The Spanish University System
This organisation of degrees in Spain is currently undergoing revision due to the Bologna process and the setting-up of the European Higher Education Area. The new degrees will be easily comparable within Europe and will be divided in graduate and postgraduate degrees (Masters and Doctorates). In general, graduate degrees will last four years (240 ECTS credits) and Master degrees, one or two years (between 60 and 120 ECTS credits). It will only be possible to study a Doctorate having previously completed an official Master.
The new system will co-exist for a few years with the previous one.
Universities are able, by law, to offer its own postgraduate and professional specialisation degrees. These diplomas and qualifications do not have the value that is legally attached to official ones; however, they are of great importance with a view to completing one’s academic curriculum and acquiring or completing a particular professional specialisation.
Access to the University of Cantabria
Students coming from another university or country who are interested in pursuing studies at the University of Cantabria can apply for admission with the aim of spending either a study period that is recognised academically by their university of origin, or of obtaining a graduate, postgraduate or doctorate qualification. The admissions procedure is different for each of these two categories.
Non-degree seeking students
Exchange students within the framework of programmes and bilateral agreements
Exchange students are those students from other universities who come to the University of Cantabria to spend a study period within the framework of exchange programmes (ERASMUS, etc) and bilateral agreements with foreign universities. These students are exempt from enrolment fees at the University of Cantabria and it is essential that they are nominated by their sending institution.
Visiting students are those students from a university institution of comparable level to a Spanish university with no bilateral agreement with the UC, who are spending a study period of not longer than one academic year and who must pay the fees corresponding to the credits they enrol for.
Exchange and Visiting Students’ admissions and registration are carried out at the University of Cantabria IRO (ORI in Spanish) and it is different for the two groups. The complete application procedures, the required documents and forms and the established deadlines are included in the ORI’s Website.
Oficina de Relaciones Internacionales
Edificio de las Facultades de Derecho y Económicas
Avda. de los Castros, s/n. 39005 Santander
Tel. +34 942 20 10 52
Fax +34 942 20 10 78
Degree–seeking students having completed secondary education abroad
If you have foreign qualification equivalent to the Bachiller or to advanced vocational qualification, you can apply for admission, however the procedure is different depending on the country of origin:
a) Students of the European Union, Switzerland, China, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein or students who have obtained a European or International Baccalaureate
These students do not need to officially validate their degree nor do they need to sit for the university examination entrance. In this case, it is only necessary to check the requirements needed to apply to university established by the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED): http://www.uned.es/
b) Students coming from other countries must follow a two-part procedure:
Obtain official approval of baccalaureate certificate or equivalent from the Spanish Ministry of Education.
Register for the University examination. This examination, also known in Spain as “Selectividad” is administered by the Spanish Open University (UNED) and registration deadlines vary depending on country and examination dates.
Sección de Selectividad de la UNED
C/ Senda del Rey 11, 28040 Madrid
Tel. + 34 91 398 66 12 / 13 / 16
Fax + 34 91 398 66 79
For more information from outside Spain:
Once the legal requirements for university entrance are met, the students will have to pre-register at the University of Cantabria through the Servicio de Gestión Académica.
Servicio de Gestión Académica
Pabellón de Gobierno
Avda. de los Castros s/n. 39005 Santander
Tel. +34 942 20 10 55
Fax +34 942 20 09 84
Degree-seeking students having started university education abroad
Students that have been rejected for official recognition of their degrees or have not applied for it, may use this procedure known as Partial Recognition so as to be able to continue the same or an equivalent programme at Spanish universities. If the admission is for degrees with place limit, the student will need to have completed at least 60 ECTS compulsory credits and have a favourable report from the Recognition Commission of the Faculty. If the admission is for degrees without place limit, it is enough to have completed 15 compulsory credits or a subject.
The application procedure will be carried out by the corresponding faculties and decided upon by the Rector.
Postgraduate Degree–seeking students having started university education abroad
Foreign students who have a degree (or equivalent academic level) conferred by a university or higher education institution abroad can gain access to postgraduate studies at the University of Cantabria in two ways:
Following official approval of the foreign degree at the Spanish Ministry of Education:
Ministerio de Educación
Subdirección General de Títulos y Reconocimiento de Cualificaciones
Paseo del Prado, 28, 28014 Madrid
Tel. + 34 91 506 56 32
Fax + 34 91 506 57 06
Without official approval of foreign degree or with the approval process in progress:
Students may apply for admission at the chosen study programme. This admission is considered provisional until authorization by the rector or a positive resolution of the Ministry.
Further information in: