Bocconi University (Università Bocconi) is a private university located near the city center of Milan. Founded in 1902, Bocconi was the first university in Italy to grant a degree in economics, and today is recognized as one of Europe’s leading institutions in business and economics education. The university has a student body of approximately 9,000 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students, of whom approximately 1,300 are exchange students studying at Bocconi for a semester or academic year from 230 partner institutions across the globe.
For additional information, visit the Bocconi website.
The City of Milan
Located in the north of Italy, Milan (Milano) is the capital of the Lombardy (Lombardia) region, and the second largest city in the country. Known as the economic and production capital of Italy, Milan has a population of over 1.3 million people, with an additional 3 million making up the greater metropolitan area. This cosmopolitan, modern, and forward-looking city is world-renowned as a European capital of fashion, design, architecture, publishing, modern art, and music.
For more information on Milan, visit the city’s official tourism website.
Did you know…?
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “The Last Supper” (“L’ultima cena”) is housed in the refectory of Milan’s Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie.
La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, is a pleasant 30 minute walk from Bocconi’s main academic buildings. A historical site in its own right, the Galleria connects two of Milan’s most famous landmarks: la Basilica Cattedrale Metropolitana di Santa Maria Nascente and il Teatro Alla Scala, better known as il Duomo and La Scala, respectively.
The program at Bocconi University is for Wharton students and College Economics majors only.
There are a limited number of spots for Penn students at Bocconi. All candidates should identify a second choice program. Priority will be given to juniors and first semester seniors.
The Wharton Program
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least ITAL 110 or 112, or the equivalent, by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure. Wharton students may be permitted to take ITAL 110 or 112 pass/fail.*
The Huntsman Program
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least ITAL 140, or the equivalent, by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.
The College Economics Program
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least ITAL 110 or 112, or the equivalent, by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure. College students must take ITAL 110 or 112 for a grade.*
Previous Study: Successful completion of MATH 104 & 114, ECON 001, 002, & 101.
*The Wharton and College Economics Program: Taking ITAL110 at Penn before starting the program is a requirement. Students now have the option of taking ITAL 110 in the summer session here at Penn (if it is offered) if they are unable to take the course during the fall or spring semesters. It is recommended that students take the course during the fall or spring academic semesters due to the fact that ITAL110 is not guaranteed to be offered during summer sessions. If a student chooses to take the course during the summer, approval to participate in the program during the fall semester will be revoked in cases in which the course is canceled or students do not get the required passing grade.
Language of Instruction
English or Italian
Huntsman students are permitted to take a maximum of one (1) course in English; the remaining courses must be in Italian.
A full course load at Bocconi consists of four (4) classes per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. For more on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
Italian universities award grades on a thirty point scale (i.e., 18 is considered passing, optimal grades are in the upper 20s). Students are frequently assessed solely on the results of a final exam (written or oral). Grades are reported to Penn on the Italian scale and then converted to Penn grades according to standard Italian – U.S. grade equivalencies:
17 and below
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Bocconi’s International Student Desk prior to the start of each semester. More information on Bocconi’s orientation activities can be found here.
Italian Language Crash Courses
The International Student Desk at Bocconi organizes optional, non-credit bearing, Italian language courses for incoming exchange students. For more information on Bocconi’s Italian language courses, click here.
Penn students studying at Bocconi have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information on student engagement will be provided by the International Student Desk at orientation, but a complete list of student associations at Bocconi can be found here.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Incoming Exchange Students may apply to live in one of Bocconi’s seven self-catered residence halls, which house international students as well as Italian students. Rooms in university housing are limited, meaning Bocconi is often unable to accommodate all applicants. Students must be willing to find their own accommodation in Milan, if necessary.
Students who do not wish to live in a residence hall, or are not assigned to Bocconi housing, may find an apartment on their own. It is recommended that students looking for their own accommodation arrive in Milan at least two weeks prior to the start of the program and book temporary accommodation during their search.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here and here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.