There are ten Pontifical academies headquartered at the Vatican in Rome.
- The Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi al Pantheon, in Italian: Pontificia Insigne Accademia di Belle Arti e Letteratura dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, was established in 1542. Its purpose is to study, cultivate, and perfect the fine arts
- The Pontifical Academy of Sciences or Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze was founded in 1603 to honor and promote research
- The Pontifical Academy of Theology or Pontificia Accademia di Teologia, founded in 1718, promotes the Catholic faith
- The Pontifical Academy of Archaeology or Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, founded in 1810, promotes Christian archeology and the history of Christian art
- The Pontifical Academy of Martyrs or Pontificia Academia Cultorum Martyrum dates from 1879 and promotes the veneration of the martyrs and the study of the catacombs
- The Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas or Pontificia Accademia di San Tommaso d'Aquino, founded in 1879, promotes the study of Thomism
- The Pontifical Academy of Mary or Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis was established in 1946 and promotes Mariology
- The Pontifical Academy for Life or Pontificia Accademia Pro Vita was founded in 1994 to promote the consistent life ethic of the Roman Catholic Church; it was formerly headed by Bishop Elio Sgreccia, and now by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, former rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.
- The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences or Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze Sociali, founded 1994, promotes social, economic, political, and legal sciences in the light of the church's social teachings
- The Pontifical Academy for Latin, also Pontificia Academia Latinitatis or Pontificia Accademia di Latinità was established in 2012 for the dissemination and education of Latin.
The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, an institution for the training of Catholic clergy to serve as Apostolic Nuncios, Pro-Nuncios, or Papal Delegates, is not one of the Pontifical academies, but is one of the Roman Colleges.