Spain is a popular study destination for international students for many reasons. Not only does it have many high-quality universities, but it also has a rich cultural and historical background, sunny and bright weather, a chill and laid-back lifestyle, and yummy food. You can study, explore, relax, and eat very well in Spain!
Below is a detailed guideline on how to apply for a bachelor’s degree in Spain.
Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelor’s in Spain
Most, if not all, universities in Spain will be requiring these documents for undergraduate admissions.
High School Certificate
A high school certificate (homogolacion) certifies that your diploma is valid for university admission requirements in Spain. This can be obtained from the Spanish embassy in your country. Simply present your diploma and have it validated—if it fits the requirements, they will give you the certificate which can then be used to apply to any Spanish university of your choice. You can also accomplish this online by visiting the website of the Spanish National Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.
If you’re from an EU country, you do not need to have this validated.
Passport or Other Nationality-Related Documents
These documents determine how much tuition fees you are required to pay.
Most universities will require a copy of the biometric page of your passport, but you may also submit any other document attesting to your nationality as long as it has been issued by official authorities in your country of residence. This can be a residence permit, national identification card, or even a birth certificate.
An academic transcript or transcript of records is a list of all classes you took during secondary and post-secondary school (if available). They should contain information about how many credits you received, which semester and year you took these classes, and what grades you achieved. If the grading system is different from the Spanish grading system, you should also include a certified conversion table.
Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements in Spain
There are two languages you need to be familiar with if you wish to study for a bachelor’s degree in Spain—Spanish and English. While there are definitely a handful of undergraduate courses offered in English, it would still be incredibly useful to read, write, and speak in Spanish.
English language requirements differ by course and by university. In most cases, you will have to provide proof of proficiency in the English language. This can be submitted in the form of IELTS and TOEFL—you need a score of 5.5-6.0 for IELTS or a score of 72-94 for Internet-based TOEFL. If you come from a country whose native language is English, you do not need fluency documents.
Meanwhile, you will also need to submit proof of Spanish proficiency. The DELE should be your primary choice—it is governed by the Spanish Ministry of Education and is used worldwide to gauge your fluency in the Spanish language. Like its English counterpart, Spanish language requirements differ by university and by course, so make sure to check university websites for the minimum score required. The general minimum, however, is a B2.
Alternatively, you can also enroll in Spanish language courses at your preferred university before starting your undergraduate degree. Some universities offer both short-term and long-term language courses, and may even provide free tuition or discounted tuition if you choose to go this route. Whichever route you take, you’ll find that learning Spanish is very useful—after all, it is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world!
How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Spain
Keep in mind that compared to other European countries, the application process for applying for a bachelor’s degree in Spain is a bit more complicated and intimidating. There is no common way to apply to Spanish universities, and there will be a lot of back-and-forth between you and the university. You definitely need to do your research well before the application period begins to ensure everything goes smoothly.
1. Get the Necessary Qualifications
Before you can apply to any university in Spain, you will need to ensure you’re qualified to apply. This will depend on where you’re from.
If you’re from an EU country or sometimes a country that has agreements with Spain (like China and the United States), you should have your high school documents validated (homogolacion) by Spain’s National University of Distance Education (SNUDE). Their website has lots of information and instructions about this validation process, so make sure to read up on it. Once that’s done, you will receive a credencial de acceso with which you can apply to any Spanish university.
If you’re from any other country, the application process is a little bit trickier. Firstly, you will need to have your high school credentials validated by the Spanish embassy of your country. Then, you must pass a Spanish university entrance exam. Some universities will have entrance exams they write and administer themselves, while others will ask you to take the Pruebas de Acceso a la Universidad or selectividad, which is a standardized exam that can be used for all Spanish universities.
The selectividad has four components: Spanish text analysis, Spanish history and/or philosophy, foreign language (French, English, German, Portuguese, or Italian), and an exam of your choice (arts, science, etc.) You must have a good grasp of the Spanish language to pass all four components. This test is held twice a year and is available in most countries.
If you do not want to take an entrance exam or do not feel confident about your Spanish language abilities, you can submit an upper secondary school certificate like an International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate instead.
2. Be Very Involved in the Application Process
Once you either submit this post-secondary school certificate or pass their entrance exam, you can start preparing your application/s.
Firstly, students wishing to study for their bachelor’s in Spain will need to contact the university on the qualifications and conditions needed as a prospective student. Some schools may require higher secondary school grades, some may only accept students within a particular age range, and some may even require fluency in a different Spanish language (like Catalan).
Here are four of Spain’s top universities and their undergraduate requirements as examples:
- University of Valencia
- University of Barcelona
- Complutense University of Madrid
- Pompeu Fabra University
Next, you should inquire about the dates and times of their preferred entrance exam. This information is usually posted on their website, but it doesn’t hurt to be extra sure by contacting them directly. After you’ve passed this exam and submitted your homoglacion, you’ll need to contact them again about the application procedure, deadlines, and admission requirements.
Thirdly, when you’ve been offered admission to your university, you will need to submit admission documents. Some universities accept online submissions, while others require hard copies. Again, it is up to you to figure out what your university will require by visiting their websites or contacting their admissions team directly. Once that’s done, your registration will be finalized and you’ll be given the documents you need for a Spanish student visa application.
I hope this article on how you can apply for a bachelor’s in Spain was helpful. You can also find more information on different European universities and scholarship opportunities on the Europe Scholarships Page!