Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Physics in Spain
Reasons to Study Physics in Spain
Culture, History, and Language to Learn From
Spain is rich in culture and history, which means you will find something to learn from in each corner you step into. This is one of the great things about Spain, being able to learn and broaden your horizons while also being able to advance academically. Besides, the opportunity to practice your Spanish language skills should not be taken for granted. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by the number of native speakers, which means your resume is likely to be rather impressive once you add Spanish-speaking abilities.
Exceptional Physics Programs
Apart from practicing your Spanish speaking skills, you will also be able to gain exceptional skills in your chosen field of study. Physics programs are comprehensive and well-rounded at Spanish universities. Essentially, you will get a quality education and earn highly valuable qualifications. So, whether you are interested in undergraduate or postgraduate programs, you will find a suitable physics program in Spain. In addition, degree programs are designed to provide crucial job market skills, both in theory and practice.
Affordable Living Costs and Tuition
Spain is not one of the most affordable countries to live in; however, it is definitely more affordable compared to other popular study destinations, such as the United States, in terms of tuition fees. Students coming from countries outside of the EU are usually prone to higher tuition fees compared to domestic or EU students; nevertheless, the costs are typically reasonable. If you decide to pursue your physics degree in Spain, you will also have to account for the living expenses. According to recent estimates, you will need around €900 (~$1,060) per month to live comfortably in Spain.
Diverse Student Environment
One of the main reasons why studying physics in Spain is an excellent idea is the fact that you will get to meet bright and ambitious students from around the world. What’s better than having the chance to exchange ideas, opinions, and points of view with people who come from different cultures and backgrounds? At the end of the day, you will realize you have learned much more than you intended, and you will find that you have grown as a person. In addition, you will make friends and create professional connections, which will be good for a prospective global career.
Top Universities to Study Physics in Spain
Some of the top Spanish universities to pursue a degree in physics are:
- Autonomous University of Madrid
- University of Barcelona
- Autonomous University of Barcelona
- Complutense University of Madrid
- University of Valencia
- University of Granada
- University of Santiago de Compostela
- Polytechnic University of Catalonia
- University of the Basque Country
- Polytechnic University of Valencia
Students wishing to study physics at the undergraduate level must have a high school diploma, whereas those wishing to apply to a master’s program must have a bachelor’s degree.
Prospective applicants coming from countries outside of the EU/EEA must initially have their qualifications validated by Spanish authorities, either at the Ministry of Education of the Spanish government or the Spanish embassy. The process is also known as ‘homologación.’ As a non-EU/EEA student, you also need to obtain a student visa upon university admission. Of course, you must also meet the university-specific requirements.
On the other hand, domestic students and students from countries within the EU/EEA must only make sure they meet the university-specific requirements without having to worry about the ‘homologación’ process or student visas. Each university has its own specific requirements when it comes to physics programs. For example, an ideal student profile would be someone who is curious, observant, logical, has mathematical abilities, and has a clear interest in science.
Master’s programs in physics in Spain require students to have taken classes relevant to their master’s program curriculum. In addition, most, if not all, universities require students (especially international students) to submit proof of language proficiency, such as IELTS or TOEFL for English-taught programs or DELE or SIELE for Spanish-taught programs.
When it comes to the application process, you must make sure that you apply within the deadline and submit all the required documents.
Applicants from the EU/EEA and China should apply through SNUDE (Spanish National University for Distance Education), after which they will receive a “Credencial de Acceso,” which they must submit to their chosen university. Non-EU/EEA applicants must initially have their qualifications recognized (the process known as ‘homologación’) by Spanish authorities, receive a “Volante de Acreditación” document, and submit it along with the other documents to their chosen university.
Application documents for physics programs in Spain generally include:
- High school diploma (for undergraduate programs)
- Relevant bachelor’s degree (for master’s programs).
- Grade transcripts.
- Proof of language proficiency (either English or Spanish, depending on the program).
- Letters of recommendation.
- Statement of purpose.
Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Physics in Spain?
A bachelor’s degree in physics in Spain takes around four years of full-time study to complete. During this time, students can usually take part in exchange programs and work placements in research companies. Students typically choose their optional credits in their third and fourth years of the bachelor’s program.
Master’s degree programs in physics usually take one year of full-time study to complete. Master’s programs are generally taught by highly recognized scientists and experts in the field of physics. The great thing about pursuing a master’s degree in Spain is that numerous universities offer programs taught entirely in English.
Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Physics in Spain?
The cost of tuition fees in Spain is reasonable, especially for domestic students and those coming from EU/EEA member countries. For example, the cost of tuition for a bachelor’s degree in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona is around €1,500 per year, while a master’s degree in physics at the same university is around €1,600 per year for domestic/EU students and almost €4,000 per year for non-EU students. Of course, the cost is usually higher for international students from non-EU countries; however, it is still comparatively affordable.
Generally, tuition fees for bachelor’s programs range from €720 to €1,800 per year, while master’s programs cost up to €2,700 per year for domestic and EU students.
Physics Career Prospects in Spain
As a physics graduate, you will have plenty of rewarding employment opportunities in Spain. A physics degree allows you to work in numerous fields, including basic and applied research, education, industrial R&D, geophysics, nuclear physics, or the private IT sector, depending on your skill set and preferences. Spanish universities are exceptional when it comes to preparing students for the job market. Physics programs in Spain usually incorporate exchange programs and work placements in research institutions, so students can get the most out of their study experience and become well-rounded graduates.
In addition, salaries are rather satisfactory for physicists in Spain. A person working as a physicist in Spain can earn anywhere from €2,700 to €8,900 per month, depending on professional experience and company size. On the other hand, a person working as a professor of physics in Spain earns somewhere between 1,900 to 6,800 per month, also depending on professional experience, skills, or even location.