Finding your way around Milan can be difficult at the beginning of your stay, but within a couple of days, you’ll start feeling like a local. To smoothen your transition period out, we’ve come up with a guide to the universities of Milan. At least this way, whichever university you’re going to, you won’t be late getting to class – unless you snooze your alarm for too long ?!
Bocconi University is perhaps the most famous university in Italy. It happens to be so because of its great reputation not only in Europe, but also overseas. In fact, QS World University Rankings, rank Bocconi as the 7th best university in the world for Business & Management Studies. It offers bachelor’s degrees, Master of Science degrees, MBAs and Ph.Ds in Finance, Economics, Management, Statistics, and Law, as well as other disciplines. It is well known for its Economics degrees, but the university has recently gained recognition in its other academic fields. The campus is located between Via Sarfatti and Viale Bligny and has several buildings – all in the Porta Ticinese area.
To get there, catch the M3 line to Porta Romana, Trams 9, 15 or 24, or hop on one of the buses servicing the area (24, 71, 79, 90, 91, N6)
The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, as it is called in Italy, was founded in 1921 by Agostino Gemelli. It is located in the ancient monastery of S. Ambrogio, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and has 12 faculties – of which mostly belong to the humanities and economics departments. It is without a doubt the biggest and most important private university in Italy along with Bocconi.
The beautiful and huge campus in S. Ambrogio Square can easily be reached by subway (to S. Ambrogio station, on the M2 line), tram ( 2 or 14), by bus (50, 58, 94), or by foot from the Duomo.
Founded in 1923, Milan’s main public university is also the biggest in number of students and academic offer. Despite the small detached departments scattered all around the city, the university has three main campuses.
The first, “Festa del Perdono”, is set in the beautiful Renaissance building known as “Ca’ Granda” where the Law, Medicine, Humanities and Languages faculties are housed; to reach it, you’ll have to take the subway’s M3 line to Missori or Crocetta stations.
The second, home to the departments of Political Sciences, Economics and Social Studies, is the San Babila campus, that can be easily reached with by subway via the M1 line to San Babila.
All the other faculty buildings are in the so-called “Città Studi” campus, which the State University shares with the Politecnico di Milano. As for Med School students, their headquarters are usually inside the city’s hospitals: such as the Fatebenefratelli, Policlinico, San Carlo, Sacco and Niguarda hospitals.
Founded in 1863 by Carlo Cattaneo, this university is among the very best in the world for Engineering and Technology, ranked by QS Top Universities as the 24th in the world in this sector. There are three faculties: Engineering, Architecture and Design. The Politecnico has two campuses in Milan: one already mentioned above, the “Città Studi” area, and the other campus is located in the Bovisa neighbourhood, which can be reached by train from Milan’s central train stations, by tram (1), or by bus (82, 92, 190).
The second state university of Milan gets its name from the neighbourhood it’s located in – Bicocca. This university offers similar degrees to the main faculties of the State University, but with some exceptions, such as Biotechnologies, Biology and Chemistry studies. Having been founded in 1998, its ever-developing identity makes it a very lively academic place, with a good level of both teaching and services for students. As a plus, the area is intersected by the new subway line, the M5. Thanks to this new line, and the new Bicocca station, getting to university is now even faster and easier.
Commonly referred to as the Brera Academy or simply “Brera” by the locals, this art school is widely considered one of the best in Italy. It is very competitive: in order to enter, students must undergo a tough application process. The university’s building, the Palazzo Brera, is gorgeous. In fact, inside it, right next to the school, is a very well known museum – the Pinacoteca di Brera. The Accademia is halfway between the fashionable Montenapoleone street and its subway station (M3), and Lanza subway station (M2), in a wonderful area of the city centre, less than 15 minutes away from Cadorna.
IED, standing for European Institute of Design, is a private school focused on Design, Visual Arts, Communication, and Fashion. The school’s aim is to provide a much more in-depth education in the fields that traditional Italian universities don’t usually cover. The Design, Visual Arts and Communication campuses are in via Sciesa, close to Piazza Cinque Giornate, while the Fashion Design department is on Via Leoni, close to Bocconi University.
IED’s main building can be reached by tram (9, 12, 23, 27) or by bus (60, 73, 84). Alternatively, you can walk from the Porta Romana subway station, on the M3 line.
The Vita-Salute San Raffaele University is a private university founded in 1996 within the San Raffaele Hospital. As a consequence, it is almost exclusively dedicated to the field of Medical Studies, with Psychology and Philosophy being its only exceptions. The campus is right in front of the hospital, on the outskirts of Milan, but is well connected to the city. The easiest way to get there is by taking the M2 line to Cascina Gobba, and then hopping on the 923 or 925 bus for a short ride to the university hospital.
NABA (an acronym for New Academy of Fine Arts) is a private school founded in 1980. This university focuses on the modern arts, instead of the more conventional art Accademias around Milan. NAVA offers degrees in computer graphics, video editing, 2D and 3D modelling, and sound design. The university’s campus is in the beautiful Navigli area, near the Romolo metro stop, on the M2 line. Several buses serve the area, too (47, 71, 90, 91), as well as the number 3 tram.
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