The University of Palermo was established in 1806 in Palermo, the metropolis of Sicily which is the heart of the Mediterranean Sea,  with a population of more than 650,000. Regrettably, the founding year of the University dates to 1498, when the faculties of law and medicine were established.

The foundation date of the university goes back so far that office of the current rector  is located in the primary building of the University, which was constructed in 1307. One of the most significant historical elements of Palermo is this long-standing University building.

Palermo Üniversitesi

UNIPA (the common name of the University of Palermo), a non-profit public higher educational institution, currently owns 3 campuses in addition to the main campus. These campuses are: Agrigento, Caltanissetta and Trapani.

Università degli Studi di Palermo has 16 faculties where researchers conduct activities every day to find new solutions to questions posed by nature, science and society. From information technology to biology, mathematics to medicine, social sciences to the preservation of cultural heritage, the University tries to ensure that innovation and progress contributes to the international scientific community and the world of production.

Where is the University of Palermo Located? | Università degli Studi di Palermo

Palermo, the capital of the Mediterranean Sea and Sicily, the city where the University of Palermo is located, has always represented many different nationalities, lifestyles and culture. With a common Mediterranean climate, you will never feel like foreigner in this city.

The average temperature in February is 14 degrees in Celsius, while in August in summer the average temperature is 26 degrees. These place is also popular with seven world heritage sites in the region: Valley of Temples (Agrigento), Villa Romana del Casale (Piazza Armerina), the stunning Aeolian Islands, Val di Noto, Syracuse and Pantalica, Mount Etna and most recently, the Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale.

Moving from the city center to the neighborhoods of Palermo, via Ruggero VII and Libertà, you will encounter very interesting shopping areas, enriched by the presence of the two main city theaters, the Politeama Garibaldi and the Massimo, the largest opera theater in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Built between 1875 and 1891, it can accommodate more than 1,380 visitors. The opera was designed and supervised by the great Italian architect Giovanni Battista Filippo Basile. It is considered one of the most famous operas in Italy, where you can enjoy the music and the magnificent room.

Also, don’t forget to take a look at our related article “Cities to Visit in Italy

Palermo Katedrali

World Ranking of University of Palermo | UNIPA

  • University of Palermo was ranked 570th according to CWUR 2020-21 data.
  • It was placed in between 501 and 600, based on ARWU 2020 data.
  • In accordance with THE (Times Higher Education) World University Rankings 2021 data, it was placed in the range of 601 and 800, and 201+ in European Teach Rankings 2019.
  • According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, it was placed in the range of 251 to 300 in Agriculture & Forestry, 351 to 400 in Engineering & Chemical, 451 to 500 in Life Sciences and Medicine and Medicine, and 501 to 550 in Biological Sciences.

Additionally, you can review our article “Top 500 Italian Universities” .

Famous Graduates of University of Palermo 

Famous people who have graduated from the University of Palermo are:

  • Stanislao Cannizzaro (Chemist)
  • Emanuele Paternò (Chemist)
  • Angelino Alfano (Former Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies)
  • Filippo Mancuso (Judge)
  • Patricia Bullrich (Politician)
  • Manlio Di Stefano (Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies)
  • Giulia Bongiorno (Member of the Italian Senate)
  • Ernesto Basile (Architect)
  • Teresa Mannino (Comedian)

Student Life in Palermo | UNIPA

The University of Palermo offers language courses for students who wish to learn a new language. Students have a chance to study Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish by academic staff and professors at the University. You can also enjoy many cultural and historical events in the city, including the seven sites included into the list of UNESCO of Sicily.

As you walk through the narrow and characteristic streets of the city center, you will fully experience the baroque atmosphere and taste the unique street food of Palermo: “pani ‘ca meusa” and “panelle” (bread with fried spleen or chickpea slices), “stigghiola” (grilled meat), “arancine” (rice balls), “sfincione” (typical pizza of Palermo) are especially abundant in many historic parts of the city.

Garibaldi Square, Della Liberta and Roma Street are some of the most populated areas of the city and are often host restaurants. Students will find plenty of places to visit as the city is full of nature, history and culture. In addition, since the university is only a few meters away from the sea, it is possible to spend time in restaurants, cafes and bars alongside the sea, either during the day or at night.

You can also review our article ” Moving to Italy and Living in Italy “.

Departments of University of Palermo | Università degli Studi di Palermo

Palermo Üniversitesi Bölümleri

The University of Palermo has about 122 departments (first and second cycle), 44 master’s and specialties and 23 doctoral courses of study. Below are 16 faculties and 1 school belonging to that 122 departments:

  • Architecture
  • Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics
  • Cultures and Societies
  • Surgical, Oncological and Dentistry Disciplines
  • Physics and Chemistry – Emilio Segre
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics and Informatics
  • Health Promotion, Maternal-Child, Internal Medicine and Excellence Specialist D’Alessandro “
  • Agricultural, Food and Forestry Sciences
  • Earth and sea sciences
  • Biological, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies
  • Economic, Business and Statistical Sciences
  • Political Sciences and International Relations
  • Psychological, Pedagogical, Exercise and Training Sciences
  • Humanities
  • School of Medicine and Surgery

 Master’s Degrees taught in English

  • Neurosciences
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Tourism development and management
  • International relations
  • Economic and financial sciences
  • Complex administrations and organizations science
  • Food science and technology
  • Business economics

Tuition Fees at University of Palermo 

For the convenience of first time students paying tuition fee, the University of Palermo has chosen the following route: For the first-year students from outside of Europe, there are no tuition fees at the University. Only the application payment is required. Italian and EU students, on the other hand, should pay tuition. At the University of Palermo, tuition costs generally start from 4,500 Euros.

Scholarship Opportunities | Università degli Studi di Palermo

Italy is one of the countries in Europe that offers the most scholarship chances and this opportunities vary according to the university and department students are going to apply to. In Italy, which consists of regions, each region offers scholarships according to the requirements determined in advance.


Financial aid for international students is divided into several elements: Scholarship, tuition fee waivers, accommodation from October 1 until the end of July, free meals in university canteens and some additional benefits. These benefits may vary depending on the student’s achievements and the economic situation of the student and their family status.

For more detailed information, you can visit our Scholarship Opportunities in Italy page.

Application and Admission Requirements at the University of Palermo

Depending on the disciplines and language of the  program, there may be various requirements for international students who wish to enroll in undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs at the University of Palermo. In Italy, bachelor’s degree programs typically last for three years, while master’s degree programs last for two years.

Whereas only a small percentage of undergraduate classes of University of Palermo are taught in English, majority of departments providing  master’s level of education are taught in English.

The following requirements must be met in order to enroll and study at the university:

  • For undergraduate programs, it is necessary to have completed 12 years of education and to be eligible for admission to a particular university (exceeding the minimum score in the university entrance exams is a sufficient level).
  • B2 proficiency certificate must be presented in English or in Italian, depending on which language you will be studying (You can also review our article about “IELTS Exam“).
  • When choosing one of the master’s degree programs, graduation from any undergraduate program is required. In addition, the preferred master’s program must be related to the graduated undergraduate program.
  • Student visa, passport issuance and other consular procedures should be completed.

Student Dormitory and Accommodation Opportunities in Palermo

Students at the University of Palermo have residential opportunities also the University has partnerships with numerous organizations as well. Students have a wide range of choices when it comes to housing possibility, including individual dormitories, small, medium, and large apartments, as well as rooms to rent.

The cost of living in Italy is significantly lower than the country average when all costs are considered, including living expenses, accommodation costs, and University tuition fees. Italy is the best country for students in this regard because it provides both a high-quality education and affordable living expenses.

You can also check our article “Accommodation in Italy” on this subject.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the University of Palermo public or private?

The University of Palermo (Unipa) is a private University. Ranked between 501 and 600 in the world according to 2020 data, this private university provides English language education opportunities for international students in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral (PhD) programs.

Is the University of Palermo expensive and how much does it cost?

Since the annual fees of private universities in Europe and worldwide are significantly high, most students are not able to consider these options. However, with average fees of 4,500 to 6,000 Euros, the University of Palermo is in a very optimal position in terms of both quality and cost in comparison with other countries.

How Expensive is Cost of Living in Palermo?

The cost of living in Palermo is in average compared to other Italian cities. In general, the average cost of living in Palermo is between 700 and 900 Euro.

What are the Student Dormitory and Accommodation Facilities at the University of Palermo?

There is on campus dormitories for the University of Palermo. International students can be admitted to these dormitories every year within a certain quota. Students who can not benefit from dormitory facilities might consider options such as renting a room or renting a shared apartment.

What is the language of instruction at the University of Palermo?

The University of Palermo or Unipa, is said to offer courses in two distinct languages: Italian, English and partially English and Italian. While a limited number of undergraduate programs are taught in English, the number of programs taught in English and partially in English in master’s programs are quite high. The education is in Italian in all programs other than the ones taught in English.