Complutense University of Madrid

Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Information Sheet: 2021 Information Sheet

Area of Study document: Code description (PDF  69KB)



The Complutense University was founded in the ancient town of Complutum, nowadays Alcalá de Henares, by Cardinal Cisneros in 1499 following the granting of papal bulls by Pope Alexander VI. Its true history however can be traced back to May 20th 1293, the date on which King Sancho IV of Castille created the Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá which two centuries later would become Cisneros' Complutense University.

In the Academic year 1509-1510 five faculties were operating: Art and Philosophy, Theology, Canon Law, Letters and Medicine.
In 1836 under the reign of Isabel II, the university was moved to Madrid, to San Bernardo Street, where it took the name of the Central University.
Later, in 1927, the construction of a university complex was planned in the area of Moncloa on land granted for this purpose by Alfonso XIII. This era saw the heart of the so-called Edad de Plata or Silver Age in Spanish culture. Those giving classes at the Complutense during this period included José Ortega y Gasset, Manuel García Morente, Luis Jiménez de Asúa, Santiago Ramón y Cajal and Blas Cabrera.
The civil war converted the university complex into a battle front causing the destruction of faculty buildings and institutions located within its grounds as well as the loss of part of its rich scientific, artistic and bibliographical heritage. Many prestigious members of the teaching staff who had, up until that time been giving classes at the university, were also lost to exile.
In 1970 the government undertook plans for the reform of higher education and the Central University was renamed the Complutense University thus taking back the name of its place of origin. Around the same time the Somosaguas campus was created which was to hold most of the Social Science faculties and hence relieve the Moncloa Campus.

About us 
On the Complutense campus, our standards of excellence are a reference for universities in Spain, across Europe and in Latin America. Few universities in our international sphere achieve such a high level of innovation. 

The official degrees taught in our centres cover practically all areas of knowledge. The UCM academic offering embodies quality, ensured by our more than 6,000 professors, who were awarded their teaching positions after excelling in a rigorous selection process, and by the close to 4,000 service and administrative staff. There is no greater guarantee for the true quality of a great public university.

The Complutense University strives to nurture quality in many ways. Central is its highly qualified teaching and research staff. Our efforts also include exchange agreements with universities throughout the world that allow students to undertake part of their studies in schools in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Australia, or Japan. The University also maintains an information technology infrastructure designed to facilitate remote access to numerous services, from the moment a student registers for the first time. The IT infrastructure also includes the Virtual Campus, in which twenty-six Complutense centres participate. What’s more, at the UCM we believe the true quality university experience should include, in addition to scientific excellence, formation in the values and attitudes that constitute authentic personal and intellectual development. The UCM is convinced that the University should prepare students in such a way that the future exercise of their professions be ethical and socially responsible. And the UCM is ready to respond to this challenge with a broad transversal offering of activities that encourage the development of critical reflection, solidarity, and the ability to cooperate.


Arts and Humanities
Health Sciences
Social and Legal Sciences

Courses in English are available in the Philology Faculty (English Department) and in the Economics Faculty.

Contact Information 


Pabellón de Gobierno – Ciudad Universitaria

Tel: +34 91 3946923   Fax: +34 91 394 6924



  • All in all, my exchange semester at Complutense was quite challenging, very rewarding and a fantastic experience.Madrid is a wounderful city with so much to offer - world class musems, and galleries, an amazing nightlife and incrediable food. I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to go to Spain on exchange." Griffith University Student

  • "Overall my exchange experience has been extremely beneficial not only for my language skills but also life skills. I recommend students livewith a host family and then live with other students.This allowed me to gain two perspectives of Madrid in the 5 months I was there. I would highly recommend Madrid to any student looking to study Spanish overseas. This exchange experience has been extremely beneficial and I believe every student studying language should undertake one semester to broaden their perspective on their studies and life. " Griffith University Student