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Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna


Sant’Anna School is one of the five Italian special statute university institutions, also called “Scuole Universitarie Superiori”, holding a unique position within the Italian higher education system. It is a public university in its own right, which carries out research and education in applied sciences.

  • Undergraduate education (Bachelor level) is organized in two Schools, each including three fields of studies
  • Scientific research and advanced education (PhDs, Post-Graduate Degrees, and Master’s Degrees) are provided by research institutes

Thanks to its international nature, Sant’Anna School is a prominent leading institution in the Italian and international scientific community.

Sant’Anna in a nutshell

  • 730 students attending university courses
  • 340 students attending Ph.D. courses
  • 1,870 students in post-graduate training courses and continuing education
  • 30% of overseas students in Ph.D. courses
  • 144 teachers and researchers, 215 postdoctoral students (of whom 40 are also Ph.D.)
  • 199 technical and administrative staff
  • teacher/student ratio of 1:6
  • 18.1 million Euros in research grants
  • 96% self-financed research
  • 68 spin-offs
  • 192 active patent families
  • 112 agreements for training and research

Research and Education in an International Environment

  • The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies aims at experimenting with innovative paths in research and education.
  • Professors and researchers live and interact with the students, day after day, enjoying a continuous cultural and intellectual exchange.
  • Innovative ideas, which are then developed in collaboration with foreign universities, organizations, companies, and research institutes, are generated here.
  • Due to its international nature, education of excellence, and scientific community, the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies established itself as a reference both in Italy and abroad.
  • The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies is part of the EUA (European University Association) as an "individual full member".

The Origins of the Sant’Anna School

The origins of the Sant'Anna School date back to the late eighteenth century, when in 1785 the Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine founded the "St. Anne Conservatory" in Pisa in order to attend to "the education of young women of civil condition." The school is named after its first historical site, the former convent of St. Anne, a fourteenth-century Benedictine monastery, suppressed in 1786 as part of the Leopoldina reforms. The "Mussolini College for Corporate Sciences" had been founded in Pisa in 1931 and the "National Medical College" in 1932; they were attached to the Graduate School and later reorganized into the "Medical-Legal College." The "Antonio Pacinotti College" was created in 1951, including the faculties of Economics, Engineering, and Agriculture. With Law no. 117 of 7 March 1967, the various colleges established a single "School of graduate and advanced studies," organized in the subject areas of "Social Sciences" and "Experimental and Applied Sciences," which settled in its current location between 1975 and 1979. In 1987, the Sisters of the conservatory, which was near to being closed, declared they were willing to sell it to the "School of graduate and advanced studies," provided that the whole complex would remain named after St. Anne; based on the model of the nearby Normal School, the "Sant'Anna School of graduate and advanced studies" was therefore established as a university institution with legal personality and administrative/disciplinary autonomy.


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

  • 1st place on a national level out of 45 institutions
  • 149th place out of 1,396 international institutions
  • 7th place in the top 250 best young universities in the world (2019)

QS World University Rankings 2019

  • 2nd place on a national level out of 30 institutions
  • 177th place out of 1.010 international institutions
  • 15th place in the top 150 best young universities


  • Pisa

    Pisa, Italy