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What degree is required to apply to the Programme?

A Master’s degree or equivalent degree is required for admission to the PhD Programme. Candidates who will fulfill the minimum degree requirements by 30 September of each year can apply. They may be admitted under condition of getting the degree by end of September


Can I apply if I have a degree in a subject area not covered by the PhD Programme?

Yes, but you must have a sound knowledge of the fields covered by the PhD Programme. The Examining Board will assess the content and quality of the candidates’ academic record to decide if it fits the requirements for admission to the PhD.


Can I be admitted without grant?

No, according to the Italian legislation self-financing candidates cannot be admitted to the PhD.


How long does the course last?

The duration of the course is 3 years. The thesis must be submitted at the latest by the end of the third year. After the submission, two external referees will be asked to review the thesis and provide a written evaluation. At that stage, you will either be asked to discuss your thesis within a few weeks or to make some revisions for which you will be granted a maximum of 6 months. After those corrections, the viva will take place no later than 8 months from the end of the third year of the course.


What is the Programme’s structure?

During the first year the Ph.D. programme includes mandatory lectures. Some of the courses will address methodological skills and soft skills (academic writing and presentation skills), while three main multidisciplinary courses will revolve around the topics of Human Rights, Global Politics, and Sustainability.

During the second year students will be asked to spend a research period abroad (a minimum of six months is compulsory).

The third year is usually devoted to writing up the thesis.

During the three years PhD students are recommended to attend any other course and seminar offered at the Scuola.


How long is the residential period? Are there other presence requirements?

Our Ph.D is a residential programme. Students are required to stay in Pisa during the three years, and are strongly invited to participate in the Scuola's academic life.


How will each course be evaluated?

A final exam is foreseen at the end of each course, according to modalities decided by the lecturer (e.g. oral exam; multiple choice test; presentations; essays; etc.)


Are there language requirements for the course? How much Italian does one need to know to study at Sant’Anna?

The language for the PhD is English, thus proficiency in English is expected.

The Ph.D. students are required to attend language courses in order to obtain, at the end of the Programme, a good knowledge (i.e. A2level) of at least a second foreign language, besides English, chosen among the languages taught at the Scuola.

Even though the Programme is entirely in English, in order to improve their quality of life in Pisa, foreign Ph.D. students can be invited by their supervisors to attend Italian courses during the first year of the Ph.D. Programme.


Are there teaching opportunities during the PhD?

It is up to each individual supervisor to determine if and to what extent PhD students will be involved in teaching activities.


Is there any opportunity to be included in a research team?

This will depend on the level of proximity with existing research lines of each student’s project. Again, it is up to the supervisor to make the call. 


What support do students get for extracurricular research activities?

Students are encouraged to carry out extracurricular activities (seminars, summer schools, etc.). An extra budget is allocated to each student to finance the attendance of such activities. Decisions on which activities to attend need to be approved by the supervisor and the Ph.D Board.


What facilities are available for students?

Ph.D. students at our historic building campus can access most of the facilities available at the Scuola, including the Library and Wi-Fi access throughout the campus. However, due to space limitations, the availability of other facilities (such as designated offices or desks) may be limited.

Students can make free use of the canteen for the entire duration of the Programme (26 free meals per month). Students will need to find accommodation outside of the Scuola. Typically, students choose to live in shared flats, which can be easily found in the surrounding area.


Do Ph.D students get employment restrictions for the duration of the Programme?

During their Ph.D. programme, students receive a scholarship that covers their living expenses. Sant'Anna School’s regulations on the subject stipulates that Ph.D. programmes are full-time and incompatible with other work commitments.


Are there special arrangements for students with families?

No, the Scuola does not provide special arrangements for students with families.