Madrid Science Program

The Madrid Science Program, offered only in fall semester, combines science coursework with Spanish language and culture studies at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the Instituto Internacional en España. The program design allows students to take courses that fit neatly into their curricula and requirements. In addition to coursework, students will participate in guided field trips to industries and research institutions. For students interested in a career in science or health, the Madrid Science Program can help develop tools of cultural understanding for work in an international environment. No prior knowledge of Spanish is required.

Program Curriculum

All students take a required four-credit Spanish language course, and three four-credit electives. In addition, students may elect to take a 2-credit research course.

Required Course

Students must enroll in the following course, held at the Instituto Internacional en España:

CAS LS 111: First Semester Spanish (4 credits)

For students who have never studied Spanish, or by placement test results. Introduction to grammatical structures. Emphasis on aural comprehension, speaking, and pronunciation. Introduction to Hispanic culture.

(Students who have previously studied Spanish can enroll in a four-credit language course at the intermediate or advanced level.)

Elective Courses

Students choose three courses below. Taught in English.

CAS BI 203: Cell Biology (4)

(Prerequisites: CAS BI 108 and CAS CH 102, or the equivalent.) Principles of cellular organization and function: biological molecules, flow of genetic information, membranes and subcellular organelles, and cell regulation. Taught at the UAM.

CAS CH 203: Organic Chemistry I (4)

(Prerequisites: CAS CH 102 or CAS CH 110 or CAS CH 112, or the equivalent.) Fundamentals of contemporary organic chemistry, including electronic structure, stereochemistry, and reactions of important functional groups. Environmental problems, action of drugs, chemical warfare agents, insecticides, and chemical causes of disease. Taught at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Lab manual

CAS MA 213: Basic Statistics and Probability (4)

(Prerequisite: good background in high school algebra. Students may receive course credit for not more than one of the following courses: CAS MA 113, CAS MA 115, or CAS MA 213.) Elementary treatment of probability densities, means, variances, correlation, independence, the binomial distribution, the central limit theorem. Stresses understanding and theoretical manipulation of statistical concepts. Taught at the UAM.

CAS LS 241: Spanish Civilization (4)

An introduction to Spanish civilization with special emphasis on history, art, and literature. The course begins in English and shifts gradually into Spanish as students’ fluency increases. Course content is enriched by visits to the Prado Museum, Segovia, Toledo, and other sites. Evaluation is based on three exams and/or papers. Taught at the Instituto.

Optional Additional Elective

In addition to the required language course and three four-credit electives, students may take the following two-credit course for a total of 18 credits.

CAS NS 291: Introduction to Scientific Research (2)

(Not offered in Fall 2014. Prerequisite: one year of a laboratory science course.) For students enrolled in Boston University science study abroad programs. An introduction to the performance of scientific research through lectures, discussions, and readings about the design of projects, the understanding of the scientific literature, and the ethics of research and publication. Local science faculty members will describe their research projects, and welcome students into their laboratories for approximately six weeks of practical research experience. Fall semester only. Taught at the UAM.

Program Details

  • No prior language study is required
  • Students must have completed the prerequisite requirements for CAS CH 203 and CAS BI 203
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: early September to mid December

    Please note that this program is only offered during the fall semester.


    • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen to eighteen Boston University credits.
    • Boston University’s household accommodations facilitate the students’ language acquisition and integration into Spanish society through the daily usage of Spanish.  All Madrid students are placed in Spanish households, where they have their own room and eat meals with their host families. Households represent a wide range of incomes and situations, from an older woman living alone to a professional couple living in the city to a large family with several children.
    Application Deadline
    • Fall Semester & Academic Year: March 15

    Download a description of the Madrid Science Program.

    Program Staff

    The Boston University Madrid Programs are administered by staff in both our Boston and Madrid offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Madrid. The Boston Office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In Madrid, the staff comprises a resident director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.