What is a PhD?

PhD is the highest academic educational level in Italy and provides the necessary skills to perform high-quality research activity both in public and private bodies, for the development of the scientific and technological progress, and contributing to the creation of a leading class with a high level professional background and a corresponding international approach.

Structure of the Degree

The PhD programme is divided into two main steps. The former is devoted to the further enrichment of the basic training thanks to advanced training courses; the latter is targeted to the planning and actual carrying out of a specific research project.

The currently active PhD programmes of UniTrento result also from the involvment of sponsoring bodies, among which the Autonomous Province of Trento, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto  and the Municipality of Trento.


The PhD programme cannot last less than three years. The Academic Year starts on November 1 of each year. Attendance to the programme is mandatory.

Entry requirements

Applications for the Doctorate are accepted from candidates who hold:

  • An Italian “Laurea magistrale” instituted in conformity with Italian Ministerial Decree 270/2004, or
  • A university degree of the previous regulations (Italian "Laurea specialistica " or "Diploma di Laurea"), or
  • An equivalent degree obtained abroad (Master's degree) and recognized as equivalent to the Italian "Laurea magistrale" by the Admissions Committee for the sole purposes of admission to the Doctoral programme, also within the framework of international agreements.

CIMEA/NARIC - Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence (National Academic Recognition Information Centres): University systems database


Admission to the Doctoral course is offered through a public selective procedure, hereinafter named Call.
Calls are published on the website of the University, usually in the period between February and September of the academic year before the year when the first year of the Doctoral course shall begin. Candidates are evaluated according to a selection procedure scheduled by each PhD programme.

Doctoral title award

At the end of the PhD programme the thesis is previously examined by two reviewers (external to the University of Trento or other institutions directly involved in the specific programme) appointed in consultation by the PhD Programme Committee and, upon positive judgement, it is admitted to the Final Examination.
The Doctoral title is awarded by the Rector following the successful public defence of the thesis before the Examination Committee. 

Scholarships and fellowships

Available scholarships and fellowships are awarded after a comparative evaluation and on the basis of the final rankings of successful candidates. They are awarded for the entire duration of the PhD programme, provided that PhD students maintain the proper requirements. Candidates who had previously received a scholarship to attend a doctoral programme in Italy are not allowed to be awarded a new scholarship (in case of enrolment in a new PhD programme).

Fees and taxes

Doctoral students are currently not required to pay fees to access and attend the PhD programmes, with the exception of the annual provincial tax on the right to study. Such tax amounts to € 150 + a stamp duty of € 16.

Privacy and data protection

The University aims to ensure it processes the personal data, provided under articles Regulation (EU) 2016/679, in a correct and transparent manner. On the webpage Privacy and data protection more information about Data protection policies and the Notice on the processing of personal data within the University of Trento Doctoral Programmes are available .