Students that qualify for admission to the universities in their home countries, and who have a bachelor's degree in philosophy, can be admitted to the first cycle of studies in theology. Students that do not have a bachelor's degree in philosophy can be admitted to the first cycle, if they have completed the two-year program of philosophy from a secondary school with ecclesiastical recognition (college seminary, pontifical university, etc.), and demonstrate the academic ability to complete the first cycle program of theology.
The studies of the cycle of the specialized Licentiate have a duration of two academic years, divided into 4 semesters, including the writing of the Licentiate thesis and the degree exams. Students have the possibilities of specialization:
History of the Church
Students that have passed the comprehensive Bachelor's degree exam in theology profitably, can be admitted to the second cycle. Students that do not have a Bachelor's degree in theology can be admitted to the second cycle if they have completed the six-year program of philosophy and theology in a secondary school or institutes acknowledged by the ecclesiastical authorities (seminaries etc.). These students will have to pass an entrance examination.
Students of the second cycle must have an adequate knowledge of Latin and Greek. Students that do not have certification of this must take a test.
Those students that do not have sufficient knowledge of Latin and Greek must take additional courses (offered by the University) and pass the exams.
Apart from Italian, the Licentiate students are required to know at least two modern languages well enough to read theological publications in these languages.
Students will be admitted to the third cycle if they have a specialized Licentiate degree in theology, graded not lower than Magna cum Laude (8.6/10). The Licentiate thesis, too, must be graded with, at least, 8.6.
Students must present a request of approval of the topic of the doctoral thesis, addressed to the Dean of the School, before the 16th of December indicating the moderator of the thesis. An outline of the work, approved by the moderator, must be enclosed with the request. The approval of the topic is valid for five years, after which it must be renewed.
Before the presentation of the thesis the student must deliver one typewritten copy, signed by the moderator, to the academic office. This will be passed on to a co-moderator appointed by the Dean of the School. The co-moderator must communicate his observation to the student, through the moderator within 15 days (one day will be added for every 25 pages over 350). The co-moderator will not be expected to examin the thesis during exam sessions.
After having taken into consideration the observations of the co-moderator the student must deliver seven copies of the completed thesis, all signed by the moderator on the first page, to the academic office, and pay the fee for the consignment of the thesis. One copy of the thesis will be returned to the student with the University stamp on the first page.
The Academic qualification of Doctorate in Theology with a specialization in moral theology, dogmatic theology, spiritual theology or history of the Church, will be given to students that have; attended the courses of the third cycle and passed the exams of these courses, or have completed the three bibliographical works; written the doctoral thesis and defended it publically in front of a board of examiners; published the thesis, or at least the main body of the work, following the observations of the board of examiners.
Doctoral thesis can be defended from October to June. The date and the hour (at the earliest 15 days after the consignment of the thesis) will be communicated by the academic office.