Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

University of Padua

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Rosario Rizzuto

Province of Padua

Total enrollment
62,577 (2015)

+39 049 827 5111


Academic staff

Undergraduate tuition and fees
2,501.38 EUR (2015)



Universa Universis Patavina Libertas (Latin)

Motto in English
Liberty of Padua, universally and for all

Via 8 Febbraio 1848, 2, 35122 Padova PD, Italy

Notable alumni
Nicolaus Copernicus, William Harvey, Elena Cornaro Piscopia, Andreas Vesalius, Tullio Levi‑Civita

Ca' Foscari University of Venice, University of Bologna, University of Verona, University of Milan, Sapienza University of Rome


University of padua

The University of Padua (Italian: Università degli Studi di Padova, UNIPD) is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second oldest in Italy. The University of Padua is one of Italy’s leading universities and ranks in the first position in all the recent ranking of Italian large universities. In 2010 the university had approximately 65,000 students and in 2013 was ranked "best university" among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students.


Why studying human rights at the university of padua


The university is conventionally said to have been founded in 1222 (which corresponds to the first time when the University is cited in a historical document as pre-existing, therefore it is quite certainly older) when a large group of students and professors left the University of Bologna in search of more academic freedom ('Libertas scholastica'). The first subjects to be taught were law and theology. The curriculum expanded rapidly, and by 1399 the institution had divided in two: a Universitas Iuristarum for civil law and Canon law, and a Universitas Artistarum which taught astronomy, dialectic, philosophy, grammar, medicine, and rhetoric. There was also a Universitas Theologorum, established in 1373 by Urban V.

The student body was divided into groups known as "nations" which reflected their places of origin. The nations themselves fell into two groups:

  1. the cismontanes for the Italian students
  2. the ultramontanes for those who came from beyond the Alps

From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, the university was renowned for its research, particularly in the areas of medicine, astronomy, philosophy and law. During this time, the university adopted the Latin motto: Universa universis patavina libertas (Paduan Freedom is Universal for Everyone). Nevertheless, the university had a turbulent history, and there was no teaching in 1237–61, 1509–17, 1848–50.

The Botanical Garden of Padova, established by the university in 1545, was one of the oldest gardens of its kind in the world (after the Hanging Gardens of Babylon). Its title for oldest academic garden is in controversy because the Medici created one in Pisa in 1544. In addition to the garden, best visited in the spring and summer, the university also manages nine museums, including a History of physics museum.

The University began teaching medicine in 1222. It played a leading role in the identification and treatment of diseases and ailments, specializing in autopsies and the inner workings of the body.

Since 1595, Padua's famous anatomical theatre drew artists and scientists studying the human body during public dissections. It is the oldest surviving permanent anatomical theatre in Europe. Anatomist Andreas Vesalius held the chair of Surgery and Anatomy (explicator chirurgiae) and in 1543 published his anatomical discoveries in De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The book triggered great public interest in dissections and caused many other European cities to establish anatomical theatres.

On 25 June 1678, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, a Venetian noblewoman and mathematician, became the first woman to be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The university became one the universities of the Kingdom of Italy in 1873, and ever since has been one of the most prestigious in the country for its contributions to scientific and scholarly research: in the field of mathematics alone, its professors have included such figures as Gregorio Ricci Curbastro, Giuseppe Veronese, Francesco Severi and Tullio Levi Civita.

The last years of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century saw a reversal of the centralisation process that had taken place in the sixteenth: scientific institutes were set up in what became veritable campuses; a new building to house the Arts and Philosophy faculty was built in another part of the city centre (Palazzo del Liviano, designed by Giò Ponti); the Astro-Physics Observatory was built on the Asiago uplands; and the old Palazzo del Bo was fully restored (1938–45). Obviously, the vicissitudes of the Fascist period—political interference, the Race Laws, etc.—had a detrimental effect upon the development of the university, as did the devastation caused by the Second World War and—just a few decades later—the effect of the student protests of 1968-69 (which the University was left to face without adequate help and support from central government). However, the Gymnasium Omnium Disciplinarum continued its work uninterrupted, and overall the second half of the twentieth century saw a sharp upturn in development—primarily due an interchange of ideas with international institutions of the highest standing (particularly in the fields of science and technology).

In recent years, the University has been able to meet the problems posed by overcrowded facilities by re-deploying over the Veneto as a whole. In 1990, the Institute of Management Engineering was set up in Vicenza, after which the summer courses at Brixen (Bressanone) began once more, and in 1995 the Agripolis centre at Legnaro (for Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine) opened. Other sites of re-deployment are at Rovigo, Treviso, Feltre, Castelfranco Veneto, Conegliano, Chioggia and Asiago.

Recent changes in state legislation have also opened the way to greater autonomy for Italian universities, and in 1995 Padua adopted a new Statute that gave it greater independence.

As the publications of innumerable conferences and congresses show, the modern-day University of Padua plays an important role in scholarly and scientific research at both a European and world level. True to its origins, this is the direction in which the university intends to move in the future, establishing closer links of cooperation and exchange with all the world's major research universities.


Notable people who have attended the University of Padua include:

In natural sciences
  • Nathaniel Eaton (1610-1674), Ph.D. and M.D., first Head Master of Harvard College
  • Galileo Galilei held the chair of mathematics between 1592 and 1610
  • Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer
  • William Harvey, anatomist
  • Gabriele Falloppio, anatomist
  • Thomas Browne, writer and physician
  • Physician John Caius
  • George Ent
  • Federico Faggin (1941-), designer of the first commercial microprocessor
  • Edward Greaves
  • Massimo Marchiori, the inventor of Hypersearch and father of modern search engines
  • Mario Rizzetto, virologist
  • Moses David Valle, physician and kabbalist
  • Antonio Vallisneri held the chairs of practical medicine, and theoretical medicine, between 1700 and 1730
  • Andreas Vesalius, anatomist
  • Sir Francis Walsingham (ca 1532-1590)
  • In politics and government
  • Abdirahman Jama Barre, Foreign Minister of Somalia
  • Ioannis Kapodistrias, 1st Governor of Greece, Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire,  
  • Alexandros Mavrokordatos, Prime Minister of Greece
  • Jan Zamoyski, Polish nobleman, magnate, diplomat and statesman
  • In arts, theology and literature
  • Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius
  • George Acworth, Anglican priest and civil lawyer
  • Reginald Pole, cardinal
  • Jacopo Zabarella held the chairs of logic, and philosophy, from 1564 to 1589
  • Boris Pahor, writer
  • Giovanni Pico, humanist
  • Elena Cornaro Piscopia, first woman to receive a doctor of philosophy degree
  • Angelus Silesius, German priest, physician and poet
  • Francysk Skaryna, printer of the first book in an Eastern Slavic language
  • Giuseppe Tartini, musician and composer
  • Torquato Tasso, poet
  • Leonik Tomeu, (1456-1531) first professor to teach Aristotle in original language
  • Edgar Manas, composer
  • Mikołaj Kiczka, nobleman, diplomat and priest
  • Moses Hayyim Luzzatto, kabbalist and playwright, founder of Hebrew literature
  • Ugo Foscolo
  • Pietro Bembo, poet and cardinal
  • Pomponio Algerio, student of civil law (1550s) executed under the Roman Catholic Inquisition
  • Daniele Barbaro, translator of Vitruvius
  • Ermolao Barbaro, appointed professor of philosophy in 1477
  • Francesco Barbaro, humanist
  • Giacomo Casanova, traveller, author and seducer
  • Departments

    The University of Padua offers a wide range of degrees, organized by Departments:

  • Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and the Environment
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health
  • Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences
  • Department of Chemical Sciences
  • Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
  • Department of Communication Sciences
  • Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science
  • Department of Cultural Heritage: Archaeology and History of Art, Cinema and Music
  • Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation
  • Department of Economics and Management
  • Department of General Psychology
  • Department of Geosciences
  • Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
  • Department of Industrial Engineering
  • Department of Information Engineering
  • Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry
  • Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies
  • Department of Management and Engineering
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Medicine
  • Department of Molecular Medicine
  • Department of Neurosciences
  • Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences
  • Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Department of Political and Juridical Sciences and International Studies
  • Department of Private Law and Critique of Law
  • Department of Public, International and Community Law
  • Department of Statistical Sciences
  • Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology
  • Department of Women’s and Children’s Health
  • Schools

    Departments have been united in a limited number of Schools:

  • Agricultural science and Veterinary medicine
  • Economics and Political sciences
  • Engineering
  • Human and social sciences and cultural heritage
  • Law
  • Medicine and surgery
  • Psychology
  • Sciences
  • References

    University of Padua Wikipedia

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