In 1806 Ferdinand III of Bourbon, King of Naples and the Two Sicilies, transformed the Palermo Academy of Studies into a university, granting it the power to bestow degrees in Theology, Medicine, Law, and Arts.
After 1860, when Garibaldi arrived on the scene, the present-day lay form of University was thus created, linked with the European higher education system – leading to the foundation of the School of Engineers and Architects. This was the beginning of the process by which UNIPA became what it is today, a mega-university which developed not only in Palermo, but also in central-western Sicily, as a response to specific needs of training and economic, social and cultural development.
The new corporate identity of the University of Palermo revives, interprets and reformulates the signs and values characterizing its life to date, making it recognizable as a prestigious institution.
Important scientists have worked at the University of Palermo; among these, the astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi (1746-1826), who discovered the first asteroid - Ceres, the chemist Stanislao Cannizzaro (1826-1910), who gave a decisive contribution to the modern atomic system, the great architect Giuseppe Venanzio Marvuglia (1729-1814), the Nobel Prize for Physics Emilio Segre (1905-1989), one of the "via Panisperna boys".
It is worth remembering that our University also educated personalities of the calibre of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
At the University of Palermo there are very mixed cultural areas, covering broad knowledge areas. The University equally also oriented to teaching and research, given the importance of both areas and the inevitable interactions between them.
The University combines tradition and experience with a constant openness to innovation, research, as well as to dialogue with the production sector, becoming a piece of the mosaic of institutions involved in territorial growth and in the development of international relations aiming at the diffusion of knowledge.
The University of Palermo always takes on a social as well as cultural, educational mission, which is typical of a public university, and even more important given the particular geographical and social context in which it operates.
The current educational offer consists of 56 1st cycle degree courses, 9 one-cycle courses, 60 2nd cycle courses, 23 university master courses, 47 specialization in the health area, 39 PhDs, aiming at training specific professional profiles, often in collaboration with companies and institutions.
The University is strongly rooted in the region, which results in its Educational offer, structured in accordance with the peculiarities of Sicily.
Among the courses that best represent this aspect it is worth mentioning the courses in "Viticulture and Oenology", "Marine Ecology", "Archaeology", the qualifying one-cycle degree course in "Restoration and Preservation of Cultural Heritage" of recent activation and accreditation, as well as the one-cycle degree course in "Primary Education".