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IE School of Architecture and Design

IE School of Architecture and Design

Madrid , Spain Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Addressing the built, natural, and digital environments, using this comprehensive learning methodology IE School of Architecture and Design aims to expand the role of architects and designers to be able to contribute to society in multiple ways. We are constantly implementing pedagogical and technological innovation in teaching methodologies, project-based learning, and environmental responsibility.

International Role

IE School of Architecture and Design seeks to prepare students to take their place within different areas of architecture and design in the context of global society. To that end, the coursework is oriented around creativity, teamwork, the analysis of complex problems, and the entrepreneurial spirit. Using the European Union regulations as a base, the curriculum provides students with an education compatible with national and international contexts. This simultaneously national and international dimension is reinforced by the great diversity of the student body as well as that of the faculty and staff.   Freedom and respect for diversity are inalienable values of our identity. Students, graduates, and professors from more than 100 countries comprise our ecosystem rich in cultures, ideas, and outlooks.

To foster the broadest international ecosystem, collaboration is achieved in many ways. The School has established The Design Council, comprised of professionals from prominent companies, organizations, and studios around the world who share the belief that design is a powerful tool for change.  They form an international network to support and provide feedback for our programs and design-related initiatives.

The School has exchange program agreements for student exchanges with leading universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.  We also encourage and assist in finding internships for advanced undergraduate students internationally and nationally.

All of our Master programs include academic trips to other cities/ countries to understand firsthand other contexts and professionals and to attend professional, sectorial conferences.

Each year, IE School of Architecture and Design invites numerous guest lecturers from around the world to share their vision and experience with our community and the general public. As an example, some lecture series have included Naoto Fukasawa, Juhani Palassma, Francine Houben, Anne Stenros,  and many more.

Our Communications Department seeks to share our messages about the importance of design and our physical environments in the broadest way possible, making our voice one of influence within the international scene.  We use both our own social media outlets,  but also the relationships we have developed with major news outlets, journals, blogs, etc. to share our work, and views, and enter into dialogs throughout the world.

National Role

Within Spain, IE School of Architecture and Design is one of about 34 accredited higher education institutions in this field. On one hand, we distinguish ourselves by our academics, international nature, and our use of English as a teaching language. On the other hand, we also feel part of and contribute to the national and local ecosystems in several ways:  

We are members of the Conferencia de Directores De Escuelas de Arquitectura de España.  

We are active participants in such events as the Madrid Design Festival, Madrid Architecture Week, and the Hay Festival-Segovia. 

Our entire University offers full scholarships to up to 50 qualified applicants from Segovia Province (of which our Schools normally receives about 2-3/year.)

All of our programs enjoy the participation of adjunct professors who are practicing professionals in their own right.   This, along with numerous site visits (to design studios, showrooms, building sites, and companies) provides students with a deeper understanding of the local and professional contexts.

Our students secure internships in many design firms, architecture offices, and real estate related companies in Spain.

Main Focus

Our school is one of five that comprise IE University. The others are the Business School, Law School, School of Science and Technology, and the School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs. While each of these schools operates with great independence, offering graduate and undergraduate programs in their specific area of knowledge, a good deal of overlap exists among them. Full-time faculty, for example, form part of a university-wide "unitary faculty", with research evaluation and support being offered at the university level. We share University-wide facilities and departments such as the library,  research office, technical support staff, admissions, financial aid departments, etc.

IE School of Architecture and Design seeks to provide quality education for a diverse and international community of students. Our goal is to engage our students in two intertwined paths of study: the first provides rigorous and comprehensive training in the disciplinary skills of the architect and designer, while the second encourages students to think as broadly as possible about how those skills might be developed and used.

The Bachelor in Architectural Studies is the first step toward a professional architecture degree. The Bachelor in Design program seeks to open the eyes of students to the processes, tools, and interconnections between many types of design, in place of concentrating on the outcome, type, or product.

The Master programs seek to bridge the traditional gaps between academia and the professional world and to connect architecture and design with the broader society. The Master programs provide areas of specialization, complementing undergraduate education with inputs from other disciplines to make the skills and knowledge obtained in advanced degrees relevant to today's professional realm.

Faculties and Departments

IE School of Architecture and Design


Bachelor Level Programs

Bachelor of Architectural Studies – 5 years

Bachelor in Design – 4 years

Bachelor in Fashion Design – 4 years

Master Level Programs

Master in Architecture – 1 year

Master in Business for Architecture and Design – 15 months

Master in Real State Development – 10 months

Global Master in Real State Development – 15 months

Research Activity and Main Areas

Full-time faculty members of IE University and our School are expected to devote substantial time to research. The work of individual architecture and design professors reflects the following areas of research: material culture, the history of 20th-century architecture and design, evolving cities, and sustainability & building performance. 

As an extended facility of the School, the recently established Center for Sustainable Cities focuses on climate change and the role of cities. The Center seeks to further its objectives through research, education, and outreach. One recent example that the Center hosted was the 2020 Virtual Conference the Actionable Science for Urban Sustainability 2020 (AScUS 2020). 

Doctorate Level Programs

Not applicable.

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

In the second semester of the third year of studies, the bachelor in design students go on exchange, they need to fulfill 60% of the corresponding credits for that term in subjects related to Design and the other 40% can be complementary subjects which allows them to expand the scope of their interests and studies.

The incoming students can choose, among a myriad of subject areas, ranging from design studio (with some prerequisites) to design History, Business soft skills, and theory.

Each class has its prerequisite, usually consecutive classes have a prerequisite of the previous one being fulfilled, but the introductory classes generally don't have any.

  • Design Studio
  • Design History
  • Theory and Critique
  • Materials and Applications
  • Business / Design Management
  • Technology for Designers
  • Sustainability
  • Research Techniques 
  • Skills (design, writing, presentations, professionals)

Application Deadlines

The outgoing students, apply through a yearly call, regardless of the term they are going in exchange (spring or fall), and it follows this schedule

  • Application 1st period: 18 December- 17 January
  • Confirmation of spots: 28-31 January

There is a second round of applications for the available spots left in February.

Incoming Students Application deadline

  • mid-May for Fall/Full Year, and mid-October for the Spring term.

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Term dates for students coming to IE School of A&D:

Fall term: September to December
Spring term: January to May 

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

*Amount will vary based upon number of meals eaten in or out of the home.
**For those younger than 26 years old.

  • Housing Studio 750 — 1,000€ Per month
  • 1 Bedroom apartment 900 — 1,200€ Per month
  • 2 Bedroom apartment 1,200 — 2,000€ Per month
  • Room in a shared apartment 450 — 600€ Per month
  • Room in private residence 1,000 — 1,500€ Per month

Utilities and Services 80-100€ per month

Connectivity Services

  • Cell Phone 25€ Per month
  • Internet + Landline telephone 40€ Per month
  • Public Transportation Card 20€ Per month
  • Private Spanish Medical Insurance 35 — 50€ Per month


Bachelor: 460
Master: 125

Exchange Students

Incoming: 400
Outgoing: 30

Teaching Staff

Professors: 7
Lectures: 12
Part-time Teachers: 65

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