Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona

The Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona, a collaborative initiative involving nine high caliber U.S. Universities (Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford) provides students with a unique opportunity to have direct access to four distinguished Spanish universities the “Barcelona Group”. The program capitalizes on the already strong academic linkages existing between the Iberian Studies departments from each of the U.S. Consortium members and their counterparts in Barcelona and fills an important education abroad niche in arguably Spain’s most dynamic and avant garde city.

About the Program

CASB students have direct access to four distinguished Spanish universities the "Barcelona Group" (Universitat de Barcelona-UB, Universitat Pompeu Fabra-UPF, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-UAB, and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-UPC) whose combined course offerings provide students with a vast array of opportunities in the humanities, social, physical and natual sciences, art and architecture and business. The program is designed for students who are looking for serious and rigorous academic study alongside Spanish and other university students. CASB is administered by the Brown University Office of International Programs on behalf of Stanford and the other seven American university members of the consortium.

Aside from its cosmopolitanism and Mediterranean style, Barcelona boasts many attractive features: a 2000-year history; its distinct Catalan culture; its proximity to historic sites ranging from the first Greek settlement on the Iberian Peninsula to the remains of what was once the Peninsula's largest Roman city; medieval monuments of the three religious cultures (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim); Europe's highest concentration of art nouveau architecture; and an enticing urban culture that can be explored in historical depth or simply enjoyed in the present.

This program constitutes an excellent introduction to Iberian Studies available through a year-abroad program, with students being able to experience first-hand the coexistence of cultures (both national and religious) that have clashed in the past and must negotiate their relations in the present. The extensive academic offerings in four of Spain's top universities make it possible for students to make steady progress on their majors while perfecting their knowledge of Spanish and picking up the basics of Catalan with little extra effort.

Stanford’s membership in the Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona (CASB), allows a limited number of Stanford students to spend a semester or a full year in Barcelona. The program is open to all qualified undergraduate students with advanced Spanish skills. Stanford students may apply for one or two of the ten semester slots supported by the Bing Overseas Studies Program and the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. Students who are accepted to these positions remain enrolled at Stanford while studying at CASB, giving them uninterrupted eligibility for financial aid and allowing their courses and grades to be recorded directly on their transcripts.

For additional information, please refer to the CASB website.

Academic Prerequisites

Participants must have completed CATLANG 1A as well as SPANLANG 13C or 13R before they participate in the program. Students interested in this program are also encouraged to explore related on-campus coures.


The required course load each semester consists of three university courses plus a mandatory Cultural and Language Pro-Seminar course and one of the two courses offered by the Consortium Center. All courses are taught in either Spanish or Catalan. Stanford students earn a total of 24 quarter credits of general credit.  Fall semester students have access to courses through the UPF and, with prior approval of Stanford,  CASB, and the respective instructor, the UAB, UPC and UB. Full year students will choose courses offered through the UB, the UPC, the UAB and the UPF. UPF is the only university that operates on a quarter system. Students who wish to have their CASB courses towards their major or minor requirements must check with their respective department(s) directly.

Each university has different processes and timelines, and often times the process varies from one department to another. In many cases, students will not have access to a complete course description or a language of instruction until after their arrival to Barcelona or the first day of classes.


All CASB Students participating in the Fall Semester Program live in the Residencia Universitaria Melon District-Marina residence, located in L’Eixample district. Residencia Melon-District Marina has 427 individual rooms that cater to a mixed Spanish and international student population. CASB students have an individual room with a private bath. The single rooms open up to a common living room and kitchens that CASB students share with 10 flatmates (mixture of Spanish, international students or other CASB/U.S. students), creating an apartment like atmosphere. The residence is beside the “Marina” metro station and the tramway line, 10 minutes from UPF and the city downtown.


The cost structure for CASB is different from a BOSP quarter length program. The housing fee covers lodging with cooking faciliteis only.  There is no meal plan or stipend for this program. Students should plan and budget for their meals separately in additional to other expenses. For the estimated cost, please visit Financing Study Abroad.  Students on financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office directly to ask how their financial aid package will be adjusted for this program.

How to Apply

Although administered by Brown University, Stanford students apply for the program through BOSP. For application instructions and deadlines, please visit the Apply page. Stanford students should NOT apply directly to the Brown University Office of International Programs. Stanford campus inquiries can be sent to