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Maryland-in-Barcelona Academic Overview

This overview provides information about the academic structure of the Maryland-in-Barcelona program as well as information about UMD's partner institutions in Barcelona. Refer to the UAB and UPF Course Offerings for course descriptions and syllabi as well as the UMD Study Abroad Course Database (SACD) for UMD equivalents and evaluations of courses abroad..

Academic Structure

The Maryland-in-Barcelona program is designed to engage students in a living-learning setting. Students will complete coursework that provides a deeper understanding of Barcelona, Catalonian, and Spanish culture while also taking elective classes in the humanities, social sciences or business and economics. Admitted students will enroll in a total of 12-15 credits. The curriculum is comprised of the following:




Required: Spanish (6 credits) or Catalán Language (3 credits)

6 or 3

Taught at UAB/UPF
Note: Catalán language only offered at UAB

Electives 3-9  

Spanish & Catalán History and Culture  (encouraged) 


Taught at UAB/UPF

Other Elective Courses


Taught at UAB/UPF

Optional Internship: EDCP386 3 Placement coordinated before arrival and finalized on-site; coursework online.
Please see Internship Notes

Spanish Language: All students will take a placement exam to assess the appropriate level of Spanish to take in Barcelona and will enroll in 6 credits of Spanish language at either UAB or UPF. Refer to the course offerings for your particular term and the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD) for course descriptions and syllabi.

NOTE: UMD credit will only be granted for language courses taken at or above the level of Spanish already received at UMD. Credit will not be awarded for repeated courses or courses at a level lower than that already received at UMD (i.e. a student who has received credit for SPAN203 may not earn credit for any 100-level equivalent course at UAB or UPF). Placement in specific levels cannot be guaranteed by UMD. For additional information on this policy, please refer to the UMD Academic Catalogue.

Spanish and Catálan Culture and History Courses: To complement the studies in Spanish language and your experience living in Spain, students are encouraged to take at least one course in Spanish or Catalán culture. These courses are taught in both English and Spanish. Refer to the Course Offerings and SACD for Spanish and Catalán culture and history course options and syllabi.

Elective Courses: Students will select the remainder of their courses from UAB or UPF electives in the fields of humanities, behavioral and social sciences, business or architecture. There are course options available in both English and Spanish. Students attending UPF could be eligible to take coursework in any of their academic programs, with the exception of the experiential learning program.

InternshipAll students have the option to select a 3-credit internship course, which includes placement in a local organization and an online course, EDCP386: Experiential Learning - Internship (resident credit) . The internship is an excellent opportunity to complement your cultural engagement and professional development activities while abroad. While Spanish language may not be required for the internship, some experience with Spanish language may be encouraged depending on the placement. 

Internship students should have the expectation that they will satisfy most of their hours on Fridays when there are no classes. Internship commitments are approximately 8-10 hours per week. Placements are tailored to what the student may be seeking out of their experience. If you would like to participate in an internship, you should be prepared to send a resume and cover letter upon course registration that details your academic/professional background, what you are seeking in an internship, and some of your aspirations professionally/personally. 

Notes: UAB students will not be able to count the internship towards their minimum 12 credits with UAB. UPF students are able to count the internship as part of their minimum 12 credits. In addition, internship students will need to purchase additional liability insurance. Please refer to the Costs tab of the Maryland-in-Barcelona webpage for more information.

Availability of Courses: Students should refer to the respective University's website for the most up to date information on course availability. Unfortunately, no course can be guaranteed given the nature of working with host institutions on-site, so students should have a number of alternative courses in mind and be flexible during the registration process which will take place after admissions decisions have been received. UMD Education Abroad makes every effort to enroll students in their first choice coursework, but cannot guarantee availability of seats in any given course. There is an add/drop period at both universities where changes may be requested, but course availability is still not guaranteed.

University Options

Students who are accepted to the Maryland-in-Barcelona program will choose to take classes at one of our partner universities:

Both universities are well-known and highly regarded public Spanish institutions of higher education, offering a wide range of courses and unique opportunities to learn more about Spain and Spanish culture. Courses are taught by local or international faculty who provide students with expertise in the respective discipline and often act as a cultural interpreter as students explore the socio-political and cultural aspects of their study abroad semester.

In order to help you select which university fits your academic and personal interests, please take some time to review the information provided below and on the UAB and UPF websites. See where each university is located on the Maryland-in-Barcelona google map.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

The UPF is a city campus with strong links to the community and world beyond, with an emphasis on internationalism.  The University offers courses of study in the social sciences, business and economics, and humanities.  Students will take courses at the Ciutadella campus, nestled between the beach, the 1992 Olympic Village and Parc de la Ciutadella.

At UPF, UMD students will be in classes with other study abroad and international students or possibly with some Spanish, local and international students.

Course Offerings

Maryland-in-Barcelona, UPF Course Offerings

At UPF, students will enroll in Spanish language and select from a range of course offerings taught in English and Spanish from any of the programs that UPF offers, with the exception of Experiential Learning Program. Typically, students will take most courses from the Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) (formerly known as the Hispanic and European Studies Program (HESP) or ESCI program. The courses offered by the BaPIS comprise a wide assortment of topics and perspectives. Special emphasis has been placed on subjects that promote a better understanding of Spanish and Catalán reality while encouraging critical thinking. Organized cultural activities and excursions are an integral part of the BaPIS. These activities are designed to enhance participants' understanding of Spanish and Catalán culture.

Students interested in pursuing coursework in Business and Economics will take classes alongside Spanish and international students at UPF's ESCI School of International Business.  ESCI courses promote enhanced understanding of business concepts in a global environment and encourage students to work in multinational teams. Students are also eligible to earn a Certificate in International Business if they complete the appropriate coursework. Please review UPF's website for complete details.

Students with advanced Spanish or Catalán proficiency may also be able to select from the UPF regular course offerings including courses in ELISAVA School of Design.

Classes at UPF typically meet for two hours, twice a week, Monday through Thursday. ESCI, ELISAVA and regular courses at UPF meet Monday-Friday. Course calendars are available on the UPF website. Course offerings and scheduling are subject to change.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students attending UPF should be particularly mindful of the academic calendar as UPF functions on a trimester schedule (students attending the spring program should be sure to look at courses for Winter) and course calendars will vary.

Campus Life

The Ciutadella campus is located next to the L4 line of the Barcelona metro (Ciutadella Vila Olímpica stop), easily accessed by students living in UM housing in Barcelona. As one of UPF's main campuses, study abroad students are fully integrated into campus life and have access to all facilities utilized by Spanish students including the libraries, cafeteria and other student services.  All classrooms are technologically fully equipped.  Most classes use a state-of-the-art computer based educational tool (Campus Global) to give support and audiovisual materials to students.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

UAB prides itself on its international focus, connections with the business world, high quality student services, and sense of social awareness. It offers a full array of academic options, including the language, art, history, business, economics and politics. UAB courses for study abroad students are taught at the Barcelona campus: Casa Convalescencia in the city center. You will NOT be taking courses at the main UAB campus, which is outside of the city center.

At UAB, UMD students will take classes especially designed for study abroad students as part of the pre-established study abroad programme. In addition to course offerings, students can find course calendars under General Information. The UAB Barcelona study abroad campus serves international students and UMD students will not be in classes with Spaniards nor other local students.

Course Offerings

Maryland-in-Barcelona, UAB Course Offerings

UAB's pre-established study abroad programme combines lessons of Spanish as a foreign language (9 different levels) plus electives in humanities, politics, economics and business taught in English or in Spanish.

Elective classes at UAB typically meet for 1 hour 40 minutes, twice a week Monday through Thursday. Spanish language classes meet for four-1 hour 40 minute sessions per week (Monday through Thursday), which could be either two classes back-to-back (with a 20-minute break in between) twice a week, two classes on the same day twice a week but not back-to-back, or one class at the same time four days per week. Course offerings and scheduling are subject to change. UAB is on a more traditional semester calendar. While courses typically will meet Monday-Thursday, UAB might have to add a section of a high demand course on Fridays, so students should be prepared for that, as well.

Campus Life

The UAB Barcelona campus is centrally located to UMD housing and public transportation. Students who have courses at both campuses will find it very easy to travel between the two (about 20 minutes) as they are both located on the same metro line (L4).

The Barcelona Campus is located in the historic UAB-Casa Convalescència building, which is part of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. The building was renovated completely in 2009 and it has all the necessary facilities for teaching such as wireless Internet access, air conditioning, adapted facilities for people with special needs or free printing service. 

Students selecting UAB will also have access to all UAB facilities and student services on the main campus in Bellaterra which is about a 30 minute train ride from downtown Barcelona. The Bellaterra campus provides a variety of services, including libraries, a language-learning centre, cultural activities, sports facilities, restaurants, a health centre, bookshops, and various other shops.

Academic Policies

All students are expected to adhere to the academic policies of the institution where they are registered (UAB or UPF). Students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings.  Final exams are held at the end of the semester and are mandatory for all students. Each institution in Barcelona  and even schools within each university  has its own exam schedule.  Note that final exams typically carry more weight on students' final grades than the American system. Students are also held to the UM code of academic integrity while participating in this program.

Students should refrain from booking any individual travel until they receive their final course schedules when they arrive on-site. Students are responsible and expected to attend all scheduled class meetings and missing for travel will not be excused.

Credit & Grading

The Maryland-in-Barcelona program is a hybrid credit program. This means that all students take a combination of resident credit (RC) and transfer credit (TC) while they are abroad.  To see which courses are RC and which are TC, please refer to the Study Abroad Course Database (SACD) for your university.
Resident Credit: Courses that will show up on the UM registration and for which you will receive a grade that is factored into your cumulative GPA. 
Transfer Credit: Courses that are not counted as resident credit will be accepted as transfer credit. Equivalents for transfer credits and applicability to degree will be determined by your academic advisor.  While the grades for transfer credit courses are not factored into your cumulative GPA, the following conditions apply to all transfer credits:
(1) You may NOT take courses on a Pass/Fail basis.
(2) You must receive the equivalent of a C- or better (5.0 or above) in a given subject in order for the course credit to transfer to UM. Please refer to the grading scale here.
At the end of the semester, UAB and UPF will provide transcripts to Education Abroad for evaluation. EA will post any resident credit grades and evaluate transfer courses for credit. While transfer credit grades are not factored into your UMD GPA, you will still have an official transcript from either UAB or UPF, meaning that all grades are important. Should you be required to submit transcripts from all institutions you have attended in the future for graduate school applications, for example, you will need to include official transcripts from UAB or UPF along with your UMD transcript and transcripts from any other schools you have attended.

If you believe there has been an error with one or more of your grades, contact the EA advisor for the program who will be able to request a grade report from your host institution.

Please see note above for policy regarding language credit for students who have earned UMD credit for Spanish language.

Maryland-in-Barcelona Grading Scale:

Spanish Grade

US Grade



Spanish Grade

US Grade

10 - 9.5


7.4  7.0


4.9 - 4.5


9.4 - 9


6.9  6.5


4.4 -  4


8.9 - 8.5


6.4  6.0


3.9 -  3.5


8.4 -  8.0


5.9  5.5


3.4 -  0


7.9 - 7.5


5.4  5.0




*If an NP is received, a grade of F will be applied unless there has been formal documentation of withdrawal from the course with permission of the students UMD academic advisors.