Recognition of foreign qualifications

The purpose of the recognition process is to provide the applicant with a qualification equivalent to the one they have already earned, that is officially recognized in Italy (a process described in the past with the word "equipollenza", equivalence).

Before submitting any request, applicants must know the reason why they need the recognition of a foreign qualification, as there are different procedures involving different bodies.

Universities examine foreign qualifications for academic purposes (for the award of the equivalent Italian qualification), while other public offices do the same for non-academic and professional purposes (participation in public selections, pension rights, and others).

Further information on the recognition of foreign qualifications for non-academic purposes can be found on the CIMEA web page.

Characteristics of the degree held

Doctoral level qualifications (PhD) correspond to third cycle qualifications under the Bologna Process (QF EHEA), level 8 qualifications under the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, level 6A under ISCED prior to 2011.
Foreign qualifications are recognized only where they have been officially awarded by higher education institutions of the foreign country and only if they are equivalent to the Italian qualification in terms of type and duration of studies, research activity and qualification requirements.

Assessment of the application at the University of Trento

At the University of Trento, applications are examined by the Doctoral Committee (Collegio dei docenti) of the Phd Programme (or the Executive Committee, if any, or a committee of members appointed by the Doctoral Committee).

Where there are no bilateral agreements in place between Italy and the country of the awarding institution, the application may:

  • be successful and lead to the award of an Italian Dottorato di Ricerca (PhD), or
  • be rejected, where there is a substantial difference between the qualification awarded in the foreign country and the Italian one, in consideration of the foreign institution that awarded it and the Italian legislation in the field of higher education.

How to submit an application

The application must include the title of the doctoral programme offered by the University of Trento that, in terms of characteristics and content, most corresponds to the doctoral qualification that the applicant is seeking recognition for.
The list of doctoral progarmmes offered by the University of Trento can be found on the PhD programmes webpage

PLEASE NOTE: The University of Trento may only recognise PhD degrees that, at the time of applying, have reached the end of the first activation cycle.

Applications can only be submitted through the online form (Recognition of PhD degrees awarded abroad), and must include the following documents:

  • Identity document;
  • Foreign PhD qualification (diploma) awarded by an higher education foreign institution;
  • Sworn translation into Italian of the foreign qualification;
  • Diploma Supplement or Statement of comparability issued by the Italian ENIC-NARIC centre (CIMEA);
  • Legalisation of the diploma (or Apostille, for the countries that have signed the Hague Convention of 1961) issued by the competent authorities in the country of the awarding institution, or a certificate proving the authenticity of the degree (Statement of verification) issued by the Italian ENIC-NARIC centre (CIMEA);
  • Where available, a certificate of equivalence of qualification (Dichiarazione di Valore in loco), from the competent diplomatic or consular representation in the country of the awarding institution; 
  • A statement or certificate of the awarding institution, with the elements and activities of the PhD course, containing: the title of the doctoral programme, the duration of the programme based on the university regulation (for the foreign qualification to be recognised, the duration of studies cannot be less than 3 years, as required by Italian legislation on doctoral programmes), the date of first enrolment and the qualification date. Where possible, also include the type of course (it is requested a course of an "academic research" type; "professional" type is not admitted to evaluation) and the legal name of the awarding institution, specifying that it is entitled to award qualifications as an accredited institution. This statement or certificate is not required if the applicant has already provided the Diploma Supplement with all the required information.
    Where this statement or certificate is in a language other than Italian or English, applicants will include an Italian or English translation under their own responsibility;
  • A copy of the doctoral thesis and/or information on where the official version is archived and can be consulted (university repository, library website, etc.). Where such thesis has been written in a language other than Italian or English, the applicant will include an Italian or English translation; 
  • The Italian or foreign second cycle qualification that gave access to the doctoral course abroad;
  • The applicant's CV, in Italian or English, listing all the qualifications, publications, and teaching and research assignments;
  • Payment of the 300 € application fee ("Contribution for the foreign qualification recognition request”) to be made through PagoPA.  This payment does not guarantee that the application will be successful and will not be refunded.

The University of Trento reserves the right to ask applicants to provide additional documentation, if deemed necessary, in order to be considered for the recognition.

At the end of the process, if the application is granted, within 30 days of receiving the notice the applicant is required to:

  • Submit all the original documents to the relevant PhD Office at UniTrento (Divisione Supporto Corsi di Dottorato e Alta Formazione)
  • Pay a 200 € fee for the issuance of the Italian PhD ("Contribution for the award of the corresponding Italian degree") and a 16 € revenue stamp