Diploma CILS (Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language) and CILS Preparatory Courses

[image of Sienna]
Vincenzo Rustico, Campo di Siena

Under an agreement with the University for Foreigners in Siena, Italy, the University of Pennsylvania is an official CILS testing site (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera).

The CILS Diploma (Certificate of Knowledge of Italian as Foreign Language), issued by the University for Foreigners in Siena, certifies your knowledge of Italian, is valid throughout the world, and does not expire (as other certificates like TOEFL do).

There are six different proficiency levels and you can take more than one diploma (e.g. after an A2 certificate you can take the exam again to get a superior level certificate):

A1 low beginner; A2 high beginner;

B1 low intermediate; B2 high intermediate;

C1 advanced; C2 proficiency

Please note that level B2 is valid also as language exam for admittance to any Italian University without the need for further testing, and that with level C2 you can apply for the position of official translator from Italian into English, in several countries.

Exam examples can be found on the website of the University for Foreigners of Siena at the following link:


Textbook to prepare for the exam can be purchased here:



No CILS Preparation Course for the B1-C1 levels CILS exam is offered at this time.

The CILS exam is held twice per year, in June and December, and it must be taken in person at an official testing site. The next 2018 exam session will be Thursday December 6Exam dates for 2019 are Thursday May 30 and Tuesday December 3. Registration closes no later than 40 days before the exam (April 19 and October 22). Please be advised that registrations are specific to each testing site. 

TO REGISTER, please, send an email to johnston@sas.upenn.edu with:


A. Your personal data
Family Name:
First Name:
Date of birth (day/month/year):
Place of birth (the town, or city, not only the State):
(optional) Second Nationality:
Level of exam you want to take:
Email address (for reminders, further info., results, etc.):


B. attach your ID scanned in PDF

C. Send a check in the amount of the exam fee (see below). The check must be payable to the order of "Trustees of the University of  Pennsylvania" and sent by post to:


Center for Italian Studies

549 Williams Hall

255 South 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305.


Please, note that your registration is not complete until we receive your check.


The duration of the exam (consisting of listening comprehension, reading comprehension, grammar and use of structure tests, compositions, oral interview) varies between approximately 2:30 and 6 hours depending on the level.


Exam fees:

Level A1, A2USD 80
Level B1USD 140
Level B2USD 160
Level C1USD 190
Level C2USD 225

Please be informed that the CILS exam can be taken by anyone who might be interested, students and/or professionals.

Test your knowledge of Italian, get prepared to take this challenging exam, and make your CV even stronger with this Official Diploma!

For more information, please contact Marina Johnston, johnston@sas.upenn.edu, or Lillyrose Veneziano-Broccia, lillyros@sas.upenn.edu.