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A: We accept the diploma or certification of completed studies/academic transcripts in the following languages: Italian, English, Spanish, Latin, and French. If your diploma/certification/transcripts is not in one of these languages, in additional to submitting the original transcripts, you must If the Transcript Evaluator/Academic Advisor is not able to translate these documents, applicants will be required to submit an official translation of these documents into either Italian or English.

A: Sometimes an official translation means that the document has been translated by a government-approved person or agency, that “certifies” the translation. In some countries, there are independent agencies that will issue an official translation. The important difference is: you may not submit your own translation of transcripts or a diploma. We do not provide official translators; you must find one yourself.  

Course/Seminar general information

A: A “course” or “seminar” is understood as consisting of only twelve (12) meetings/lessons over the period of a semester, meeting once per week, totaling no less and no more than twenty-four (24) hours of in-class instruction. (This is for a typical 3 ects course).

The course or seminar begins in the first week of a semester, and continues for the next twelve (12) weeks in the semester calendar. N.B.: Due to various events and unexpected situations, there are usually more than 12 weeks available within any given semester. Thus, there is typically either one or two additional weeks available in the semester to account for cancelled lessons and/or important University events.

A: The minimum obligation for student attendance in any course or seminar, is for students to be physically present for at least 2/3 of the entire course or seminar. Being absent for more than 2/3 of the course or seminar will result in a failing grade. Professors are expected to take daily attendance.

A: ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) is the nomenclature for the academic course credit hour, as set forth by the European Commission’s Higher Education Area, in accord with the Bologna Process, which aims to make the national European education systems more comparable with the various international education systems. ECTS takes into consideration (just as, for example, U.S. credits do) the following elements: (1) the time spent in class per week, (2) practical exercises/homework required outside of class, (3) the student’s personal study time, and (4) time required for examination/assessment activities.

60 ECTS represents the workload of one year of full-time studies at the PUST. As regards a single course, if the course meets once per week over the full semester, for two hours each week, that course will be worth 3 ECTS. Thus, the ratio of in-class course hours per week to ECTS runs as follows: 1 hour = 1.5 ECTS; 2 hours = 3 ECTS; 3 hours = 5 ECTS; 4 hours = 6 ECTS.

Although international education credit systems and scales vary widely, for the most part, these systems and scales are comparable to either ECTS or the U.S. credit models. For example, the PUST recognizes the sequence of conversion between U.S. credits and ECTS in this way: 1 Credit (USA) = 2 ECTS. Likewise, 2 Credits (USA) = 3 ECTS, and 3 Credits (USA) = 4 ECTS, etc.

A: A course operates essentially as a series of lectures given by the professor, who also fields questions and answers from the students during each lesson. A course always includes a Final Exam (written or oral) during the exam period, after the conclusion of the twelve weeks. N.B.: As an option, it is acceptable for a Final Paper to be counted as the Final Exam for a course. If the Professor plans to do so, he/she must first request permission from the Dean, primarily in order to ensure proper control of the workload of the students. If permission is granted, then within the first two weeks of the course, the Professor must inform the students that their Final Exam will be in the form of a Final Paper.

Courses range in ECTS, anywhere from 3-6 ECTS in the S.T.B., but nearly always 3 ECTS in the S.T.L.. Thus, a 3 ECTS course typically meets once per week (2 hours per lesson) for a total of twenty-four (24) hours over the period of a semester.

A: A seminar is graded principally on the participation of the student, along with the writing of a Final Paper, and perhaps other small writing assignments and/or in-class oral presentations. The most distinctive feature of the seminar is that each lesson is centered around intensive individual work and collective discussion about the reading materials and matters at hand.The role of the seminar Professor is to guide the students toward an understanding of the lesson texts, without resorting to lectures. Therefore, a seminar requires more participation and outside-of-class reading by the students, than is typically demanded in a courseThe Final Paper must be submitted to the Professor in a timely fashion, according to the deadlines set by the Professor, in order for the final seminar grade to be submitted by the end of the ordinary Exam Session. A seminar is worth 4 ECTS, and does not include a Final Exam, although a final grade will always be included, based on the assignments given throughout the seminar. The additional 1 credit as compared to the typical 3-credit course, manifests the expectation that a student in a seminar engages in much more lesson preparation work outside of the classroom. 

Types (Categories) of Students

A: An “ordinary” student is one who is eligible (qualified) to earn an academic degree. Within the “ordinary” category there is a subcategory: “ordinary pars”. A student is considered “ordinary pars” if they are enrolled at the Angelicum, but still must submit to us certain documents necessary for enrollment (original certificate of studies, or letter of introduction, for example.

A: The category “extraordinary” already includes 2 subcategories: “simpliciter” and “ad tempus“.

  • Extraordinary Simpliciter“: these are students who enroll in our university but do not earn a degree and cannot obtain it in the future – they cannot take a year’s course and decide at the end of the semester or academic year that they want to change their type of enrollment. Students who fall into the extraordinary simpliciter category are those who want to take several courses and the exams of those courses (to be listed on their transcript) but who will not obtain the degree.
  • Extraordinary Ad Tempus“: has a limit of one year. To this category belong all those students who are not yet ready to be enrolled as “Ordinary” students within a degree program because they lack certain (academic) requirements and/or qualifications. But, they may be working to become an “Ordinary” student.

A: An “ospite” student can enroll as a student for four (and only four) semesters of courses. An “ospite” student is not permitted to enroll for more than four semesters.  They are non-degree seeking students.

A: They are those who, for personal enrichment, with the consent of the Dean, enroll in one or more courses, paying a special fee for each course, but without the right to take examinations or receive a grade for the class (e.g. on their transcripts).

A: “Fuori corso” students are those who, after following a regular curriculum, have to complete academic obligations (exams, tesina, written papers). They can only take 2 free courses that serve to complete their curriculum. They are required to pay annually the fee prescribed by the Administration. They can retain the status of “Fuori Corso Student” for a maximum of five academic years, after which they must start the entire course of study again.

S.T.D. Program

A: To apply for the STD program, STL degree is required. Students who earned it from PUST are admitted if they have achieved an 8,5/10 average (1) in their courses, as well as an 8.5/10 both for (2) their dissertation and (3) for the oral examination (lectio coram).

A: Candidates with a master degree in theology will be required to obtain an STL. They may be exempt from parts of the STL program depending on their former studies. Each case is evaluated individually.

A: As part of the process of admission, the prospective STD student must present his/her suggestion concerning the field of research and a tentative topic of the doctoral dissertation to the Head of the Section to ensure that the Faculty has a professor who can serve as Moderator of the project. The lack of an appropriate expert in a given field of theology or a lack of the professor who can direct a dissertation in a proposed language (other than English and Italian) may lead to the rejection of the application. The STL and STD program has 6 sections: biblical, Thomistic, dogmatic and fundamental, moral, and spirituality.

A: The candidate must meet the general language requirements specified for all PUST student applicants (the rules can be found in The Handbook of Studies). In addition, the candidate should prove his/her skills in all languages that will be necessary for his/her doctoral research.

A: The student may write his/her dissertation proposal and the dissertation in Italian or in English. Other languages are allowed only with the permission of the Vice Dean responsible for the STD program who must ensure that there are Professors on the Faculty who could serve as Censors. A formal letter of request is required.

A: The STD program requires minimum of 2 years of regular enrolment. It allows for up to 5 years of fuori corso status for continuing students. After this time the program is terminated.

A: Candidates who completed their STL at PUST and completed the Theological Writing Seminar (STL) are required to register only for the doctoral seminar.

Those who did not complete the licentiate program in the Faculty of Theology at PUST are required to register for two “obligatory” courses from the STL program (in their section) and two additional courses of their choice from the area of their specialization. They are also required to participate in the Theological Writing Seminar (STD), and the Seminar for Doctoral Students. These requirements should be completed during the first year of the program.

A: The STD program requires in presence participation in seminars and courses specified in the Doctoral Guidelines.

A: Yes. After the STD student has had their dissertation proposal approved, the student is obliged to accomplish at least one of the following tasks: (1) write one research paper and have it accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in their field of study; (2) participate in the doctoral “Laboratory” for at least one year and make at least one presentation in it; (3) fulfill an equivalent of (1), or (2), approved by their advisor (in communication with the Vice Dean responsible for the STD program).

A: Doctoral Students are required to work with a Moderator from their specialization (i.e., their section—Morals, Spirituality, etc.) who is a professor at PUST (the professor must have the rank of Incaricato or higher). Exceptions from this rule must be approved by the Vice Dean responsible for the STD program. The procedure is described in the Doctoral Guidelines.

A: The application might be rejected in the following situations: (1) Candidate’s (average) grade for courses, for the STL thesis, or for lectio coram is lower than 8,5 (in case of those who earned it from PUST); (2) Candidate’s grade for STL is lower than it is required by the Institution that granted the degree to enter the STD program (in case of those who did not earn their STL from PUST); (2) The Faculty does not have an appropriate expert in a given field of theology specified by the candidate; (3) The Faculty does not have a professor who can direct a dissertation in a proposed language (other than English and Italian); (4) The candidate does not meet the general language requirements specified for all PUST student applicants (the rules can be found in The Handbook of Studies).

A: The STD program is terminated in the following situations: (1) The doctoral proposal has not been approved within the first two semesters (in case of students who have earned their STL at PUST) or the first three semesters (in case of students who have not earned their STL at PUST); (2) The doctoral dissertation has not been submitted, reviewed and accepted for the defense within the 7 years from the beginning of the program; (3) The Dean’s office has serious doubts about the real capacity of a student to bring doctoral studies to a successful conclusion – in such case the Commission for the Doctorate is convoked to make a decision.


A: Although the term “Distance Learning” may be understood in different modes, the Instruction on the Use of Distance Learning in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, governed by the Holy See’s Dicastery for Culture and Education, is specific regarding what is understood as an acceptable form of “Distance Learning” for Pontifical Universities, in addition to the criteria that must be met in order to be able to offer such courses. It is thus that in adherence to the Instruction (and especially as it concerns the PUST’s admissions process of transferring courses for possible dispensation), we are to regard acceptable forms of “Distance Learning” only inasmuch as such courses are conducted within “the ‘mixed’ method of teaching, which combines immediate [i.e., in-person] and mediated [i.e., online] teaching.”[1] This therefore means that courses which were delivered entirely online (or entirely via correspondence) are not acceptable for any part of the canonical degrees at the PUST.

[1] Congregation for Catholic Education, Instruction on the Use of Distance Learning in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, Vatican City, 2021, Part III. Norms, 7.

A: No. On the basis of the Dicastery for Culture and Education’s rules on how ecclesiastical universities and faculties are to offer and manage various forms of Distance Learning programs, our Faculty does not offer any pathway toward earning any of the ecclesiastical degrees through distance education. Students wishing to earn the ecclesiastical S.T.B., S.T.L, or S.T.D. degrees, must be in-residence students (i.e., on-campus) for the minimum required duration of their Plan of Studies.