UPO: an overview


How we are organized

The structure of our university includes governing and subsidiary bodies, commissions and committees, and departments for research, teaching and advanced education.

The Vice-Chancellor’s office and central administration offices are in Vercelli.

Our teaching and research activities are organised within seven departments and the School of Medicine:


Where we are

Our multi-site campus embraces the cities of Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli.



Alessandria (94,000 inhabitants) is about 90 km (56 miles) south-east of Turin. It is a major commercial, railway and motorway hub. The city has a modern atmosphere, though it was founded in 1168 with a charter as a free municipality on a pre-existing urban site. You can visit many monuments: the Cittadella, Palazzo Ghilini, the churches of Santa Maria di Castello and Santa Maria del Carmine, the museum centre.

3,500 UPO students are offered 15 degree programmes in Alessandria, mainly at Palazzo Borsalino (once home to the famous hat factory), and at DISIT, the new building in Viale Michel. Two departments (DIGSPES and DISIT) have their headquarters in the centre.



Novara (105,000 inhabitants) is 50 km (31 miles) from Milan and 95 km (59 miles) from Turin. It is an important crossroads for commercial traffic along the routes from Milan to Turin and from Genoa to Switzerland. It is built on ancient foundations while enjoying a modern, industrial, commercial, and metropolitan feel.

With its 7,200 students, offered a total of 17 degree programmes, Novara is the largest UPO campus and hosts the headquarters of four departments (DSF, DISEI, DIMET and DISS). There are four complexes in town:

  • Campus Perrone, on the site once occupied by the city barracks. A large urban site, it hosts the whole of DiSEI and the teaching activities of Law, Biotechnologies and the School of Medicine;
  • the Sant'Agabio campus, which includes the area once occupied by Wild Cotton Mill (largo Donegani) and the building designed by Renzo Piano for the former Experimental Institute for Light Metals (Via Bovio). The DSF and some spin-off companies of the Incubator are located here.
  • Palazzo Bellini (via Solaroli), home to the medical complex, is an independent part of the Maggiore Hospital, which houses the university clinics;
  • the Via Lanino complex, owned by the Salesian Institute, hosts Crimedim and Simnova (the research and teaching centres for Emergency and Disaster Medicine, respectively). 



Vercelli (47,000 inhabitants) is one of the oldest urban sites in northern Italy, at an equal distance from Turin and Milan. It is one of the most important European centres for the cultivation of rice. It is also a real gem for people who are interested in art and history, as it is home to some outstanding museums and many noteworthy monuments. Every year the city also hosts the Viotti International Music Competition, one of the longest-running music contests in the world.

3,000 students are offered 12 degree programmes in two main complexes: the Humanities Campus, where the DISUM has its headquarters, and the Campus San Giuseppe, which hosts the teaching activities of both the DISIT and DISUM. 


Other centres

Some of the teaching activities for health professions are also offered in Alba, Biella, Fossano and Verbania, in cooperation with the hospitals of these cities. Asti hosts the degree course in Social Work.