It was founded in 1343 by an edict of Pope Clement VI. It is the 19th oldest extant university in the world and the 10th oldest in Italy. The prestigious university is ranked between first and third places nationally, in the top 30 in Europe and the top 300 in the world. It houses the Orto botanico di Pisa, Europe’s oldest academic botanical garden, which was founded in 1544.
The University of Pisa is part of the Pisa University System, which includes the Scuola Normale Superiore and the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies. It offers a wide range of courses, including the computer science course, which is the first in the area to be activated in Italy. The aerospace Master of Science (MSc) courses are the first in Italy to be offered entirely in the English language. The university has about 57,000 students (of which 53,000 are undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and 3,500 are doctoral and specialization studies).
In the fields of philology and cultural studies, the University of Pisa is a leading member of ICoN, an inter-university consortium of 21 Italian universities supported by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, as well as a member of the European University Association, the Partnership of a European Group of Aeronautics and Space Universities network and the Cineca consortium. It’s the only university in Italy which has become a member of the prestigious Universities Research Association.
Among its notable graduates there are several national and foreign political leaders including two Italian presidents, five Popes, five Italian prime ministers and three Nobel Laureates as students, faculty or staff affiliates.