Saint Louis University Madrid Campus

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Saint Louis University - Madrid Campus
San Ignacio Hall.jpg
MottoAd Majorem Dei Gloriam
"For the greater glory of God"
Established1818 (U.S.); 1967 (Madrid)
AffiliationRoman Catholic (Jesuit)
DirectorPaul Vita, Ph.D.
Academic staff
110 (75% holding terminal degrees)
Students750 students who come from the United States (40%), Spain (25%), and over 65 other countries (35%). Male: 40% / Female: 60%
Average class size15
ColorsBlue and White         
MascotThe Billiken
SLU Logo.png

Saint Louis University - Madrid Campus (SLU-Madrid), founded in 1967, is a 4-year American university in Spain. Saint Louis University is a highly ranked Jesuit institution with campuses in St. Louis, Missouri, and Madrid, Spain. SLU-Madrid offers fully accredited American undergraduate and graduate degrees that can be completed in Spain or combined with studies at the St. Louis campus.

The student body at SLU-Madrid comprises approximately 750 students from over 65 different countries. English is the language of instruction, with selected courses offered in Spanish. The average class size is 14.8, and the student to faculty ratio is 11:1.


Saint Louis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has been continuously accredited since 1916. The most recent accreditation approval was issued in 2012 following a three-year intensive self-study carried out by a set of university-wide committees, including a subcommittee of the Madrid Campus. The Institutional Actions Council (IAC) of the HLC voted to continue the accreditation of Saint Louis University, with the next comprehensive evaluation set for 2021-22.

The university has also attained accreditation from appropriate professional bodies for specific programs; for example, the John Cook School of Business, through which the Madrid campus offers its International Business program, is accredited by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the premier business school accrediting body. Engineering degrees are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).


The Madrid campus was founded in 1967 by Raymond L. Sullivant as a study abroad program. Classes were offered in conjunction with the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, a Spanish Jesuit institution. The success of the study abroad program led Sullivant to develop an independent, permanent program, with administrative offices and classrooms located between Madrid's Complutense University and the city center.

Shortly thereafter, a number of Spanish students, attracted to the university's liberal arts curriculum, enrolled in classes. Within a decade, SLU-Madrid was home to hundreds of students. As the programs expanded, students were able to complete the first two years of their undergraduate studies in Madrid. By 2005, students were able to complete all four years of their degree and graduate in Madrid.

In 1990, SLU-Madrid acquired Padre Rubio and Padre Arrupe Halls. In 1996, the university became the first U.S. institution to receive official recognition from the Consejería de Educación y Deporte, Madrid's higher education authority. In 2011, the university expanded the Madrid Campus further with the acquisition and renovation of San Ignacio Hall, providing additional space to support students and faculty, including a new library, cafeteria and auditorium.

Today, students from more than 65 countries pursue undergraduate and graduate courses at SLU-Madrid. The campus offers four-year undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees, and hosts study abroad students from more than 150 universities in the U.S. and worldwide. Recognized as a center of international education in Spain, SLU-Madrid remains committed to the ideals of service and leadership that the university, its students, faculty, and staff have upheld since 1818, when the St. Louis Campus was founded.


Façade of SLU Madrid Campus, Padre Arrupe Hall

Padre Arrupe Hall houses administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, and biology, chemistry, computer, nursing and physics labs. Padre Rubio Hall, the main academic building, features additional classrooms, the Office of Student Life, student lounges, the bookstore and St. Timothy's Chapel. San Ignacio Hall, acquired in 2011, is home to an auditorium, art, dance and music studios, additional classrooms, a full-service cafeteria and dining room, the library, faculty offices and a rooftop terrace.

In addition to over 10,000 volumes that are available in the Madrid library, students in Madrid have access to the vast collection of electronic resources and databases owned by Saint Louis University.


The Billiken is Saint Louis University's distinctive mascot and has been for 100 years. The SLU mascot is a representation of the one-of-a-kind educational experience students receive during their time as SLU students.

Undergraduate degree programs[edit]

The courses offered at SLU-Madrid fulfill degree requirements for the nearly 100 undergraduate majors available through Saint Louis University. Students may complete all 120 credits hours for the following degrees on the campus in Madrid:

  • Art History
  • Business Administration/Economics
  • Business Administration/International Business
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • English*
  • History*
  • International Studies
  • Political science/International Relations
  • Psychology
    • This degree is not valid if you want to pursue a psychology degree in Spain. At least two additional years of education in a Spanish institution are required to validate your degree.
  • Spanish

*One semester required at the St. Louis Campus.

Students pursuing other majors including engineering, computer science, and nursing can complete the first two years of study in Madrid before transferring to the St. Louis Campus to finish their degree.

SLU-Madrid also hosts visiting students from over 150 different universities across the United States and around the world. Study abroad students choose from more than 200 courses each semester, including classes in engineering, health sciences and other non-traditional study abroad fields.

Postgraduate education[edit]

Padre Rubio Hall

SLU-Madrid offers two M.A. programs:

  • English literature
  • Spanish language and literature.

Students may fulfill all requirements for the M.A. programs in Madrid, or through a combination of study at the Madrid Campus and the St. Louis Campus.

The M.A. in Spanish program focuses on Spanish and Latin American language, culture and literature. The program can be completed over the course of three or four summers, or during the academic year. The program is designed for holders of a B.A. in Spanish or a related field, language educators, and literary scholars.

Additionally, the Madrid Campus hosts the SLU Summer Law School.

Campus life[edit]

The Office of Student Life sponsors a wide range of extracurricular activities, both on and off campus, including trips that deepen students’ cultural understanding of Spain or that complement their studies by taking them to destinations around Spain, Europe, and Africa. Clubs include the Student Government Association, the Gay-Straight Alliance, the International Relations Society, Poker Club, the Glee Club, Film Club, Debate Club, among others.

Campus Ministry organizes a program of activities for exploring faith and a commitment to social justice. Each semester, the university sponsors a retreat to Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order. The Ignatian Community Council organizes panel discussions, service projects, documentary film viewings, and interfaith activities to encourage dialogue within the diverse religious community on campus and address the tough issues of social justice the world faces today.

In keeping with the Jesuit mission of the university, SLU-Madrid offers its students, faculty and staff opportunities for living out their identity as "men and women for others" through community service and outreach. Volunteers collaborate with dozens of local NGOs. Projects include teaching English to hearing-impaired children, serving meals in a soup kitchen, and raising money for the Red Cross.

SLU-Madrid offers career counseling, practice interviews, résumé critiques and workshops/ networking events on campus.


External links[edit]