All About Universities

Public Universities in Spain: Best Public Universities in Spain for International Students

Tumul Buch

The chance to fully immerse yourself in Spanish culture and way of life is one of the best parts of pursuing higher education in Spain. Studying abroad in Spain allows you to experience a nation that has a significant global influence - one with a rich history, food, and language.

Studying in Spain can be initiated excellently by enrolling in public universities. Compared to their counterparts, public colleges in Spain that accept international students have outstanding, reasonably priced tuition and provide a plethora of facilities and chances. Read till the end if you're interested in learning how to get into public institutions in Spain!  This blog will introduce you to several of the best public universities in Spain, their eligibility criteria, and their costs!

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Table of Content

Why Study at a Public University in Spain?

Knowing the benefits of pursuing higher education in a foreign country should be the primary thing you do before applying to and enrolling at any university. Hence, mentioned below are some benefits of studying at public universities in Spain. Have a look.

  • High-Quality Education

In Spain, public universities provide a more individualized education at a lower cost than private ones. You also get the added benefit of studying in Spanish at a public university. In Spain, state colleges typically provide education of a caliber comparable to that of private institutions.

  • Affordably Priced

Due to the accessibility and low cost of public colleges in Spain, a large number of international students opt to enroll there. Students in Spain are not required to pay an admission fee to enter college, in contrast to many other nations. This implies that you have the chance to pursue your education and meet your educational objectives, notwithstanding your financial circumstances. Additionally, the majority of Spanish public colleges are reasonably priced.

  • Vast Program Selection

Since public colleges are sponsored by the government, tuition is free. For students who are interested in studying overseas, public universities in Spain are a fantastic option because they provide a vast range of undergraduate and graduate programs. They give students an immersive and one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about the country and its culture.

Suggested: Best courses to study in Spain

Specializations Offered at Public Universities in Spain

The best public institutions in Spain are excellent options for students who want to study abroad since they provide a comprehensive selection of undergraduate and graduate programs. The first thing to do if you want to pursue a bachelor's degree in Spain is to decide which specializations most interest you. The following are some of the specializations that the finest Spanish public universities offer:

  • Linguistics
  • Film
  • Law
  • Arts
  • History
  • Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Spanish
  • Fine Arts

Now that you know the advantages of studying in Spain and the top specializations that students choose to enroll in, what is next? In the next section, we uncover the finest five public universities in Spain!

List of Best Public Universities in Spain for International Students

Here is a list of public universities in Spain that offer excellent and affordable education to international students:

  • University of Barcelona
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Complutense University of Madrid
  • Pompeu Fabra University

Let us discuss each of these universities in detail:

  1. University of Barcelona

One of the biggest universities in both Europe and the entire globe is the University of Barcelona. In addition, the university is a part of the Coimbra Group, a global consortium of preeminent academic institutions united by a dedication to scholarship, innovation, and the free interchange of ideas.

QS World University Ranking 2024


Average Tuition Fees per year

EUR 4,000 - 6,000 / INR 3,63,500 - 5,45,260

Programs Offered

Art History








Chemical Engineering

  1. Autonomous University of Barcelona

With over 100,000 students, the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) is the second-largest university in Spain and a top research institution in the nation. It is among Spain's best public universities. Colleges offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees are part of the UAM. According to the Institute of Higher Education Evaluation's Academic Ranking of World Universities, UAM is among the most esteemed academic institutions in the nation (INES).

QS World University Ranking 2024


Average Tuition Fees per year

EUR 3,000 / INR 2,72,630

Programs Offered

Arts and Humanities

Social and Legal Sciences

Health Sciences

Engineering and Architecture


  1. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, the Autonomous Institution of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, UAB) is a public research institution. With 111,000+ students, it is the biggest university system in Spain and the fifteenth largest in Europe as of 2016.

QS World University Ranking 2024


Average Tuition Fees per year

EUR 4,000 - 17,200 / INR 3,63,500 - 15,63,070

Programs Offered



English and Catalan

Accounting and Finance

  1. Complutense University of Madrid

Madrid is home to the research-focused Complutense University of Madrid. Among the nation's oldest institutions, it was established in 1293. It is considered one of the best universities in Europe, with approximately 100,000 students. The immersive programs and experiential learning at the University of Madrid are widely recognized.

QS World University Ranking 2024


Average Tuition Fees per year

EUR 3,000 / INR 2,72,630 

Programs Offered

Business Management



Physical Sciences

Informatics Engineering

  1. Pompeu Fabra University

Located in Barcelona, Spain, Pompeu Fabra University (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) is a public university. It was established in 1964 in the current building on Parc de la Ciutat Sabadell. Pompeu Fabra, a politician and economist from Catalonia, is honored with a name for the university.

Pompeu Fabra University World Ranking 2024


Average Tuition fees per year

EUR 6,000 - 8,000 / INR 5,45,260 - 7,27,010

Programs Offered

Health Sciences



Political and Social Sciences

Humanities and History

Suggested: Top Universities in Spain for Masters 2025!

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Eligibility and Requirements to Study at Public Colleges in Spain

Although applying for a Spanish undergraduate degree can initially appear overwhelming and difficult, there is nothing to be concerned about. The admissions process to Spain's best public colleges is rather easy to follow. The prerequisites to begin the application process for overseas students at public universities in Spain are listed below:

  • High School Certificate

You must have a high school certificate that is recognized. It should also be verified by the Spanish embassy in your country.

  • Academic References

Letters of recommendation are encouraged from one or two academics or relevant persons who have worked with you.

  • A Study Visa

This is one of the most important documents without which you will not be granted admission.

  • Proficiency Test Scores

You have to pass two written tests in Spanish. Selectividad o Pruebas de Acceso a la Universidad is an entrance exam that can be answered twice a year.

Suggested: Ultimate Guide to the Spain Student Visa!

To pursue a bachelor's degree in Spain, you need to complete four years of coursework totaling 240 ECTS. It takes 120 ECTS to earn a master's degree. Your doctoral program cannot begin until you have completed 300 ECTS.

Cost of Studying at Best Public Universities in Spain for International Students

Ah, the burden of costs to study in abroad countries. Worried about the expenses involved in studying at public universities in Spain? Given below is a breakdown of the same.


Cost (in EUR)

Equivalent Costs in INR

Average Tuition Fees

3,000 - 5,000 / Academic year

2,52,060 - 4,19,810 / Academic year


360 - 650 / month

30,120 - 54,380 / month


200 - 400 / month

16,730 - 33,460 / month


42 - 54 / month

3,510 - 4,520 / month

Basic Utilities 

150 / month

12,550/ month

Suggested: Cost of Living in Spain for International Students

Scholarships for Public Universities in Spain

Spain is a historically and culturally rich nation. It's a country with plenty of educational possibilities as well. Students can study in Spain for less money by applying for Spanish scholarships. This enables students to stay within their budget while affording an education abroad.

Introduced below are the scholarships offered by the finest public universities in Spain:



Women in Tech Scholarship

Offers up to 50% off for women who want to pursue scholarships in technology-related fields

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, 2022

Offers partial funding for all arts subjects under the spectrum

Ministry of Education Funds

The Spanish Ministry offers many grants and funds to deserving students. All you have to do is apply.

Global Study IELTS Awards

Offers partial funding of up to EUR 11,800 / INR 10,72,530 to students for all nationalities 

Suggested: Top 5 Cheap Universities in Spain

From the Desk of Yocket

When it comes to pricing and academic quality, public colleges in Spain give foreign students an extra edge over private ones. The list of public universities in Spain offers a vast array of programs, making it an excellent option for selecting a Spanish institution!

If you are still unsure about which university to choose, unclear about the course that best fits your profile, or want assistance with tackling tuition costs, and applying for a visa, our Yocket professionals are at your service.

Book A Personalized Consultation Call Today!

Frequently Asked Questions about Top Public Universities in Spain

Are students paid in Spain?

Can students work in Spain?

Are public universities free in Spain?

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