Spain UNIVERSITIES

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Spain universities offer a wide range of programs. Spain universities are known for the diversity of their educational programs, from general education to field-specific majors, academic excellence and research, providing a world-class education and training future professionals. Spain universities also have strong ties with industry, providing students with internship opportunities, the opportunity to work on research projects with world-class faculty members, post-graduate professional training programs and career guidance. The best universities in the country are listed below. You can contact us for free preliminary information about Spain and universities.

Study In Spain

Bordered by the Pyrenees to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Bay of Biscay to the north and Portugal to the west, Spain is one of the largest countries in Europe and one of the most visited in the world, with annual tourist arrivals far exceeding the country's population. Spain is also a country where contrasts abound. The wealth and cosmopolitanism of Western Europe mixes with the extravagance and glamor of Southern Europe. An enchanting and flamboyant culture translates into afternoon naps and quiet evenings in restaurants and cafés, and various regional identities often take precedence over a national identity. On the other hand, the well-developed higher education system, prestigious universities and the high-quality education offered by higher education institutions make Spain a popular destination for international students who wish to further their education abroad.

University Education in Spain

Spain’s academic tradition dates back to the famous University of Salamanca, founded in 1218 by King Alfonso IX of Leon. Though the oldest being the University of Salamanca, higher education institutions like Universitat de Barcelona (1450), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (1968) and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (1968) rank as the top three universities in the country according to world university rankings. Spain hosts 76 universities in total and universities offer bachelor’s degree (título de grado) programs and master’s degree (título de máster) programs in line with the principles of the European Higher Education Area as in the rest of the European countries.

How Long Does It Take To Complete Your Studies?

Although the duration of study may vary depending on the program of study, a typical bachelor’s degree program in a generic field of study takes 4 years to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs in fields such as medicine, dentistry and nursing can usually be completed in 5-6 years. Similarly, though the duration of study may vary depending on the program of study, master’s degree programs usually take 1-2 years to complete. Like the majority of the universities in Europe, Spanish universities implement the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and students are expected to take courses for the equivalent of 30 credits in each academic semester and for the equivalent of 60 credits in each academic year. Accordingly, students are required to accumulate 240 ECTS credits to successfully complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program and 120 ECTS credits for a 2-year master’s degree program.

Cost of Studying in Spain

The annual cost of studying at universities in Spain varies depending on the field of study, study program as well as on the scope and the nature of the program. It should be noted that international students from countries that are not members of the European Union and are not part of the European Economic Area pay higher tuition fees compared to the nationals of these countries. Annual fees that international students are required to pay for a bachelor’s degree program in a general field of study range from €6,000 to €12,000 on average, while bachelor’s degree programs in fields such as medicine, dentistry and health science can go up to €32,000 per year. Annual fees for a master’s program in a general field of study for international students range between €5,500 and €13,000 on average, while master’s degree programs in fields such as medicine, dentistry, health sciences, business and law can go up to €16,400 per year.

Cost of Living in Spain

As in almost every other country, living costs in Spain vary depending on region, city and the lifestyle that students adopt, while tuition fees vary according to the university and the program of study. However, compared to the majority of Europe, the cost of living in Spain is relatively low. The average cost of living in Spain is in a range between €900 to €1,500 per month. The capital city, Madrid is in the lead in terms of living costs, followed by Barcelona, Malaga and Seville. A breakdown of average monthly expenses (accommodation not included) may look like;

  • Food and Meals: €300
  • Transportation: €120
  • Telecommunication and Utilities: €90
  • Clothing: €80
  • Social Activities, Entertainment, and Personal Expenses: €80

Accommodation in Spain

Accommodation costs make up the largest part of living expenses in Spain. Though accommodation costs vary by region and city, rents range between €450 and €1,500 per month for the majority of Spain. Some universities in Spain offer residence halls for international students, with monthly fees ranging between €360 and €650.

Why Study in Spain?

As a country member to the European Union and one of the major higher education providers with the European Higher Education Area, Spain offers world-class education opportunities. In particular, universities such as Universidad de Salamanca, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid ve Complutense University of Madrid provide quality education for international students as well as nationals of the country in line with the principles of the European Higher Education Area. Spain hosts more than 200.000 international students and every year more than 25.000 students choose universities in Spain to further their education. Spain's prestigious, advanced and progressive higher education system makes Spain and Spanish universities a popular choice among international students seeking a quality education. 

Although the majority of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are taught in Spanish, there are also many programs where the medium of instruction is English. As a non-Spanish-speaking international student, you can opt for programs taught in English, or you can choose bilingual programs where the medium of instruction is both Spanish and English, and learn Spanish during your university studies. Moreover, Spain is a Mediterranean country full of wonderful places to visit, beaches, unique landscapes and outstanding architecture. Not only can you find a corner to rest and relax almost everywhere, Spain is also home to many tourist attractions that people from all over the world come to see, such as the famous “La Sagrada Familia”. 

How to Apply as an International Student?

International students who wish to apply for undergraduate and graduate programs offered by universities in Spain must meet certain academic and language requirements. Although these requirements may vary depending on the university and the program, general admission requirements may be summarized as follows;

Admission Requirements - Academic (Bachelor’s Degree)

  • To Have Completed 11 or 12 Years of Primary and Secondary Education
  • Certificate of Secondary Education
    • Please note that a certificate of secondary education awarded by a foreign institution requires an equivalency review by the relevant authorities in Spain.
  • A High Grade Point Average
    or
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    or
  • European Baccalaureate (EB) Diploma
    or
  • SAT/ACT Standardized Test Scores
    • Please note that only some of the universities in Spain recognize SAT and ACT standardized tests.

Please also bear in mind that international students who are going to apply to programs that are directly or indirectly related to the fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, civil engineering, industrial engineering, bioengineering, mathematics, physics and pharmaceutics may be asked to apply and take the relevant exams administered by the Spanish government or by the respective university.

Please note that some universities in Spain administer their own language proficiency, university and program admission exams. Depending on the university, international students may be asked to sit for one or a plurality of these exams regardless of their qualifications.

Admission Requirements - Academic (Master’s Degree)

  • Bachelor’s Degree (of a 3 or 4-year undergraduate program)
  • High Grade Point Average
  • To have accumulated at least 180 ECTS course credit during your university studies

Please note that you may be asked to submit GRE or GMAT test scores depending on the admission requirements specific to the program you are applying to.

Admission Requirements - Language

  • Certificate of Proficiency in English (for programs taught in English)
    • You will be asked to submit the scores of at least one of the internationally recognized proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic, CAE, CPE, etc.
  • Certificate of Proficiency in Spanish (for programs taught in Spanish)
    • You will be asked to submit the scores of at least one of the internationally recognized proficiency tests like DELE, SIELE, LTI and CCSE.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for universities in Spain may vary depending on the university and the study program. That being said, we advise international students who wish to apply to universities in Spain to submit their applications no later than the first week of June of the previous academic year to be able to commence their studies in the first semester of the upcoming academic year, i.e. the fall semester, and no later than the first week of December of the previous academic year to be able to commence their studies in the second semester of the upcoming academic year, i.e. the spring semester. An academic year in Spanish universities usually begins in September and ends in June. The first academic semester begins in October and ends in February while the second academic semester begins in February and ends in June.

Top Universities in Spain

Top universities in Spain according to World University Rankings 2023

  1. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  2. Universitat de Barcelona
  3. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  4. Complutense University of Madrid
  5. Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)
  6. University of Navarra
  7. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)
  8. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC)
  9. IE University
  10. Universitat Politecnica de Valencia

Free Application Scholarship Opportunity

ESEI International Business School, Barcelona

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Spain

City: Barcelona
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 1
Undergradute Fee: 12.200 EUR

Status: PRIVATE

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Universidad de Buenos Aires

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Spain

City: Ciudad Universitaria
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 67

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

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Universitat de Barcelona

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Spain

City: Barcelona
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 53
Undergradute Fee: 4.900 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

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Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia

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Spain

City: Murcia
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 6
Undergradute Fee: 4.800 EUR

Status: PRIVATE

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Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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Spain

City: Madrid
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 8
Undergradute Fee: 4.002 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 2

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Universidad de Buenos Aires

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Spain

City: Ciudad Universitaria
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 67

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

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Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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Spain

City: Barselona
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 12
Undergradute Fee: 1.769 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 2

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University of Pennsylvania

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Malta

City: Philadelphia
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 103

Status: PRIVATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 6

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Istituto Marangoni

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Malta

City: Milano
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 12

Status: PRIVATE

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IE University

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Malta

City: Madrid
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 14

Status: PRIVATE

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