The 19th century opens with the fall of the Venetian Republic (1797) and the French armies settled in the former Venetian dominions, such as Padua, which would see the alternation of the Jacobin, Austrian and Italic regimes until 1813.
By way of the Napoleonic decree of Saint-Cloud (1806), the University of Padua was put on a par with those of Pavia and Bologna and lost the independence that it had enjoyed over the centuries in the name of a new university. The distinction between Universitas Iuristarum and Universitas Artistorum disappeared, as did the nationes; the rector, appointed by the viceroy, became the key intermediary between the university and the central government.
The beginning of the third Austrian domination coincided with a period of relative stability and the Studio itself lost its age-old structure. Despite the rigorous Austrian control over the administrative structure and the teaching, the University remained faithful to its ancient traditions as regards the value and responsibility of many professors, as well as to its high-level education provided to its students whose spirit of freedom and independence had distinguished the University throughout the centuries. This spirit was also at the basis of the student insurrection of 8 February 1848 (and of the others which would take place until 1866), which saw students and citizens unite against the Austrians.
A new phase for the University of Padova began with the annexation of Veneto to the Kingdom of Italy (1866). In 1872, the University was put on a par with the others of the Kingdom and reacquired an identity that was also projected beyond national borders.
Palazzo Bo was no longer spacious enough to house all the schools and, towards the end of the century, the policy of decentralisation of the scientific institutes began.