The University of Pisa was officially established in 1343, when it was proclaimed a ‘Studium Generale’ with the authority to prepare university teachers, although its origins date back to earlier centuries.
Among its glories is Galileo Galilei, who was born and studied in Pisa, and became professor of Mathematics in 1589. The University also counts several Nobel Prize winners among its alumni, including Giosuè Carducci (Literature), Enrico Fermi (Physics) and Carlo Rubbia (Physics), and a Fields medalist, Enrico Bombieri (Mathematics).
Today the University of Pisa is a prestigious modern centre of teaching and advanced research. It offers 72 undergraduate and 76 postgraduate degree programmes, in all the main areas of knowledge and advanced professional education. The University has 11 Doctoral schools which provide a large number of research doctoral programmes; it also offers 68 third cycle specialisation programmes and more than 100 special shorter professional programmes of further education at the first and second cycle levels, including an MBA. Research and teaching are combined in all fields and levels.
Overall, the University of Pisa (2010-2011) has about 52,000 first and second cycle students, 950 doctoral students and 1,100 students enrolled in its more than 50 residency programmes in the medical and health area, or in specialisation courses in other disciplines. The research and teaching staff comprises 1,590 persons; the technical and administrative staff numbers 1,643.
According to the most recent Shanghai Ranking ARWU 2011, the University of Pisa ranks first among Italian Universities and among the top 150 universities in the world. Its departments of Mathematics and Physics are among the top 100 worldwide. Pisa also ranks second in Italy in the Ranking Web of World Universities. The areas of Agriculture, Clinical Medicine, Computer Engineering, Physics and Chemistry rank excellently in the 2011 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities released by National Taiwan University.
Almost all departments of the University of Pisa are located in the core of the city, either in prestigious buildings of the old city, or in an ever-growing number of modern structures, some of which are located in the centre and some at its outskirts. Most facilities are within 20 minutes walking distance from the centre of the city.