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Bocconi University
Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Seal of Bocconi University
Motto Empowering Talent
Established 10 November 1902
Type Private
President Mario Monti
Rector Prof Guido Tabellini
Staff 1369 (as of November 2006)
Undergraduates 7267 (as of October 2006)
Postgraduates 3671 + 735 SDA
Doctoral students 167
Location Milan, Italy
Campus Urban
Sports teams Pellicani PallanuotoBocconi
Affiliations EQUIS, Association of MBAs, CEMS, CFA
Website EN
Atrium of the Velodromo at Bocconi University

Bocconi University is a private university and considered as one of Europe's leading institutions in business and economic education. It is located in central Milan, Italy, beside Parco Ravizza, and was established in 1902.

Bocconi (full official name in Italian Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi) grants Bachelor, Master of Science, MBA and Ph.D. degrees. It also offers executive education and customized Masters, conducting them both in English and Italian, in addition to a range of full double degrees, at the undergraduate and the graduate level, with international institutions such as ESADE in Barcelona, HEC School of Management in Paris, the University of California, the Louvain School of Management in Belgium, Fudan University in Shanghai, the CEU Business School in Budapest, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

SDA Bocconi is the University's business school. Its MBA program has recently been ranked among the global top 40 by the Financial Times' Global MBA Rankings 2009.[1]. The Wall Street Journal has ranked it among the top 20 best business schools in the world in 2007 [2]. Forbes has ranked Bocconi no.1 worldwide in the specific category Value for Money [3].



Bocconi University was established in 1902, with a generous endowment from Ferdinando Bocconi, a self-made entrepreneur and the owner of the retail chain "Magazzini Bocconi". He intended to commemorate his son Luigi lost in the Battle of Adowa. Ferdinando sold his "Magazzini Bocconi", originally meant to be Luigi's heritage, which were renamed in 1917 into "La Rinascente" (eng. "that which is born again"), their name until today. Bocconi University, with other economic faculties as "M. Biagi" of Modena and Reggio Emilia, became one of the first Italian institutions of higher education to grant a degree in economics.

The historical "Magazzini Bocconi" building, known today as La Rinascente, to the right of the Milan Cathedral

Since its inception, Bocconi has stood for liberalism, pluralism, and social progress. While a private institution, Bocconi has traditionally been more than an elite university. It has consistently promoted and practiced equal opportunity among the many generations of its students, by actively subsidizing the education for disadvantaged students. In the words of its first Rector and President, Leopoldo Sabbatini, a strenuosly democratic lawyer, Bocconi's aim is to "promote harmony between school and life."

Today, Bocconi is a university of international standing in business, economics, and law. It is also a research university, getting funds for its research projects from national and supranational institutions. By virtue of being a major node in the European and global network of business and economics universities, Bocconi exchanges faculty and cooperates on large projects with like-minded European and North-American universities and business schools. Bocconi has strong network of exchange programs with prestigious institutions such as Dartmouth College, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Harvard University, Marshall Business School of the University of Southern California, the Wharton, Stern, Goizueta, McCombs business schools, the UCLA Anderson School of Management, UC Berkeley, The Ohio State University, and Boston College.

Bocconi has close relations with major corporations and international agencies, as well as their managers and officials, and constantly interacts with the business and economic environment to tackle new issues, implement new techniques, and start new research endeavours.

Bocconi University is now structured around five major schools: Undergraduate School, Graduate School, Law School, PhD School, and, with a larger degree of autonomy, SDA Bocconi School of Management, its graduate business school. Bocconi presently offers Bachelor Degrees, Masters of Science, MBAs and PhDs in Finance, Economics, Management, Statistics, Law and other disciplines. It also has a number of post-experience programs, and administers many customized executive education courses.

Furthermore, the university promotes and often organizes numerous activities for high school students in Italy, such as mathematics competitions [4], Model United Nations simulations[5] and other major events aimed at orienting them during their secondary education.


Originally, Bocconi was located in Via Statuto, near the Pinacoteca di Brera, where its first building was inaugurated in 1902. The current campus of Bocconi is located between Via Sarfatti and Viale Bligny and consists of different buildings, all at walking distance to Porta Ticinese, the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio and the Torre Velasca skyscraper.

The first building in Via Sarfatti was designed in 1936 by the famous architect Giuseppe Pagano and is an epitome of modernism in Italian architecture. It hosts many classrooms, an aula magna, a restaurant and most of the administrative offices. Its entrance features two lion statues which are the subject of several university myths.

The pensionato building, which faces Via Ferdinando Bocconi, was inaugurated in 1956 by the architect Giovanni Muzio and hosts some grand halls, some of the canteen and dormitory facilities (350 bedrooms distributed on 5 floors), and some faculty offices. The different floors have an irregular form and bear the shape of a symmetric "L" letter.

The SDA Bocconi building.

The SDA Bocconi building, which is also in Via Ferdinando Bocconi, was opened in 1985 and features two blocks with a distinct set of dark metal panels. The building was extended in 2001, especially to host EGEA, the university's bookstore. The campus football pitch is placed between the pensionato and the SDA Bocconi building.

The modern Velodromo building was projected by Ignazio Gardella and launched in 2001. It is called so due to its form resembling an ellipsoid velodrome. Each of its four floors has about ten classrooms with a capacity of 150. The Velodromo uses a geothermal exchange heat pump as its air conditioning system, which contributes a lot to energy conservation.[6] A marble statue of Ferdinando Bocconi overlooks the foyer of the ground floor.

Close by, in Piazza Sraffa, are the Library building (also built by Giovanni Muzio in 1962), the campus chapel "San Ferdinando", and some smaller buildings such as those with the offices of the "Language Center" and other extracurricular activities.

Several other administrative and research offices of Bocconi's individual institutes are scattered across the area, especially around Parco Ravizza and Viale Isonzo.

In 2007, a new building was constructed near the Velodromo.[7] It was designed by Grafton architects of Dublin, who won the competition held to choose the design of the building in 2002. The new building is now used to host all faculty staff offices and the research institutes of the university.


Entrance to the Velodromo and new building in background

Undergraduate programs

The University offers four three-year undergraduate courses in Economics which share a common basis in the first three semesters and then distinguish themselves from one another by focusing on either Finance, Social sciences or Business administration; the fourth course is taught in English language and is targeted at both international students and students pursuing an international career. Students in this course have the choice to major in Economics or Management.

A fifth separate three-year undergraduate course in Economics focuses on the economics and management of Arts, Culture and Communication.

The University furthermore offers a five-year course in Law, which incorporates the Italian equivalents of the Bachelor of Laws and the Master of Laws.

In a joint venture with the Central European University of Budapest, Bocconi also offers a four-year Dual Degree in International Business, the first two years of which are spent in Budapest and the latter in Milan. [8]

Graduate programs

The universities' graduate school offers different Master of Science programs in Economics, Management and Law, each with a special emphasis on the fields of Public administration, Environmental economics, Health economics, Social sciences, Computational finance and Risk management, Accountancy and Audit, Public utility management, Hospitality management, Logistics and Transport economics, Innovation management, Event management and Experiential marketing, Communication, Organization and Information systems.

The following graduate programs are entirely taught in English language:

International Management; Marketing Management; Finance; Economics and Management in Arts, Culture, Media and Entertainment; Economics and Social Sciences; Economics and Management of Innovation and Technology; Quantitative Finance and Risk management; Public Management; International Health Care Management, Economics and Policy.

Bocconi has concluded a number of partnership with regards to its Master of Science: the Master of Sciences in Finance was among the first six programs in the world to conclude a partnership with the CFA institute and the first in continental Europe[9], while the Master of Sciences in Management and International Management enable a selected number of students to take part in the CEMS Master of International Management, which Bocconi is a founding member of along HEC, Esade and Universität zu Köln. In addition to these, the University runs several double degree programs with other institutions throughout the world:

University Degrees
Copenhagen Business School Art Culture Media Entertainment, Economics, Management, Marketing
ESADE Management, Marketing
Fudan University Management
HEC School of Management Art Culture Media Entertainment, Economics, Finance , Management, Marketing
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad Management
Moscow State Institute of International Relations Economics
Rotterdam School of Management Economics, Finance, Marketing
Sciences Po Paris Public Management
Université Catholique de Louvain Economics
University of Geneva Public Management
University at Albany, SUNY Public Management
University of St. Gallen Management

Outstanding Students Scholarship

Full view on the ellipsoid Velodromo building, as seen from EGEA

Beginning in 2003, Bocconi University has started a conspicuous program of scholarships with the specific goal of awarding its best students. The scholarship, named "Borsa di studio per studenti eccellenti" (Fellowship for outstanding students), is addressed to the first 50 students (out of 1940 students) enrolled in the Master of Science courses both coming from a Bocconi undergraduate degree and from another university degree. The scholarship, in addition to fully exempt the students from the payment of the tuition fee, provide also them with a large amount of money.[10]

In order to apply for the scholarship one must have as minimum requirements:

  • Completed the undergraduate degree at the first possible date
  • Completed the degree with full marks
  • Passed the GMAT with a score of at least 650
  • Been admitted to a Graduate Degree Program (among those offered by Bocconi) by 31 July

Then, the selection of the best 50 students is carried out on an individual basis evaluating all the experiences included in the CV.

The pensionato building, between which the SDA

The major advantage of the scholarship, however, is the great visibility that it entails: most of the students awarded have found a job within the best employers of the Italian and international job market.

SDA Bocconi

SDA Bocconi (SDA standing for "Scuola di Direzione Aziendale" = School of Management) is the graduate business school of the University and offers internationally recognized MBA Programs highly ranked by Financial Times and Forbes Magazine.

The SDA also offers professional education to executives and managers and publishes E&M (Economia & Management), a popular Italian business and management review.

Apart from the MBA, the SDA offers further Master of Science programs in Corporate finance and Banking, Real estate management, Fine food and beverage management, Fashion Management, Design management, Sports law and Sport management, and a Master in Stage and show management in a joint venture with the Academy for the Performing Arts of the famous opera house La Scala.

The new building, which has a distinct architecture, was inaugurated in 2008 and hosts most of the research centers and institutes.

SDA Bocconi also has a combined MBA and Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) with the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Johns Hopkins University's Bologna Center.

School of Law

Bocconi University School of Law was established in 2006, consolidating the tradition of legal studies at Bocconi under the aegis of the "A.Sraffa" Institute for Comparative Law. The School of Law currently offers a combined B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Law, runs the Specialization School for Legal professions in cooperation with the University of Pavia, and hosts a Summer Academy in cooperation with the University of Trento, as well as with the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.

Research and endowment

As of 2007, the University has 20 permanent research centers and four research project centers. There are 45 active researchers and 81 researchers with grants.

In 2006, research was mainly funded by Bocconi itself (€1,510,571), the European Union (€1,400,000) and the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (€295,636), in addition to other external sources (€10,573,000).[11]

Yearly, approximately 200 international publications and 300-400 national publications are done in the university.

Bocconi is a member of the Offshoring Research Network, an international network researching the offshoring of business processes and services.

Student life

The Language Center building

Extracurricular courses

While being a university that focuses on the economic, business and social sciences, Bocconi attempts to provide its students with interdisciplinary knowledge from a variety of other fields that can be useful in their future careers. Usually, the university does so by collaborating with visiting professors from other local and international institutions.

Elective courses such as introductions to Genetic engineering, Urban planning, History of art and Sustainable architecture are held throughout the year and focus a lot on their contemporary applications. Bocconi also collaborates with the Institute for International Policy Studies (ISPI) of Milan, to set up a variety of modules within the field of International relations.

In addition to managing the compulsory language courses that all students must take, Bocconi's Language Center offers modules that delve further into the language and culture of specific countries.

Student associations

The University is home to a number of societies, some of which are directly involved in facilitating students' integration into the campus life environment and in organizing special events ranging from business games to excursions.

  • International Students at Bocconi (IS@B) mainly deals with promoting and implementing programs and initiatives for and with international students. The society often organizes conferences, cultural visits, and trips to facilitate the integration of foreign and local students.
  • JEME Bocconi (Junior Enterprise Milano Economia) is a non profit "junior enterprise", the first to be founded in Italy in 1988, and it provides consulting services to enterprises in the region. Furthermore, JEME also organizes business games and business case competitions that are held in the university.

In addition to these there are many local branches of external associations, for example AIESEC and Erasmus Student Network.

Student publications

The University is also home to several student run publications:

  • Tra i Leoni : a campus magazine run by the eponymous society. The title, which means "between the lions", is a reference to the atrium of the main building, which is also a favorite meeting point for students, guarded by two lion statues.
  • Bocconi School of Law Student-Edited Papers: the Law School's official student publication.[12] The journal's Editorial Board are selected by way of an annual write-on competition, and go on to select and provide feedback on submitted papers, as well as organising the annual call for papers.
  • IS@B News: a campus magazine run by the International Student Association (IS@B).
  • Be OBjective Magazine: a bimonthly pdf magazine founded by students from the ACME course. The magazine focus on art, culture and media and entertainment.

Bocconi sport team

Bocconi's students actively participate at and host different official national and international tournaments in athletics, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's volleyball, water polo, sailing and other individual sports such as golf, swimming, skiing, snowboarding and skeet shooting.

The pelican is Bocconi's official sport mascot.


In the entrance hall of the old seat of Bocconi University there are three doors. The central door, which is bigger than the others, has two lions in front of it. The tradition has it that the students shouldn't go through the center in between the lions if they don't want to risk not graduating. This in fact repeats the old saying "Chi passa tra i Leoni non si laurea alla Bocconi.".

Notable students and professors

For a full list, see Category:Alumni of Bocconi University and Category:Bocconi University faculty






Politics & Government

Academia, journalism & literature

See also

External links


Coordinates: 45°27′1″N 9°11′23″E / 45.45028°N 9.18972°E / 45.45028; 9.18972


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