Liberal Arts in Madrid, Spain (CIEE)

  • Location: Spain - Madrid
  • GPA Requirements: 3.0 GPA
  • Other Requirements: 5 semesters of college level spanish
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Fall, Spring, academic year
  • Official Website: Liberal Arts in Madrid, Spain (CIEE)
Program Dates
Term Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 January 22nd, 2024 June 5th 2024
Fall 2024 August 26th, 2024 December 21st, 2024
Spring 2025 January 27th, 2025 June 4th, 2025

These dates are tentative. Confirm program dates before booking travel.

Where: Madrid, Spain

Madrid’s influence in politics, education, science, entertainment, media, fashion, and arts make it an important international metropolis, and a major hub in Southern Europe. Spain’s capital city is also its largest, with a historic center dating back to the Hapsburg Empire, and world-renowned art museums. A huge variety of tapas bars, dance shows, concerts, outdoor parks, soccer matches, ethnic neighborhoods, and contemporary theater and cinema make it a lively place to live and learn.


The Liberal Arts program is designed for students with advanced Spanish language skills – five semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent — who want to immerse themselves in Spanish university life. Students may also choose to complete a for-credit internship in Madrid. Liberal Arts students choose from CIEE elective courses and a wide range of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) courses in humanities, social sciences, journalism, psychology, linguistics, or communications. Students can also take Curso de Estudios Hispánicos (CEH) courses, which are offered to international students and focus on Spanish language and culture.


1 UC3M course
1 UC3M International School Spanish language course
2-3 Electives chosen from;
CIEE courses
UC3M courses
UC3M International School Spanish-track courses
Students take four or five courses in Spanish according to their Host Institution Track (listed below). Courses are a combination of courses taught by the university of choice (UC3M or UAN) and by CIEE. In the case of UC3M, students can select courses from the UC3M regular course offering and from the UC3M International School course offering. In the case of UAN, students choose courses from the Centro de Estudios Hispánicos.

UAN Track Requirements:

12-15 U.S. semester credits
4-5 Electives chosen from;
UAN Centro Estudios Hispanicos Spanish language courses
CIEE courses

Spanish language
UC3M Track Requirements:
15-18 U.S. semester credits
4-5 Electives chosen from;
UC3M courses taught in Spanish
UC3M International School Spanish-track courses
UC3M International School Spanish language course
CIEE courses in Spanish

Academic Structure

University courses typically meet twice a week and classes are scheduled every day, Monday through Friday. Instruction includes lectures and practice groups. The UC3M class size averages 15-60 students. Students take classes with other international students in the UC3M International School Spanish track and UAN Centro de Estudios Hispánicos and otherwise enroll in regular university courses and seminars with local and international students. 

Course Credit

CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100-120 internship placement hours (usually 3/15/100-120)
UC3M courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours
UC3M International School courses: 4 U.S. semester/6 quarter credits; 60 contact hours
UAN courses (as of Spring 2024): 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 90-96 notional hours 


For a full list of course offerings, visit CIEE’s website here.


3.0 G.P.A. 5 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent)

Housing & Student Life

Homestays: Hosts range from families to individuals, and they may welcome one or two CIEE students. Each student has a private bedroom and shared kitchen, bathroom, WiFi access, and laundry facilities. Hosts provide breakfast plus one hot meal a day. Students purchase the rest of their meals on a nearby campus.

Residence halls: These modern-style, WiFi-enabled dormitories typically house students in single or double bedrooms and do not have kitchen access. Residence halls are close to supermarkets, restaurants, and public transport and have independent dining halls and laundry facilities. Meals, kitchen access, and laundry are not included in the program fee. Students have the option to purchase dining hall meal plans on their own if offered by the residence hall management.

Shared apartments: Students can live with other CIEE students in apartments and be part of a local community of Spanish neighbors. Depending on room size and availability, students will be placed in single or double rooms. Specific municipal noise curfews are in place.  Utilities, cleaning, laundry facilities, and internet access are included. Meals are not included. Students prepare meals in their shared kitchen apartments or purchase affordable meals on or off campus.

Fees & Costs

Students pay Allegheny tuition, a double room (homestay option), a Gator Blue meal plan (if choosing the homestay option), and an off-campus study fee of $800. Allegheny financial aid, except for work/study, is applied to program costs. Tuition includes housing, international travel insurance (CIEE iNext), orientation, field trips, and transcript administration fees. Allegheny students do not have to pay the program deposit requested by CIEE. Estimated additional costs include meals (if in apartment housing), CIEE application fee, books and supplies (approx. $300), international airfare & local transportation ($1650), visa fees ($160), and possible travel to the consulate for visa, and personal expenses.

Visa & Immigration information

All students are required to have a visa to study in Spain. Please consult with CIEE regarding visa processing.

Application Process

Allegheny students must apply for approval to study off-campus from the Global Education office AND apply directly to their chosen program. For this program, students should work on the Allegheny approval application at the same time as the host program application. Please note that the Allegheny approval application deadline for this program is January 31 for fall intake and August 13 for spring intake. Study away approval applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. The separate application deadline to apply directly to this program will vary and could be before or after Allegheny’s approval application due date. Check directly on their website (linked at the top of this page) for deadline information. For more information about the study away application process, please visit the application steps page.