A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Business Schools in Spain

In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, gaining a solid education and developing exceptional leadership skills are paramount for success. Aspiring professionals seek esteemed institutions that can provide them with the knowledge, resources, and networks to thrive in their careers. Spain, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and world-renowned universities, offers a plethora of outstanding business schools that cater to ambitious individuals seeking top-tier education. In this article, we delve into the world of business schools in Spain, exploring their unique offerings and why they stand out among the rest.

Is Spain a good country to study business?

Spain may not appear as a common option for business studies. Yet it has emerged in the last few years to be one of the top destination, offering various educational options for those planing to pursue a management degree. Starting with the fact that several highly reputable business schools have planted auxiliary campuses in this sunny side of Europe. 

Besides, the top business schools in Spain boast an international reputation, with most of them offering 100% English-speaking programs. Not only, courses are internationally-oriented but many of them offer training on how to do business at a global level. And there is the diversity on campus, where students are surrounded by a multicultural environment. 

Last but not least, Spain offers business students and graduates an ecosystem that is favorable for startups. This is thanks to an affordable labor cost, combined to a lower living cost. And to encourage entrepreneurship for aspiring business leaders, two Spanish major cities – Barcelona and Madrid – provide connection opportunities for entrepreneurs, companies, universities, and investors. One of them is the largest startup conferences in Europe, the South Summit, that is held every year in Madrid. 

Find out how you can study in Spain in English.

What is the number one Business School in Spain?

While the rankings of business schools may vary depending on different criteria and perspectives, there are 3 institutions that consistently stand out: ESADE Business School, IE Business School and IESE Business School. All three schools have a reputation for excellence and a global reach.  

Moreover, all three institutions are located in Spain’s business cities: Barcelona and/or Madrid. They also have expert teaching staffs to accompany students as they complete their MBA or Executive MBA degree in Spain. And there is also the networking opportunity, which is a great way to kick-start your career after graduation. We’ll see more about the qualities of these business schools in our ranking below. 

How much is business school in Spain?

The cost of pursuing a business education in Spain can vary depending on factors such as the specific school, program, and duration of study. Generally, tuition fees for business schools in Spain range from moderate to competitive compared to other European and North American counterparts. For a business and management program, expect to pay: 

  • Around €16,000 per year for a bachelor’s degree
  • Up to €25,000 per year for a master
  • And around €35,000 per year for an MBA

However, it’s important to note that the investment in a quality education from a reputable business school often yields significant returns in terms of career prospects, networking opportunities, and lifelong learning. Additionally, various scholarships, grants, and financial aid options are available to help offset the cost and make education more accessible to deserving students.

You can also check our review of the living cost and study fees in Spain.

Spain business schools and MBA programs requirements

Pursuing a business degree in Spain can be a transformative step in advancing your career and gaining specialized knowledge in the field. While specific requirements may vary among institutions, there are certain general prerequisites that students who are aspiring entrepreneurs should consider. Here are the typical requirements to get admission in a business school and to pursue an MBA degree in Spain. 

Academic qualifications

One of the primary requirements for admission to business schools in Spain is possessing the necessary academic qualifications. Most institutions require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized university or college. While some schools may accept candidates from various disciplines, having a background in business, economics, or a related field is often preferred. It is advisable to carefully review the specific academic requirements of each business school to ensure eligibility.

Work experience

Many business schools in Spain highly value practical experience in the business sector. While the amount of required work experience varies among institutions, most MBA programs expect applicants to have a certain level of professional experience. Typically, this ranges from two to five years, although some programs may admit exceptional candidates with less experience. Work experience helps enrich the learning environment by fostering diverse perspectives and enabling students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Language proficiency

As English is the primary language of instruction in many business schools in Spain, applicants generally must provide a proof of proficiency in English. This is typically assessed through standardized language tests such as the TOEFL or the IELTS exam. Some schools may accept alternative proof of English language proficiency or offer exemptions for applicants who have completed their previous education in English or are from English-speaking countries.

Entrance exams: GMAT or GRE

Business schools often require candidates their score at entrance exams such as the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). It’s also the case for Spanish business schools. These exams assess an applicant’s analytical, quantitative, and verbal reasoning skills. While specific score requirements vary among institutions, a competitive GMAT or GRE score strengthens an application and demonstrates an individual’s readiness for the academic rigor of a business school program.

Letters of recommendation

Along with other general requirements, applicants also must submit letters from individuals who can provide insights into their academic abilities, professional achievements, leadership potential, and personal qualities. It is important to choose recommenders who can speak to different aspects of your profile and provide a comprehensive evaluation of your capabilities.

Personal statement or essay

Business schools often require applicants to submit a personal statement or essay as part of the application process. This component allows you to showcase your motivations, goals, and aspirations, and articulate why you are a suitable candidate for the program. It is essential to craft a well-written and thoughtful essay that highlights your unique experiences, skills, and how an education from the specific business school aligns with your career objectives.

Spain business schools ranking

Here are some of the top business schools in Spain for international students:

Read also our review of the best universities in Spain

ESADE Business School

With a campus in Barcelona, ESADE Business School is renowned for its commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. And hands-on experience is part of your study adventure. And the latter features a dynamic curriculum that prepares students to navigate complex business challenges. 

ESADE is also the first school in Spain to earn an accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). Along with this one come 2 other accreditations: the AACSB and AMBA. This triple accreditation attests to the fact that the institution has one of the most prestigious distinctions for a business school.   

This business school also has ranked first in the world as per the Wall Street Journal in 2006 and 2007. Also in 2012, the school was fifth in the Financial Times ranking. Courses are 100% in English, while the school also offers students to study in Spanish, French or German. 

Tuition at ESADE Business School starts at €2,500 for a 8-week program in digital marketing. MBA programs, on the other hand can cost more than €30,000 per year.

Visit the website of ESADE Business School for more details. 

IE Business School in Spain

Another business school with a triple accreditation, IE Business School is located in the heart of Madrid. It has, since its foundation 50 years ago, built a strong reputation for fostering entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. IE Business school is then perfect for students who aspire to be part of an international and dynamic academic environment. 

The institution currently ranks among the top 3 business schools not only in Spain, but also in Europe. Its other particularity is the school’s emphasis on a student-based immersive learning. Another attractive feature would be the great opportunity of networking the school provides. It can be through strong industry connections and a diverse, multicultural student body. 

Tuition fees at IE Business School in Madrid cost between €35,000 and €40,000 per year. 

Learn more by visiting the school’s official website.

IESE Business School

Nestled in the captivating city of Barcelona, with another campus in Madrid, IESE Business School has established itself as a global leader in management education. With a strong focus on values-driven leadership, IESE aims to develop well-rounded individuals capable of driving positive change in the business world. 

The school’s rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, and emphasis on ethics and social responsibility make it a great choice for those aspiring to become transformative leaders. Recognized for its emphasis on technology, IESE equips students with the skills needed to excel in the digital age. 

Programs at the school are various. They range from a MBA, EMBA, Global Executive MBA to a PhD in Management, among others. Tuition fees at IESE cost between €30,000 and €45,000 per year. 

Visit IESE Business School’s website to find out more. 

EADA Business School

The next in our list is a business school located in Barcelona, with 2 accreditations: AMBA and EQUIS. It stands out by being the only business school in Spain offering specialized master’s programs in Spanish and in English. The other benefits of studying at EADA Barcelona include: 

  • Scholarship opportunities in which the school contributes of more than €500,000 
  • A diverse student population from more than 100 nationalities
  • A sustainable approach, helping students to develop a responsible leadership, have a real impact and make a difference in their organizations. 

Visit EADA Business School’s website.

EAE Business School

EAE Business School started to exist in 1958 in Barcelona, and has expanded since through the opening of Madrid campuses in 2008 and 2014. The school is also one of the founding members of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) in 1973. 

Another distinctive feature of the school is the 3 learning formats it offers students: 100% on-site, 100% online and a hybrid combination of online and in-class studying. The educational experience at EAE prepares students to navigate the complexities of a globalized business landscape. The purpose is to foster individual transformation and boost up students’ talent. 

Visit EAE’s website to learn about the programs, tuition and other important details. 

EU Business School in Barcelona

The last institution in our list is a branch of an European leading business school. Being around since 1973, EU Business School has physical campuses in Geneva, in Munich and in Barcelona. It also has an online campus. And the institution prides in its commitment to equipping students with essential knowledge and skills for effective leadership. 

Moreover, education is provided to small-size classes by an experienced teaching staff, which consists of industry experts, entrepreneurs, consultants and other accomplished business leaders. When it comes to recognition, the school has a four-star rating in business excellence by the QS Stars Rating. 

Find out more by visiting the website of EU Business School.  


Business schools in Spain offer an unparalleled educational experience that blends academic rigor, practicality, and a global outlook. Whether you aspire to be a visionary entrepreneur, an ethical leader, or an analytical economist, these institutions provide the necessary tools and support to help you achieve your goals. You are for sure embarking on a transformative journey that will open doors to a world of opportunities, before and after graduation!

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