University of Alcalá

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University of Alcalá
Universidad de Alcalá
University of Alcalá logo.png
Established 1977[1]
Type public
Endowment 160 million EUR
Rector Dr. Fernando Galván
Students 22,836
Location Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
Campus Urban and Outskirts
Faculty 1,616
The plateresque facade of the university (R. Gil de Hontañón, 1543)
Roofed courtyard of the School of Architecture.

The University of Alcalá (Spanish: Universidad de Alcalá) is a public university located in Alcalá de Henares, a city 35 km northeast of Madrid in Spain and also the third largest city of the region. Founded in 1977, [1] the University of Alcalá is especially renowned in the Spanish-speaking world for its annual presentation of the highly prestigious Cervantes Prize. The University currently enrols 28.336 students, 17.252 of whom are studying undergraduate degrees which are taught by a teaching staff of 2.608 professors, lecturers and researchers belonging to 24 departments. The University is also proud of its modern and efficient administration, which is carried out by the Administration and Services comprising approximately 800 people. [2]


Today's University of Alcalá preserves its traditional humanities faculties, a testimony to the university's special efforts, past and present, to promote and diffuse the Spanish language through both its studies and the Cervantes Prize, which is awarded annually by the King and Queen of Spain in the Paraninfo (Great Hall). The University has added to its time-honoured education in the humanities and social sciences new degree subjects in scientific fields such as health sciences or engineering, spread out across its different sites (the Alcalá Campus, the Science and Technology Campus and Guadalajara), all of which, together with the Science and Technology Park, are a key factor in its projection abroad, while also acting as a dynamo for activities in its local region.

The University of Spanish Language[edit]

Because of its rich tradition in the humanities, the University of Alcalá offers several programs in Spanish language and literature. Alcalingua, a Department of the University of Alcalá, offers Spanish Language and Culture courses to foreigners and develops materials for teaching Spanish as a foreign language. The University of Alcalá, together with EDUESPAÑA, grants the CEELE, Certificado de Calidad en la Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera (Quality Certificate for Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language).

International Agreements[edit]

The University of Alcalá is a party to various bilateral agreements with Institutions in non-European countries, above all with universities in Latin America and USA. Some of these agreements stipulate exchanges for first and second stage students. Like Erasmus Programme students, foreign students who take advantage of these exchange schemes are exempt of payment of tuition fees to the University of Alcalá, though they must meet their own costs of travel, accommodation and upkeep. Application to take part in these exchanges should be carried out in the university of origin. Once selected, the university of origin will inform the University of Alcalá.

Undergraduate studies[edit]

The University of Alcalá offers degrees in five branches of knowledge: Arts and Humanities, Law and Social Sciences, Sciences, Health Sciences, and Engineering and Architecture. Its approximately 20,000 undergraduate students are spread across its three campuses:[3]

Arts & Humanities[edit]

  • Bachelor's Degree in English Studies (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Hispanic Studies
  • Bachelor's Degree in History
  • Bachelor's Degree in Humanities
  • Bachelor's Degree in Modern Languages Applied to Translation (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Modern Languages Applied to Translation. Guadalajara (Bilingual Spanish-English)

Health Sciences[edit]

  • Bachelor's Degree in Health Biology
  • Bachelor's Degree in Medicine
  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. Guadalajara
  • Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy
  • Bachelor's Degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences
  • Bachelor's Degree in Physiotherapy

Architecture & Engineering[edit]

  • Bachelor's Degree in Basics of Architecture and Town Planning
  • Bachelor's Degree in Communications Electronic Engineering (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Construction Engineering
  • Bachelor's Degree in Electronics and Industrial Automation Engineering
  • Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunication Systems Engineering (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunication Technologies Engineering (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Telematics Engineering (Bilingual Spanish-English)

Law & Social Sciences[edit]

  • Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and Finance
  • Bachelor's Degree in Audiovisual Communication
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management. Guadalajara
  • Bachelor's Degree in Economics
  • Bachelor's Degree in Economics and International Business
  • Bachelor's Degree in Infant Education
  • Bachelor's Degree in Infant Education. Cardenal Cisneros Associated School
  • Bachelor's Degree in Infant Education. Cardenal Cisneros Associated School (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Law
  • Bachelor's Degree in Law and Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor's Degree in Primary Education (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Primary Education. Cardenal Cisneros Associated School
  • Bachelor's Degree in Primary Education. Cardenal Cisneros Associated School (Bilingual Spanish-English)
  • Bachelor's Degree in Social Education. Cardenal Cisneros Associated School
  • Bachelor's Degree in Tourism
  • Bachelor's Degree in Tourism and Business Administration and Management



The University of Alcalá has three campuses:[4]

The historical campus in the city center[edit]

Colegio San José de Los Caracciolos

This campus includes the main administration building, the Faculties of Philosophy and Arts, Law, Economics and Business, and Documentation, as well as the Technical School of Architecture and Geodesy. Also located in the historical campus are Alcalingua (the University's Spanish language school), the Benjamin Franklin North American Studies University Research Institute, the Research Institute of Economic and Social Analysis, the Police Sciences University Research Institute, the Postgraduate School, the Institute of Educational Sciences, the Cisneros International Center for Historical Studies, the Cervantes Research Center, the Foreign Languages Center, the Institute of Business Organization and Management, the International Financial Training Center Foundation and the General Foundation of the University.

The Science and Technology Campus[edit]

Polytechnic School

This campus includes the Faculties of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing and Physiotherapy, as well as the School of Computer Engineering and the Polytechnic School. The students’ Residence Halls (the University Residential City and the Giner de los Ríos University Residence) are also located in this campus, as well as sports facilities, the Botanical Garden, Computer Services, numerous research centers and the Science and Technology Park.

Guadalajara Campus[edit]

Multidepartamental building

The “Multidepartamental” building is home to the Faculties of Tourism and Nursing, and the Schools of Business Studies and Architecture. The Faculty of Education offers degrees in Audiovisual Communication and Modern Languages and Translation (the latter can also be studied at the historical campus in Alcalá).

Notable teachers[edit]

Present day[edit]

  • Rodrigo Rato, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
  • Manuel Marín, former speaker of the Spanish Congress of Deputies and long-time member of the European Commission (Responsible for the presentation of the proposal for the Erasmus Programme).
  • Virgilio Zapatero, former Spanish Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (1986–1993).

Facilities and other services[edit]

The University of Alcalá is spread across three main sites:

  • The renovated 16th and 17th century buildings located in the city centre of Alcalá de Henares are home to studies in the traditional fields of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, as well as to the School of Architecture.
  • Health Sciences, specialised experimental sciences, and the new technologies are found in faculties and university schools built from scratch on the campus just outside the city of Alcalá de Henares.
  • Part of its recent process of expansion, the development of the Guadalajara Campus deserves special mention. Here, as well as the long-standing Escuela de Magisterio (primary education teacher-training college) and the Castilla-La Mancha Health Service Nursing College, both attached to the University, may be found the Multi-departmental Building, which is home for Technical Architecture, Business Science, and Tourism.

The University of Alcalá boasts an extensive network of 14 libraries spread across its three campuses. They offer extended hours year-round and during exam periods they never close. The University also offers a wide range of sporting activities, including aikido, archery, badminton, fencing, rugby and yoga. There are also courses in snorkelling, horseback riding and mountaineering, as well as other popular sports such as football. The University has a Hall for music, dance, theatre or flamenco, as well as the University Choir, "Tuna" (a traditional student music group), and the Film Club.


Many buildings on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas borrow architectural elements from those found at the University of Alcalá.[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°28′57″N 3°21′40″W / 40.482536°N 3.361151°W / 40.482536; -3.361151