The Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) is one of Spain’s largest and most distinguished public universities. The Complu, as it is popularly referred to, offers instruction in a vast array of disciplines. Thanks to a long-standing agreement between Wesleyan and the UCM, VWM students may enroll in courses at the UCM in fields not offered at the UC3M. In the past, program participants have used this option to take courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences (especially Psychology), and Natural Sciences and Math, especially in fields (for instance, Spanish Literature, History, Art History, Studio Arts, Psychology or Biology) less well-represented at the Carlos III outside of the Grado in Humanities or the CH mini-courses.
For a list of majors (licenciaturas, grados), departments (facultades), and sections or subfields (departamentos) at the Universidad Complutense click here.
Restrictions at the Complutense
First-year courses cannot be taken, and courses in Bellas Artes (Studio Arts) have strict enrollment limits and require the instructor’s permission. A few other fields such as biology may also require administrative approval by the Complutense. Once you let Pepa know whether you are interested in a course or courses at the Complutense and provide the pertinent course information, she will request authorization from the Complutense if necessary. Students who want to take a (literature or linguistics) course in the Facultad de Filología at the Complutense must certify that they have a C1 level according to European Union norms. Students should have their certified level following the Carlos III language placement tests; failing that, it can be determined by any Spanish-language professor at Vassar or Wesleyan who is familiar with the European norms or else by a SIELE exam taken at an Instituto Cervantes in the U.S. or Spain (SIELE results are normally posted, however, 3 weeks after the exam is taken). For information on SIELE, go to http://www.siele.org.
Fall: from the end of September-beginning October through the end of January
Spring: from the beginning of February through early June.
The late schedule at the UCM requires that students request special arrangements for final exams from the UCM professors (an earlier final exam or an exam taken on the officially scheduled date but at your study abroad office in the US and then faxed to the professor), which are usually granted.
The program staff advises students regarding the UCM option during orientation in Madrid. The staff enrolls interested VWM students in UCM courses through the Oficina de Relaciones Internacionales at the UCM’s Vicerrectorado de Relaciones Internacionales.
Seeking Course-Related Information at the Complutense
Either use our website link to the Complutense or your browser to search for Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Click the upper-right link for information in español if the landing page is in English. For course titles, descriptions, and prerequisites, click on the Estudios link under Estudiar (in the upper left), then the Grado link, then the Relación de grados ofertados for the current academic year (called Curso, e.g., Curso 2015-2016). You should see a list of divisions and under division headings, corresponding majors (licenciaturas or grados), departments (facultades) or subfields (departamentos). Click the major/department whose courses interest you and you’ll see a link to the Díptico de la titulación (which opens to a pdf brochure describing the major). For course information, look for the calendar icon in the middle of three icons on the upper right side of the page. That will give you a list of course titles broken down by major year (Curso 1 for first-year, Curso 2 for second-year, etc.; electives that can be taken in any year are usually listed at the bottom). If you click on the course title, you will always find a course description. You will also, in some fields, find course schedules for course grupos (or sections).
In other departments, however, schedules are published by another path: Go back to the Complutense landing page. Click on the Centros link in the upper left, then Facultades (or Departamentos). Then click on the Horarios y exámenes link under Estudiante in the upper left and the Horario y exámenes Grado link for that major and the current year (other links in that list may provide useful information as well). This should give you a pdf listing all schedules for courses in that department, broken down by course year and grupo (or section). You can often find exam schedules there as well. In some cases, the schedules will be listed under Departamentos (subfields) of the corresponding Facultad (department). This can happen in, say, the Biochemistry Departamento under the Biology Facultad. These variations in the way that course information is published are owed to the fact that European students typically take all their courses in one Facultad (department) and so universities feel no need to standardize the way information is provided across Facultades.
If you wish to write a professor (to find out whether you have the preparation for a given course, say, or whether as a foreign student the professor thinks you’ll struggle), look for a Contacto or Directorio link in the upper left column on the landing page of the corresponding Facultad. If you cannot find any email addresses for the professor, try to google the professor’s name and field and see if you turn up email contact information by a professional site such as Academia.edu. If all else fails, ask Pepa to call the department and find out how to contact a professor.
Your Plan B or How to Fit the Complutense into your Carlos III Schedule
We recommend you have a Plan B for the Complutense AT the Complutense, since the Carlos III does not like our hoarding course seats we do not wind up using. What to do about the fact that Carlos III registration is over before most Complutense courses get started? Try to figure out which Carlos III courses you are definitely interested in taking during the pre-registration week (the first week of classes and through the following Monday and Tuesday, when registration at the Carlos III definitively closes). That is, ensure by the final registration date (the Tuesday of the second week of classes) that you are officially registered in (no more and no fewer than) the courses you want to take at the Carlos III. For the Complutense, we recommend you have a back-up plan at the Complutense (not at the Carlos III) in the event you decide against a course or professor there. In general, there is no problem with seats at the Complutense and you do NOT need to be registered when courses get underway there–but you do need to attend and introduce yourself to professors from the start. If you want to get a head-start on the Complutense, you might find it useful to write professors before the beginning of the term with your questions (e.g., about prerequisites or whether they think you´ll have trouble as a foreign student in their course). You might even find it useful to show up during their office hours, since Complutense professors tend to be on-campus administering final exams for the previous term when our orientation week takes place at the Carlos III (in September, for the spring term; in January, for the fall term). The program alum course evaluations for the Complutense will give you a broad sense of our students´ experience at the Complutense in the past.