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Barcelona Academic Institution

Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University is recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education as a degree granting institution of higher learning.
Available Programs
Pre-Law Honors Program
Advanced Humanities & Social Sciences
Business & European Studies
Pompeu Fabra University

Pompeu Fabra University

Since its founding in 1990, the objective of Pompeu Fabra University has been two-fold: to train professionals and citizens who are responsible and committed to civic values, and to contribute towards the development of research. Pompeu welcomes approximately 10,000 students each year, 800 of which are international, and offers degrees in Law, Economics, Business, Social Sciences, Communications, Health, Life Sciences, and Technology. The university comprises six campuses scattered in Barcelona's city center. CEA students will take the majority of their classes at one campus, located near the Olympic Village.

Somewhat unique to the Spanish university system, Pompeu Fabra offers classes during a trimester-based academic calendar. In addition, the university prides itself on offering small group sizes, dedicated teaching staff, and advanced technological and information systems. Spanish Language and elective courses for international students are instructed by university faculty in both Spanish and English through different programs, such as the Hispanic & European Studies Program, the Pre-Law Honors Program, and the International Business. In addition, students have the option of taking integrated courses in Humanities, Business, Communications, etc., with Spanish students. CEA students will enjoy amenities such as a fully computerized library with 200,000 volumes that is connected to all the catalogues of Catalonia's public university libraries. In addition, computer labs are freely available throughout the campus to which CEA students have access, and a program of extracurricular activities are available to CEA students as well. Other university services include a university ID, library access, student dining facilities and a campus bookstore.

Classroom Information

  • International faculty from Pompeu Fabra University will teach your language courses and electives
  • Homework assignments and final exams will be administered
  • Attendance in all classes is mandatory and monitored by each professor
  • Teaching styles in Spain can be very different from those found in the US or Canada. Be prepared to adapt to the different classroom structures and coursework expectations for your school.
  • Class size ranges between 10 and 20 students for language courses and a maximum of 35 students for elective courses. For those participating in the Integrated Option, the class size of regular university courses range between 15 and 80 students.
  • Most classes are specifically offered to be taken with other US students of equivalent language levels and not with native Spanish students. Students participating in the Integrated Studies program have the option to take courses with native Spanish students in both Spanish and English


The Spanish grading system is based on a scale of 10, as opposed to 100 in the US system. It would be inaccurate to merely multiply a Spanish grade by 10 to find its US equivalent. Also, please keep in mind that grading varies from subject to subject. For example, in mathematics a student may receive a 10 for completing all the problems correctly, whereas in the humanities, a 7 on an essay is a very acceptable grade. Grading in Spain can be severe and grades of 9 and 10 are quite rare. In addition to listing a numeric grade for each course, transcripts from Spanish universities list a verbal grade.

Interpretation of the Spanish verbal grading scale is as follows:

Spanish Verbal Grade US Verbal Equivalent Spanish Number Grade US Letter Equivalent
Matricula de honor
With Honors (awarded to 5% of enrolled students)
9 - 10
Very Good
7 - 8.9
5 - 6.9
0 - 4.9
No presentado
Incomplete or Exam not taken