FAQ

We cannot guarantee the accuracy of all the information listed here, as some of it depends on other institutions that may unilaterally alter their conditions, rates, etc. Students are advised to visit the links on this page and listed in the Contact section.

How are PhD programme at the UPM structured?

To obtain a PhD, students must complete a PhD thesis. In the initial years of a PhD programme, students receive research training through Training Activities to acquire the programme competences.

Students are required to submit a Research Plan every year. If this plan is considered satisfactory, students may continue with the development of their PhD thesis, under the supervision at all times of a faculty member associated with the PhD programme.

Which steps must I take to be admitted as a UPM postgraduate student?

The steps are as follows:

  1. Apply for the Master or PhD programme you would like to take.
  2. Wait for a letter (or e-mail) confirming admission to the programme.
  3. Enrol online or at your School.

What are the entry and admission requirements for accredited PhD programmes?

Please see the Entry and Admission sections.

Can I apply by e-mail or fax?

Application by email or fax is not allowed. You must apply online, using the form that is available on the UPM website.

How much does it cost to complete the PhD programme?

Public prices for university postgraduate programmes (fees) are set every year by Madrid's Regional Government within the limits established by the Higher Education Coordination Council. Apart from the cost of living in Madrid, PhD fees for the 2021/22 academic year are as follows:

  • Academic tuition for PhD thesis research: 390.00 euros per year
  • Bridge courses credit: 69.93 euros / ECTS
  • PhD thesis examination: 143.15 euros
  • PhD degree certificate issuance: 229.86 euros
  • Opening of academic record: 33.65 euros
  • Registry fees and replacement student cards: 6.11 euros
  • Student insurance: 1.12 euros
  • Compulsory insurance for students aged over 28 years: 4.10 euros
  • National mobility insurance: 4.10 euros
  • International mobility insurance: 115.00 euros
  • Academic transcript transfer: 27.54 euros
  • Academic certificates: 27.54 euros
  • Certification of documents: 10.43 euros
  • Issuance and printing of replacement degree certificates: 35.39 euros

Members of general-category large families are entitled to a 50% reduction on the above rates. Members of special-category large families are exempt from paying tuition fees.

Where can I do the administrative procedures, such as enroling, applying for the degree...?

There is a Registry at the School where all the students' administrative procedures can be done. For PhD students, the Postgraduate Office will help with all the administrative procedures (enrolment, applying for the degree, changes in personal data, certificates...).

In the specific case of enrolment, it can be done in person at the School's Postgraduate Office or on-line at the Self Enrolment available during the ordinary enrolment periods. Before enrolment, is better to read the self enrolment instructions.

How can I pay the programme fees?

The enrolment can be paid in advance or using payment in instalments (up to 8).

The allowed payment options are:

  • Using credit/debit card (Visa or MasterCard).
  • Direct debit at a Spanish bank. To direct the payment, the data relating to the holder and the account number (IBAN) must be completed. According to the SEPA regulations, students must present a direct debit order, which will be generated at the time of formalizing their enrolment. Once printed and signed by the account holder, a scanned copy must be emailed to School's Registry.
  • Bank receipt. The payment letter will be generated at the time of formalizing the enrolment. Once printed, the amount must be paid at any of the banking entities and within the expiration dates indicated in the payment letter.

From the receipt management program it will be possible to consult, print or modify the payment method chosen when registering.

How can I obtain the university card?

The university card serves as university identification and allows access to all the services and buildings that require entry control: laboratories, libraries, sports facilities..., in addition to being necessary for the loan of books and equipment in the libraries of the UPM.

The Virtual University Card can be obtained in the app of the UPM, which is available for download for Android systems (UPMapp, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universia, at Google Play) and iOS (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UNIVERSIA, at Apple's APP Store).

How should I sign the publications obtained from my PhD Thesis?

As a student of the UPM, you always have to sign your papers as "Universidad Politécnica de Madrid" (no abbreviations, no translation), so it could be taken into account as part of your PhD results. Nevertheless, if you belong to any ohter institution, you could add the filiation to your institution in addition to "Universidad Politécnica de Madrid".

Is the PhD a face to face programme?

The PhD consists mainly in a personal research work; so the place where the work is done is not so important. Nevertheless, the PhD recommends to follow it from Madrid.

In any case, for those PhD students that cannot be in Madrid all the time (due to economical, personal or professional reasons), the recommendation is the following:

  1. In the first academic year, at least 6 months in Madrid are recommended. During this time, the student should attend Training Activities and at least 2 Seminars, planning and define the topic of the PhD thesis together with the supervisor, start to study the state of the art and begin the research works.
  2. In the following academic years, at least 3 months in Madrid are recommended. During this time, the student should complete the Training Activities and at least 2 Seminars per year, and have thesis tracking meetings with the supervisor.
  3. In the last academic year, at least 6 months in Madrid are recommended. During this time, the student should attend at least 2 Seminars, finish the research and the thesis document, do the predefence at the beginning and do the defence.

The planning and length of the stays in Madrid should be established by the supervisor and the student, considering the student's circunstancies and the research.

While the student is not in Madrid, the student should keep working in the thesis, keeping periodical on-line meetings with the supervisor. We remind that the PhD programme duration is based on working 40 hours/week (full-time students) or 20 hours/week (part-time students). To be able to accomplish the thesis deadline, if the student has a work, a reduction of working hours should be requested.

Where will I live?

If you are unable to arrange your accommodation before you arrive to Madrid, a reasonable strategy is to first book provisional accommodation and then look for a longer-term option when you arrive. This page contains links with information on addresses. The Comunidad de Madrid's webpage Vivir en Madrid and the UPM Vice-Rector's Office for Students also offers information on different student accommodation options. Some general advice follows.

September is usually not a good time to find accommodation (especially permanent), because many workers and students come to Madrid after the summer holidays. On the other hand, you may find that in August, although officially open for business as usual, some offices are closed and there is not much on offer. We suggest that, whenever possible, you look for accommodation before the month of August.

Provisional accommodation

  • Some Colegios Mayores (institutions specialized in student accommodation that often organize cultural activities and usually provide study rooms, dining halls and computer rooms) offer accommodation on a daily basis during the months of July, August and September. One of the best is C.M.U. San Juan Evangelista.
  • There are many small, reasonably priced boarding or guest houses (again, see the links on this site). Of course, we advise that you choose carefully and shop around before you make your decision.
  • If you are an IYHF card holder, you are eligible to stay at any of the hostels available in Madrid.

Long-term accommodation

The usual options are:

Shared flat
Many students prefer this option and usually share a flat with other Spanish or international students. This is the most affordable option. The price ranges from 200 to 400 euros per month. You can find these flats:
  • Through ads at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos (rooms for rent and want-ads)
  • Through ads at the Ciudad Universitaria
  • Through online housing classifieds
  • Through specialized agencies
Landladies or private owners
Private individuals or families that offer accommodation, including the monthly payment of a number of services, such as cleaning, laundry, meals, etc., to be negotiated with the guest.
Private accommodation agencies
A convenient, albeit not inexpensive (because they charge a fee for their services), way of finding accommodation in Madrid for weeks or months is to engage the services of an accommodation agency.
University Halls of Residence (Colegios Mayores)
There are many possible choices in the Ciudad Universitaria area, but applications should be submitted in advance: the closing date for applications usually ends in late May. They are quite expensive (beginning at 550 euros per month), but they do provide board and services such as cleaning, laundry, library, sports facilities and cultural and recreational activities in return. Madrid's Regional Government offers a Hall of Residence search service. Some University Halls of Residence are:

How much does it cost to live in Madrid?

Although not as expensive as other European capitals, Madrid is not an inexpensive city to live in. For example, the cost of renting a one-bedroom flat starts at around 400 euros per month. You can find rooms in shared flats starting at 200 euros per month. Of course, all these prices depend on the area and do not include the proportional cost of water, electricity, phone, communal charges, etc.

Note for international students: the Spanish Government will not issue a student's visa required for residence in Spain unless you have a means of guaranteeing your livelihood. An amount of money held in a bank account or a grant award is acceptable proof for this purpose. We suggest that you contact your nearest embassy or consulate sufficiently beforehand.

How can I improve my Spanish or my English?

Students applying for this postgraduate programme should have a good knowledge of Spanish and English. The UPM offers different options for studying languages through the Centro de Lenguas. To this end, several Spanish language and culture courses, as well as courses in other languages, such as English, German, Chinese, etc., are scheduled throughout the year. In any case, there are many language schools with a wide variety of prices and schedules in Madrid.

How can I certify that I have an English-language proficiency level of B2 or equivalent?

To be eligible for a PhD programme at UPM, students must have a specified level of English proficiency, sufficient to ensure that they will be able to research and follow the lectures. The Council of Europe has established a number of language proficiency levels through the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR). A person with a B2 level of language proficiency is considered to have the following knowledge and skills:

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

To certify that they have an English proficiency level of B2, students should submit an official certificate specifying that they have attained the above level or any other equivalent examination certificate, such as:

  • University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations
    • First Certificate in English
    • Certificate in Advanced English
    • Certificate of Proficiency in English
    • International English Language Testing System: ≥ 5.5
  • Trinity College English Examinations
    • Integrated Skills in English examinations (ISE): ISE II & ISE III
    • Graded Examinations in Spoken English: Grades 7, 8, 9 & 10
  • English Testing System
    • TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test): ≥ 72
    • TOEFL ITP: ≥ 543 or Silver Certificate
    • TOEIC Listening and Reading: ≥ 785
    • TOEIC Speaking and Writing: ≥ 310
  • Spanish Official Language Schools (Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas Españolas)
    • 1998 Curriculum (RD 967/1988): 4th year pass
    • 2006 Curriculum (RD 1629/2006): Advanced Certificate
  • Pearson Test of English General
    • Level 3, Level 4 or Level 5
  • Linguaskill (BULATS)
    • Linguaskill: ≥ 160 (4 skils)
    • B2, C1 or C2 (4 skills)
  • APTIS
    • B2 (4 skills)
  • Have completed a bachelor or master’s degree at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Have passed an internal B2-level language test at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (based on CAPMAN)
  • Be a native English speaker
  • Have completed his/her higher education in English or in an English-speaking country

Will I have WiFi access to the Internet at the UPM?

UPM offers access via the eduroam initiative. Anyone with access to this network can log on from anywhere at the UPM (after installing the appropriate settings). UPM students also have access to this network (instructions for use are given on the UPM website Wireless Network section).

Can I have access to software at the UPM?

La UPM offers access to different types of software for use by students. Among the software offered, we can mention MicroSoft Office 365, MicroSoft OneDrive, Moodle, MicroSoft Teams, Zoom..., as well as software from Adobe, Autodesk, Bitdefender, IBM, Maplesoft, MathWorks, Microsoft, Oracle...

To use this software, the registration or activation would be necessary, following the instructions for the student's software.

It is especially important to register trough UPM on the platforms Moodle, MicroSoft Teams (register in Teams) and Zoom, since we can use any of these services during the lessons requiring authorized access with the account of the UPM.

Apart from grants from official institutions, what other funding options are there?

Some private institutions (banks, savings banks, large corporations, etc.) award student grants. However, there is usually a great deal of competition, and they generally target a specific field of study. Even so, it is an option well worth considering.

Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos professors can, at their discretion, offer internships and research grants generally associated with research and development projects. In this case, the work and research to be carried out are completely dictated by the topic of the project covered by the grant. On the other hand, they offer an unbeatable opportunity for joining the research and education system.

Finally, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos departments sometimes offer student grants for working part-time on tasks such as systems administration. Although in short supply, this is yet another option.

Where can I obtain information on scholarships and grants?

Ministry of Education and Vocational Training

Comunidad de Madrid

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Information on other sources of grants

Where can I obtain other useful information?

Ministry of Universities

Madrid Regional Government

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos

Information on accommodation

European Higher Education Area

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation

Where is the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos

The Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos is located in the outskirts of Madrid, in the district of Boadilla del Monte and, specifically, at the Montegancedo Campus. The transport options for reaching the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos are private car (from highway M-40), taxi, regional bus and light rail (linked with the Metro -subway- network).

For directions on how to reach the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos, see Our location.

I would like to study at the Facultad de Informática at the UPM. Where can I find information?

The Facultad de Informática (IT Faculty) was renamed Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Informáticos in 2013. However, the only thing that has changed is its name: the degree programmes, faculty, location… everything except the name is the same as before.

Do you have any more questions?

We can help you out at: doctorado.ssc@fi.upm.es.