Italy puts a premium on its healthcare. The country takes the top 2 spots worldwide for excellence in healthcare. Not only do they invest in cutting-edge technology and forward-thinking research, but they also develop their educational system to keep up with the needs of tomorrow. The country has the longest tradition of public health and is home to some of the pioneers of modern medicine. With these credentials, who wouldn’t want an Italian public health education?

Below, we discuss some of Italy’s best public health universities.

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Top Universities for Public Health in Italy

1. University of Milan

The University of Milan is considered a top public health school in Italy. It offers a Master’s course in Global Health, equipping graduates with an international perspective on public health management. This prestigious one-year course is good for only 26 international students per year and is taught entirely in English.

The course features an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing health issues, assessing the social and economic impact of health in coming up with multi-sectoral solutions. In collaboration with financial institution Intesa Sanpaolo, course training includes a mix of lectures and case studies which are mostly done online. Topics that are covered include the interaction between Global Health, Law and Diplomacy, ​​Human-Animal-Ecosystem Interface, Infectious Diseases on a global scale, and an in-depth discussion on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Graduates of this course can enjoy opportunities from private and public organizations, national agencies, non-profit organizations, and international agencies such as the UN.

2. Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is a world-renowned university faithful to its Catholic roots. Not only is it the largest privately funded university in Europe, but it is also the biggest Catholic university in the world. Fueled by its strong tradition of research and education, the university guides its students through Catholic values formation essential for tomorrow’s leaders.

As the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is among the best public health universities in Italy, a hybrid course under its School of Medicine and Economics is offered. The Healthcare Management program prepares international students for various roles that require insight and experience in the medical field, such as healthcare industries, national public agencies, insurance, and consulting companies. Through the course, students are exposed to innovative thinking and solutions for health policy, with a multidisciplinary point of view.

During the two-year course, students will be immersed in lectures and methodologies, balanced with opportunities to put these into practice through individual and group case studies. Each student is also paired with two professors – a resident faculty mentor and an international faculty staff – to promote an exchange of varying viewpoints.

3. University of Bologna

The University of Bologna is a pioneer of the university system practiced today. Given its high interconnectedness with the international community, it is but natural that its public health course exhibits the same level of partnership. The university offers the European Master in Health Economics and Management – an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) joint degree program in partnership with three other esteemed universities in the region – Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Oslo, and Management Center Innsbruck. The course starts with fundamentals via lectures at the University of Bologna, then progresses to two semesters of specialization based on the chosen route at partner universities. The course caps off in the fourth semester with final research and dissertation. Additionally, students may avail themselves of other internships and workshops organized by the partner universities to further their knowledge and experience.

The program is unique in offering one general course with six routes for specialization, namely: Management of Healthcare Institutions, Economic Evaluation in Healthcare, Health Economics and Policy, Decision Making in Healthcare, Global Health, and Healthcare Finance and Management. This prepares students with a societal approach to health, combining this with management disciplines such as economics, finance, law, among others. This cultivates excellent graduates for roles such as managers of health institutions or NGOs, health economists, and analysts.

4. Sapienza University of Rome

The Sapienza University of Rome is another one of the best public health universities in Italy. It offers a Master’s course in Health Economics, training students on how to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze health data to create sound management or economic policy. The course delves into the impact of one’s lifestyle on societal health through hygiene and epidemiology, while also touching on adjacent disciplines of economics, accounting, law, and statistics to turn insights into effective action. Some featured subjects include Economics and Health Policy, Evaluation of Healthcare Programs, and ICT in Healthcare. Students are taught the ins and outs of public administration, as well as management of all parts of the value chain to become key managers and decision-makers.

The course is a great choice for international students as it is available in English.

Students undergo lectures, required internships in private and public companies, as well as seminars and workshops to supplement classroom learning. Graduates enter the labor force with wide perspectives on the health sector – from the individual, national to international viewpoints – making them flexible for all types of roles in the health industry.

5. SDA Bocconi School of Management

The SDA Bocconi School of Management offers a Master’s degree in International Healthcare Management, Economics, and Policy for students looking to take on roles in international healthcare. This one-year English program offers broad competencies in the realm of public and private health sectors through its research and management core competencies and is the only Master’s to offer specializations in Global Health & Development, Healthcare Management, and Pharmaceutical & Medical Technology.

The Global Health & Development tackles issues surrounding public health systems in emerging economies, global strategies and analysis in health policy-making, and how to engage, influence, and evaluate stakeholders in execution. Target roles for graduates of this specialization include those in public-private partnerships, global philanthropies, and organizations.

The Healthcare Management specialization equips students interested in the health sector with managerial skills to operate health organizations as they would a business. This specialization is best suited for roles in health institutions such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other integrated healthcare delivery systems.

The Pharmaceutical & Medical Technology specialization focuses on emerging health technologies and how to best leverage this in our changing environment. This is best utilized by those looking into roles in pharmaceuticals, health economics, research, and public affairs.


I hope this article on the best public health universities in Italy was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!