IE University

Image of Cuatro Torres in Madrid

IE University

Study in Spain and take courses in English.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Language of Instruction: English
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • IE University offers all classes and extracurricular activities in English
  • The majority of degree-seeking students are international students
  • Take classes in a high rise building in Madrid

IE University is an exchange partner for KU and their university is English-based, so all classes are taught in English. There are a wide variety of classes offered in disciplines such as Business, Communication, Design, International Relations, Political Science, and Social Sciences. Most of the degree-seeking students at IE are not from Spain, so there’s a strong international component to the university. The Madrid campus is in a high-rise tower, so students will have a unique learning experience during their time at IE.

Please see the “Further Reading” section for essential passport and visa information.

Madrid is the capital of Spain and has a population of slightly over 3 million, which means there is truly something for everyone. There are many historical and cultural sites to explore and learn more about Spain’s rich history, dating back centuries. There is also an upbeat, modern influence in hip bars and restaurants and the world-famous soccer team, Real Madrid. Take time to explore all aspects of Madrid and get to know madrileños who can show off their great city.

The IE tower is in the Cuatro Torres financial district and is the fifth tower. It’s a skyscraper that houses classrooms, cafeterias and cafés, study spaces, auditoriums, sports facilities, and even green spaces. Students can access the first 23 floors and IE staff the upper floors. Learn more and see the IE tower. The IE Madrid building is also next to Caleido, an outdoor shopping mall with restaurants and cafés. It’s located near the Madrid Metro Begoña stop on Line 10 and is a ten-minute walk from both Plaza Castilla and the Chamartín train station.

IE University is a private school that was founded over 50 years ago by entrepreneurs with a vision to disrupt traditional models of education and equip students with the skills they need for the future. The four core values of IE are diversity, innovation, humanities, and entrepreneurship. IE welcomes students from over 170 different countries, and over 75% of the students are from outside Spain. IE is an English-based university so everything, including all courses, are in English.   

Four of IE University’s schools are:  

KU students will be nominated to a particular IE Bachelor’s Program and campus according to the IE program that best fits their major at KU. Students will be required to take at least 60% of their courses from the degree program to which they are nominated. Up to 40% of the courses can be from a different degree program, depending on availability.

Bachelor's ProgramMadrid Courses
BBA (Bachelor in Business Administration)2nd, 3rd year & electives
BCDM (Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media)3rd & 4th year
BBSS (Bachelor in Behavior and Social Sciences)3rd & 4th year
BIR (Bachelor in International Relations)1st, 2nd, 3rd year & electives
BIE (Bachelor in Economics)2nd, 3rd, 4th year & electives
LLB (Bachelor of Laws)1st, 2nd, 3rd year & electives
PPLE (Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, Law, and Economics)1st, 2nd, 3rd year & electives
BID (Bachelor in Design)3rd & 4th year
BDBA (Bachelor in Data and Business Analysis)1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th year
BCSAI (Bachelor in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence)1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th year


Syllabi for the core course for each major are located in "The Program" tab by clicking "Study Plan" on each major webpage. Most students will be taking 3rd and 4th year courses. See the list of courses from each bachelor's degree that were open to exchange students during a previous term to get an idea of what may be available for exchange students in future terms.

All courses at IE University use the ECTS credit system. In order to get a rough estimate of how many ECTS credits are equivalent to KU credits, cut the ECTS credits in half. For example, 6 ECTS credits are generally 3 KU credits. If students have any questions about the credit conversion, please be in touch with the program coordinator Students generally take between 24 and 30 ECTS per semester (12-16 KU credits) and the maximum number of ECTS credits in which a student can enroll at IEU is 33 (30 ECTS + 3 Spanish language ECTS).

All courses are taught in English. Students who would like to take a 3 ECTS credit Spanish language course will complete a placement test after committing to the program. IE recommends that students have a low intermediate level of Spanish and the number of Spanish classes offered is limited.

IE does not have campus housing and provides students with recommended companies to find housing in the IE Landing in Madrid Guide. The IE Student Services Department helps students with the immigration and relocation process and they have additional information about living in Madrid. Student residence halls, home stays, and apartments are the most common living arrangements. IE MBA alumni created the Beyond Campus platform, which can help exchange students find housing.

Students will attend an orientation session on the first day of classes to learn more about the university and living in Spain. The orientation will continue throughout the week and there will be activities so that students can continue learning about IE and meet other students.

IE has over 150 clubs on campus and around 1,500 events every year, so students are able to find something aligned with their interests. IE Campus life is the hub for activities on campus. Students can join a club or participate in sports or other well-being activities. IE also has a Center for Health, Well-being and Happiness which works to help give students the skills necessary to study, live, and work their best, and Mentoring and Counseling offices to further support students.

The mobility office at IE has a webpage full of information for exchange students that has a helpful Fact Sheet as well as the orientation week and activities on campus. 

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Additional Resources

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to students with a 2.75 GPA (exceptions considered). All courses are taught in English, so there is no Spanish language requirement. Students whose passports are not from an English-speaking country may need to provide documentation of English proficiency. Students should plan on speaking Spanish in daily living.  

Coming soon

Passport & Student Visa Information

All U.S. citizens must have a passport and obtain a student visa in order to study on this program. A passport is a required part of the IE application that students will complete after being nominated to IE, so it is essential that students have passports in hand by early September for Spring programs and early March for Fall programs. Not having a passport will delay the student visa application and could jeopardize the student’s ability to participate in the program.

Students who do not have a passport should view the processing times and apply for one immediately. KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement has a Passport Center where students can apply for a U.S. passport.

Students with a passport should verify that it is an adult passport (valid for ten years), not a child's passport (valid for five years). Students with a child's passport should either apply for an adult passport or consult with the program coordinator about the expiration date. Passports must be valid for one year at the time of submission for a student visa (approximately October or June).

In order to submit the visa application, students must be accepted into the program and receive paperwork that IE will send to Study Abroad & Global Engagement. Once submitted at the consulate, the student visa will take up to nine weeks to be issued.

The consulate can change their policies at any time, but currently, visa applications must be submitted in person to BLS, a visa processing agency in Chicago. Students can read more about the student visa process from the Consulate General of Spain in Chicago. Once students start an IE application in the JayhawksAbroad system, they will be able to read more information about the visa process.

Students with questions should contact Study Abroad & Global Engagement.