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Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

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Program Snapshot

Located in a stunningly beautiful medieval building in the heart of Milan, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is a renowned private higher education institution as reflected by its degrees, international reputation, rankings, and global network.

This dynamic yet traditional university offers young people not only the opportunity to engage in professional development, but to grow through personal experience promoting an interdisciplinary approach which helps students gain scientific knowledge in a responsible and independent manner.

Cattolica is where great minds connect. Where enthusiasm meets innovation. Where dedication creates outcomes.

NEW Internship Option on ISEP Direct! Internship placements are available in Business, Supply Chain Management, Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Consulting, Banking, Fashion and Sales, Legal Services, Translation and Editing, and Communication. See the Academics Tab for more information!

The historic city of Milan is the capital of Lombardy in the central Po valley, which is Italy's richest, most populated and most economically active region. Milan has always been forward-looking. During its 2,000 year history, it has been a driving force for great social, economic, cultural and political events. Milan is also a city of art, with a wealth of monuments, palaces, churches and museums, not to mention, the Duomo and La Scala, the temple of Opera. In 2013 Milan was ranked as the top student city in Italy by QS Best Student Cities Ranking! Check out the New York Times' video 36 Hours in Milan.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester
ISEP Direct: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year, semester, or summer

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.
Summer program available.

Chance of Placement
Chance of placement on ISEP Exchange for US students is generally good.
Chance of placement on ISEP Exchange for I to I students is generally good.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.
Chance of placement on ISEP Direct is Excellent.

Program Dates
ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct UCSC University Academic Curriculum (coursework in Italian)

Semester 1: September to February
Semester 2: February to July

ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct UCSC International Curriculum

Semester 1: September-December
Semester 2: February to May.

Non-European Students taking courses in the UCSC University Academic Curriculum may request earlier exam dates. Consult this link for more information.

Information about ISEP Direct fees and deadlines.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing and Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
Summer 2016:
4-week: $5,700
6-week: $7,750

Full Year 16-17: $24,950
Semester 1 16-17: $13,500
Semester 2 16-17: $13,500

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: May 15, 2016
SM2: November 1, 2016

Summer Program
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore offers a summer session for students wanting to make the most of a summer in Italy while receiving credits for courses in a variety of topics. Students can take courses in business; media and communications; or Italian language and culture on the Milan campus. Agribusiness and food science courses are offered on the Piacenza campus. Students can choose from a two, four or six week session. Longer sessions allow students to take multiple courses. More information is available on our Summer Programs page.

Fast Facts
Milano, Italy (pop. 1.26 million)
Student Enrollment: 25,000
Language of instruction: Italian and some English
University Home Page
Courses (Italian and English)
Courses (English)
Summer Program

There are different options at Sacro Cuore for semester or full year placements. Please clearly indicate on your Host Site Request List which option you prefer:

OPTION 1 ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct: Courses in Italian in the UCSC University Academic Curriculum. See below for course options.

OPTION 2 ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct: Courses in English through the UCSC International Curriculum and/or the UCSC University Academic Curriculum. See the section "Courses Taught in English" for more information. Students with an Intermediate level of Italian may combine courses in English with courses in Italian in this option.

OPTION 3 ISEP Exchange and Direct: Language Assistant Program: Students who choose this option will have the opportunity to work as Language assistant in a Primary or Secondary school located in Milan and the greater city area. For further information on this option please visit the UCSC Language Assistant Website.

OPTION 4 ISEP Exchange and Direct: Students can enroll in the January J-term course followed by a full semester of study at UCSC. Students choosing this option can select semester courses to enroll in from either the UCSC International Curriculum or the UCSC Academic Curriculum. For further information on this option please visit the Winter Programs Website.

OPTION 5 ISEP Direct: Students can enroll in the J-term at UCSC. UCSC offers a January term International Relations course. For more information, please visit the UCSC Winter Programs Website.

Fields of study taught in Italian:
Banking, Finance, and Insurance Sciences; Business (accounting, economics, management, marketing); Education (adult education, pedagogy & planning for education, science of learning processes, sport & exercise sciences, sports science for prevention & rehabilitation); Foreign Languages and Literature (English, French, German, Russian, Spanish); Humanities (archaeology, architecture, art history, classics, communications, drama/ theatre, history, library science, literature, philosophy, theology/ religious studies); Law (business law, legal studies); Political and Social Sciences (international relations, public relations & communication, social studies, social work); Psychology

Courses taught in English
Fields of study available in English: There are two opportunities to take courses in English at UCSC offered on both ISEP Exchange and ISEP Direct:

1. UCSC International Curriculum:
Business; International Relations; Media and Communications; Sociology; Literature; Italian culture.
Information and Course Descriptions

2. UCSC University Academic Curriculum:
Economics, International Management, Banking & Finance,Sociology, and International Relations. Non-European students who take courses in English from the UCSC Academic Curriculum may arrange for early exams. Please consult the academic calendar for more information.
Information and Course Descriptions

Academic Notes

Fields that are especially appropriate for ISEP participants include Humanities, Business/Economics, Languages & Literature, Political and Social Sciences.

Students typically enroll in 4-5 classes per term which averages to 12-15 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15 weeks.


Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student's home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations. Transcripts will be sent to ISEP in late February and early July.

Language Notes

Language Requirements for UCSC University Academic Curriculum (coursework in Italian): A minimum of four semesters or the equivalent of university level Italian must be completed prior to the program.

Language Requirements for UCSC International Curriculum and UCSC University Academic Curriculum (in English): For courses in English, I-to-I applicants who are not native English speakers must submit the ISEP Language Proficiency Report. There is no Italian requirement for students taking courses which are taught in English, in either the UCSC International Curriculum or UCSC University Academic Curriculum.

Language Courses: Italian language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during each semester for lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced levels. These classes are 45 total hours of course work for 6 ECTS credits, which appear on the university transcript. Students may also request a certificate upon completion.

  • ISEP Exchange: language courses are not included in ISEP benefits, but are available for an additional additional fee.
  • ISEP Direct: language courses included in ISEP benefits, at no additional fee.
Pre-session: A 3-week pre-session, intensive Italian language course is offered for absolute beginner, lower intermediate and upper intermediate levels. 45 hours of course work for 6 ECTS credits. Pre-session includes tuition, housing and meals.

  • ISEP Exchange: Pre-session language course is not included in ISEP benefits, but is available for an additional additional fee.
  • ISEP Direct: Pre-session language course is included in ISEP benefits, at no additional fee.
Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency.

Hints for Researching Courses

For the UCSC University Academic Curriculum (coursework in Italian):

- Click HERE
- Select Anno accademico
- Choose your Faculty/Department
- DO NOT select a choice under CORSO DI LAUREA and ANNO DI CORSO categories
- Click Avvio Ricerca

You will be taken to a page with the full selection of courses. Here you can read the details and download the syllabus for each course.

Housing and Meals

ISEP Exchange
The primary accommodation for ISEP Exchange students will be off-campus housing in apartments or single dorm rooms with a bathroom. Students placed in apartments will have a combination of university cafeteria plan and meal tickets to purchase groceries and use at restaurants around the city. Students placed in the dorm will have a complete meal plan at the university cafeteria.

Married student and family housing is not available.

ISEP Direct
The primary accommodation for ISEP Direct students will be off-campus housing in apartments or single dorm rooms with a bathroom. Meals are not included, so students should budget accordingly.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: 250-300 euros minimum.

UCSC International offers two orientation events for international students at the beginning of each semester. Students will be given useful information about Milan, UCSC campus, academic programs, registration, extra-curricular activities, and permit of stay procedures. During the orientation students will also meet student associations.


Airport pickup may be available for a group of students.

The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, founded in 1921 by Father Agostino Gemelli, is one of the most comprehensive and complete higher education institutions in Italy. Università Cattolica excels in the diverse study opportunities that it offers in the humanities as well as scientific fields. Through the courses offered, combined with strong research programs, the university values and promotes an interdisciplinary approach that helps students gain scientific knowledge in a responsible and autonomous fashion.

The campus offers a complete range of services, all of which share a common goal: meeting the needs of a large student population. The campus may best be described as "a city within a city," where finding your way and learning the ropes is easy thanks to effective tutoring services and competent academic advisors and coordinators. Total enrollment: 30,000.

What Past Students have to Say
"Why am I studying in Italy at UCSC?: I actually started as an exchange student thanks to one of my friends’ recommendation. I ended up transferring to Cattolica and am now taking a degree in applied languages and linguistics with a specialization in communication." -Josh, Williamsport, USA