Program Overview

A joint Graduate Program in Cognitive Science is offered by the University of Trento and the International School for advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, a leading center for higher learning and research in Italy with a variety of research groups active in Neuroscience, spanning Cognitive Neuroscience, aimed at understanding how the brain produces behavior, and Neurobiology, investigating the molecular, cellular and integrative mechanisms at work in the nervous system.

The two-year program is offered every year up to 4 selected students attending the first year of  the Master’s course in Cognitive Science at UniTrento, provided with economic benefits.

Selected students spend a period in each center:

  • the first year at UniTrento attending courses of the Master in Cognitive Science
  • the second year in Trieste at SISSA attending some courses and carrying out the internship and the thesis research. All of the activities held at SISSA are in English.

Admitted students who succeed in fulfilling the requirements of the Program will obtain the official Italian degree “Laurea magistrale in Cognitive Science - Scienze Cognitive (“classe LM-55 Scienze Cognitive” based on Italian classification) from UniTrento and the “Diploma in Cognitive Science” from SISSA.

Further information about SISSA:

Admission and attendance

Students enrolled in the Master in Cognitive Science and attending the first year have the chance to apply for this joint program at the end of the first semester (winter semester).

A meeting for the presentation of the joint program is held in January, before the Call for admission is issued.

Applicants are selected based on their curriculum vitae and studiorum, statement of purpose, grades obtained during the winter exam session, interest and experience in research topics relevant for SISSA   

Selected students complete their first year at UniTrento. They pay a visit at SISSA at the end of the second (Spring) semester during which they have the opportunity to visit the labs, listen to PhD students’ and PIs’ presentations, meet the faculty etc.

Students admitted to the Program have to fulfill some requirements in terms of GPA and number of ECTS gained in order to be admitted to the SISSA Program 2nd year and  move to Trieste at the beginning of their second year of study (usually at the end of September).

The SISSA campus is located in Opicina (Trieste), in Via Bonomea 265

In order to complete the UniTrento-SISSA Program students have to earn 132 ECTS (university credits), that is 12 credits more than those required by the standard Master Program in Cognitive Science (120 ECTS). These supplementary credits must be acquired by attending courses at SISSA during the 2nd year.

Moreover, both internship and Master’s thesis project must be carried out at SISSA during the 2nd year.

Once completed all the courses at SISSA, students are required to fill out the transcript of records self-certification form with the performed activities and submit it to the SISSA Secretariat and then to MCS Admin.

Please get in touch with the MCS Student Support (contacts in the footer) to have a copy of the transcript.


UNITrento-SISSA students have to choose a supervisor at UniTrento and a supervisor at SISSA.

Students are required to submit the application for the Master’s defense according to the rules and deadlines described at page Graduation.

The SISSA supervisor can participate in the Graduation Committee in Trento, in presence or in online mode.

Withdrawal from the Program

In case of withdrawal from the UniTrento-SISSA Program students have to notify the administrative offices at UniTrento and SISSA as soon as possible.

Students are required to pay back the full amount of the economic benefits awarded, including the lodging expenses.

The refund of the economic benefits is not due in case of justified reasons for the withdrawal (like severe illness, etc.). The UniTrento-SISSA Program Board will evaluate the student's request on the basis of supporting documents.

All the exams and credits already acquired will be acknowledged towards the completion of the Curriculum to obtain the "Master’s degree in Cognitive science".

Aggiornato il
21 May 2024