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Why Study PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. Academic Excellence: Spain is known for its excellent higher education system and prestigious universities. Spanish universities are recognized worldwide for their quality of education and research output. Pursuing a PhD in Spain allows you to learn from renowned professors and researchers in your field, enabling you to gain expertise and knowledge in your chosen area of study.

2. Research Opportunities: Spain provides a conducive environment for research and innovation. The country has invested significantly in research and development, leading to the establishment of state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories. By pursuing a PhD in Spain, you can access these resources and engage in cutting-edge research projects. Collaborative opportunities with other researchers and institutions are also abundant, providing you with a rich research network.

3. International Environment: Spain attracts a diverse community of international students and researchers. Studying for a PhD in Spain allows you to interact with scholars from various cultural backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural exchange and expanding your global network. This multicultural environment can enhance your research perspectives, promote collaboration, and contribute to your personal and professional growth.

4. Funding Opportunities: Spanish universities and research institutions offer various funding options for PhD students. These can include scholarships, research grants, and fellowships. These financial resources can help support your studies, cover living expenses, and provide opportunities for conference participation and research-related travel.

5. Quality of Life: Spain offers a high standard of living with a rich cultural heritage, vibrant cities, and a pleasant climate. The country's diverse landscapes, from beautiful beaches to historical landmarks, provide a conducive atmosphere for a well-rounded lifestyle. Spain's rich cultural heritage, cuisine, and lively social scene contribute to an enjoyable experience while pursuing your PhD.

6. Career Prospects: A PhD from a Spanish university can enhance your career prospects. Spain has a strong emphasis on research and development, making it attractive to industries, research institutes, and academia. Completing your PhD in Spain can open up opportunities for academic positions, research positions in both the public and private sectors, and even entrepreneurial ventures.

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) Specializations in Spain



Course Duration

Fees (approx.)

University of Barcelona

Computer Science

3-4 years

€1,500 - €3,000 per year

Complutense University of Madrid


3-5 years

€1,000 - €4,000 per year

Autonomous University of Madrid


3-4 years

€1,500 - €3,500 per year

University of Valencia


3-5 years

€1,000 - €4,000 per year

Pompeu Fabra University


3-4 years

€1,500 - €3,500 per year

Technical University of Catalonia


3-4 years

€1,500 - €3,000 per year

University of Granada


3-5 years

€1,000 - €4,000 per year

University of Seville


3-4 years

€1,500 - €3,500 per year

University of Zaragoza

Biomedical Sciences

3-5 years

€1,000 - €4,000 per year

University of Santiago de Compostela

Environmental Science

3-4 years

€1,500 - €3,500 per year

Admission Intake for PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. September Intake: Many universities offer admission for PhD programs starting in September. This intake is quite common and allows students to begin their studies at the beginning of the academic year.

2. February Intake: Some universities also have a second admission intake in February. This intake provides an additional opportunity for prospective students to join PhD programs at a different time of the year.

Top 10 Universities in Spain for PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Course Specializations

QS World University Ranking (2022)

Universidad de Barcelona

Various disciplines including Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences


Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences, Humanities


Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

Life Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences, Humanities


Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities


Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña

Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture


Universidad Pompeu Fabra

Economics, Humanities, Social Sciences, Communication


Universidad de Navarra

Business, Law, Communication, Sciences


Universidad de Granada

Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities


Universidad de Valencia

Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities


Universidad de Zaragoza

Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences, Humanities


Tuition Fees for PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. For EU/EEA students: PhD tuition fees in Spain are often lower and sometimes even waived. Many universities charge only nominal registration and administrative fees, which can range from approximately €200 to €500 per year.

2. For non-EU/EEA students: Tuition fees for PhD programs in Spain are typically higher. The fees can vary widely between universities and programs. On average, non-EU/EEA students can expect to pay tuition fees ranging from approximately €3,000 to €8,000 per year.

Cost of Studying PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain


Average Monthly Cost (in Euros)

Average Annual Cost (in Euros)


400 - 800

4,800 - 9,600


200 - 400

2,400 - 4,800


40 - 80

480 - 960


80 - 150

960 - 1,800

Health Insurance

60 - 100

720 - 1,200

Study Materials

50 - 100

600 - 1,200


100 - 200

1,200 - 2,400


930 - 1,830

11,160 - 21,960

Eligibility for doing PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. Master's Degree: To be eligible for a PhD program, candidates are usually required to hold a master's degree or an equivalent postgraduate qualification. In some cases, exceptional candidates with a strong academic background and a bachelor's degree may be considered for direct admission to a PhD program.

2. Academic Excellence: Applicants are expected to have a strong academic record, including a high GPA (Grade Point Average) in their previous degrees. A minimum GPA requirement may be specified by the university or the program.

3. Research Proposal: Candidates are typically required to submit a research proposal outlining their intended research topic or area of interest. The proposal should demonstrate the candidate's research skills, knowledge of the field, and the potential contribution of their research to the academic community.

4. Language Proficiency: Proficiency in the language of instruction (usually Spanish) or the ability to conduct research in the chosen language is generally required. Universities may ask for language proficiency test scores, such as the DELE (Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language) or other recognized language proficiency certificates.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are usually required to provide letters of recommendation from academic professionals who can attest to their academic abilities and potential for research.

6. Entrance Examination or Interview: Some universities or programs may require applicants to pass an entrance examination or participate in an interview to assess their suitability for the PhD program.

Documents Required for PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. Application Form: Universities usually provide an online application form that needs to be completed with your personal and academic information.

2. Curriculum Vitae (CV): A comprehensive CV that includes your educational background, research experience, publications (if any), work experience, and any other relevant academic or professional achievements.

3. Academic Transcripts and Certificates: Official transcripts and certificates of your previous degrees, including bachelor's and master's degrees or their equivalents. These documents should be officially translated into Spanish or English if they are in a different language.

4. Research Proposal: A detailed research proposal outlining your research objectives, methodology, and potential contribution to the field. This document should demonstrate your research skills and knowledge of the subject area.

5. Letters of Recommendation: Typically, two to three letters of recommendation from academic professionals who are familiar with your academic abilities and can provide insights into your potential as a researcher.

6. Language Proficiency Certificate: Proof of your language proficiency, usually in Spanish or English, depending on the language of instruction. This could include language test scores such as DELE (Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language) or other recognized language proficiency certificates.

7. Identification Documents: Photocopies of your passport or national identification card.

8. Passport-sized Photographs: Recent passport-sized photographs of yourself, usually in a specific format specified by the university.

9. Statement of Purpose: A statement outlining your motivation for pursuing a PhD, your research interests, and how the program aligns with your career goals.

10. Additional Documents: Some universities or programs may require additional documents such as a copy of your research publications, proof of funding or scholarships, or any other specific requirements mentioned in the application guidelines.

Scholarships for PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. Spanish Government Scholarships: The Spanish government offers various scholarships for international students, including the "Fulbright Program," "Becas MAEC-AECID," and "Becas de la Fundación Carolina." These scholarships are open to students from different countries and cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other allowances.

2. University Scholarships: Many universities in Spain provide their own scholarships and funding opportunities for PhD students. These scholarships may be merit-based or need-based and can cover various expenses. It's recommended to check the websites of individual universities to find out about the specific scholarships available.

3. Regional Scholarships: Some autonomous regions in Spain offer scholarships specifically for students pursuing doctoral studies. For example, the "La Caixa Foundation Fellowship Program" provides scholarships for doctoral studies in different fields.

4. Research Grants: PhD students in Spain can also apply for research grants offered by government bodies, research institutions, and funding agencies. These grants support research projects and cover expenses related to the research, such as travel, materials, and equipment.

5. European Union Funding: Students from EU countries may be eligible for funding opportunities provided by the European Union, such as the "Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions" (MSCA) program. MSCA offers funding for PhD students to carry out research and gain international experience.

6. Industrial Collaborations: Some PhD programs in Spain have collaborations with industry partners, which may offer scholarships or research positions to students. These collaborations provide students with valuable industry experience and financial support.

7. Non-Governmental Organizations and Foundations: Various NGOs and foundations in Spain offer scholarships and grants for doctoral studies in specific fields or disciplines. Examples include the "Ramon Areces Foundation" and the "Botín Foundation."

Jobs and Salary after PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Spain

1. Academic Careers: Many PhD graduates choose to pursue academic careers as professors or researchers at universities and research institutions. As a postdoctoral researcher or a faculty member, the salary can vary depending on the university, position, and experience. Typically, the salary for an assistant professor in Spain can range from €30,000 to €45,000 per year, while associate professors and full professors may earn higher salaries.

2. Research and Development: PhD holders can work in research and development roles in industries, government organizations, or research centers. Salaries in these positions can vary depending on the industry, the specific field, and the level of experience. On average, research and development professionals in Spain can earn between €25,000 and €50,000 per year, with higher salaries possible as one progresses in their career.

3. Consulting and Advisory Roles: PhD graduates can work as consultants or advisors in various sectors, providing expertise and specialized knowledge. Salaries in consulting can vary widely depending on the employer, the nature of the work, and the level of experience. In general, consultants in Spain can earn between €30,000 and €70,000 per year or more, depending on their specialization and the consulting firm.

4. Government and Public Sector: PhD graduates may find opportunities in government agencies, public research institutions, or policy-making organizations. Salaries in the public sector can vary depending on the specific role, the level of responsibility, and the government entity. Generally, salaries can range from €25,000 to €50,000 per year or more, depending on the position and the level of experience.

5. Industry and Private Sector: PhD holders can work in various industries such as technology, pharmaceuticals, finance, or engineering. Salaries in the private sector can be highly variable and depend on factors such as the industry, company size, location, and the level of expertise and experience. In Spain, salaries for PhD graduates in the private sector can range from €30,000 to €60,000 per year or more, depending on the specific role and industry.

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