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Study in Spain: Application Process

Applying to study in Spain is the first step in making your study abroad dreams come true. After you’ve picked your university and program of choice, a few forms will have to be filled out.

Jun 9, 2017

Applying to study in Spain is the first step in making your study abroad dreams come true. After you’ve picked your university and program of choice, a few forms will have to be filled out.  Follow the steps below to learn how to correctly apply to a university in Spain.

Undergraduate Programs

If you are looking to earn a bachelor's degree in Spain, the process of applying might vary, based on which country you’ve obtained your secondary education in.

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EU Students

Applications for European Students takes place through SNUDE, the Spanish National University for Distance Education. Usually, the application (Solicitud de inscripcion) opens during the month of April. Along with your application, you may be asked to submit a copy of your passport, identity card or school leaving certificate. If your application is successful, you will receive a Credencial de Accesso within a period of three months. This can be mailed to the university you wish to attend.

Non-EU Students

If you’re from a country outside the EU, you need to have a recognized high school certificate. This certificate serves as a confirmation that your diploma is valid according to the requirements in Spain. You can easily have your diploma validated at the Spanish embassy in your country. Spanish embassies will provide you with a Volante Accreditation which can be used to apply to the university of your choice.

Additionally, you will have to pass an entrance exam, called selectividad or Pruebas de Acceso a la Universidad. You can take this exam twice a year in your country of residence. Once passed, you will be eligible to study at any public or private Spanish university.

Entrance Exam

The entrance exam consists of four different components that must be successfully completed:

  • Text Analysis in Spanish.
  • Questions about Spain’s History or Philosophy.
  • Foreign Language Exam: You can pick between French, English, German, Portuguese or Italian.
  • Personal Choice: The final part of the exam is up to you, the choices offered include subjects related to Art, Fine Arts, Dance and Music; or subjects related to Science and Technology.

Master’s Programs

Like undergraduate programs, entry requirements for a master’s program will depend on the university and field of study. In most cases, common documents that serve as entry requirements include proof of a previously earned Bachelor, and copies of a valid passport and relevant transcripts.

Most universities offer both fall and summer semesters that have different application deadlines. Universities may also ask for documents to be submitted in Spanish. If this happens you will need to have an official translator translate them into Spanish.

Please be aware that universities receive many applications throughout the year so it is important that you submit your application before deadlines and that you are submitting the correct documents.

Overview of Spain

Over 60,000 international students choose Spain as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Spain? Spain is a popular study abroad destination for international students, given its laid-back lifestyle, high quality education, and its vibrant culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Spain!

Student Visas

Do you need a visa to enter Spain to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on if you're an EU national or not. Discover what you need to stay in Spain to study abroad!

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as an international student in Spain.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Spain may vary, but are amongst the lowest in Europe. To cover the rest of the costs, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

Language & Culture

Spain boasts a rich history and culture. Find out more about Spain's famous vibrancy!


Ready to look at education in Spain? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Spain today!

Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.