I will get an information science under graduate degree this July in an Italian university. I want to apply for a computer science degree at an American university. Here in Italy the high school lasts five years instead of four, and the undergraduate degree (laurea triennale) lasts three years instead of four.

So my concerns are:

  1. Is there a way to get a list of all American universities that accept an Italian laurea triennale as an undergraduate degreee?
  2. Since I will graduate in July and in most universities the next semester begins in September, I think that I should start applying from now. So the question is: do they allow students to apply even before they got the graduate degree and TOEFL?

3 Answers 3


It is standard practice in the US for students to apply for graduate programs before they have received a degree, and the TOEFL exam is normally taken as part of the admissions process.

However, you should also be aware of the fact that you have largely missed the admissions "window" for this coming fall: at most American graduate schools, you need to apply during the previous fall. So, for instance, to apply for admission in September 2014, you should have applied during the period (roughly) September 2013 to January 2014.

It is unlikely you will be able to secure admission to any American graduate school starting this September. At best you will be able to apply for admission in the fall of 2015. The only exception will be schools with "rolling admissions," which accept applications at any time.

As for the acceptance of the "triennale" degree, you will need to ask the individual schools you're interested in; I'm not aware of any such master list (because the number of recipients of such degrees who enroll in any particular program probably isn't big enough to support such a list).

  • 1
    I suspect many schools may not even have a fixed policy on this particular degree. The burden would be on you, in your application, to make the case that your degree is roughly equivalent to a US bachelor's degree and qualifies you for entrance into the program. Apr 26, 2014 at 18:25
  • The laurea triennale I believe is the Italian version of the bachelor's degree under the "Bologna process," so in that sense should be fairly close to a four-year baccalaureate from the US.
    – aeismail
    Apr 26, 2014 at 18:36
  • Yes, but it's 3 years so I have far less credit hours. Apr 26, 2014 at 21:41
  • @RamyAlZuhouri: Your overall credit hours will likely be less, but you will also likely have more coursework in the major to compensate.
    – aeismail
    Apr 26, 2014 at 21:57

I was admitted to a graduate program at UCSD based, in part, on a 3-year bachelor's degree from London University. There did not seem to be any issue at all with the duration or number of course units. I don't know whether it would have been different if that had been my only qualification - I also had a master's degree and very substantial work experience.

Many of my fellow students had bachelor's degrees earned outside the US, and the admissions process seemed to be designed to handle that smoothly.

I do think you have left applying far too late for starting in Fall 2014. You probably need to reset to Fall 2015, plan what to do for the next year, and collect the critical dates for applying to each university you would like to attend.


The italian laurea triennale should be the equivalent of an US bachelor degree. I think that professor from your Italian university can help you to understand better the situation.

You should not encounter any problems. As long you respect the deadline

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .