The best universities in Madrid for international students


Updated on Oct 27 • 6 minute read

Madrid is one of the most popular study destinations in the world and frequently ranks as the best student city. And there’re many reasons why: it has world-class universities, a big international student population, a bustling lifestyle, and an abundance of culture.

But which university's the best in Madrid to start your education adventure? We’ve gathered a list of some of the finest universities in Madrid for international students so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Reasons to study in Madrid

Madrid holds first place for the highest number of international students enrolled in higher education studies in Spain, totalling 45,181 students! But why's it so popular among international students? Here’s a list of a few of the reasons why Madrid's a great city for pursuing higher education:

  1. Quality Education: Universities in Spain offer high-quality education in various fields. And Madrid's home to many of these institutions, 4 of which rank in the QS 2024 World University Rankings.

  2. Many career prospects: Madrid's the biggest economy in Spain. It’s home to 16% of all registered companies and hosts 40% of international business in Spain. All of these create numerous internship possibilities and job opportunities after graduation. You can even apply for a job search visa after graduation to gain experience in one of these companies.

  3. Cultural capital: Madrid's a diverse, cosmopolitan city bringing together cultures from all over the world. This city has the biggest expat community in Spain, various museums, delicious cuisine (global and local), and more!

  4. Top-notch student life: On top of quality education, Madrid offers a fantastic student life with a buzzing party scene, a friendly atmosphere, and many perks, such as free entry to museums and affordable public transport.

Can I study in English in Madrid?

Many universities offer complete English-taught programs in Madrid. The number of fully English-taught programs's higher at the graduate level.

Universities are also starting to offer combined programs in both Spanish and English for students who want to improve their Spanish skills.

What are the best universities in Madrid for international students?

Universities in Madrid vary in the number of international students, the number of English programs, and rankings. We've chosen 4 of the most popular and top-ranking universities in Madrid with an extensive catalog of English-taught courses:

UniversityWorld ranking
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid199
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)171
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)319
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)349

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid


Founded in 1968, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid's among the most prestigious public research universities in Spain. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid has 60 different departments across 2 campuses (the Faculty of Medicine and the main Cantoblanco Campus). 15% of the students at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid are international.

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid offers joint degree programs with universities in Paris and Strasbourg.

Does the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid offer English courses?

In general, the undergraduate degrees are taught in Spanish. Nevertheless, some courses are taught in English, for instance, Gender and Politics, Financial Crisis, International Marketing, Econometrics, etc.

The graduate programs taught entirely in English include Molecular Biomedicine, International Economics, Quantitative Economics, Analysis, Formal Methods in Computer Science, Democracy, and Government.

Those planning to attend an Erasmus exchange program and take English-taught classes don’t have to provide Spanish language certification. But those planning to attend 1) the Faculty of Medicine (B1 level ), 2) the Faculty of Law (B1 level), and 3) the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts (B2 level) must provide a Spanish language certificate regardless of the language of the course they’re enrolled in.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)


Founded in 1293, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid's one of the oldest operating public universities in the world. It’s also one of the largest universities in Europe, enrolling over 86,000 students each year. It has numerous agreements with other universities worldwide, as well as scholarships to promote international mobility.

Does the Universidad Complutense de Madrid offer English courses?

Universidad Complutense de Madrid has an extensive catalog of English-taught courses. It offers the possibility of taking undergraduate degrees with subjects in English or studying fully English-taught graduate programs. On top of these, you can also pursue international double degree programs taught entirely in English.

Undergraduate degrees with English subjects include Mathematics, Engineering, Psychology, Law, Psychics, Business Administration, Political Science, and so on.

Graduate programs taught fully in English include Nuclear Fusion and Engineering Physics, Formal Methods in Computer Science & Engineering, and English Linguistics and International Communication. Master programs that offer some courses in English include Business Finance, Master in Literary Studies, and Master in Immunology Research.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid's a public research university with an international outlook, offering a range of master's and bachelor's degree programs in English. It’s the first Spanish university to participate in the Erasmus Exchange program. About 20% of its __students are international.

Does the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid offer courses in English?

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid's a pioneer among Spanish universities when it comes to the number of programs taught in English. There’re 27 undergraduate and 38 graduate programs that are partially or fully taught in English.

Some undergraduate programs are entirely taught in English such as Robotics Engineering, Data Science and Engineering, Business Administration, Management and Technology and International Studies and Economics.

Almost all graduate schools offer their programs entirely in English.

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid


Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's a top technical university in Spain consisting of 18 Technical Schools of Engineering and Architecture. It has over 35,000 students, 15% of whom are international.

Does the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid offer English courses?

Some undergraduate courses are in English for instance, psychics, programming, calculus, and electromagnetic classes.

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has 13 graduate programs with at least 50% of the courses taught in English.

Some of these graduate programs are: Biomedical Engineering, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Software Engineering.

Tuition fees in public universities in Madrid

Each year, the autonomous community of Madrid determines the prices for public universities. The amount to be paid in the academic year's calculated by multiplying the number of credits enrolled (maximum of 60 credits each year) by the price of each credit, depending on the degree of experimentation (Level 1, 2, 3 ) of the programs.

Generally, level 1 is science-related degrees, level 2 is engineering and data science related, and level 3 focuses on topics such as business and economics, languages, media, social work, law, and social sciences.

Note: You’ve to pay a higher feee each time you repeat the class and register again.

Tuition fees for undergraduate programs in Madrid for EU students are:

Levels of Experimentation of the Degrees1st registration2nd registration
Level 1€20.68€48.03
Level 2€19.43€45.25
Level 3€16.92€40.02

For graduate programs, you’ll pay €45.02 per credit during the 1st registration and €71.88 during the 2nd registration.

Tuition fees for Non-EU students in Madrid are:

Levels of Experimentation of the DegreesGraduate fees
Level 1€98.75
Level 2€92.86
Level 3€82.30

On top of the tuition cost, all new students pursuing a degree at a Spanish university must pay a one-time €27.54 for opening a student record.

Erasmus in Madrid

Madrid also has one of the best universities in Spain to attend an exchange program. Many international students choose Madrid as their destination. So if you decide to do your Erasmus exchange in Madrid, you’ll have an all-embracing friend group.

Below are the best universities to apply to for an Erasmus exchange program in Madrid:

  1. Polytechnic Universit
  2. Complutense University
  3. University Carlos III University
  4. Autonomous University
  5. CEU San Pablo University
  6. Comillas Pontifical University

Spanish isn’t a requirement for doing the exchange program in Madrid. But you must provide a B2 level English certificate. And if you want to learn Spanish, universities run Spanish courses for both exchange students and full-time international students in Madrid.

Scholarship programs in Madrid

Spain is one of the most affordable countries. But still, the cost of living in Madrid is higher than in other Spanish cities such as Valencia and Seville. Thankfully, many scholarships are available for international students to help them during their studies in Madrid.

Now that you know which school to study at, it’s time for you to start preparing for life in Madrid as an international student. After all, you need to take many steps to relocate to Spain, from finding the perfect accommodation to opening a Spanish bank account.

Please reach out to if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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