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Programs : Brochure

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Program Description:


Program Overview

Located 35 kilometers south of Milan in northern Italy, the University of Pavia is an ancient university steeped in scientific history that allows its students to study modern science in a historic city.

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Program Specific Information
Academic Environment
On-site Support
Application Process
Resources and Contact Information
Program Dates

Academic Environment

Where you will study

The University of Pavia is one of the oldest universities in Europe. An edict issued by King Lotharius quotes a higher education institution in Pavia as already established in 825 a.d. This institution, mainly devoted to law studies, was then chosen as the main education center for northern Italy. Enlarged and renovated by the Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, it became the University of the Duchy, officially established as a Studium Generale by Emperor Charles IV in 1361.

Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) is only one of a large group of famous professors who taught at the University of Pavia. To mention just a few, let us recall Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576), Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832) and Camillo Golgi (1843-1926). The “cardanic joint”, a widely used mechanical device, takes its name from the first. Scarpa was professor of anatomy and medicine. Many parts of human anatomy are today named after him, e.g. “Scarpa’s triangle” and “Scarpa’s fascia”. Golgi invented the so called “black reaction”, which, for the first time, displayed the ramified structure of nerve cells. This was the key to open the chapter of neuroscience nowadays advancing so quickly. For this discovery, Golgi was given the Nobel prize in 1906, together with the Spanish Santiago Ramon y Cajal. The “Golgi complex” is only one of the many microstructures which are today named after him. Today the University boasts 24,000 students, both from Italy and from overseas. In 2013, 4,408 students graduated and 639 obtained a post-graduate qualification.

Today Pavia is a research university, offering a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching organized in 18 Departments and has study programs at all levels: bachelor’s degrees, master's degrees, research degrees, and specialty schools. Research is carried out in departments, institutes, clinics, centers, and laboratories in close association with public and private institutions, enterprises and companies.


Town of Pavia

Situated only 35 kilometers from Milan and linked by suburban rail, Pavia (originally Ticinum) enjoys the advantages and services of its near neighbor. However, it offers a calm, captivating and cooperative environment with a higher quality of life. It also has a series of sports centers available for students to use, including those run by CUS (Center for University Sports). Pavia is a place for students to call home. Founded in Roman times, Pavia's population today is made up of approximately 70,000 inhabitants and 24,000 students. It was the Longobard capital for two centuries and its fascination remains intact with the center’s maze of narrow streets, ancient churches and elegant buildings all bordered by the River Ticino.

There are 19 museums and collections (9 university museums, 1 civic museum, 5 university collections, 2 civic and 2 diocesan collections), 2 multi-use cultural centres, 4 public libraries (and 18 university circuit libraries), 4 cinemas and theatres, 10 sociocultural meeting places, a music conservatory and 2 civic schools of music and arts. Culturally speaking, Pavia has much to offer. The countless events, festivals, exhibitions, concerts, meeting places and university sports events combine to create an intellectually stimulating stage and the ideal place to live and study. Learn more about Pavia at Vivi Pavia



You will take courses alongside your Italian peers and other international students.  Potential MCB courses offered may include Advanced Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Cellular Biochemistry, Developmental Biology, Human Molecular Genetics, Methods in Biochemistry, Microbial Genetics, Molecular Microbiology, Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Molecular Pharmacology, and Structural Biology and Pharmacology.

There are Italian language courses available, as well as Contemporary Italian and European History. These will offer in-depth experience and learning of the Italian language and culture

All academic advising and course selection is done together with Melissa Michael in the School of MCB (, 217.244.6238). 


The preapproved courses for this program are offered in English.

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On-site Support
Specific Departmental Support Personnel 
The University of Pavia will provide a tutor who will be lodged in Palazzo Vistarino to look after UIUC students.

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Students will reside in Palazzo Vistarino, an 18th-century residence in the heart of Pavia, overlooking the Ticino river; all rooms with en-suite bathrooms and Wi-Fi.

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Application Process
Students must be academically prepared for this program, meaning they have completed the MCB Core (MCB 150, 250/251, 252/253, and 354). Applicants must be in good health and have the kind of flexibility and sensitivity to others that will allow for successful adjustment to an unfamiliar cultural setting.

The program is designed for students in the spring of their third year or fall of their fourth year.

Minimum Eligibility for ALL Terms:
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with the possibility of exception depending on circumstances.
  • Minimum Junior Status (generally 3rd year students/ some exceptions possible) 
Spring Semester Program:
Final Deadline: 15 September (decisions will be made within 2 weeks of this deadline)
If applicants exceed slots available, those who apply earliest will be given priority.

Fall Semester Program:
Final Deadline: 15 February (decisions will be made within 2 weeks of this deadline)
If applicants exceed slots available, those who apply earliest will be given priority.

How to Apply
Please click the Apply Now button (found at the top-right of this page) to apply. Note that you will be charged a non-refundable $100 application fee by clicking Apply Now and logging in.
This program has a two-step application process:
Step 1.) The LAS-MCB Application, which includes:
  • Online questionnaires 
Application materials for Step 1 must be turned in by the corresponding term’s deadlines as listed above.
Step 2.) The Host University Application (TO BE COMPLETED AFTER YOU ARE NOMINATED BY MCB IN STEP 1):
  • If you are nominated by the the School of MCB, Melissa Michael will provide you with more information on the next steps.
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Resources and Contact Information

For MCB Majors:
Please contact Melissa Michael in the School of MCB Instructional Program Office
127 Burrill Hall;; 217.244.6238
She will help you plan your coursework at Illinois and the University of Pavia and answer your questions about the program.

Please contact the following person with questions about the application process and pre-departure requirements:
Please contact Melissa Michael in the School of MCB Instructional Program Office
127 Burrill Hall;; 217.244.6238
Elly Hanauer in LAS International Programs:

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Program Dates:

Please review the program dates table below:

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Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2021 03/15/2021
03/22/2021 09/13/2021 12/17/2021
Spring Semester 2022 09/15/2021 09/16/2021 TBA TBA

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