Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Universidad Carlos III Logo

Universidad Carlos III is an exchange destination for University College Utrecht students in Madrid, Spain.

Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M) was intended to be a relatively small, public university, focused primarily on research.

Universidad Carlos III is interesting for Students majoring in Humanities, Social Science and Economics.

Number of places available

2 per semester

Academic calendar

Fall Semester: Early September – Late January (including exams) 
Fall Semester: Late January – Late May (retake period until the end of June)

Language of instruction

This destination has a language of instruction other than English. This means that you need to have at least a language proficiency level of CEFR B2 Spanish. You need to complete Spanish Language and Culture II (UCHUMSPA21) or get an exemption from the UCU Language & Culture coordinator, and it is your own responsibility to achieve at least B2 Spanish. This language requirement is partly for your own protection, so you can take courses at the same level as you do at UCU, and partly because we believe it allows you to have an experience abroad that is more immersive, enriching and culturally valuable to you.

At Universidad Carlos III Madrid there are English courses available, but not in all departments and the possibility of oversubscription means you might have to take courses in Spanish.

Course offerings

Carlos III offers courses in many fields, but the exchange agreement with UCU only includes the School of Humanities, Social Science and Economics. This still leaves you with quite some choices! See here.

Course levels

To know which level a course has (studies at UC3M are usually four years, so four levels possible), you’ll have to check the study program through the website.

Credit system

UC3M uses the ECTS-system. Most courses have 6 ECTS, so you'll have to take 5 courses.

Grade system

Carlos III Madrid uses a scale from 10 to 1, with 10 as the highest grade and 6 as the lowest passing grade. Below you can see how this translates to UCU grades.

UC3M grading

grade point



































8,0 – 10




There are several options for housing at UC3M: you can either live in one of the three residence halls (both single and double rooms available, Dining facilities offered), find a private apartment via a housing agency or sign up for a program in you which live with a Spanish host-family. More information can be found here


When living in one of the three residence halls, you’ll pay one price that includes the food. However, the costs can differ depending on whether you take a double or single room and on your yearly income. Monthly, it would be between €600-900. Finding something yourself is the other option, but the average rent in Madrid is quite high. The capital has, however, an excellent and cheap subway system. Information about housing costs can be found here.


At the start of each semester, a Welcome Program of one day (campus tour, etc.) and a compulsory set of Orientation Sessions where you’ll receive important information on your life as a student at UC3M will be organised. Moreover, there is an Erasmus program that lasts for a few weeks and gives you a nice introduction to the city. Lastly, a ‘Buddy Program’ is available, but you’ll have to sign up!


The university is located in Madrid, a city of over 3 million inhabitants and the capital of Spain. The city has a rich history and many tourist sites, such as the royal palace. Find out more here. The city has a warm continental climate. Temperatures do not get too cold in winter and very warm in summer. There is very little rain. 

Student life

The university has almost 19,000 students, 20% of which are international. It has a main campus (Getafe), as well as Leganés campus which houses the School of Engineering. Both are a little over 10 km south of the city, although they are connected to the metro. 

The university housing has services such as a gym and a meal plan. There aren’t many social activities organized by the university. However, as a student that went before you said: ‘Madrid is a very cosmopolitan city with plenty of options for leisure and culture, including museums, sports, student groups, etc. Most can be accessed through the Erasmus student network or through the agency City Life Madrid.

Student experiences

The educational philosophy in Spain is different from the one of UCU: instead of involving the students in the classes and the course work, the teacher usually expects you to be in class, sit there and to reproduce knowledge on the exams. The university organization can be a bit chaotic compared to UCU, so be prepared for that. The academic level is good and courses in general are interesting. Students are recommended to take some intensive preparation courses, apart from the 200-level at UCU. 

Click here to read more about student experiences.

More information

For information about the requirements for studying abroad, the application procedure and more, go to UCU's Study abroad page. 

You can browse through all UCU exchange destinations and UU exchange destinations in the exchange catalog.