Program Site: USC study center at the Instituto Internacional in central Madrid; Universidad Carlos III de Madrid's Getafe campus.
Eligibility: Minimum cumulative USC GPA of 3.0; two semesters of college-level Spanish with a USC Spanish course or the USC Spanish language placement exam taken within one year before the start of the program. The placement exam must be taken prior to the application deadline. Students who place back into a level of Spanish they already completed are not eligible to participate in this program. The Spanish courses taken to meet the eligibility requirements must be taken for a letter grade. To be eligible to take courses at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (see Option II description below), students must have completed, or be currently enrolled in, at least one upper-divison (300- or 400-level) USC Spanish course (taught in Spanish).
Description: The Madrid program is for students with low-intermediate to advanced Spanish fluency who have an academic interest in Spain. Students in Option I (USC catalogue courses only) take all of their classes alongside other USC students at the Instituto Internacional in central Madrid. Students in Option II (USC catalogue courses of Option I and Spanish university courses) take two to three courses alongside Spanish students at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Getafe, about 10 miles from central Madrid and easily accessible by public transportation.
Academics: The USC Madrid center offers USC catalogue courses in Art History, International Relations, Political Science, and Spanish. All students in Option I and Option II must take at least two USC Spanish courses.
Students may take courses for major, minor, or elective credit. Courses are taught in Spanish unless otherwise indicated.
USC catalogue courses are 4 USC units each and are taken for a USC letter grade. The letter grade appears on the USC transcript, and the grades are factored into one's USC GPA. The courses are taught by local faculty approved by academic departments at USC and follow USC-approved syllabi.
- SPAN 220 Spanish III
- SPAN 240 Spanish IV
- SPAN 260 Advanced Spanish: Arts and Sciences
- SPAN 261 Advanced Spanish: Society and the Media
- SPAN 302 Survey of Film
- SPAN 304 Survey of Fiction
- SPAN 320 Iberian and Latin American Cultures: Readings on Society
- SPAN 464 Introduction to Contemporary Spanish Theater
- IR 468 European Integration (taught in English)
- AHIS 496 Paintings in the Prado Museum (taught in a mixture of English and Spanish)
- POSC 469 Critical Issues in Comparative Politics--Contemporary Spain (taught in English)
Option I: Students in this option choose four USC courses from the list above. At least two of the courses must have a SPAN prefix. Students must meet course prerequisites as stated in the USC Catalogue.
Option II: At the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid's Getafe campus USC students take courses in the humanities and social sciences. Option II students take Carlos III courses that are taught in Spanish and are part of the grado or degree courses that Spanish undergraduates take.
Carlos III courses are available in the following fields of study: anthropology, art history, comparative literature, economics, gender studies, history, international relations, linguistics, political science, philosophy, psychology, sociology and Spanish. Some examples of courses that may be of interest to USC students are Economía de la Integración Europea; Política Española; Organizaciones Internacionales; Literatura Contemporánea de España e Iberoamérica; Evolución y Variedades del Español; and Psicología Social.
Students in this option take two 4-unit USC Spanish courses and three 3-unit Carlos III courses (for a total of 17 units) OR three 4-unit USC courses (two of which must be Spanish courses) and two 3-unit Carlos III courses (for a total of 18 units).
USC students do not receive a USC letter grade on their USC transcript for courses taken at Universidad Carlos III. USC students receive USC credit (CR) for Carlos III courses they pass and no credit (NC) for Carlos III courses they do not pass. Carlos III course grades do not affect one's USC GPA.
Option II students will not receive USC credit for any English-taught Carlos III course or any of the Carlos III Centro de Estudios Hispánicos (CEH) courses. USC students may not take for USC major or minor credit any Carlos III courses valued at fewer than 3 USC units (i.e. fewer than 6 ECTS units).
Course load and credit: Students in Option I take four 4-unit USC catalogue courses for a total of 16 USC. Option I students may not take fewer or more than 16 units. Option II students take a minimum of 17 USC units and a maximum of 18 USC units.
Activities and Other Program Features:
While all students are invited to participate in program activities, students in Option II may not be able to attend all USC Madrid activities, including cultural activities, excursions and day trips, due to class schedule conflicts.
Cultural Activities - In addition to learning on site at museums and historical sites within and beyond Madrid, program participants attend dance, music, film, and theater performances. The program directors also take students out to restaurants to sample different types of Spanish cuisine.
Day Trips - Each semester there are several day trips to areas close to Madrid such as Toledo and Segovia.
Multi-day Field Trips - These are longer trips (usually 3 days) to further regions of the Iberian peninsula. Professors and program directors accompany students on these educational excursions. Examples of recent trips are Andalucía; Galicia/Northern Portugal; Asturias/Castilla y León; Cataluña (incl. Barcelona); and La Rioja/País Vasco.
While the program directors inform students about opportunities to meet Spaniards and participate in Spanish culture, program participants are expected to be highly self-motivated and to actively seek opportunities to meet Spaniards and communicate only in Spanish as much as possible.
Accommodation: Students live with Spanish host families located throughout Madrid. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided seven days a week. Students with serious food allergies or very particular dietary needs should consider the Bilbao program, which has an apartment option that allows students to shop for and cook their own meals.
Dates: The fall semester runs from the beginning of September into the third week of December. Option II students should note that because exams are in January they should select only courses for which early exams can be arranged. The spring semester runs from mid January to mid May for Option I students and to early June for Option II students. Option I and II students are charged the same tuition. Option II students pay for 2-3 additional weeks of room and board in the spring.
Estimated Semester Cost:
Cost Updated: 11/20/12
Text Updated: 5/03/13
*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.