Academic recognition of PhD degrees obtained abroad

Introduction and general information

Pursuant to Art. 1, paragraph 28-quinquies, point 3.2 of Law 15/2022, to the conferral of legal value on foreign higher education qualifications, foreign research doctorates and foreign academic degrees in performing arts, irrespective of the nationality held, Italian higher education institutions shall provide in accordance with Article 2 of the Law of 11 July 2002, n. 148, also for qualifications obtained in countries other than those signatory to the Convention on the recognition of qualifications relating to higher education in the European Region, made in Lisbon on 11 April 1997, ratified pursuant to Law n. 148 of 2002. This means that the competence for the recognition of PhD degrees, becomes the responsibility of higher education institutions.


The academic recognition procedure analytically evaluates foreign academic qualifications to verify if they correspond by level, years of study and content to an Italian degree. The aim of the evaluation is to issue a measure which is similar to an Italian final title and has legal value in Italy.

NOT included among the duties of the University:

  • recognition for access to researcher positions. For this purpose, the application must be submitted to on a special form
  • recognition of the titles of Theology and Holy Scripture and other titles subject to further agreements between the Italian State and the Holy See, issued by institutions recognized by the Papal States. The request must be sent to the Ministry of Universities and Research.

Officiality and naming of the titles
The foreign doctorate must be “official” in the reference system. A qualification is “official” in a foreign system if it is present in the higher education system, if it is accredited and/or recognised in accordance with the rules of the country of issue and issued by a higher education institution which is given this power at national level, or in relation to the whole territory of the foreign country of reference.

  • Status and nature of the institution which released the title
    It is necessary that the institution that has issued the foreign degree is “official” in the reference system and is at the same time an institution equivalent in nature and characteristics to those Italian who have the power to issue PhD degrees.
  • Nature of the title
    For the purposes of recognising the foreign doctoral degree in Italy, the nature of the course and the requirements required to obtain the final degree, which must be in line with those of the Italian legal system in force.
  • Level of the title
    Foreign doctoral degrees should refer to qualifications at the 3rd cycle of the Bologna Process (QF-EHEA), EQF level 8, or at the level of the ISCED framework 2011 or ISCED level 6A pre-2011.
  • Duration
    With regard to the duration of the foreign doctoral course, this element must comply with what is established in Italy for courses of the same nature, or the foreign doctorate, for the purpose of its recognition, must have a minimum three-year duration.
  • Methods and title of access to doctoral studies
    The degree with which you have gained access to the doctoral course must be comparable to a Master’s degree qualification in Italy or be an official second cycle degree of an academic nature also obtained abroad.
  • Course delivery methods and contents
    The elements present in the foreign system will be evaluated in order to verify if they exist as modalities both in the Italian legal system, both at the level of the institution that will have to take care of the evaluation of the training path for the purposes of the Italian PhD.


  1. The applicant must make the request through a special computerized procedure and choose a Doctoral Course present in the educational offer of the University of Pavia and in a discipline similar to the degree held;
  2. The application is transmitted to the Scuola di Alta Formazione Dottorale (SAFD) in order to operate a pre-evaluation aimed at ascertaining the existence of a PhD course, among those active within the University’s educational offer, in the same field with which the foreign qualification can be compared, both by type and by disciplinary field;
  3. The application is sent to the Academic Board of the corresponding PhD programme, whose task is to give an opinion on the subject;
  4. The evaluation ends with a Rectoral Decree.


The submission of the application for evaluation provides for a total cost of 60 € (44 € fee per application for recognition + 16 € stamp provided on the application). In case of total recognition of the title, it is possible to obtain the equivalent Italian title and the relative parchment by paying a fee of 400 €.
In the event that the outcome of the application for assessment is negative, the contribution for the submission of the application shall in no way be reimbursable.

For needs contact Fabio Panza – Tel. 0382985982