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2020-2021 A.Y.
Master of Science Programs (2-y)


Last change 01/06/2020 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 MSc programs, regarding language skills, the University requires:

  • For MSc programs taught in Italian: knowledge of English of at least B1 general level (prerequisite verified upon admission to the program); for any non-native Italian speakers, a B2 general level in Italian is also suggested.
  • For MSc programs taught in English: knowledge of English of at least B2 general level (prerequisite verified upon admission to the program).
Last change 18/06/2020 15:20

Study plan: foreign languages and minimum exit levels

The study plan of all MSc programs (except DSBA and Cyber) includes:

  • first year (second semester) and second year (first semester): second language
  • second year: English as the first language (mandatory)

The DSBA and Cyber study plans require just one EU language, whose rules coincide with those of the second language of other MSc programs.

The rules outlined below are applicable to all Bocconi students and to students from partner Institutions (incoming students) registered in a Double Degree/Joint Degree program taught in English.

First language

English (Professional English Seminars – 2 cpu) - mandatory:

  • for all students (regardless of their native language, therefore native English speakers included);
  • for all MSc Programs (in English and Italian) except DSBA and Cyber.

The main aim is to develop effective writing skills in a professional setting.

The minimum exit level depends on the entry level (see table below).

Students enrolled in the first year of studies starting the 2020-21 academic year will be assigned the levels of the Professional English Seminars (positioned in the second year of studies) in compliance of the following criteria: 






Preparatory course + B2 business 

B2 business 

B2 business, C1 general plus (grade >=27), C1 business, C2 


B2 business 

B2 business 

B2 business, C1 general plus (grade >=27), C1 business, C2 


*C1 business

*C1 business

*C1 general plus (grade >=27), C1 business, C2 

Also valid for Double Degree/Joint Degree incoming students enrolled in the 1st year a.y. 2020/2021.

Levels will be assigned, as a general guide, in November 2020 (students will receive a message on their yoU@B informing them on the assigned level).

After having received the communication, students assigned to the B2 business level can request - if they wish to - to change the course level into the C1 business one, by writing via the Help&Contact procedure (topic: LANGUAGES - LANGUAGE COURSES) by and no later than 31 January 2021. Once the level has been modified, students cannot change their mind and they cannot request other level changes after the above-mentioned date.

Second language

For all MSc Programs (single language for DSBA and Cyber) - 4 cpu:

MSc programs in English:

  • for native Italian speakers: French, Spanish or German minimum exit level: B1 business;
  • for non-native Italian speakers: Italian mandatory. Minimum exit level:
    • A2 only for students in Double Degree programs (incoming + outgoing) + Joint programs + 1 year exchange programs (i.e. AEEP) who have not previously attended a Bocconi BSc program(1);
    • B1 business for all other students.

MSc programs in Italian:

  • Choice of French, Spanish or German

N.B.: Portuguese is considered an “extra” language as of a.y. 2019-2020 and students (any cohort) cannot choose it as second curricular language.

More details regarding the second language:

  • students choose their second language in January of the first year of the program (see the Administrative Procedures, Regulations and Deadlines chapter);
  •  the native language cannot be chosen as a foreign language. Students declare their native language during the admission process and can never change it during MSc studies;
  • students are allowed to change the second language included in their personal study plan both during the first and second years (for selection/change methods and periods, see Chapter 9).

(1) At the beginning, Double Degree outgoing students are given a B1 business level; then, upon admission to the DD program (usually in March of first year), the level is switched from B1 to A2.

Last change 07/01/2021 10:04

Educational Offer

The curricular educational offer includes:

For the first language:

B2 Preparatory Course (first year, second semester):

  • Assigned to all students with a B1 entry level, with the aim of allowing them to successfully participate in second-year seminars

Professional English Seminars at the B2 business or C1 business level (1), in the second year:

  • 4 time-slots per year are offered (two in the first and two in the second semester): Students choose the preferred time-slot when enrolling in the second year (the time slot cannot be changed during the year).
  • Only specific groups of students (Joint Degree Louvain, Double Degree Queen’s University, Advanced Economics Exchange Program-AEEP) are allowed to attend the seminar course in their first year (first or second semester).

For the second language:

  • Preparatory Courses: offered in the first semester of the first year, aimed at fostering successful participation in the curricular course;
  • B1 business curricular courses in French, Spanish, German and Italian (first year, second semester; second year, first semester);
  • A2 Italian curricular course (only for students in Double Degree Programs - incoming + outgoing + Joint programs + 1 year exchange programs es. AEEP, who did not attend a BSc program at Bocconi), first year, second semester; second year, first semester.

(1) The level of the course is assigned based on the entry level, it cannot be changed.

Last change 18/06/2020 16:26

Knowledge assessment and recording in the academic transcript

Knowledge may be assessed through an internal exam or recognition of a language certificate. In both cases:

  • for English as the first language: the test is 'pass/fail' and the grade is recorded as ‘pass’;
  • for the second language/single language for Cyber/DSBA: the grade is recorded as a score out of 30 and included in the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA);

The final level of competence acquired is mentioned in the exam report and in the student’s transcript.

After passing the internal exam, a certificate can be completed at a later date, but the certificate cannot be recorded in the student's transcript. However, after a certificate is recorded on the transcript, the internal exam can no longer be taken.

Exemption from taking language exam

Rules applied to students initially enrolled starting in the 2019-2020 cohort

(Students initially enrolled in academic years before 2019-2020 must refer to the Guide to the University relating to the academic year of initial enrollment in their first year)

Students who have completed a Bocconi BSc program and who had the internal Bocconi exam or an international certification recorded in their BSc academic transcript may request a waiver both for the first and the second languages, provided that the level of internal exam/certification was equal to or higher than the minimum required for graduate studies and:

  • the internal exam dates back 3 years as a maximum;
  • the certification taken during undergraduate studies is still valid.

Students can request the waiver through Help&Contact (see deadlines in chapter 9). 

N.B. It is specified that students enrolled in the first year of studies can submit application for being exempted from taking the language exam in the period referred to the second semester.

Last change 28/10/2020 10:42

Bocconi Exam
Professional English Seminars

The assessment method aims to assess the soft skills of English communication used in a professional setting.

Students can take the test right after the end of the teaching attended (exam session reserved to students enrolled in a teaching class group) and/or during the four “general” exam sessions available: January, February, June, September (open to all students).

Further details in the course syllabus available on BBoard.

Last change 18/06/2020 16:55
Second Language (Single Language for Cyber and DSBA)

The assessment method consists of a Bocconi exam focused on assessing four skills, in line with international certifications:

  • reading comprehension
  • writing skills
  • listening comprehension
  • speaking skills

The exam can be passed in one of the following ways:

  • by passing the two partial exams (in the first two exam sessions after teaching) + oral part;
  • by passing the general exam (made up of a written and oral part).

Regarding partial exams:

  • the first partial exam is reserved to students duly enrolled in the first year of the program, enrolled in a teaching class group. It is held at the end of the second semester of the first year and includes only a written section;
  • the second partial exam is reserved to students duly enrolled in the second year of the program, who passed the first partial exam during the previous semester. It is held at the end of the first semester of the second year;
  • the final grade is the average of the grades of the two partial exams + the grade of the oral exam.

 N.B. Registration to the second date of the partial exam is subject to the rules and limitations published in paragraph 7.6.1 NOTES FOR EXAM REGISTRATION: REGULATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS.

Both the second partial exam and the general exam session are organized into two related parts:

  • written (focused on writing, reading, listening)
  • oral (focused on speaking).

Please note that, to take the second partial exam or the general exam:

  • students must register through the exam session booking tool in the yoU@B student diary (one single registration, valid for both written and oral parts; students that register for and pass the written part will automatically be registered for the oral part).
  • both written and oral parts have to be taken in the same exam session;
  • the final grade is result of the sum of the two grades (written grade + oral grade).

Further details are available in the course syllabus posted in BBoard.

Last change 22/07/2020 12:09

International Certifications recorded instead of the internal exam

Regarding international certificates, please note that:

  • regarding the second language/single language for Cyber and DSBA: because B1 business certificates do not exist for some languages, general language certificates are recognized as an alternative, as long as the minimum level is B2 general;
  • first and second language can be recoded as an alternative to the Bocconi exam starting in the second semester of the first year;
  • in order for it to be recorded in the transcript, students must submit the certificate to the Language Center (see submission methods at page and do not need to register for the Bocconi internal exam.

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

  • officially recognized by the Language Center and have been taken at an officially recognized test center in Italy or abroad;
  • equal to or higher than the minimum exit level requirement;
  • submitted to Language Center for recording within 3 years after sitting the international certification exam (2 years for the TOEFL test and - for certifications taken starting on Sept 1st 2019 - for IELTS test as well, according to the provisions of the certifying agency);
  • submitted by the student; only original certifications or, as an alternative, statement of result (with stamp and signature of the certifying agency) are allowed for submission;
  • verifiable by the University.

The certification can be completed during the program at Bocconi or date back to previous studies, provided that it is still valid when submitted to the Language Center.

The level and typology (general, business) will be recorded in the academic curriculum as stated by the certifying agency on the international certification.

More detailed information (list of recognized certificates, conversion tables, etc.) is available on the website, in the “Certificates” section.

NB: we remind you that it is possible to convert only the language certifications recognized by the Language Center as an alternative to the Bocconi language exam, in compliance with the rules specified on the chapter "Foreign Languages" of the Guide to the University and at page, "Language certificates" section.

Under his/her responsibility, the student must carefully check the certifications which can be recognized and the relating conversion rules, before forwarding the certification recognition request. 

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

  • courses to prepare for some certifications (details available on the website at in the “Supplementary Activities” section);
  • materials for preparation and sample examinations at the Language Lab;
  • test center service for some certificates:
    • British Council/Cambridge English Language Assessment for English: IELTS Academic, BEC Vantage, BEC Higher, CAE, First Certificate
    • Chambre du Commerce de Paris for French: DFP Affaires (levels B1 and B2)

The registration procedure and the entire process strictly follow the rules established by the certifying agency.

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

Last change 07/01/2021 10:13


In addition to attending lectures, learning foreign languages requires a constant commitment to self-study.

At the Language Laboratory, the Language Center offers:

  • 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 internal exam, available at the multimedia Library of the Laboratory and/or on the BBoard platform.

A Language Exchange service for students is also organized, along with a film festival for movies in their original language.

For more information: in the “Self-Study and Other Activities” section.

Last change 18/06/2020 17:23

Foreign languages as additional activities

Curricular languages can be recorded as additional activities (see chapter 9), either by passing a Bocconi exam or through recognition of a certification.

In this latter case, the certification must be:

  • included in the list of certifications recognized by the Language Center;
  • still valid;
  • equal to or higher than the level required for that specific language in the program;
  • verifiably by the University.

Moreover, also “extra” languages (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Portuguese) can be recorded in the academic transcript but only as additional activities.

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, must be still valid and verifiable by the University.

For further detailed info on “extra” language certificates, please see the website at in the “Certificates” section.

Last change 18/06/2020 17:26