Universities in Rome, Italy

A sandstone bridge lit up at night with a domed building in the background

Ponte Sant'Angelo (St. Angelo Bridge) was completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian. You can also see his Castel Sant'Angelo in the background.

Rome is Italy’s capital city, and one of Europe’s largest cities with a population of over 4.5 million residents. Known famously as the ‘Eternal City’, Rome is an extremely popular tourist destination due to its rich cultural history stretching back thousands of years, as well as the city’s endless list of cultural and entertainment venues.

Rome is also a top-ranked university city for international students seeking education & career opportunities due to its world-class academic institutes and large-scale business operations; Rome’s financial district is home to world-leading pharmaceutical, financial and oil industry firms.

Top Universities in Rome

Rome and its surrounding region are 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.

Sapienza University of Rome

The Sapienza University of Rome was originally named Studium Ubris and founded over 700 years ago in 1303! The Sapienza University of Rome is also Europe’s largest university with nearly 115,000 enrolled students, of which about 5,000 are international students.

An urban university situated in central Rome, the Sapienza university of Rome offers over 250 degree programmes across undergraduate and postgraduate levels and provides a significant number of scholarships and financial assistance packages for international students.

Courses are offered across more than 60 departments to international students at Sapienza University of Rome, some of which are:

  • Methods and Models for Economics, Territory and Finance
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs
  • Oral and Maxillo-Facial Sciences
  • Philosophy

University of Rome II – Tor Vergata

The University Tor Vergata is a new institution with world-class faculty and research facilities. Founded in 1982, the University Tor Vergata is based in a large-scale campus of over 1,200 acres, which includes the Italian Space Agency and the University Hospital Tor Vergata.

The university’s focus on innovative research and hands-on training for international students means that you can easily pursue career options alongside your academics by using the university’s strong links with local businesses to secure internships. The University Tor Vergata has over 25,000 enrolled students, with a sizable international student community of about 4,000 students.

The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students across six faculties:

  • Economics
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Humanities and Philosophy
  • Medicine and Surgery
  • Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences

Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Founded in 1992 by the Italian government, the Roma Tre University is home to 32,000 enrolled students of which about 1,600 are international students.

The university places special focus on world-class faculty and research facilities in the social sciences, and operates multiple research centres including the Giovanni Pugliese Centre of Excellence in European Law and the Interdepartmental Research Centre for Institutional Economics.

The Roma Tre University offers undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses to international students in the following faculties:

  • School of Political Sciences
  • School of Architecture
  • Federico Caffè School of Economics
  • School of Education Sciences
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Law
  • School of Literature and Philosophy
  • School of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences

University of L’Aquila

Founded in 1964, the University of L’Aquila currently hosts 17,500 enrolled students and approximately 1,000 international students. International students at the university benefit from research partnerships that the university has developed with partner universities across more than 60 countries worldwide.

The university is located about an hour and a half away from central Rome in a large-scale campus. The University of L’Aquila also operates a Language Centre where courses in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Italian are offered for international students.

The University of L’Aquila offers courses to international students across 7 departments:

  • Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences
  • Department of Industrial and Information Engineering and Economics
  • Department of Human Studies
  • Department of Civil, Construction-Architectural and Environmental Engineering
  • Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences
  • Department of Information Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics
  • Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences

University of Naples Federico II

Located a two-hour drive away from Rome in the beautiful seaside city of Naples, the University of Naples Federico II was founded in 1224 and is one of the world’s oldest universities with nearly 800 years of academic excellence.

Situated in three campuses across Naples, the University of Naples Federico II hosts over 50,000 students of whom about 1,000 are international students. The university operates multiple high-quality outreach programmes which allow international students to experience different parts of the world, such as the ‘Gulunap’ initiative to train doctors in Central & Eastern Africa. 

The University of Naples Federico II offers courses to international students in 13 schools under three faculties or divisions:

  • Division of Science and Technology
  • Division of Life Sciences
  • Division of Social and Human Sciences

Rome Universities World Ranking 2023

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

UniversityQS World Ranking 2023Times Higher Education Ranking 2023QS Rank in ItalyTHE Rank in Italy
Sapienza University of Rome171201-25036
University of Naples Federico II =416 351-400 813
University of Rome II – Tor Vergata=499351-4001314
University of L’Aquila501-60026
Università degli Studi Roma Tre 801-1,000 801-1,000 3252

As both the QS and THE World Rankings 2023 show, the Sapienza University of Rome is the top-ranked university in the city for international students, and one of the world’s best institutes. It must be noted that although the University of L’Aquila is unranked in the QS World Rankings for 2023, it is ranked highly on the THE World Rankings.

The presence of the above 5 top-ranked universities alongside other world-class institutes shows why Rome is a top-ranked university city and a favourite destination for international students.

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Rome

Alongside the five top-ranked Rome universities, the city and its nearby region are also home to a large number of high-quality institutes with work-study degrees and English-language courses offered in subject areas including Engineering, Healthcare & Architecture. Below are some of the top-ranked Rome institutes for international students:

Tuition and Living Costs in Rome

Depending on the course selected for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at top-ranked Rome universities, international students need to pay tuition costs between 3,000 to 6,000 US Dollars annually. It must be noted that this figure applies to public universities; Italian private universities may charge international students slightly higher fees – between 7,000-15,000 US Dollars annually on average.

As for living costs at top-ranked Rome universities, the University of Rome II – Tor Vergata estimates that international students should budget between 750 to 1,000 US Dollars monthly. This figure includes between 400-600 US Dollars monthly for shared accommodation, 250-275 US Dollars monthly for food expenses, 75-100 US Dollars for utilities and transport and about 100 US Dollars monthly for emergency expenses.

Although living costs in Rome for international students are similar to expensive top-ranked university cities like Paris & London, the low tuition costs at top-ranked Rome universities will help keep your budget manageable and provide great value for money on your education.

Life in Rome for International Students

Rome is a historic city considered one of the centres of global history and culture. International students in Rome enjoy a never-ending list of entertainment venues, outdoor areas, world-class restaurants and sporting events alongside their top-ranked universities.

Those interested in history will be excited to visit the Vatican City, considered the capital of Catholic Christianity. Meanwhile, sport-loving international students can catch famous sporting events in tennis, football and many other sports in Rome.

Below is a list of Rome’s most iconic venues which international students will be sure to visit during their time in the eternal city:

  • Colosseum
  • The Pantheon
  • Roman Forum
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Spanish Steps
  • Borghese Gallery & Museum
  • Altar of the Fatherland
  • Villa Borghese
  • Palatine Hill
  • Capitoline Museums
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Stadio Olimpico
  • Marcello Theatre
  • Bioparco Di Roma

With short flights available to major European cities such as Paris and Madrid, as well as the beautiful Italian mountainside being just a few hours’ drive away, international students can comfortably enjoy frequent weekend trips during their time away from the classroom.

International students at top-ranked universities in Rome will also find it straightforward to secure world-class internships at large businesses across the city, and kickstart their professional careers alongside their academic journey.

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