Study Medicine in Spain: Guide for International Students

Study Medicine in Spain: Top Medical Schools, Fees, Eligibility, and Career Scope

There are 19 medical schools in Spain ranking among the world’s best universities for medicine. Medical programs in Spain take six years of full-time study. 

One thing to note about studying medicine in Spain is that most universities teach in Spanish and English. Students who do not speak Spanish fluently may find studying in Spain difficult. Knowing the Spanish language is needed not only during studies but also during residency.

Yet, Spain is a preferred destination for many. It has the ideal blend of high-quality, affordable education and excellent infrastructure.

Keep reading to know more about the education requirements to study medicine in Spain and the tuition cost at some of the best medical universities.

Study Medicine in Spain- Highlights

Why study Medicine in Spain?

  • Spain’s medical schools are known for their cutting-edge technology, facilities, and academic excellence.
  • Spanish medical schools rank among the best in the world. Students can expect a high-quality education that will give them vast knowledge in medicine.
  • More than 200,000  international students have picked Spain to study abroad. So there is a huge opportunity for multicultural interaction.
  • For international students, Spain provides the chance to immerse in the local culture and experience the scenic landscapes.
  • Spain is ranked 6th in terms of safety, right after Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Switzerland, and Sweden.
  • Studying in Spain is one of the most affordable choices for international students.

Best universities in Spain for Medical Degrees

QS World Rankings lists as many as 19 Spanish universities for studying medicine. These universities rank within the top 40 in national rankings. 

Completely English-taught programs in medicine are not available in Spain. The below universities offer courses in both Spanish and English languages. 

QS World Ranking for Medicine UniRank National Ranking 2021 University
52 1 University of Barcelona 
138 2 Complutense University of Madrid 
138 12 Autonomous University of Madrid
143 6 Autonomous University of Barcelona
151-200 18 University of Navarra
201-250 3 University of Valencia
251-300 15 Universitat Pompeu Fabra
301-350 11 University of Sevilla
351-400 26 Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
351-400 5 University of Granada
401-450 20 University of Zaragoza
401-450 13 University of Salamanca
451-500 31 Universitat Rovira i Virgili
501-550 35 University of Oviedo
501-550 14 University of Murcia
551-600 24 University of Alcalá
601-650 36 Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
601-650 28 University of Córdoba
651-670 22 Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

 

Private universities also offer courses in health sciences. Students for other medical programs, like Nursing, can choose private universities. 

For example, Nebrija University has nursing, physiotherapy, and psychology programs. But Nebrija offers these courses in Spanish.

English-taught programs in medicine-related fields are available at Universidad Católica de Murcia. This university has dentistry and psychology programs in English at the undergraduate level.

Medicine-related courses in English for international students in Spain

Below is a summary of a few universities offering English-taught courses other than general medicine.

University Name Program Offered Study Level
UCAM Catholic University of Murcia Dentistry Bachelor’s
UCAM Catholic University of Murcia Pharmacy Bachelor’s
UCAM Catholic University of Murcia Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Master’s
Pompeu Fabra University Biomedical Research Master’s
European University of Valencia Exercise and Sports Physiotherapy Master’s
United International Business Schools, Barcelona Healthcare Management Master’s
University of Vigo Neuroscience Master’s
Catholic University of Valencia San Vicente Martir Dentistry Bachelor’s
Catholic University of Valencia San Vicente Martir Physiotherapy Bachelor’s

Admission Requirements to Study Medicine in Spain

In Spain, most medical schools need students to be fluent in Spanish. This is critical for several reasons. Most programs in medicine are a mix of English and Spanish languages. Additionally, students will be completing their training in hospitals during their final year. Training entails conversing with patients and co-workers in Spanish. Spain is definitely worth considering for anyone who has some fluency in Spanish.

Some universities require students to take the EBAU exam. EBAU, also known as Selectividad, is a non-mandatory entrance test for undergraduate programs.

Other qualifications that qualify you for medical school admission include:

  • A high school diploma or certificate equivalent to a Spanish qualification
  • EBAU exam (if required by university)
  • Transcripts of high school degree
  • Recommendation letter
  • Motivational letter
  • Students from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland require a visa.
  • Language ability in Spanish up to B2 Level

Some other required documents for studying medicine in Spain include

  • Completed visa application form(s).
  • Valid passport.
  • Valid ID. 
  • Two recent passport photos.
  • Letter of acceptance.
  • Health insurance.
  • Proof of financial stability or scholarship

How to apply?

Students can access the individual university website to apply. Non-EU students must check the required criteria for recognizing their academic documents.

Alternatively, students can apply through Gyanberry. With Gyanberry’s services, students can be assured of professional guidance, from deciding on a university to receiving the acceptance letter. 

Tuition Fees for studying medicine in Spain

Private universities are costlier. A student at a public university can expect a tuition fee of EUR 1,800 to 3,300. Private universities’ costs can range anywhere between EUR 6,000 and EUR 20,000.

The cost of studying medicine in Spain is extremely affordable compared to the cost of studying medicine in the USA or other countries. Spain follows ECTS, where tuition fees are determined by the number of credits in a program. A typical six-year medicine degree has 360 credits in total, which is 60 credits per year.

Tuition fees vary based on several factors. Nationality, location, and type of institute can push the fees toward the lower or higher range.

The annual cost of tuition for a medical degree in Spain ranges in the following manner:

  • Public Universities: EUR 1,800 ($ 1,894*) to EUR 3,300 ($ 3,472*) per year.
  • Private universities: can range anywhere from EUR 6,000 ($ 6,313*) to EUR 20,000 ($ 21,045*) each year.

Tuition fees of a few universities are listed below:

University University Type Annual Tuition fees in EUR
University of Granada Public 757
University of Zaragoza Public 3,834
Universitat Rovira i Virgili Public 1,660
University of Alcalá Public 1,568
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Public 1,230

Cost of living in Spain

Living expenses in Spain are considered affordable for international students. Official data suggests that international students may spend an average of EUR 900-1300 (USD 947-1368*) per month. For a year, the figure is estimated at roughly EUR 10,800-15,600 (USD 11,364-16,415*)

Actual living costs are dependent on a student’s lifestyle and personal expenses. For example, university dormitories are cheaper than private accommodation. 

Particulars Annual Expense in EUR Annual Expense in USD*
Accommodation 4,200-12,000 4,420-12,630
Food 1,500 1,580
Books 800-900 840-950
Utilities and Miscellaneous 3,600 3,790
Total 10,100-18,000 10,630-18,950

* Tuition fees and living expenses in EUR are converted to USD at 1 EUR = 1.05 USD. Current exchange rates fluctuate periodically.

Career Scope for medical graduates in Spain

Medical graduates can work in various settings, including research organizations and laboratories, higher education institutions, and pharmaceutical businesses. There are different specializations that a medical student can choose. 

  • Surgeon
  • Cardiologist
  • Neurologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Pathologist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Midwife
  • Clinical scientist
  • Nurse
  • Higher education lecturer

Spain has been a full member of the Bologna process since 1999. International graduates from Spain can have their degrees recognized in over 48 countries. Additionally, it is well-regarded in other developed countries like the US, UK, and Canada. 

Students can choose to practice as doctors in Spain or any country of their choice. The average annual salary of doctors in Spain is EUR 73,400. Alternatively, they can specialize in their preferred discipline through a post-graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some universities need applicants to submit EBAU scores. EBAU is a national entrance exam for undergraduate admissions. It is also known as Selectividad.

No, English language proficiency is not required. However, you need to be proficient in Spanish to study medicine in Spain. Spanish proficiency should be up to level B2 or more.

No, Spain is actually one of the affordable countries to study medicine. The tuition fees and the cost of living are comparatively lower than in other countries. An average student spends about EUR 900-1,300 per month on living expenses.