I'm currently studying in Italy for an undergraduate degree which is 3 years long (standard BSc in Computer Science). Since I'm also U.S. citizen, I was thinking it would be interesting to perhaps apply for a PhD in the states since it doesn't require a master's degree (it does in Italy). Is this possible or are the systems inherently different?

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    It usually depends on the university policy. Some universities require a master's degree whereas others set a cumulative GPA limit for applicants. You should check the university website.
    – padawan
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 22:05
  • Remember that a Bachelor's degree In the US is a four-year degree, with the Master's being at least an additional year (for students who want to have a life outside class and homework, anyway.)
    – keshlam
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


Many universities in the US have policies that prevent students with a 3 year bachelor's degree from applying for graduate admission. To get into one of those programs you would have to complete at least one more year of study before being admitted to the graduate program.

  • Which is a good reason amongst others for the OP to look into MSc programs in the United States, then use those to get into a PhD.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 3:07
  • Is a three year bachelor's degree "a thing" in the American college/university system? I've never heard of it. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 3:52
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    3 year bachelors degrees are not at all standard in the US although there's been some discussion of moving to a 3 year bachelors degree to align with europe and to save money. US Universities that won't accept 3 year bachelors typically won't admit a student to either an MS or PhD program with a 3 year bachelors. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 4:33
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    Actually, these kinds of policies were largely seen as being applicable to degrees from India. The Bologna process has changed things so that the 3 year bachelors degree will be common and somewhat stronger. I expect that many schools will adjust their expectations in response to this. Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 4:57
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    This seems strange to me. I always assumed that the 3 yr bachelor's programs in UK or rest of Europe were equivalent to 4 yr US bachelor's due to A-levels in UK or similar studies in Europe. That is, yr 1 there is closer to yr 2 in US. (When studying in UK, I was a yr 3 in US but yr 2 in UK).
    – mkennedy
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 17:04

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