At the turn of the century, the University regained an international projection and invested in the construction of a first district dedicated to science. After the setback due to the First World War, during which many students and teachers left their studies to take up arms, in the twenty years of fascism new buildings proliferated: the institute of pathological anatomy, the surgical clinic, the institutes along the Piovego, the school canteen, the students’house. The radical changes in Palazzo del Bo and the construction of the Liviano, the Institute of Physics, the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory and the hydro-biological station of Chioggia date back to the Anti Rectorate (1932-1943). In the same years, the University lost teachers and students, purged because they were Jews. As in World War I, also during the Second World War many university members died: the University, and the only one in Italy, was awarded the gold medal to military valour.
In the post-war period, the expansion of the cultural offer was accompanied by a notable building expansion and the decentralization to other cities in the Veneto. The Agripolis campus was created, and new complexes for study and research were built in the Piovego area. The University of Padua joined the Erasmus European project from its first phase, in 1987.