Universities in Milan, Italy

Sandstone building with a domed glass roof

Milan is known for the Neoclassical architecture seen around the city

Milan is Italy’s second-largest city by population and is the capital of the Northern Italian region of Lombardy. Milan’s 3.3 million residents originate from over 150 countries, and the city is an important centre for business, trade and fashion in Europe. In fact, it is commonly known as the world’s ‘fashion capital’.

For international students the biggest attractions of Milan are the top-ranked universities, trouble-free city life and the excellent urban & educational infrastructure that they can enjoy while studying in Milan. If you are looking to study at top-ranked universities while also pursuing world-leading career & employment options and enjoying an endless list of cultural & historical venues, Milan is perfect for you.

Top Universities in Milan

Milan is home to five top-ranked universities offering courses taught in English for international students, alongside multiple institutes offering degrees in a range of specialisations and work-degree certifications.

Politecnico Di Milano

Founded in 1863 and the largest technical university in Italy today, the Politecnico Di Milano offers top-ranked courses for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Engineering, Architecture & Design.

Approximately 7,500 international students from over 100 countries form part of the Politecnico Di Milano’s 45,000 overall student enrollment. With a strong focus on scientific research and innovation, the top-ranked Milan university’s world-class research laboratories and institutes are home to cutting-edge research involving international students and award-winning faculty.

Courses at the Politecnico Di Milano are offered in English across 12 departments to international students, some of which are:

  • Department of Aerospace Science & Technology
  • Department of Architecture & Urban Studies
  • Department of Design
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Management, Economics & Industrial Engineering

University of Milan

A large-scale university with nearly 45,000 enrolled students, the University of Milan was founded in 1924 as a public research university. With academic institutes and faculty buildings spread across the city, the University of Milan is a top-ranked urban university.

The University of Milan’s decades-old relationships with the region’s major employers will enable you to kickstart your career alongside your academic degrees. What’s more, the University of Milan’s world-class reputation for scientific research is proved by the fact that it remains Italy’s only member university of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a group of top-ranked European universities with a shared commitment to top-quality research and innovation.

The University of Milan’s 2,500 international students can choose from over 130 courses taught in English across 8 faculties, some of which are:

  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Science & Technology
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele

A small-scale private university with just over 3,000 enrolled students, the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele has quickly earned a world-class reputation for its award-winning faculty and course offerings focused on interdisciplinary teaching & research in its three faculties – Medicine and Surgery, Psychology, and Philosophy.

The Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele’s working relationship with the nearby San Raffaele Hospital enables international students to gain real-world experience while pursuing medical and related courses at the top-ranked Milan university.

The small class sizes at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele will allow you to benefit due to greater attention from your faculty. But you should ensure that your desired degree programmes feature courses taught in English, as the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele has only recently begun offering English-language courses for international students.

University of Milano-Bicocca

Founded recently in 1998 after a split from the University of Milan, the University of Milano-Bicocca is consistently well ranked, proving its world-class quality and research facilities for international students.

With over 1,200 international students forming a vibrant international community at the University of Milano-Bicocca, the top-ranked university also offers a desirable mix of an urban location within Milan, as well as a complete university campus with academic and residential facilities.

The University of Milano-Bicocca’s eight faculties include:

  • Faculty of Economics and Statistics
  • Faculty of Science of Education
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Sciences
  • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

The largest non-state European university, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is situated in Milan, Rome and 3 other Italian cities. This enables international students to experience multiple aspects of Italian culture while pursuing their degrees at the top-ranked Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

The university offers over 40 courses taught in English, and ranks very well for graduate employability. In fact, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore featured in the top 150 of the QS Global Graduate Employability Rankings! More than 9,000 internships are offered by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore every year, enabling you to access top-quality career paths while also pursuing a world-class education.

Faculties at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore’s Milan campus include:

  • Economics
  • Art
  • Law & Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Banking, Finance & Insurance Sciences
  • Education
  • Linguistic Sciences & Foreign Literatures
  • Political & Social Sciences

Milan Universities World Ranking 2023

Below is a list of the top Milan universities in 2023, according to QS world rankings and Times Higher Education:

UniversityQS World Ranking 2023Times Higher Education World Ranking 2023QS Rank in ItalyTHE Rank in Italy
Politecnico Di Milano139301-350111
University of Milan324301-35059
Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele=436201-25097
University of Milano-Bicocca601-650301-3501710
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore511-52014

The presence of as many as five top-ranked universities shows the excellent educational and student support services offered to international students all over Milan. A sizeable international student community ensures you have all the support you will need during your time at a Milan university.

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Milan

Along with the five top-ranked Milan universities, the city and its nearby region also offer international students plenty of high-quality institutes with work-study degrees and English-language courses in a variety of subject areas such as Business Management & Fashion.

Below are a few of the top-ranked Milan institutes for international students:

Tuition and Living Costs in Milan for International Students

Depending on the exact course you select for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at top-ranked Milan universities, international students can expect to pay tuition costs between 3,500 to 5,500 US Dollars annually. This figure may rise to about 9,500-10,000 US Dollars annually for certain specialised postgraduate programs, such as medical degree programs for example.

When it comes to living costs for international students in top-ranked Milan universities, the Politecnico Di Milano estimates that you should budget between 800 and 1,200 US Dollars for monthly expenses. This includes between 400 to 700 US Dollars for shared accommodation, about 300 dollars every month for food expenses, 100-150 US Dollars for utilities and entertainment expenses, and at least 30 US Dollars monthly for transport expenses.

Just like tuition costs at top-ranked Milan universities, living costs in top-ranked Milan universities also provide excellent value for money compared to living costs in London and other major top-ranked university cities for international students in Western Europe.

Life in Milan for International Students

Milan offers international students an incredible cultural and urban lifestyle alongside world-class academic facilities and career prospects.

Even though beautiful weekend destinations such as the nearby Alps mountain ranges and the charming Italian coast are only a few hours away by road, international students will find it difficult to leave Milan as they will be busy enjoying the best of the city’s arts, entertainment and restaurant venues during their time away from classrooms in top-ranked Milan universities.

International students interested in fashion and design can easily spend hours roaming Milan’s Fashion District which hosts the world-famous Milan Fashion Week every year, whereas architecture students will find plenty of incredible structures all over the city.

Below are a few more of Milan’s most iconic venues:

  • Duomo Di Milano
  • Sforzesco Castle
  • Santa Maria Delle Grazie
  • Sempione Park
  • Royal Palace
  • Ambrosian Library
  • Piazza Duomo
  • Modern Art Gallery Milan
  • Milan Natural History Museum
  • Alfa Romeo Museum

In addition to Milan’s cultural and historical attractions, international students will enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding region of Lombardy, as well as the nearby Italian Alps.

Geneva, Paris, Prague, Madrid – each of these destinations is only a short flight away from the Milan International Airport, and you can enjoy them even with very affordable budgets due to extremely low flight ticket costs and train travel charges.

Milan is difficult to beat as a high-quality European education destination for international students with its top-ranked universities, world-class lifestyle and the presence of multiple international businesses & industries.

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