Spain is an excellent country for students. With its average of 300 days of sunshine a year, the weather is highly enjoyable. On top of this, Spain prides itself with beautiful landscapes, a rich culture, and amazing food – which is known to be considerably cheap. The country hosts 76 universities, 45 of which are public and 31 private. The leading universities are for the most part located in Madrid and Barcelona. Spain is also appealing to students because of its remarkably low tuition fees.
If you would like to study in Spain and want to find out which university is the best match for you, we can help. Here is a compilation of the top universities in Spain, according to the annual QS World University Rankings. You will also find an extensive list of all Spanish Universities below.
Top 5 Spanish Universities
Universitat de Barcelona
Founded in 1450, Universitat de Barcelona is one of the oldest universities in the world. It is also the second highest-ranked Spanish university in world rankings and is one of the largest universities in Spain. The university welcomes around 63,000 students every year.
Universitat de Barcelona is divided into 16 faculties and 106 departments, and students can choose from 73 undergraduate courses, more than 140 master degrees and 48 PhD programmes. Concerning English-taught courses, International Business and English Studies are the only 2 degrees fully taught in English while 5 other courses incorporate some classes in English.
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid was established in 1968 and was ranked repeatedly as the best university in Spain. It is home to 8 different faculties, the most renowned of them being the Faculty of Law, which is the first one in Spain.
UAM is a large university, which welcomes 36,000 students every year, for the most part undergraduate students (77%). The university is divided into 3 different campuses and the main one is located in the north of Madrid.
Complutense University of Madrid
Established in 1293, Universidad Complutense de Madrid is one of the oldest universities in the world. It is also the 3rd largest university in Europe, with a total of 86,000 students every year. To accommodate the high student population, UCM hosts the biggest university library in Spain. It is one of the leading universities in Spain and is known for its great student employability. The Faculty of Dentistry of UCM ranks within the global top 50 for dentistry.
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is a considerably young university, as it was established in 1968. Nevertheless, it is in the top 200 best universities worldwide and ranks in the top 3 for Spanish universities.
Every year, UAB welcomes 40,000 students, who can choose degrees from 13 different faculties. Its degree in Veterinary Science is particularly well-ranked and renowned. A unique feature from the university is that it is one of the only universities in Spain with a centralised campus.
University of Navarra
Established in 1952, the University of Navarra is a fairly young private university in Spain. It welcomes around 11,400 students every year both for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The university has 4 campuses, the main one being located in Pamplona and the other ones are in San Sebastian, Madrid, and Barcelona. University of Navarra is particularly well-ranked for studies in Management, with its degree ranking 27th in QS World Rankings by subject. Indeed, its business school – IESE Business School – is widely recognised and attracts a high number of international students.