BU’s eight Madrid programs offer the chance to study and live in one of the world’s most dynamic metropolises. All students have the unique opportunity to experience life in a Spanish homestay. Classes are taught either at the Instituto Internacional or the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. The Madrid Internship Program, offered fall and spring semesters, allows students to enhance their Spanish language skills while working abroad in one of Europe’s most important vibrant commercial centers. Students with sufficient language skills take three courses along with an internship, which ranges between 15 and 20 hours per week.

  • All students must enroll according to, and remain in compliance with, the Boston University Study Abroad Course Load Policy.
  • Minimum of fifth-semester college-level Spanish language or the equivalent (six semesters for students taking courses offered through the Madrid University Studies Program)
  • Spring applicants must indicate on their application whether they are applying for the Madrid Internship Program with courses offered through the Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program, or the Madrid Internship Program with courses offered through the Madrid University Studies Program
  • Admission requirements for all programs
All students enroll in an internship and internship course, worth four credits. Students then enroll in three additional four-credit courses from those offered through either the Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program or the Madrid University Studies Program (spring only).

Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program

Students who select courses from the Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program are required to enroll in one Spanish language course and then choose two additional courses from the electives offered in English or in Spanish, depending on their interest and proficiency level.

Required Language Course

All students are required to enroll in one Spanish language course from the list below. Students who have already completed four semesters of Spanish, or the equivalent, are permitted to enroll in up to two 300-level language courses.*

  • 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.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 112 Second-Semester Spanish (4)
    • Prerequisite: one semester of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Completes study of basic grammatical structures. Emphasis on speaking and aural comprehension with readings on contemporary Hispanic culture and writing assignments.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 211 Third-Semester Spanish (4)
    • Prerequisite: two semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Completes study of grammatical structures of Spanish. Use of spoken language in conversation. Reading in Hispanic civilization and of contemporary short stories. Writing exercises involving more complex grammatical and syntactical patterns.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 212 Fourth-Semester Spanish (4)
    • Prerequisite: three semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Review of the structures of Spanish. Intensive practice of spoken language. More advanced readings from Hispanic culture with frequent compositions.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 306 Translation* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Advanced study of the Spanish language through the translation of written texts. Analysis of the theory and practice of translation as a catalyst of cultural transfer. Taught in Spanish.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 310 Spanish for the Professions* (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent
    • Advanced study of Spanish as used in the professions in the Spanish-speaking world. Analysis and discussion of intercultural professional communication, acquisition of specialized vocabulary.
    • Syllabus

*No more than two 300-level Spanish language courses (LS 306, LS 307, LS 308, LS 310, LS 311) may be taken for credit at Boston University. All students should confirm in advance with their academic advisors which courses may be taken for major, minor, and departmental requirements, and which courses may be taken for elective credit.

Electives Courses

Students select three courses from the electives offered in English or in Spanish, depending on their interest and proficiency level. Each course carries four credits. All students should confirm in advance with their academic advisors which courses may be taken for major, minor, and departmental requirements, and which courses may be taken for elective credit. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Elective course offerings vary and may not be offered every semester. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

  • CAS LS 241 Spanish Civilization (4 credits)
    • 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.
    • Syllabus F. Herrero
    • Syllabus J. Snyder
  • CAS AH 364 Art and Architecture in Madrid: 1561–Today (4)
    • Survey of architecture, sculpture, and painting in Madrid, and how these fit in the broader frame of European styles and historical context, 1561–present. Key theories in art history are introduced, giving students a broader perspective on critical approaches to art.
    •  Syllabus
  • CAS AR 200 Heritage Matters: Introduction to Heritage Management (4)
    • Fall only
    • Protection and management of archaeological heritage, including sites, artifacts, and monuments. Survey of heritage values and stakeholders. Issues covered include cultural policy and legislation, international efforts, indigenous perspectives, looting, repatriation, underwater heritage, and heritage at war.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS HI 256 History of Spain 711–1898 (4)
    • Spring only
    • A survey of Spanish history from 711 to 1898, examining the political, social, economic, and cultural events that shaped Spain in its modern form. Places Spain in a European context. Includes field trips around Madrid.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS PO 245 Nationalism in Spain in a European Context (4)
    • Examines Spanish national identity alongside minority national identities within Spain such as the Basque and Catalonian peoples. Compares the case of Spain with other national minorities across Europe. Examines non-state nationalisms from historical and contemporary perspectives.
    • Syllabus
  • SHA HF 320 Food in Spain: Culinary History and Sociocultural Context (4)
    • Overview of the historical, cultural, and sociological importance of food in Spain since the pre-agricultural era. Examines the relations between food and national and regional identity, social stratification, religion, economics, tourism, and public health. Includes guest lectures and visits to markets and wineries in and around Madrid.
    • Syllabus

Language and culture courses are offered at the 300 level. Literature courses are offered at the 400 level.

  • CAS SP 342 Spanish Film (4 credits)
    • This course offers students a formal, theoretical, and historical analysis of some of the most significant Spanish films from recent decades, highlighting the wide variety of genres and styles in Spanish cinematographic production. Special attention will be given to the three most relevant directors in the selection of present-day Spanish film: Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar, and Alberto Rodríguez. Films will be studied within their historical context, and include topics such as literature, politics, fine arts, symbolism, and mythology.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS SP 343Women in Spain (4)
    • This course covers the evolution of different models of female identity and femininity throughout history in order to understand Spanish women today: their values, ways of thinking, family relationships, professional interests and goals, gender roles, etc. The course covers many different periods and movements, from the 8th to the 20th century and the interplay of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian influences from the 8th to the 16th century; the role of the Catholic Church from the 16th to the 20th century; the Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th centuries; as well as forces of change in the 19th and 20th centuries. In each instance, the historical conditions that led to the rejection of old models and adoption of new ones are considered.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS SP 345 Contemporary Spanish Politics (4)
    • Studies the political history of Spain in the last 80 years. Special attention is given to the eras of the Second Republic, Francoism, and the transition to democracy, all of which are fundamental to the understanding of contemporary Spain.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS AN 367Migrations and Cultural Diversity. (4)
    • Spring only
    • This class analyzes current-day migratory flows and their implications for Spain and the EU through an anthropological viewpoint. Students will obtain conceptual and theoretical frameworks through which they will be able to critically analyze diversity and the complexity of migrations and their effect on society and culture.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS SP 347 Anthropology of Spain (4)
    • Fall only
    • The objective of this course is to offer students an understanding of anthropology through the presentation of studies related to Spanish culture and society. Main topics (urban anthropology, familial anthropology, cultural diversity, and immigration) are studied from a social and cultural anthropological perspective with an emphasis on the cultural diversity that characterizes Spain in order to better understand its society today.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS SP 348 The Spaces of Art (4)
    • This course aims to give a general, chronological overview of the use of space in Spanish art and architecture including Baroque, Neoclassical, Romanticism, Cubism and street art. Students will be introduced to great works through a consideration of the varied use of space, and they will acquire skills for analyzing and reflecting upon them. Students will have the opportunity to explore some of Madrid’s most important museums such as the Prado and Reina Sofia, as well as other art and monuments. The course aims to enrich the students’ academic and social experience through an understanding of Spanish art and architecture.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LS 449 Contemporary Spanish Novel: From “La Movida” to 15-M. (4)
    • This course offers an overview of contemporary Spanish novels from the time of Franco’s death (1975) to the “15 M” movement (2011). The objective of the course is to analyze cultural phenomena that have transformed the social and cultural reality of Spain over the last several decades. Students will discuss the novels alongside supplementary materials such as articles, films, and artistic material from Madrid.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS SP 406 Contemporary Spanish Literature (4)
    • This course focuses on literary texts and contemporary Spanish and Latin American cultural phenomena through analysis and critical essays. Different literary genres will be explored in order to develop strategies that promote a deeper level of reading and comprehension so that students become familiar with the basic concepts of critical reading.
    • Syllabus
Madrid University Studies Program
The Madrid University Studies Program is only available for the spring semester.

Students who select courses from the Madrid University Studies Program are required to enroll in an advanced-level seminar on contemporary Spain with other program participants as one of their courses. Students then enroll directly at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid for two elective courses.

Required Course

Students enroll in the following course:

  • Seminar on Contemporary Spain

Note: Syllabus is for course approval and reference only. Students will receive an up-to-date syllabus when their course begins.

Elective Courses

At the UAM, students enroll in three elective courses. Courses are offered in a wide variety of subjects, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Cinema
  • Economics
  • History of Philosophy
  • Latin American Literature
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Language
  • Spanish Literature
  • Spanish Philosophy

For a complete list of courses, visit the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid website.

Please note: Students are required to submit additional application materials for the UAM following admission to the Boston University program. Admission to the UAM is not guaranteed.

Internship Course

Students enroll in a four-credit internship. Placements are contingent upon a student's past experience, language abilities, and available opportunities in any given semester, so flexibility is essential. Course numbers depend on the fields of specialization in which the students complete their internship and the nature of the internship work.

  • CAS AH 505 Internship in the Arts/Architecture
  • CAS EC 497 Internship in Business/Economics
  • CAS PO 401 Internship in Politics
  • CAS PO 403 Internship in Comparative Law
  • CAS PO 405/IR 455 Internship in International Organizations
  • CAS PS 495 Internship in Health/Human Services
  • COM CM 471 Internship in Advertising/Public Relations
  • COM FT 493/494 Internship in Film/Television
  • COM JO 411 Internship in Journalism
  • SHA HF 390 Field Placement in Hospitality Administration

Internship Components:

    • The internship itself, including supervisor’s evaluation
    • Participation in the internship seminar
    • A highly structured, mid-term oral briefing
    • Assigned readings
    • A final research paper relating to the professional field of the internship placement


      Internship Area

      Please note that these are examples of past internship placements only. While BU Study Abroad guarantees an internship to program participants, specific placements vary from semester to semester and may not always be available. Likewise, internship placements may be available in academic areas not listed.

      Advertising/Marketing/Public Relations

      • Study marketing techniques, media, and consumer behavior while working in the marketing/PR department of a Spanish company, multinational firm, or advertising agency. Previous internship placements have included OM Premium, Procter & Gamble, Elipse Iniciativas, IFEMA (convention center), and JBan.


      • Study the current economic, political, and social issues affecting Madrid and work in an organization with an economic dimension. Internship placements have included American Express, AFI, Marsh & McLennan, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Vista Capital.

      Film, Radio & Television

      • Study communications and society in Madrid and work for one of the radio and television stations or film production companies. Internship placements have included Boca a Boca Films, CNN, Eco Casting, Madrid Film, Lua, Dos Mundos TV, and Rioja Films.

      Health & Human Services

      • Study health care and human services issues and participate in the daily work life of hospital rehabilitation, therapy, or education programs; health center administration; social service departments; community care centers; or social activist organizations. Internship placements have included Centro de Mujeres Progresistas, Hospital de la Zarsuela, Interlab, Centro Dato, and PharmaGen.

      Hospitality & Tourism

      • Study Spanish culture and learn how the tourism industry works in Madrid. Students intern in placement areas such as travel agencies, hotels, and restaurants. Past internships have included Groupo Zena, Hotel Ritz, and Travel Leader.

      International Organizations & NGOs

      • Work in social activist organizations, environmental organizations, human rights organizations, and associated government departments. Internship placements have included Amigos de la Tierra and Casa de América.


      • Study news media in the context of the political, cultural, and social life of Madrid by participating in the daily life of a newspaper, magazine, publishing house, or broadcast news organization. Past internship placements have included The Broadsheet, Rolling Stone, InMadrid, LIPS, and The New York Times.

      Politics & International Relations

      • Study the issues and institutions of Madrid's culture and work in a political setting, including Parliament, party organizations, lobbying groups, or political public relations agencies. Internship placements have included Embassy of México (commercial office), Embassy of the United States (commercial office), Office of European Commission, INCIPE, and UNICEF.


      • Study the history and practice of the law in Madrid and participate in the daily life of an NGO working in human rights and immigration law. Internship placements have included Bufete J. Ruiz and Hombre y Tierra.

      Local Homestay 

      • Individual bedrooms in local family home. Each room has a bed, a desk, and some storage space. Linens are provided and washed regularly. Kitchen access is not guaranteed. Students will have the ability to reheat food.
        • Board included: All meals (3 meals per day/ 7 days per week) will be provided by the host family. A packed lunch will be provided by the host family if the student is unable to commute home for lunch.
        • Host families provide laundry, internet.
        • Gyms at the university and in town but may be expensive. Students can study at the Instituto or the Autonoma. Many students study at home, as university libraries have more restricted hours than in the US.
        • Fall Semester: Early September to mid-December
          • Spring Semester:
            • Madrid Internship Program (Spanish and European Studies): Early January to early May
            • Madrid Internship Program (University Studies): Early January to mid-May
          • Fall Semester & Academic Year: March 15
          • Spring Semester: October 1