Universidad Complutense de Madrid


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The Universidad Complutense de Madrid is a quality public institution that has an important historical heritage and an extensive cultural and leisure offer with which to enjoy art, literature, music, theater, museums, festivals and sports.

It is located in two privileged spaces in Madrid capital and Pozuelo de Alarcón surrounded by green and forest areas.

We assume as our own a triple ideal: to train professionals useful to society, to promote scientific research and to spread the knowledge and values that are inherent to the University. A current challenge for Complutense, like so many that it has managed to overcome in the past.

We encourage you to get to know it!

Mission and vision

The Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) is an institution with a long history and wide social recognition that aspires to be among the first universities in Europe and to consolidate itself as a center of reference for the Latin American continent.

With the students as the axis of its activity, the UCM is committed to comprehensive and critical training at the highest level. Teaching quality is a true “Complutense seal” and graduate programs are a priority. The masters and doctorates of the Complutense University have the human and material resources that guarantee their excellence. The rapprochement and intensification of relations with society and with the productive environment is one of its priorities for the coming years.

UCM has great research potential and many of its research groups occupy positions of international leadership. The Complutense is committed to developing poles of excellence based on large networks of quality groups, promoting emerging groups and integrating young researchers. And, of course, for linking research with training at all grade and postgraduate levels.

The UCM organization is governed by its commitment to user service, simplifying administrative procedures. Its activity responds to the principles of democracy, transparency, campus sustainability, real and virtual accessibility, preservation of the environment and commitment to the social and economic environment.

UCM is a quality public university at the service of society and offers its students undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that are widely accepted in the workplace.

The academic and research excellence of the UCM has been endorsed by the qualification, together with the Polytechnic University of Madrid, of Campus of International Excellence in the highest category A-Good Progress.

Historical review

The University in Alcalá

The current Universidad Complutense de Madrid is the one founded by Cardinal Cisneros as a consequence of the Letter Bulada “Inter cetera”, granted by Alexander VI, on April 13, 1499, to grant the Cardinal the privilege of founding and building a School for Schoolchildren which should be located in Alcalá de Henares. The documents that come out of the papal chancery are three, dated on the same date. The document “Inter cetera” belongs to the category of a bulated letter –that is, it is not a bull or a “solemn littera” - and, specifically, it is a “gracious littera” or letter of mercy; It is a parchment with semi-gothic letter that is preserved in the National Historical Archive.

Cisneros ordered the construction of the Colegio Mayor San Ildefonso a month before the Carta Bulada was awarded, laying the foundation stone in March 1499. The idea was to create the Complutense College in which the teachings of Theology, Canon Law and Arts were taught Liberals. The papal bulated letter grants, precisely, authorization for that, "a College of students where teachings of the Faculties of Theology, Canon Law and Arts are read."

From the beginning that College settled in the place where Complutum had been located, the Roman city of the 1st century BC. The works finished in 1508 and in that year the first students began to study. Enrollment took place between August and October. On October 17 the first Rector of the University - Pedro del Campo - was elected, the Course opening on the 18th with a lesson on Aristotle's moral philosophy. The initial idea of Cisneros reproduced the content of the studies of the medieval European Universities - those that followed the General Studies - in which theology, medicine and jurisprudence were studied, the teachings of Liberal Arts being preparatory. The Cardinal intended with the collegial structure to allow people to study without resources who were welcomed and awarded scholarships.

From 1502, and without the College being built, Cardinal Cisneros began the collection of books to create the Library and promoted the work of the Polyglot Bible.

In 1510 the Cardinal promulgated the Constitutions of the Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso; in them the regulations for the studies of Arts, and the relative thing to the Faculties of Theology, Canon Law and Medicine are shaped with great detail. It is also contemplated that other studies such as Grammar and Greek (Constitutions 38 to 58) should be established.

Note that the studies of Medicine were not alluded to in the papal bulated letter, nor were they originally intended for the Colegio de San Ildefonso. However, they appear in the Constitutions of 1510, specifically in 49, which begins with the following words:

"Since, due to the many diseases that daily afflict mortals, the art of Medicine is considered very appropriate and necessary in the republic, experience, attests to this, we establish that in our College there are two chairs of medicine and they have two doctors of great erudition and mature experience ”.

When the Constitutions are promulgated and sworn by the Cloister, the university community appears, that is, the University, as an entity with its own legal personality, directed, like the College, by a Rector.

After multiple ups and downs suffered by the University located in Alcalá, which went from the initial moments of glory, to a considerable decline, in 1821, in the General Regulation of Public Instruction, the creation of the Central University of Madrid was ordered, deleting one year then the one settled in Alcalá. The Central University was established by Order of October 3, 1822, encompassing the studies of the Literary University of Alcalá, those of San Isidoro and those of the Museum of Natural Sciences. But the return of absolutism in 1824, meant the return of the University to its first headquarters. The Institution was weakened by the purifications, the deprivation of the jurisdiction, the prohibition to use the academic suit and the lack of spaces in Madrid.

The Universidad Complutense de Madrid assumes as its own a triple ideal: to train professionals who are useful to society, to promote scientific research and to disseminate the knowledge and values that are inherent to the University among the near and far. A current challenge for our University, which so many others have managed to overcome in the past.


Office for Quality

The Vice-Rector's Office for Quality offers the entire Complutense university community information and programs that establish the system of guarantees and trust in teaching, research and management activities carried out by and at the Complutense University. To do this, it designs, participates and manages various initiatives for the development of:

  • Programs for evaluating the quality of the academic offer for degrees and teachers.
  • Certification programs and accreditation of educational institutions and research centers.
  • Data and figures on rankings and quality indicators .
  • Conferences and conferences on quality in Higher Education Institutions.

Office for the Inclusion of People with Diversity

The Office for the Inclusion of People with Diversity (OIPD) of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid provides personalized attention to all members of the University Community (students, teaching and research staff and people from administration and services) with functional diversity / disability, needs specific and personal.

It is a space of support, accompaniment, listening, orientation, assistance, training and advice.

In addition, we have the support of Coordinators in each of the Faculties that make up the UCM and the Affiliated Centers to support diversity and promote inclusion.

Equality at UCM

The University has been one of the institutions that has contributed the most in recent decades to the progress made in equality and the incorporation of women into society, having experienced the massive entry of women into higher education. Despite this, inequalities continue to occur today: we find vertical segregation (although there is currently a majority of female students even though the number of female teachers is much lower, especially professors), and also horizontal segregation, expressed in the unequal presence of women in the different areas or disciplines (as an example in the UCM, there are 84% of female undergraduate students in Social Work and only 15% in Computer Science).

Sometimes these inequalities are very apparent, but many others are invisible because we have become accustomed to seeing them as “normal”, since we face many years of a culture that has been built with the male model as the center and as the norm. In addition to being unfair, these inequalities mean that all of us do not really have the same opportunities.

The Equality Unit carries out continuous work to collect and analyze data that allows us to understand the reality of our university and design appropriate measures for each context.



Avenida Complutense, s/n.
28040 Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

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