Bocconi University was established in Milan in 1902, with a generous endowment from Ferdinando Bocconi, a wealthy merchant. Named for his lost son, Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi thus became the first Italian institution of higher education to grant a degree in economics.

Since its inception, Bocconi has stood for liberalism, pluralism, and social and economic progress. While a private institution, Bocconi has traditionally been more than an elite university. It has consistently promoted and practiced equality of opportunity among its many generations of students, by actively subsidizing the education of disadvantaged and deserving students. In the words of its first Rector and President, Leopoldo Sabbatini,  Bocconi's mission is to "promote harmony between school and life."

Today, Bocconi is a research university of international standing in business, economics, and law. Its research projects are funded by national and supranational institutions. By virtue of being a major node in the European and global network of business and economics universities, Bocconi exchanges faculty and cooperates on large projects with like-minded European and American universities and business schools. Bocconi has close relations with major corporations and international agencies, as well as their managers and officials, and constantly interacts with the business and economic environment to assess new issues, implement new techniques, and start new research endeavors. 


The Milanese entrepreneur Ferdinando Bocconi founds Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, named in memory of his eldest son.
In Largo Notari (Piazza Statuto), the University’s first seat is completed, following an architectural project by engineer Giorgio Dugnani.


The Library is inaugurated, launched with private funds from Ferdinando Bocconi. Today, with more than 600,000 volumes, it is considered among the most important of its kind in Europe.


ALUB, the Association of Università Bocconi alumni, is created.


Work begins on the construction of a new home for Bocconi in the area near Parco Ravizza. The artistic and technical direction of the project is given to Giuseppe Pagano and his partner Giangiacomo Predaval.


On 21 December, the new University headquarters is inaugurated in Via Sarfatti 25


The degree program in Foreign Languages and Literature is established, active until 1972.


A new building is constructed just north of the main building, which includes a residence hall and the student canteen. The project is entrusted to architect Giovanni Muzio. 


Designed by architect Ferdinando Reggiori, the church of S. Ferdinando and the rectory are built. The work was commissioned and financed by Donna Javotte Bocconi Manca di Villahermosa, wife of Ettore Bocconi, president of the Istituto Javotte Bocconi - Amici della Bocconi from 1955 to 1965, and president of Bocconi University from 1932 to 1957.


A new building complex is built along via Sarfatti, on commission awarded to architect Giovanni Muzio and his son Lorenzo. The building houses the first Aula Magna, the library and research institutes.



The degree programs in Economics (CLEP) and in Business Administration (CLEA) are established, with focus divided into various branches.



SDA Bocconi, the University's Business School, opens, offering postgraduate and post-experience training programs.


A new degree program is launched, Economics and Social Sciences (DES).
SDA Bocconi launches the first Italian MBA (Master in Business Administration) program, based on the Anglo-Saxon teaching model.


Bocconi enters the PIM (Program of International Management), which brings together the best business schools in the world with the aim of promoting student and faculty exchanges, and educational programs with partners.


Planning of the size of the student body is introduced to continue to guarantee quality and teaching excellence in the face of the growing number of applications. 


On the north side of the campus, in Via Bocconi, a new complex is built as headquarters for SDA Bocconi. The design of the two buildings, with terraced sides faced with metal panels, is by engineer Vittore Ceretti. 


Together with three other European universities (Hec, Esade, Köln), Bocconi participates in the founding of CEMS, Community of European Management Schools.
In the same year, EGEA, the University publishing house, opens with the aim of becoming, over the years, a reference point for economic publishing.  


The 1990-2000 Bocconi ten-year plan is approved, which includes, among other things, a revision of the study programs to anticipate the needs of the job market and increase the University’s international outlook.



SDA Bocconi opens the first MBA program in Italy held entirely in English.


Degree programs in Economics of Financial Institutions and Markets (CLEFIN), Economics of Public Administrations and International Institutions (CLAPI), Economics and Business Law (CLELI) are introduced.



Launch of Italy’s first PhD in Business Administration and Management, modeled after programs offered by Anglo-Saxon business schools.


Degree programs in Economics (later Economic, Statistical and Social Sciences) (CLE), in Economics and Management for the Arts, Culture and Communication (CLEACC) and in Law (CLG) are opened.
A new teaching model is introduced, with dedicated rooms for each student class group, an academic credit system and greater emphasis on the study of the English language and computer science.


The works for the construction of the new three-storey elliptical building reserved for classrooms and study areas for students are completed. The design is by Ignazio Gardella, in collaboration with his son Jacopo.
The activation of nine three-year undergraduate programs begins.
The degree program in Economics of International Markets and New Technologies (CLEMIT) and the Degree in International Economics and Management (DIEM), the first Bocconi degree course completely taught in English, are launched.
The new EGEA bookshop is inaugurated, designed by Mauro Galantino and Marco Zanibelli, and located on the ground floor of the new wing of the SDA, along Via Bocconi.
Finally, an international competition is launched for the design of a new building complex which concludes the planning envisaged by the Bocconi 2000 plan. The competition is won by Shelley McNamara and Yvonne Farell of the Irish firm Grafton Architects


The University celebrates its 100th year of activity. The new Spadolini Residence comes into operation, expanding the range of beds available to students (300+).


The University Board approves a new ten-year strategic plan (2005-2015), which is based on four guidelines: Europe, competitiveness, responsibility, culture of merit.
Eleven graduate degree programs are activated, some of which are entirely in English.



The Strategic Plan also provides for a profound restructuring at the organizational level.
The SDA is flanked by four schools, to which all the academic programs refer: the Undergraduate School, the Graduate School, the PhD School, and the School of Law. This reorganization is followed by the creation of seven new Departments.



Bocconi University launches its first ambitious fundraising campaign, which became known as "Within Our Reach", for the development of important investments for the benefit of students, faculty, and campus facilities.


Work is finished on the construction of the new building in Via Röntgen, which houses the faculty offices and a new Aula Magna. The complex is inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the European Commission Josè Manuel Barroso, and the Mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti.




The faculty incentive system is revised to ensure greater growth at international level, enabling the University to attract top professors and researchers from all over the world.


The Marketing Department is opened, the first in Italy dedicated to this discipline; the total number of Bocconi departments rises to eight.
The “Emanuele Dubini” university residence hall is inaugurated in via Buzzi, with over 320 beds.



The new university residence hall in Viale Isonzo is completed, adding over 200 beds for students.



Bocconi enters the academic field of Political Science with the launch of the Bachelor of Science in International Politics and Government and the subsequent Master of Science in Government and International Organizations.



The Bachelor of Science in Economics, Management and Computer Science (BEMACS) is inaugurated, a three-year degree course with a strong focus on digital skills and big data.
The new university residence hall Bligny is completed, adding over 170 beds for students close to the campus.



Two new graduate degree courses are announced in the fields of Data Science and Political Science: the Master of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics, and the Master of Science in Politics and Policy Analysis, active from academic year 2018/2019.



Thanks to a partnership with Milan Polytechnic, the Master of Science in Cyber Risk Strategy and Governance is born, a graduate level program managed jointly between the two Milanese universities.
Bocconi joins the Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), the network of international business schools which includes standout institutions such as Yale.
Inauguration of the residence hall in via Castiglioni with 300 beds, the first building in the expanded area of the new urban campus.



The new expansion of the campus is completed, designed by SANAA studio of Tokyo, and built on the area previously occupied by the Centrale del Latte. In addition to the Castiglioni residence, the area includes the new headquarters of SDA Bocconi School of Management and the sports center. It is inaugurated on the occasion of the Opening of the Academic Year 2019/2020, with the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala in attendance.
B4i, Bocconi for Innovation, is launched as a hub for the acceleration and development of new entrepreneurial ideas, from startups to corporate entrepreneurship.



Bocconi enters the field of artificial intelligence with the Bachelor of Science in Mathematical and Computing Sciences for Artificial Intelligence (BAI). This highly innovative program is positioned at the crossroads between mathematics, physics, and computer science.



Launch of the planning documents for the next decade, Vision 2030 and the Strategic Plan 2021-2025, containing the University's objectives and framework for development.