Deadline for non-EU
and scholarship applicants:

12 February 2024

Deadline for EU
and self-funded applicants:

16 April 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Admission Requirements

What are the ECTS credits?

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is widely used by universities as a tool to measure the weight of the academic performance at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. According to this system, one year of university studies generally corresponds to 60 ECTS, while a Bachelor Degree (BA) corresponds to 180 ECTS or equivalent. More details are available at:

How can I obtain the specification of relevant ECTS credits for my diploma, certificate, etc.?

To obtain such specification the applicant should refer to the institution (university or other educational authority), which issued the relevant diploma or which organises the courses the applicant is attending. If the diploma/degree-granting institution is not in a position to specify the ECTS credits related to the course in question, it should provide indications of an alternative credit system (and how to convert it into the ECTS system) or summarise key information on the relevant course (duration, workload, supervision, individual research/preparation) so that the EMA Executive Committee has sufficient information to make a comparative assessment for ECTS evaluation.

Can I transfer from my current university to EMA and finish my degree there? Is there a way to calculate the credits I have already obtained in my university into the EMA curriculum and let me skip some parts of the programme?

Due to the inter-disciplinarity and uniqueness of our master’s programme, which takes place in Venice for the first semester and in one of our 42 partner universities for the second semester, it is not possible to transfer from any other university and to recognise previous credits to skip parts of the course.

Can I complete the degree entry requirements of the EMA programme after the application deadline?

Applicants completing the degree entry requirements after the application deadline have to provide a current transcript at the time of application. Admittance to the programme is conditional upon official documentation of completion of the degree before 31 August.

I have a degree in another discipline than law/social sciences/humanities. Can I still apply for EMA?

If you have a university degree with a minimum of 180 ECTS, you are eligible to apply for EMA. We also consider applications with degrees in a field not immediately relevant to human rights. Given the interdisciplinary character of human rights (and of EMA) and the multitude of activities which one can conduct in the field, it is up to you to demonstrate the relevance of your prior learning and how you would like to take advantage of your background. We encourage you to apply and state your ideas about the relevance of your background in your letter of motivation.

Is EMA an MA or LLM programme?

EMA is an interdisciplinary programme that allows students to study human rights from different academic perspectives. It is not a strictly legal or LLM programme. Moreover, the national equivalent value attributed to the EMA Joint Degree varies among the Inner Circle Universities conferring the diploma.

If I can prove that I carried out my entire university education in English, do I still need to provide a language certificate such as TOEFL or IELTS?

In principle, only English native speakers will be exempted from submitting a certification of English proficiency. Applicants whose native language is not English may apply to have the requirement for an English language proficiency examination waived if:

  • They have received their degree from a university in a country where both the language of instruction and the official language is English; or
  • They have completed at least two years of post-secondary education in an English-speaking country.

Applicants must submit a request for waiver with their application citing their specific circumstances for exemption. The EMA Executive Committee retains discretion to approve or deny any waiver request. In case of denial, you still have to submit one of the accepted certificates by 31 August.

Is there an age limit to participate in EMA?

EMA does not apply any age limit. However, in case of applications from mature candidates, acceptance is generally conditioned upon demonstrated intention to put skills and knowledge acquired to practical use in advancing their career. As a general indication, the EMA students’ age range is between 23 and 35.

Application and selection process

What is a transcript of records? Where can I find this document?

A transcript of records, or transcript of exams, is a list of all courses you have taken and passed, and all the marks you received in your university career. It provides information about your academic background. Usually it is the university secretariat, which issues this certificate upon the student’s request. You must submit transcripts of your degree(s) as part of your application. 

What is the Diploma Supplement?

If you have studied in Europe, you will also have to present the related Diploma Supplement(s). This is an internationally approved document (usually issued both in the original language and in English) which, following a template developed and approved by the Council of Europe, provides a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies you successfully completed. The purpose of the Diploma Supplement is to make qualifications and programmes of study more easily comparable for students between countries across Europe. 

Must the copy of my documents be legally notarised or will a normal copy do?

During the application procedure, photocopies are accepted. If selected, you will then have to provide the EMA Secretariat with originals or certified copies of your university degree and transcript of records. Concerning passports, a photocopy is sufficient.

Can I submit the documents required for application (i.e. reference letters, transcript of records or degree certificate) in French or in my mother tongue?

The entire application, including the letter of motivation and the CV, has to be submitted in English. Please also include a non-certified English translation of the required proofs, if the original certificates were not issued in English, French, Spanish or Italian.

Do the reference letters have to come from academic referees, i.e. be written by professors, or can they also be from employers or supervisors?

Since EMA is an interdisciplinary master’s programme, which provides students with both academic and professional qualifications, it is preferable to submit one reference letter from each of those areas. However, should it be difficult for the applicant to trace their professors after a long time or to have a professional referee in the absence of practical experience, the EMA Executive Committee will accept two letters coming from the same field, as long as they are relevant to the application in question (relevance in terms of human rights expertise, motivation to perform human rights studies, etc.).


Why do I have to pay the application fee if I am not sure I will be selected?

Given the large amount of applications that we receive every year, this fee covers the administrative costs of processing them. The application processing fee is non-refundable in all cases.

When and how will I be notified about admission?

The selection process is managed on a rolling basis and is conducted according to two application deadlines. This means that selected candidates are informed in different rounds and at different points in time. After all offers are sent out, some places may become available depending on acceptance of the offers by the selected candidates. Applicants on the reserve list may then be contacted until the conclusion of the selection process in July. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a notification email only at this final stage.

If I am offered a place, can I defer the acceptance and begin the following year?

No, you must re-apply and go through the selection process again.

If I have participated in a previous selection (unsuccessful or having resigned), having sent the completed set of documents, can it be used or re-considered in order to participate in the following year's selection?

No, you must re-apply and go through the selection process again.

Non-EU degree

What is the Declaration of Value (DoV)?

The document officially attests the validity of your degree in Italy and is absolutely necessary to obtain the diploma at the end of the master’s programme.


When shall I start to apply for a Declaration of Value (DoV)?

As soon as you receive and accept the formal offer to participate in EMA. Be aware that some consulates will require you to have obtained the DoV before processing your study visa application.

Where do I have to apply for the Declaration of Value (DoV)?

You should file the request for the Declaration of Value to the embassy, consulate or Italian cultural institute responsible for the area or city where you obtained your university degree, regardless of your nationality.

When do I have to provide the Declaration of Value of my degree?

As soon as possible after confirmation of acceptance and, only in exceptional and justified circumstances, no later than 31 August 2021. Please note that without this document you will not be awarded the EMA degree.

What is the statement of comparability?

As an alternative to the DoV, you can submit a statement of comparability. The statement of comparability is a document which contains general information related to the foreign university qualification, such as recognition/accreditation status of the institution from which it has been issued in the country of origin and the level of the qualification according to the Bologna Process and to the European Qualifications Framework, besides the indication of the nature of the course.

This documents can be obtained (upon payment) in a few weeks and completely digitally by creating a personal account on MyDiplome. For further details about this, please check CIMEA website.

Non-EU students

When must I start the visa procedures?

As soon as you receive and accept the formal offer to participate in EMA.

For which kind of visa must I apply?

If selected, you are required to obtain a type D - multiple entry visa for postgraduate (post-laurea) study, which must cover the entire duration of the academic year.

What do I need to know about getting a visa?

All non-EU students are required to obtain a study visa from the relevant diplomatic and consular Italian representation offices in their home countries.

The procedure to apply for a visa is managed through Universitaly website. Non-EU students must create their own accounts and submit their visa application through this link: Here you can find a tutorial on how to complete registration with Universitaly.  

The University of Padua will confirm your name to the Italian Diplomatic representatives through Universitaly website. Only then, you can book an appointment for your visa application.

In order to find out about deadlines and visa requirements, we suggest that you consult the following website:

It is up to students to:

  • Gather all relevant information concerning the procedure and contact details of relevant Italian representation offices;
  • Submit the application to the relevant diplomatic and consular Italian representation office according to the official procedure, and enclose all requested documentation in their possession;
  • Cover all related costs;
  • Comply with all applicable immigration rules;
  • Update the EMA Secretariat about the developments of the procedure and provide the visa (as copy), when made available.

The EMA Secretariat will provide you with information and assistance on the visa application process and provide you with the necessary documents confirming your admission.

Who will pay for the visa procedures?

Students bear all costs relating to the visa procedures.