Spain may not be as popular as other European study destinations, but it’s beginning to be a go-to place for many foreigners. Apart from being rich in history, it also boasts delicious food and balmy year-round weather.

Additionally, Spanish universities have a long record of providing education to their local and international students. With this, you can guarantee that you’ll receive the highest quality of education in your chosen field.

Spain is also a good place to live in, given that it has a cost of living that’s lower than most European countries. This – and its cheap universities – make Spain an excellent destination for learners who want to study well and for cheap. In this article, we will be looking at the cheapest universities in Spain for international students.

What are the Requirements for Studying in Spain?

The basic requirements for studying in Spain at the undergraduate level are the following:

  • High school leaving certificate
  • Transcript of records
  • Proficiency in Spanish and/or English, depending on the program

As for graduate students, the requirements are:

  • Accomplished application form
  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts translated into Spanish
  • Copy of visa

Other academics, visa, and language requirements may vary depending on your chosen university, program, nationality, and degree. As an incoming international student here, kindly collect first the list of requirements your university needs for your admission.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students 

Can you Take English-taught Programs in Spanish Universities?

Yes, there are a few courses taught in English. One is Marbella University, which is located in Malaga, Spain. Another option is the Global Business School, which has campuses in Barcelona and Madrid. It offers all of its undergraduate and graduate programs in English.

Not all Spanish universities have English-taught programs or courses, so make sure to decide first what program you will be taking, then choose a Spanish university that offers that program. The language requirements will highly depend on your chosen program.

Cheap Universities in Spain

1. Universidad de Granada

The University of Granada or UGR is one of Spain’s oldest universities. Established in the year 1531 by Emperor Charles V, it currently has 5 campuses in Granada – and 2 more in the Spanish territories of Melilla and Ceuta. With a tuition fee of less than $1000 a year, the Universidad de Grenada is the cheapest university in Spain for international students.

UGR has many schools, faculties, and departments throughout its multiple branches. All in all, it offers programs in the fields of Engineering, Architecture, Information Technology, Fine Arts, Science, Sports Science, Economics & Business, Education, Political Science, Health Science, Labor Studies, Communications, Law, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, Social Work, and Translation.

UGR, which is ranked 13 in all of Spain, has a big student population of more than 56,000+ students. It also has a sprawling international body of 12% – many of whom have named UGR as the best Spanish university for foreigners.

2. Universidad de Alicante

The links above to the undergraduate tuition and graduate tuition will lead to a list of academic programs that you can choose from. Since the tuition fee is different for varying academic programs, click on your preferred academic major for detailed information regarding your academic fees.

The University of Alicante or UA was founded in the year 1979. This cheap university in Spain serves to continue the legacy of the University of Orejuela, which operated from 1610 to 1808.

Located at San Vicente del Raspeig in Alicante, UA is listed as one of Spain’s top universities. Through its 70+ departments, students may specialize in the fields of Law, Social Science, Experimental Science, Education, Liberal Arts, Health Science, and Technology.

Most of the courses are taught in Spanish, though some are taught in English (the Graduate Program in Economics, for example). This bilingual nature has helped UA attract many international students. To date, they represent 8% of the school’s 24,500+ students.

3. Universitat Rovira i Virgili

The University of Rovira Virgili or URV is a public Catalan university founded in the year 1991. It is named after Antoni Rovira i Virgili, the former Catalonian parliament president.

URV has various faculties spread throughout its 6 campuses in Tarragona and Reus, Spain. The Faculties of the Arts, Law, and Nursing, for one, are housed in Campus Catalunya.

Campus Sescelades, which is located north of Tarragona, houses the Faculties of Educational Science & Psychology, Chemistry, & Oenology, and the Schools of Engineering & Chemical Engineering.

Campus Vapour Neu in the Reus City Center has the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, while the Faculty of Tourism & Geography is located in Campus Vila-Seca. The Faculty of Business & Economics and the School of Architecture can be found at Campus Bellissens.

URV, which is ranked 20th in Spain, currently has 12,000+ students – 12% of which are foreign.

4. Universidad Complutense Madrid

The Complutense University of Madrid is one of the affordable universities in Spain for international students. It was founded in Alcala by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros in the year 1293. It then moved to its present location in the year 1836 following the order of Queen Regent Maria Christina.

Named the 8th best university in Spain, the institution has a large number of students at 61,000+. It also has a big foreign community that corresponds to 12% of the total enrollment rate.

Complutense students are dispersed through the university’s historic faculties of Fine Arts, Biology, Chemical Science, Commerce & Tourism, Computer Science & Engineering, Dentistry, Economics & Business Administration, Education, Geography & History, Geology, Language, Law, Library Science, Mathematics, Media, Medicine, Nursing & Physiotherapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Political & Social Science, Psychology, Social Work, Statistics, and Veterinary Medicine.

5. Universidad Carlos III Madrid

The Carlos III University of Madrid or UC3M is a public institution founded in the year 1989. This cheap university in Spain has 4 campuses in Madrid where its various faculties are located.

The Getafe Campus, for example, houses the Schools of Law, Social Science, Humanities, and Communications. The School of Engineering can be found in the Leganes Campus, while the Graduate School is in the Madrid-Puerta de Toledo Branch. The rest of the departments, on the other hand, are situated at the Colmenarejo Campus.

Ranked the 24th-best university in all of Spain – and one of the best ‘young’ universities in the world – UC3M currently has 17,000+ students. It also has an ever-increasing foreign student community of 16%.

6. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Autonomous University of Barcelona or UAB is a prestigious school nestled in the neighborhood of Cerdanyola del Valles, Barcelona. Founded in the year 1968, it is currently ranked the second-best university in all of Spain.

UAB offers programs in the fields of Science, Health Science, Biosciences, Arts & Humanities, Social Science & Law, and Technological Sciences. It also offers 5 bachelor’s degrees in English, namely Artificial Intelligence, Business Administration, Economics, Primary Education, Tourism, and English Studies.

There are even more English-taught Master’s programs, including that of Data Science, Labor Economics, and Photonics, to name a few.

UAB currently has 31,000+ students. Foreign enrollees represent 17% of this population.

7. Universidad de Alcala

The University of Alcala, home of the Cervantes Prize, is one of Spain’s oldest institutions at 522 years old. Established in the year 1499, it is currently located in Alcala de Henares – in the former buildings of the now Madrid-based Complutense University.

Apart from this ‘historical’ branch, the affordable universities in Spain also have a Science & Technology campus and another one in Guadalajara.

The former Studium Generale – as sanctioned by King Sancho IV of Castille – presently offers degrees in Arts & Humanities, Health Sciences, Education, Architecture & Engineering, Law & Social Science, and Science.

It also has Master’s programs taught in English, such as North American Studies, Photonic Engineering, Finance & Banking, International Business Administration, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Ranked 22nd in Spain, the University currently hosts 19,400 students – 19% of which come from outside Spain.


I hope that this article on the cheapest universities in Spain for international students was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students.