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Academics

Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering

At Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M), you have an opportunity to live and study at an innovative university in Spain’s vibrant capital city. Here you’ll have the flexibility to choose courses in English, Spanish, or both among most of the university’s degree program classes. These include robust offerings in engineering and the social sciences. You’ll also be able to improve your Spanish language skills and gain a deep knowledge of Spain's history, culture, and modern society. 

Unique study opportunities

  • Learn in an intimate welcoming campus atmosphere with local Spanish and international students.
  • Take exciting communications and film courses on international journalism, camera directing, radio broadcasting, or documentary video.
  • Examine current issues like climate change, human trafficking, media psychology, and peace and conflict resolution from a new perspective.

Language

Language of Instruction: Spanish, English

Spanish Language Study: Required

Spanish language study is required unless you are exempted by the language placement exam after arrival. 

For the remainder of your courses, UC3M has many classes in English. Many degree programs offer half of their courses if not the entire program in English. In particular, International Studies, Economics, and Engineering from Aerospace to Telecommunications have rich offerings in English. You can also study entirely in Spanish or select a mix of classes for a truly bilingual experience. 

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: A minimum of five courses for a total of 22.5-25 quarter/15-16.7 semester UC units.
  • Unless exempted by the placement exam, Spanish language must be one of your five courses.
  • You may select up to two courses for pass/no pass but the combined total units of those courses may not exceed 5 UC quarter units.
  • Adhere to all deadlines for adding/dropping courses and for submitting your UCEAP registration.
  • Class attendance is mandatory. Absences are only excused in the case of medical reasons with a note from a doctor resident in Madrid.
  • Take all exams as scheduled; requests for early exams and early departures are not allowed. 

Current Program Courses

There are three types of courses available on this program: regular Carlos III courses, mini-cursos, and Hispanic studies courses. The combination of courses you choose is up to you as long as you meet the minimum unit requirements.

Regular Carlos III Courses

5 UC quarter units

UC3M courses are sorted by degree plan. As you search the university course offerings, pay close attention to listed prerequisites, the year of study (e.g., third-year courses will likely assume more background knowledge), and the semester the course is offered.

Mini-cursos

1.5 to 2.5 UC quarter units

Mini-cursos are lower-unit humanities courses that are occasionally taught in English.

Hispanic Studies Courses

5 UC quarter units

These courses are specifically designed for international students to build Spanish language skills and introduce Spain within the context of the rest of Europe. All courses are typically offered both semesters.

RESEARCH AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Research and independent study are typically not available.

Catalogs and resources

  • Regular course offerings (Grados Oferta de Titulaciones): The easiest way to look for courses is by looking through the Carlos III degree (grado) pages. Click through the course of study that interests you to get to a page with a “Programa” link that lists current courses, broken down by year (curso) and term (cuatrimestre).
    • Courses with bilingual options (offered in English and Spanish) are noted on these pages in parentheses.
    • Courses in the sciences and engineering can be found by following the different ingeniería links: “Grado en Ingeniería [type]...”  then the Programa link in the center of the following page.
  • Mini-cursos: Simply hit the search button on the page to see all available results.
  • Hispanic Studies courses: Review videos for current course offerings.
  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

Carlos III University of Madrid is among the top 200 young universities in the world. Core leadership skills are an important part of the curriculum, and the university emphasizes sharing varying perspectives and collaborating to achieve common goals. Good attendance and active participation is a key element to succeeding in your classes and it will have an impact on final grades.

Since you’ll be enrolling directly in university courses, you’ll need to register with both UC3M and UCEAP. You’ll also need to complete a UCEAP study list, which will affect how course information appears on your UC transcript (subject area, title, and units). The study center will assist with these procedures and answer any questions you may have.

You’ll primarily be in class with local Spanish students, especially in the regular courses and mini-cursos. Returnees note that these classes are engaging and offer interesting insights into Spain. However, your personal language level will determine the intensity of instruction and your overall experience in these classes. 

In the Hispanic studies courses, you’ll be in class with other UCEAP and international (usually North American) students. Class participation is a key element of these courses and will noticed by your instructor.

Be aware that some courses have conflicting schedules and you may need to consider alternate classes that could fit your needs. In order to take advantage of everything UC3M has to offer, be patient when you set your schedule. There is no automatic method for course planning. Pay attention to the class locations (campus sites vary), length of the course and exam dates, and overlapping schedules (including lectures/labs on different days). Early exams and early departures are not allowed.

Grades

You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Fall semester grades are usually available in late January or early February. Spring grades are usually available in late June or early July. Because grades will not be available for spring graduation deadlines, graduating seniors should plan for a summer or fall graduation (i.e., don’t declare candidacy for the spring term).

Be aware that grades for regular Carlos III courses (including the mini-cursos) may be delayed by the host university and may be posted later than grades for the Hispanic studies courses. Pending grades will be noted with an NR (no report) in your UCEAP record.