The Three Best Universities in Rome for International Students

Bas Teunissen

Updated on May 20 • 6 minute read

There’s no doubt that Rome is one of the most interesting places in Italy, but what makes Rome such an attractive destination for international students?

To figure that out, we’re going to focus on the academic landscape you’ll find in Rome. By looking at Rome’s 3 largest Universities we’ll help you find out if Rome is going to be the cornerstone of your academic career!

To help you distinguish an opportunity for yourself, we’ll focus on three of the universities’ most important aspects:

  • Educational Rankings: How good is this university compared to others?
  • English Language courses: How suitable is this University for international students?
  • Tuition fees: How affordable is this university for international students?

Let’s dive right in!

Cost of living in Rome for Students

As the capital city of Italy known for its service and tourist industry, Rome is not a cheap city. As we concluded in our Cost of Living in Rome overview, a student in Rome should budget around €1500/month to live comfortably in Rome.

Naturally, you can get by with less, but that would mean compromising on housing, activities and accommodation. The determining factor will most likely be how affordable your accommodation in Rome will be, as a good deal in that department can save you hundreds of euros a year.

The HousingAnywhere Rent Index shows the average rental prices in Rome as follows:

Accommodation typeAverage price in RomeYearly Change (in %)
Private Rooms€ 525-11.63%
Studios€ 772-8%

Is Rome a good place to study abroad?

Rome is a city where ancient history and culture lie right below the surface of the mask of a modern metropolis. There are few places in the world that are more inspiring than Rome, even if you’re not going to Rome to pursue a study of history.

Rome is not like any other city. It’s a big museum, a living room that shall be crossed on one’s toes. (Alberto Sordi)

It’s this unique blend of Mediterranean culture with visible and tangible connections to history in combination with excellent academic institutions that draw so many internationals to the city.

We’ve selected 3 of these universities in Rome to highlight for you:

  • Sapienza
  • Tor Vergata
  • Roma Tre

These 3 public universities in Rome are referred to as Roma I, Roma II and Roma III, respectively.

1. Sapienza University of Rome

The Sapienza University of Rome is usually just referred to as Sapienza. It’s an ancient university, founded centuries ago back in 1303. These days it’s a prestigious university that educates over 115.000 students every year.

Out of those, almost 10.000 of those are international students! So once you arrive for your first lectures, you definitely won’t be the only one experiencing their first taste of living abroad.

Sapienza Rankings

La Sapienza is a prestigious university where many alumni include social and political elites, heads of nations and astronauts. As a result, La Sapienza has some pretty impressive rankings over the years. It’ll be no surprise to you that Sapienza has the best Classics & Ancient History programme in the world.

Sapienza RankingScore in 2021
Times Higher Educationtop 200
QS World Ranking#171
Top course: Classics & Ancient history#1 world wide

English Language programmes at Sapienza

Out of its 287 bachelors and masters programmes, La Sapienza offers 55 programmes in that are taught entirely in English. So as an international student, you have 6 bachelor programmes and 49 Masters level programmes to choose from.

The offering of Bachelor programmes consists of:

  • Applied Computer Science & AI
  • Bioinformatics
  • Classics
  • Global Humanities
  • Nursing
  • Sustainable Building Engineering

The offering of Master programmes is spread out across the faculties:

  • Architecture (5)
  • Civil and Industrial Engineering (11)
  • Economics (8)
  • Humanities (4)
  • Information Engineering, Informatics and Statistics (13)
  • Law (1)
  • Mathematics, Physics and Natural Sciences (6)
  • Medicine and Psychology (2)
  • Political Sciences, Sociology and Communications (2)

Sapienza Tuition fees for International Students

Despite its prestige, La Sapienza is a public university! This means that the tuition fees will be relatively low and subject to the ISEE income-based tuition fee reductions.

The maximum tuition fee at La Sapienza for both Masters and Bachelors programmes is €2924 on top of the mandatory €140 regional fees. To find out how much you can expect to pay exactly, you can use the university’s fee calculator.

All in all, the lower the means available to you, the more affordable your tuition fees will be.

2. Tor Vergata University of Rome

The Tor Vergata University of Rome, known as Roma II, is a relatively young university. Founded back when some of the first millennials were already born in 1982, it’s a university focused on the needs of the 21st-century workforce.

Tor Vergata is home to around 35.000 students, of which 6% is made up of international students.

The balance between male and female students is almost perfect at 51:49. The university goes for the liberal arts tradition as well as trying to replicate the same atmosphere students often associate with the famous universities in the UK.

Tor Vergata Rankings

For such a young university, Tor Vergata scores pretty well in the rankings. It’s already made its way into the top 500s, so it has a bright future ahead of it.

Tor Vergata RankingScore in 2021
Times Higher EducationTop 500
Times Higher Education Young UniversitiesTop 150
QS World Ranking#511
Top course: Classics & Ancient history#7

English Language programmes at Tor Vergata

Out of a total of 106 courses, 22 are offered entirely in English.

English language Bachelors programmes:

  • Business Administration & Economics
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Global Governance

English Language Masters programmes:

  • Art History in Rome
  • Astrophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemical Nano-Engineering
  • Economics
  • Environmental and Territorial Engineering
  • European Economy and Business Law
  • European History | Scienze della Storia e del Documento
  • Finance and Banking
  • ICT and Internet Engineering
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Physical Activity and Health Promotion
  • Physics of Complex Systems and Big Data
  • Physics of Fundamental Interactions and Experimental Techniques
  • Tourism Strategy, Cultural Heritage and Made in Italy

Tor Vergata Tuition fees for International Students

Tor Vergata is a public university, which means most students can appeal to the ISEE income-based tuition reduction. Rather than one flat fee, Tor Vergata uses 6 different contribution classes based on your course of choice.

There are also flat fees for students who can’t appeal to the ISEE reductions, coming from developing countries.

Tor Vergata feesFees per year
Contribution class 1Up to € 2932
Contribution class 2Up to € 3895
Contribution class 3Up to € 4445
Contribution class 4Up to € 5210
Contribution class 5Up to € 6105
Contribution class 6Up to € 8255
Non-ISEE studentsFrom € 500 - €2500

3. Roma Tre University

Two universities weren’t enough for Rome, because by 1992 it was time they opened the 3rd public university in the city: Rome Tre (Roma III).

It’s now home to 33.000 students and 5% international students. As a research university, it has over 75 masters programmes, 16 doctoral schools and 5 PhD programmes. Admission to the university can be competitive, as some programs, such as Architecture (200) and Law (1000), have a limit of how many students they accept each year.

Roma Tre Rankings

Despite its extreme youth, being established in the 90’s, the university can already be found in the top 700s of the world. And out of 20.000 participating universities, that’s quite a feat.

Roma Tre RankingScore in 2021
Times Higher Educationtop 800
QS World RankingTop 800
Top Young University RankingsTop 150

English Language programmes at Roma Tre

While Roma Tre offers a large variety of course units in English, there are only 2 Master programmes that are fully taught in English. They are:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • International Studies

Access to other English language course units is arranged through the study plan and learning agreement for international exchange programmes like Erasmus.

Roma Tre Tuition fees for International Students

Tuition fees at Roma Tres are based on your family’s income, as dictated by the ISEE. For both Masters and Bachelors programmes, you can expect to pay anywhere up to €2469 in tuition per year. This is excluding €156 euros in regional fees and tax stamps.

Depending on how much you have to pay, you’ll be expected to pay in up to 4 terms of roughly €500 per term. So, if you’re due to pay €1500 in tuition, you’ll pay that amount over 3 terms.

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