Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Image of Universidad Pontificia Comillas
Study for a semester or year at one of the top ranked private universities in Spain.
Location: Madrid, Spain
Language of Instruction: SpanishEnglish
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Study business, engineering, or humanities in English or Spanish
  • Live in and explore Spain's capital city of Madrid
  • Take a Spanish language or culture class during the semester

KU and Universidad Pontificia Comillas have exchanges through several departments and students from a wide array of majors will find classes that will fit their needs. Students will directly enroll at Comillas and take courses in Spanish or English. Spanish language courses are offered at the beginning and intermediate levels. Please take careful note of the program fee because it varies depending on the department or school in which students enroll at Comillas.  

Universidad Pontificia Comillas is located in Madrid, the capital of Spain. With a population of slightly over 3 million, there truly is something for everyone. Madrid, and all of Spain, has a rich history dating back to centuries, which is reflected in art museums and churches. 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 university is a private Jesuit university, founded in 1890. There are over 10,000 students, including approximately 1,800 international students. The university has several departments and schools. KU students can take courses at three of the departments and the school of engineering on two Madrid campuses: Alberto Aguilera and Cantoblanco.

The Alberto Aguilera campus is near the metro stops Argüelles, San Bernardo, and Ventura Rodríguez and several bus lines. The Cantoblanco campus is accessible through the Cercanías trains at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas stop as well as several bus lines. See the addresses and maps for each campus.

KU and Comillas have exchanges with three departments and one school that are located on two campuses in Madrid. Each of them has a lot of information available online including syllabi, course lists, and general information. Students should plan on taking all of their classes from the department or school in which they are enrolled. All students will attend orientation at Comillas prior to the start of the semester and can take a Spanish course during the semester to improve language skills. 

Students typically earn 12 to 16 KU credit hours during one semester abroad, which is 24 to 32 ECTS credits at Comillas. 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 is generally 3 KU credits. If students have any questions about the credit conversions, please be in touch with the program coordinator.

Alberto Aguilera Campus

Department of Economic Sciences and Business Administration (Comillas ICADE)

In the Department of Economic Sciences and Business Administration, which is AACSB accredited, students can take courses in business, international business, economics, marketing, and finance, among others.

Read more information for international students enrolled in the department and access information about the academic offering, including course lists, in the prospective exchange students section.

Department of Law (Comillas ICADE)

In the Department of Law students can take courses in political science, law, and international law, among others.

Read more information for international students and access course lists.

ICAI School of Engineering

The ICAI School of Engineering has information for exchange students in the International section. Students can take regular engineering courses or participate in the SAPIENS program, which are engineering courses taught in English that are specifically designed for U.S. students. The SAPIENS program includes some Spanish language and culture courses, and research opportunities. Students can elect to participate in the Fall or Spring, though Spring has a larger number of course options. Course syllabi are available on the SAPIENS program page by clicking the + sign next to the pdf symbol under the course list. Students can also read the International Engineering Blog for more information.

Students interested in the Summer SAPIENS program should see the Universidad Pontificia Comillas SAPIENS Summer program page.

Cantoblanco Campus

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

In the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences students can take courses in education, global and international studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, and social work, among others.

Read more information for international students. Course lists and syllabi are available in the "Incoming Students" section. The department offers the Diploma in Humanities and Global Challenges (Diploma HUGO), which focuses on International Relations from a European perspective and can be earned by taking four courses from a list of over twenty-five. Many courses offered through the diploma are taught in English, while many of the regular courses in the department are offered in Spanish. Be sure to take a close note of the language of instruction. 


Students are encouraged to use the following resources to research available courses at Comillas and to determine if these courses will meet their academic requirements at KU. 

- Comillas course syllabi: Please see above for links to each department or school and instructions on finding syllabi. 

- KU Course Equivalency Database is a list of:

  • Courses that are currently pre-approved for KU credit (approved equivalency)
  • Courses that students have had approved for KU credit in the past (possible equivalency)

- Credit Approval Process: This is the procedure for obtaining KU course equivalency approval for courses you plan to take abroad.

All courses taken and grades earned while abroad must be posted as KU equivalents on a student’s KU transcript and grades will figure into a student’s KU GPA. The relevant KU academic department will make the final decision regarding posting of credit and their application toward graduation.

Universidad Pontificia Comillas does not have campus housing, so students are responsible for finding their own housing. Housing options typically include host families and apartments. Please note that that housing on the budget is a host family with half board. If a different housing option is chosen, the cost will vary. 

Comillas suggests some housing companies that students can work with to arrange their housing during their time in Madrid. Some of these companies have discounts for students attending Comillas. Students can view the suggestions on the Accommodations page.

The International Relations Service office at Comillas works with exchange students and has many links on their page including a Guía para estudiantes extranjeros (written both in Spanish and English) with detailed information for international students. There's also an Exchange student page and information about living in Madrid.

Each department's website also has information for incoming exchange students. Please see the links for each department in the "Academic Information" section above.  

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.

Students wishing to take classes in Spanish should have completed at least four semesters of college-level Spanish (SPAN 216) or the equivalent. There is no language requirement for students taking courses taught in English, though students should expect to speak some Spanish in daily living.

Minimum GPA: 2.75 or special permission.

Please note that the exchange tuition and fees in the table on the links below is for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS students). Please look in the "Notes" section on the budget to see the exchange tuition and fees for Business and Engineering students. Also, the housing is a host family with half board. If a different housing option is chosen, the cost will vary.

Program Cost for Academic Year at Universidad Politificia Comillas

Program Cost for Fall Semester at Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Program Cost for Spring Semester at Universidad Pontificia Comillas

Student Visa Information

All U.S. citizens must have a passport and obtain a student visa in order to study on this 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 Comillas 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 a visa processing agency in Chicago. Students can read more about the student visa process from the Consulate General of Spain in Chicago and will also have access to a required reading about the visa process once an application on KU’s website has been started.

Students with questions should contact Study Abroad & Global Engagement.

Comillas Instagram Accounts

Economics and Business Administration: @icadeeconomics

Humanities and Social Sciences: @comillasint_cihs