The Department of French and Italian

CILS (Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language)

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CILS logo

The University of Texas at Austin Department of French and Italian is now an official testing site for the CILS Language Certification test.

The Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera or CILS) is a qualification offered by the Università per Stranieri di Siena (Italy) for foreign speakers of the Italian language, recognizing various levels of language proficiency. The qualification is recognized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is often used to grant acceptance in any Italian university or higher education institution in Italy (B2 level) and as a required certification for the issuing of the Italian Citizenship for foreign spouses of Italian citizens (B1-cittadinanza level).

CILS qualification is open to all Italian residents abroad and non-Italian speakers wishing to validate their skills in Italian. Applicants of any age are eligible to apply. Preparation for the examination is highly encouraged.

There are six different proficiency levels officially recognized by the Common European Framework of References for Languages, which translate into different CILS certification exams:




Independent Learner

CILS Uno – Level B1

CILS Due – Level B2 (required to apply in Italian Universities)

CILS – B1 cittadinanza (required for the issuing of Italian Citizenship for foreign spouses of Italian citizens)

Advanced Learner

CILS Tre – Level C1

CILS Quattro – Level C2

All the examinations cover what are viewed as the most important elements in language acquisition: speaking, reading, written composition, analysis of structures of communication, and listening.

The qualification is officially issued on successful completion of a particular level. Each part of the examination is evaluated independently, so to pass the exam the candidate must have obtained the necessary grade in each section. Candidates who do not pass the entire exam in one session have 18 months to retake the parts that they have not passed. They will pay the fee only for the portion of the test they have failed. This option is not offered to the candidates taking the B1 Cittadinanza exam.

Who needs to take the CILS B1-CITTADINANZA certification?

As of December 4th, 2018 (law 1 Dec 2018, n. 132) it has become indispensable condition for the issuing of the Italian citizenship for foreign spouses of Italian citizens, according to artt. 5 and 9 of L. 91/92, to demonstrate the adequate knowledge of the Italian language to a level not less than B1 (Cittadinanza) of the Common Reference Framework for the knowledge of languages. Fulfillment of this requirement is met by the acquisition of a title/certification issued by an institution of public education/educational institution or a certification issued by an authorized/recognized certifying body.                                                                    

Where to take the CILS certification exams?

Under an agreement with the University for Foreigners in Siena (Italy), the Department of French and Italian of The University of Texas at Austin is an authorized certifying center.


Department of French and Italian

Homer Rainey Hall - HRH -201 W. 21st Street, Austin, TX 

Upcoming Exam Sessions

Exam Session

Registration opening date

Registration closing date

December 2nd, 2021

All levels

August 21st

Registration closed (capacity reached). For information about upcoming sessions, please contact Silvia Luongo

October 21st Registration is closed.


February 17th, 2022

Only B1 Cittadinanza


Limited spots available.
Please contact Silvia Luongo before registering.


Please note that the registration process CLOSES NO LATER THAN 40 DAYS BEFORE THE EXAM

The results for the B1 citizenship level will be released 45 days after the session. For all other levels the results will be released after 3 months.

Dates and exams format may vary in compliance to the guidelines issued by the State of Texas, The University of Texas at Austin and the University for foreigners of Siena due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Before any CILS certification exam session, enrolled candidates will be informed about potential scheduling changes and the security protocol that will be followed to maintain a safe environment for everyone during the exam.

How to register:
The University of Texas at Austin has partnered with the America-Italy Society (AIS) in offering the CILS certification exams. 

For more information, please contact Silvia Luongo:

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  • Department of French and Italian

    University of Texas at Austin
    201 W 21st Street STOP B7600
    HRH 2.114A
    Austin, TX 78712-1800