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2019-2020 A.Y.
Bachelor of Science Programs (3-y)


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Foreign Languages

Last change 01/06/2019 08:00

Entry requirements

In order to classify levels of language knowledge, Bocconi University follows the Common European Framework established by the European Council.

In order to be admitted to a BSc program taught in Italian the University requires, as minimum entry level (checked upon admission), a B1 general level in English and suggests to non-native Italian speakers (if any) a B2 general level in Italian.

In order to be admitted to a BSc program taught in English the University requires, as minimum entry level (checked upon admission), a B2 general level in English.



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Study plan: foreign languages and minimum exit levels

The study plan includes:

  • 1st year: 1st language
  • 2nd year: 2nd language

The choice of foreign languages depends on the language of the BSc program and on the student’s native language. In short, rules are as follows:

  • Foreign languages must be different from native language (and, obviously, the 1st language must be different from the 2nd language);
  • BSc programs in Italian: English is mandatory (1st language) for non-native English speakers;
  • BSc programs in English: non-native Italian speakers must choose Italian as 1st or 2nd language
  • When it is possible to choose as foreign language the vehicular language of the program, the minimum exit level is higher than the required entry level.


All possible combinations of 1st and 2nd language are listed below:

  lingua madre (1)     1° lingua livello
    2° lingua (4) livello
triennio ITA ≠ ENG; = ITA ENG (2) B2 general FR, SP, TD B1 general
≠ ENG; ≠ ITA ENG (2) B2 general FR, SP, TD B1 general
ITA C1 general
= ENG FR, SP, TD B2 general FR, SP, TD B1 general
ITA C1 general
ITA C1 general FR, SP, TD B1 general
triennio ENG =ITA ENG (3) C1 general FR, SP, TD B1 general
FR, SP, TD (3) B2 general
≠ ITA ENG (3) C1 general ITA B1 general (5)
ITA (3) B2 general FR, SP, TD B1 general
FR, SP, TD (3) B2 general ITA B1 general (5)

(1) Students declare their native language during the admission process and can never change it during BSc studies.
(2) English language is assigned automatically. Course level: B2 general is assigned automatically. Transfers to C1 general level class groups need the teacher's approval.
(3) English language is assigned automatically. English native speakers MUST (while non-native English speakers CAN) choose a language other than English immediately after finalization of enrollment (see chapter 9 Administrative rules, procedures and deadlines).
(4) Second language is not assigned automatically; it has to be chosen when enrolling in the 2nd year.
(5) A2 general for double degree incoming students and WBB students.

Students are allowed to change languages included in their personal study plan (see conditions and deadlines in chapter 9) without changing the native language.

N.B.: Portuguese is:

  • “curricular” language up to a.y. 2018-19: it can be chosen as second language up to a.y. 2018-19;
  • “extra” language as of a.y. 2019-20: as of 2019-20 students (any cohort) cannot choose it as second language any more.

Minimum entry levels are advised for 1st foreign languages in BSc programs in order to be able to reach the minimum exit levels required; for instance: when the minimum exit level is B2 general, the recommended entry level is B1 general.
No minimum entry level is required for second languages.
In any case, an Italian introductory course is offered to non-native Italian speakers in order to make the first period in Italy as soft as possible.

For further detailed information, please see “course profiles” published on the website.





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Educational offer

The educational offer includes:


    B2 general and C1 general courses; all class-groups (both B2 and C1 level) prepare, at the same time, for the internal exam and IELTS (then it is up to students to choose whether to sit the internal exam and/or the certification).

    The duration of the course is one year (1st and 2nd semester – 1st year) – 96 hours

    Moreover, a preparatory course for a C2 level Cambridge certification (CPE) is offered for students who are proficient in English; applications via yoU@B student Diary.
    • Courses to prepare for Bocconi internal exam:
      the duration of the course is one year (1st and 2nd semester)
      1st year: 1st language (B2 general): 96 hours
      2nd year: 2nd language other than Italian (B1 general): 128 hours
      2nd year: 2nd language – Italian (A2 general): 72 hours
    • For Italian, a 38-hour crash course is offered to all non-native Italian speakers (from the beginning of the welcome week to the end of September) to make the first period in Italy as soft as possible; to help understanding whether to choose Italian as second or first language; to foster active participation in the curricular course. Information concerning sign-up methods is communicated to all non-native Italian speakers via the yoU@B student Diary.

    • For French, Spanish and Italian, free-of-charge courses to prepare for international certifications are offered (48 hours), namely:
      French – DELF B1 general (1st semester)
      Spanish – DELE B1 general (1st semester) and DELE B2 general (2nd semester)
      Italian – CELI-CILS B2 general (2nd semester)

      Courses are open to BSc students (any year) as well as students of other programs.

For further details about courses, please see “course profiles” published on the website and “course syllabi” available on the BBoard via yoU@B student Diary.

All students’ study plan includes first and second language “course codes” and all students are given a class-group to attend lectures; for English (C2 level) and for French, Spanish, Italian, those who are interested can apply for a course to prepare for international certification (with different course codes) via yoU@B student Diary.
Therefore, students have the following options: to attend the internal exam course only, the certification course only or both of them (as mentioned above, the English B2 and C1 level courses prepare – at the same time – for the internal exam and IELTS).

Certification courses:

  • are open only to students whose study plan includes the foreign language related to the certification course;
  • are for a limited number of students: students are admitted as long as places are available, on a first come, first served basis;
  • are activated only if a minimum number of students enroll.

In order to benefit from the course, the student must have a knowledge of the language (at least) equal to the level immediately lower than the level of the certification course.

At the beginning of the course, the teacher evaluates the student’s preparation in order to suggest him/her whether to go on attending it or not.

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Knowledge assessment and recording in the academic transcript

  1. Bocconi exam: mark out of thirty;
  2. International certification: to be recorded in the academic transcript with conversion of the score in a mark out of thirty (conversion tables are published on the website).

The mark is included in the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA).
The final level of competence is mentioned in the exam report and in the student’s transcript.

Students holding an international certification (taken before or during BSc studies) whose level is equal or higher than the minimum required for BSc studies can ask to have the result recorded in the academic transcript, provided that the certification is still valid (validation procedure).

Recording can take place as from the 1st year (even before the first available session for internal exams).

Only credit points relating to the first language are counted for the number of credit points required to move on to the second year of studies and only if the certification is submitted by 15 July 2020.

If the certification is submitted in a year after the year of studies the language is positioned in, the student will appear to be a student who has not yet passed the exam (“in debito”) until the certification is recorded.

Students must contact the Language Center to have the certification recorded in the academic transcript and do not have to register for the internal exam.

Students can opt for sitting the internal exam only, the certification exam only or both of them; in the latter case:

  • once the result of the internal exam is recorded, the result of the certification cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum (it is an extra);
  • once the result of the certification is recorded, the result of the internal exam cannot be recorded any more in the academic curriculum.
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Bocconi internal exam

The assessment method consists of an exam focused on reading, writing, listening and speaking competencies as well as with international certifications.

Student can sit the exam (“general” mode) as from the end of second semester (after the end of the teaching period: May).

5 exam sessions are scheduled throughout the year (May-June, June-July, August-September, October, January-February).

The exam consists of two linked parts: written (focused on writing, reading, listening) and oral (final part focused on speaking).

Please note that:

  • In order to sit for the exam, it is required to register via Punto Blu (one single registration, valid for both written and oral part).
  • Both written and oral part have to be taken in the same exam session, as the oral part is the final step of a single, complete exam (the same as with international certification).
  • Final grade: result of the written part + result of the oral part + result of active participation (only for attending students; only in case of active participation).
  • The written part is the same for attending and non-attending students.

Further details in the course syllabus available in BBoard.

For each possible combination of program and foreign language (BSc program in English / in Italian; first/second language), internal exams are organized for the minimum exit level only.

The only exception is for the English language in programs taught in Italian: in this case, the internal exam is available at both B2 and C1 level (although the minimum exit level is B2) and students are allowed to choose their exit level, regardless of the level of the course attended.

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International certifications

Here below basic information about international certifications and tests (in short “certifications”).

Further detailed info, please visit the website area Campus and services > Services for Current Student > Language Center > Certificates.

International certifications can be recorded in the academic curriculum provided that they are:

  • officially recognized by Bocconi University and have been taken at an officially recognized test center in Italy or abroad;
  • submitted to the Administrative Office of the Language Center before the “expiry date” which is within 3 years after sitting the international certification exam (2 year for the international test TOEFL and – as of Sept 1st 2019 – for the IELTS test as well);
  • submitted by the owner of the international certification (who is required to show his/her personalized Bocconi ID card); only original certifications or statement of result (with stamp and signature of the certifying agency) are allowed for submission.

The level of the certification can be higher than the minimum required for undergraduate studies; it can date back to high school studies (provided that it is still valid) or can be taken during undergraduate studies (self-preparation or attendance in a course offered by Bocconi, when offered; see § 3.1.3).

The level/typology (general, business) recorded in the academic curriculum is the level/typology stated by the Certifying Body on the international certification.

In order to support students who want to earn an international certification, the Language Center offers:

  • information and orientation service;
  • courses to prepare for some certifications;
  • materials for preparation and sample examinations at the Language Lab;
  • moreover, Bocconi is accredited test center for some “British Council / Cambridge Cambridge English Language Assessment” English certifications and for some “Chambre du Commerce de Paris” French certifications. The registration procedure and the entire process strictly follow the rules established by the Certifying Body.

Registration fees for certification exams are at the student’s expense.

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In addition to attending lectures, learning foreign languages requires a constant commitment to self-study, which includes a number of activities, based on specific assignments provided by the teaching staff in class and available on the course syllabus; different tools are offered to support  learning activities (e.g. exercise books or multimedia courses/assignments available on the BBoard platform).

In addition, at the Language Laboratory students can benefit from:

  • advisory and information services;
  • tutoring service provided by the language teaching staff to support individual learning; the service is available upon reservation;
  • various materials for preparing certifications and the Bocconi exam, available at the multimedia Library of the Laboratory and/or on the BBoard platform.

In general, students are advised to spend 3-5 hours per week on self-study.

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Foreign languages as additional exams

Curricular languages are usually recorded as included in the standard 180 cpu of the study plan but they can also be recorded as additional activities (on top of standard 180 cpu – see chapter 9), either by passing a Bocconi exam or upon obtaining a certification (see chapter 9 Administrative rules, procedures and deadlines). In this latter case, the certification must be included in the list of certifications recognized by Bocconi university, must be still valid, and the level must be equal to or higher than the level required for that specific language in graduate studies.

Moreover, also “extra” languages can be recorded in the academic transcript but only as additional activities (on top of standard 120 cpu). “Extra” languages offered by the Language Center are Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and as from 2019-20, Portuguese.

As no internal exams are organized for such languages, it is possible to register only the result of a certification (score converted in a mark out of thirty). The certification must be included in the list of certifications recognized by Bocconi university and must be still valid.

For further detailed info on international certifications and conversion tables, please visit the website area Campus and services > Services for Current Students> Language Center>Certificates.

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Computer Skills

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Program Structure Position and Credit Points

The program requirements of all Bachelor of Science programs offered at Bocconi University include one or more curricular computer skills courses, which aim to fulfill the specific requirements of the student study paths.

The BIG, CLEACC, CLEAM, CLEF, CLES, BESS, BIEM and BIEF Bachelor of Science programs include the course of Computer Science (cod. 30424), held during the second semester of the first year of studies. The course is worth 6 credit points.

For complete information on this course, please check the website at, ‘Curricular courses’ section.

As the BEMACS program focuses on ICT, it includes several curricular courses on computer skills, which are part of various departments.

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Assessment of Knowledge

The exam can be taken in two ways: as two partial exams or as a single general exam.

  • Partial exams:
    These are designed for those who regularly attend lectures; only first year students can sit for partial exams. Partial exams cannot be sat or repeated in the following years.
  • General exams:
    These are addressed to those who have not sat partial exams or who have not passed them.

In both cases, the exam includes a section of questions and a section of computer exercises.

Please note that in order to be able to register for the Computer Science exam (second partial exam or general exam) it is necessary to have obtained a complete ECDL certification (ECDL Core or New ECDL Full Standard), or other equivalent certifications recognized by University. The certification must be completed and submitted to SEDIN according to the deadlines and procedures published on the website in the 'Prerequisites for Curricular Courses' section.
It is strongly recommended that students complete the certification before classes start, in order to attend the Computer Science course with the needed basic knowledge.

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Bocconi ECDL Test Center Service

Students who do not yet have the complete ECDL certification may take it at Bocconi University. Exams are held each week according to a calendar which is updated regularly. Students may purchase the ECDL products (at a discounted cost) online, view the exam calendar and enroll directly through their yoU@B student Diary, using the special IT certifications ECDL box.

For more information, please refer to the website at in the 'IT Certifications' section.

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Extracurricular IT Activities

To improve IT skills, students can attend extracurricular IT Skills courses organized by SEDIN, which are part of the extracurricular activities (see chapter 8. Other activities: supplementary activities, courses and seminars). For more information, see the website at, 'Extracurricular Activities' section.

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