It takes place in universities, university institutes and post-secondary education institutions. The qualification for admission to universities and higher institutes is the baccalaureate diploma issued by secondary schools with a five-year duration. Taking into account the didactic reorganization, which was approved by Parliament in 1990, universities organize courses of various levels for the release of the following qualifications:
University Diploma (DU): the course is organized by the faculties, has a duration of 2 or 3 years and has the aim of providing students with adequate knowledge of scientific methods and contents oriented towards specific professional areas; the studies completed in the diploma courses are recognized for the purpose of continuing university studies;
Degree Diploma (DL): the course takes place in the faculties, has a duration of no less than 4 years and no more than 6 and aims to provide students with adequate cultural, scientific and professional knowledge of a higher level (a specific degree course, in two directions, it will be preordained for the cultural and professional training of teachers in kindergarten and elementary school respectively);
Specialization Diploma (DS): the course, which can be accessed after graduation, has a duration of no less than 2 years, is carried out at the specialization schools referred to in Presidential Decree 10 March 1982 n. 162, and is aimed at training specialists in specific professional sectors (a specific specialization school, divided into addresses, will be dedicated to the training of secondary school teachers);
Research Doctorate (DR): the related course, which graduates can access by competition, is organized by departments or faculties authorized for this purpose and involves the carrying out of studies or research with original results in mono or interdisciplinary sectors only in the of scientific research.
Within the framework of the principles of university autonomy (recognized by art. 33 of the Constitution and specified by law no. 168 of 9 May 1989), the university statutes determine the diploma, degree and specialization courses; they also define the criteria for the activation of postgraduate courses, research doctorates and supplementary educational services.
Among the other forms of higher education, the three-year courses of the ISEF (Higher Institutes of Physical Education) must be considered, which aim to promote the sciences applied to physical education and to provide the scientific and technical preparation necessary for those who intend to dedicate themselves the teaching of this discipline in schools and employment in the sports field. Students enrolled in the first year of the course after passing a competition for exam; at the end of the course, the students who have passed all the exams take an exam for the achievement of the physical education diploma. The courses of the ISIA (Higher Institutes for Artistic Industries) last four years, which provide for the training of industrial designers (designers). Students in possession of a five-year high school diploma and who have passed a specific admission exam can access the ISIA courses. At the end of the course, students take a final thesis exam concerning an operational project and obtain a diploma from a high school for artistic industries. In the artistic sector, there are higher education institutions: the Academies of Fine Arts (including four-year courses in painting, sculpture, decoration and scenography); the National Academy of Dramatic Art (three-year course, plus one for specialization) for the training of actors and directors for dramatic theater; the National Academy of Dance (relative to advanced advanced courses) for the training of soloists, teachers, choreographers and dance composers.