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Free medical education in Italy

Free medical studies in Italy are only possible if you, as an international student, can get one of the government scholarships or one of the university scholarships in this country. One of the main advantages of studying in Italy is the possibility of receiving government grants, which can reduce a significant part of the costs of education and living. This issue (government scholarships), along with studying in the best and most prestigious medical universities in Italy and Europe, has made Italy one of the most popular study destinations in medicine. Undoubtedly, obtaining a medical degree from these world-class universities can bring a clear career perspective for students. If you are interested in medicine and would like to gain valuable experience studying abroad in Italy, join us in the article on studying medicine in Italy for free.

Medical study conditions in Italy

As mentioned in the introduction, Italian medical universities are among the top universities in Europe and the world, most of which offer medical doctorate courses in English. But to enter Italian medical universities, the most crucial factor is to participate in the IMAT exam and get an acceptable score on this exam.


An important and noteworthy point for those interested in this field is that to study medicine in Italy in English, it is unnecessary to have an experimental diploma, and you can even enter the university with a degree in different fields and pass the IMAT exam.

IMAT exam

The International Medical Admissions Test or IMAT, which stands for International Medical Admissions Test, is one of the documents required to study in medical and dental courses in Italy. This test is in English, designed by the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing Center, and held in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). The IMAT exam aims to scientifically evaluate applicants for admission to English-language courses in medicine, surgery, and dentistry in Italian universities.

Exam format:

The IMAT test is a written test (paper and pen) that contains 60 five-choice questions in four parts, and its time is 100 minutes. Based on surveys of candidates from previous years, the BMAT and UKCAT exams have the closest format to the IMAT exam. The BMAT test (BioMedical admissions test) is one of the medical tests for entering British universities, which has similar questions to the IMAT test. Of course, the BMAT exam includes an essay section not found in the IMAT exam.

Test location:

This exam is held in more than 20 places worldwide, and Iranian students interested in studying medicine in Italy can travel to the UAE, Turkey, Cyprus and even Italy to participate.

Exam contents:

This test includes different parts that can be said to be divided into two main parts.

  • The first part evaluates logical reasoning skills (problem-solving skills, understanding of discussion, information analysis and inference).
  • Part II: Scientific Theory Books for IMAT

The second part evaluates topics such as biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.

  • IMAT exam preparation books and tips
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  • Studying psychology in Italy

Minimum score of IMAT test to get admission from the university

Considering the high requests for admission from Italian universities, especially in medical fields, having a high score in this exam is a good score for access to the university. However, before sending the documents to the university, it is better to check the conditions of study there and how competitive it is to get admission from this university (especially for students from outside the European Union). There is no fixed passing score for the IMAT exam; even if there is, it may change yearly. Therefore, getting admission from the university mostly depends on the number of applicants and their performance in this test.

Introducing the best medical universities in Italy

As mentioned in the introduction, the prestigious Italian universities that offer medicine are among the top 300 universities in the world and are considered some of the best. Some of the Italian universities of medical sciences that offer medical courses in English to IMAT candidates are:

  • University of Milan
  • University of Bari
  • University of Bologna
  • University of Campania’ Luigi Vanvitelli
  • University of Messina
  • University of Milan
  • University of Milan-Bicocca
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • University of Padua
  • University of Pavia
  • University of Rome ‘Sapienza’
  • University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’
  • University of Siena
  • University of Turin

To learn more about the medical universities of this country, you can refer to the page of the list of Italian medical universities.

How to study medicine for free in Italy

Students must apply for a government scholarship to study medicine in Italy for free. The average tuition fee for treatment is 1200 euros per year, but learning in this country is free or meagre by receiving this scholarship. One of the most famous Italian government scholarships is the Provincial Scholarship (DIRITTO ALLO STUDIO UNIVERSITARIO). This scholarship is awarded to students studying in Italy at various levels of study, from bachelor’s to doctorate.

Conditions for receiving a provincial scholarship

This scholarship is designed based on need (need-based), and as its name suggests, it will be awarded to students who can show that they cannot pay for education due to their financial situation. This issue can be a significant obstacle to Their educational goals (studying in Italy). In this type of scholarship, if the student is still covered by his parents and the parents cannot pay for their child’s education due to financial problems, they can apply for this scholarship. Of course, other factors may be considered by the grantors of this type of scholarship. For example:

  • Citizenship and residence status
  • the number of family members
  • Insurance and tax
  • Parents’ employment conditions

Also, if the student is employed, the documents related to the student’s income will be evaluated. Therefore, government scholarships will be awarded to students whose parents cannot pay university tuition. In some cases, a student may get a merit-based scholarship in addition to this scholarship (need-based) according to the type of study course and university. Therefore, considering that the conditions for receiving these types of scholarships may differ, it is better to carefully examine the required documents and the amount assessed for this scholarship before taking action.

The provincial scholarship covers the following:

  • Exemption from paying university tuition
  • Free accommodation + one free meal (per day) + cash assistance up to 3000 euros per year, and if the applicant is not allocated accommodation and food, the service will be up to 5200 euros per year.
  • Discounts for using public transportation

Documents required to receive a provincial scholarship or third world scholarship in Italy

The first step to receiving this scholarship is admission to Italian public universities. Of course, students who have succeeded in obtaining access from the state art academies and music conservatories (AFAM) can apply for this scholarship. In addition to the admission letter from the university, the following documents are required to apply for a provincial or third-world scholarship in Italy. All these documents must be translated into Italian and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Italian Embassy:

  • Pay slip of the head of the family from the previous year with an annual income of less than 18,000 euros
  • Notarized lease in the prior year
  • affidavit
  • Birth certificate of the head of the family
  • Print the account of the head of the family
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