Skip to main content


Field of Study: Social Sciences

Find almost anything that suits your interests: from micro- and macro-economics and game theory, to financial management and international marketing. At UPF, you can access a variety of economics and business sciences classes taught in English. 

Unique study opportunities

  • Attend an internationally popular program with local Spanish students.
  • Work on your bilingual and workplace skills in an optional internship for academic credit.
  • Focus exclusively for a quarter on business and economics studies.


Language of Instruction: English

Spanish Language Study: Optional

All instruction is in English. If you’d like to take a Spanish language course, it is offered exclusively during the winter quarter. Levels range from beginning to advanced, and a course for native speakers is available. To register for the course, you’ll take a placement test at UPF.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: A minimum of four courses and 16 quarter/10.7 semester UC units. Most courses are listed at 5 ECTS credits, equivalent to 4 quarter/2.7 semester UC units.
  • You may take one course for pass/no pass credit. Spanish language courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Ensure you meet UPF course prerequisites—usually previous macro-, micro-, and applied economics coursework.
  • Take courses only from the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences or the ESCI-UPF International Business Program. Courses from any other faculties, departments, or pre-packaged study-abroad offerings are not allowed.

Current Program Courses

While UPF offers degrees in various fields, this program is focused exclusively on select economics, business science, or Spanish-language coursework. 

If you’re studying accounting, keep in mind that that United States standards (US GAAP) do vary from those used by European Union member-states (IFRS). Consult with your departmental or major advisor and plan accordingly. 


Internship placements for academic credit are available if you attend both quarters and meet UPF requirements of a minimum 3.3 GPA and the equivalent of two years (five semesters) of college-level Spanish. If you’re a native speaker without university level Spanish, you may need to take a placement test to register for the internship seminar. If you’re considering the internship option, be sure to take a Spanish language course during the winter quarter to prepare for the experience. Plan as well for additional costs. A separate fee is required for the placement, which is charged once registration is confirmed.


Research and independent study are typically not available.


Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

The Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) is dedicated to internationalization in all ways and none is more important than this program, opened in 2009 by the Faculty of Economic and Business Science. Since all UPF students in the International Business Economics program are required to take coursework in English, you will find local students in all your classes. Small class sizes make for close contact between students and teachers.

As one of the first universities to embrace the implementation of the Bologna Process, UPF’s four-year degree (grado) system will be familiar. It’s also one of the few universities in Spain that follows a quarter rather than semester calendar. Each term is divided into a ten-week class session plus another two-week exam period.

Professors may supply a syllabus at the beginning of the course and in some cases, course syllabi (also referred to as "subject programmes") may be available online. Note that although a course may be offered in English, the syllabus posted online may be in Spanish or Catalan.

A syllabus may include a bibliography and additional recommended reading list that may seem extremely long. You likely will not need to read every book on the list, but you will need to find out which ones are essential and how they relate to each other. Note-taking skills are important, and you may find that you are required to do a fair amount of preparatory work on your own outside of class.

For most courses, the final exam counts for a high percentage (weight) of the final grade. You must pass the final exam to pass the course. Be sure to read your syllabus carefully and speak with the instructor or the onsite staff if you have any questions. 

After exams, grades are unofficial or "provisional" until after the revision period. Professors will indicate a time they will be available to discuss grades before they are final. Take advantage of this time if possible. If the revision period falls after you leave Spain, ask if your professor will allow you to discuss your grades via email. Be aware that they are under no obligation to do so, but it helps to be courteous. 


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Winter grades come in late April to late May. Winter+spring and spring grades arrive early to mid-July. All grades that UCEAP reports to UC campus registrars are permanent and final.