at IUSS may further stimulate the curiosity and talent you have already shown and be the first steps of a successful professional career.

I wish you all the best in your work on behalf of the entire IUSS community.

Michele Di Francesco
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