The Kingdom of Spain is well known for being a strong nation, and history of international ventures by its expeditionists. The language, religion, morals, and social practices date back hundreds and thousands of years since the rule of the Roman Empire. Geographically largest out of all countries in Europe, it is culturally and institutionally wealthy locally, regionally, and internationally.

People unaware of the state of politics and academe may find Spain’s culture of culinary, lifestyle, arts, and physical aesthetics as their main attractive features. Yet there is more to Spain than its social wealth, the educational institutions in Spain are robust and systematic.

The state of Spain has policies that heavily support its education system from the bottom up. At the postgraduate level, universities have been marketable as international students continue to increase in numbers. Both Postgraduate degrees and Master’s degrees are well handled, as shown by the increasing number of international graduates. The increase in foreign students does not only provide more connections for the country but also provokes further enrichment of its economy.

With these in mind, applying to continue your Master’s studies in Spain might be on your mind. So how can you? Below here, we thoroughly discuss the basic application requirements, language requirements, and steps on how to apply.

Application Requirements for Applying for Master’s in Spain

Studying for a Master’s program requires more than just a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the university and the program that you are taking, different items of documentation will be required from you. However, some requirements are surely common among these universities and programs. Such commonalities will be called the basic requirements to make things easier.

The basic application requirements to study Master’s programs in Spanish universities are a diploma or certificate of bachelor’s degree, Curriculum Vitae, academic transcript or certificate of applicant’s profession, translated copy of the previously mentioned item, officially recognized language proficiency certificates for English and Spanish, photocopy of passport or National ID (DNI), and finally a Visa.

Most universities will ask applicants with degrees taken from universities outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) to have their degrees assessed by the university before applying. This means that the grading system and courses that are taken from the undergraduate study should have the equivalent amount of credits – according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) – to that of undergraduate degrees inside the EHEA that are accepted. Simply put, degrees acquired from outside Europe should be recognized as the equivalent of EHEA degrees accepted by the university.

Additional items that are not specific to the program or country may be required such as a reference letter, motivation letter, and certificate for Catalan language proficiency.

Language proficiency certificates, diplomas, or any other possible proof will be discussed in the next section.

Program-specific requirements also exist so make sure to check on the programs you are applying for. An example is for some universities that offer Business or Finance related Master’s programs such as EU Business School – Barcelona and TBS Education – Barcelona, applicants should have passed their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Master’s Degree Language Requirements for Spain

Language requirements in Spain are prominent as Master’s programs are taught in English, Spanish, and a mix of both. However, it must also be noted that there are programs that require or assume competent knowledge of Catalan. Catalan is not Spanish and should be recognized as a language just as universities recognize it as such. Aside from this, programs may not be taught in Catalan or Spanish but are part of the curriculum. Therefore, the need for a level of proficiency in both languages.

As most Master’s programs are open to international students, proficiency in the English language is required by all universities. Certifications from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Cambridge English: Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), International Baccalaureate (IB), and European Baccalaureate (EB), are the most commonly accepted certificates by universities in Spain.

For Spanish Proficiency Tests, it is safe to assume that most universities will require the applicant to have a minimum of B2 level under Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR) standards. Universities like the Nebrija University, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (UPLGC), and the University of Barcelona require this.

To acquire a minimum B2 level of Spanish under CEFR standards, applicants may opt to undergo testing by the Instituto Cervantes which provides Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE). Information about this can be found on their website.

Other items can be used as proof of language proficiency such as the SIELE (Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española for the Complutense University of Madrid.

It must be noted that there are language requirements for Catalan taught or centered programs as well. The standard that language proficiency certifications or proof should also fall under the CEFR. The Catalan Interuniversity Commission for Language Training and Certification (CIFALC) holds test examinations in universities intended to provide certifications of proof for people who pass their Catalan language proficiency tests.

CIFALC is partnered with universities, where applicants may apply for a Master’s Degree and take language examinations on the side, including the Abat Oliba CEU University (UAO CEU), Autonomous University of Barcelona, International University of Catalonia.

Almost all universities offering Spanish or Catalan taught programs, including the ones above, require proof of Catalan language proficiency and will ask for a minimum of B2 level certification under CEFR standards. Some universities are more lenient with little to no requirement, while other universities provide their assessment which the applicant just needs to pass.

For Catalan and Spanish proficiency certificates, it should be noted that these may also be waivered if the undergraduate degree of the applicant was conducted in Catalan and Spanish.

How to Apply for Master’s Programs in Spain

Now that you are knowledgeable about the requirements for applying to a Master’s program, all that is left is understanding where and how the documents prepared are to be used.

1. Gather necessary documents for the application

The basic requirements should be your priority as these items will be asked by most universities if you intend to apply to more than one university. Program-specific requirements and language requirements should be prepared as well if necessary.

2. Apply online; pay the application fee if necessary.

Studying Master’s in Spain is open internationally. Therefore, most applications for Master’s programs will be available online. If application fees are required, then the applicant should pay. On average, application fees are approximately €30.

3. Wait for the response from the university

Applying for a Master’s program is not quick and does not ensure your admission to the program. The university will have to assess your documents, and, if necessary, conduct entrance examinations to review your eligibility to be a postgraduate student in Spain.

4. Prepare Visa, and passport once admitted.

Once admitted, you are now free to travel to Spain for your Master’s studies. Visa and passport are required for you to travel. A passport is used to make you eligible for international travel, and a visa is used for your eligibility to stay in Spain.


We hope this article on the application and requirements to study Master’s in Spain was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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