Academic grading scale in Italy

Academic grading scale in Italy

According to the Italian grading system, students are graded to a scale ranging from 0 to 30, with 18 as a passing mark. A cum laude (with outstanding honor) may be added to the highest grade (30 e lode), as a special distinction.

The lowest passing grade is 18. The grades from 18 to 30 are all used.

ECTS Grading Table

Actual grading curves differ in different degree programmes. The University of Pisa provides an ECTS Grading Table, which shows the actual distribution of examination and final grades among students of each degree programme, in order to facilitate comparison with other grading systems.

When the student graduates, a final numerical grade for the entire degree programme is also given. The minimum passing mark for the final degree is 66/110, whereas the maximum is 110/110. For outstanding students degrees may be awarded a cum laude distinction.

Once again, the actual distribution varies substantially from degree programme to degree programme. In the Diploma Supplement a distribution table for the specific degree programme is provided, to facilitate the interpretation of the final numerical grade.


Credit and grading system are linked. A student is awarded credits for a course / module only if he or she receives clear the examinations associated with the course. The examinations may be by way of a written test, oral exam or continuous assessment. The reforms in higher education, especially the Bologna process, have initiated a common system of university credits (European Credit Transfer System or ECTS) in Italy. ECTS was initially set up for seamless transfer of credits and is used across Europe.

In general, university education is measured in terms of credits. The credit system was established to quantify the amount of work needed for each course and exam. Credits represent a typical student’s total workload such as class time, individual work, preparation for test, practical at lab, field research etc. 1 credit is considered equivalent to 25 hours of work. The average full-time workload for one academic year per student is 60 credits, which is equivalent to 1500 hours of work. A university has the liberty to increase or decrease the credits for a course with the overall range of 1200 to 1800 hours.

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