Recognition Foreign Degrees

Royal Decree 309/2005, of 18 March, which modifies Royal Decree 285/2004, of 20 February, which regulates the conditions of recognising and validating foreign higher education degrees and studies (BOE, of 19 March).



I. Recognition of Foreign Higher Education Degrees as equivalent to Spanish Degrees and Courses:

The recognition to a degree of the Catalogue of official university degrees is the official recognition of the degree achieved, for the obtaining of a foreign degree as the equivalent to that demanded for obtaining a Spanish degree of those included in the mentioned catalogue.

Recognition to a Postgraduate degree will under no circumstances imply the recognition of the foreign degree of an equivalent academic degree or level of the one held by the applicant.

The recognition to an academic degree of those in which university degrees are structured in Spain, is the official recognition of the degree achieved, for the obtaining of a foreign degree as the equivalent to that demanded for obtaining an academic degree inherent to any of the levels in which Spanish university degrees are structured and not to a specific degree.



II. Effects of Recognition:

The recognition of a foreign degree gives, from the date on which it is recognised and the relevant credentials are issued, the same effects of the equivalent Spanish degree or course, in the whole of Spain, according to the current regulations.


III. Proper Bodies:

Rectors of Spanish universities are responsible for recognising foreign postgraduate degrees and courses.

The Rector of the University of Zaragoza will judge, handle and resolve the corresponding request, and if approved, will issue the corresponding credentials.

(Future Master’s degrees for which the Government approves specific general directives are exempt).


IV. Recognition as equivalent to Postgraduate Degrees and Courses:

This refers to the recognition of foreign higher education degrees as equivalent to:

· The current Doctor’s degree, until it is substituted by the one foreseen in the Royal Decree 56/2005, of 21 January, regulating official university postgraduate studies.

· New official Master’s and Doctor’s degrees established according to the mentioned Royal Decree 56/2005, of 21 January, except Master’s degrees referred to in section 8.3, whose recognition will be handled according to the procedure of recognising degrees as equivalent to the degrees of the Catalogue of official university degrees.

· The new Master’s degree. (This possibility of recognising new Master’s degrees will not come into force until the date on which the Catalogue of official university degrees has been completed, according to Section 3 of the first additional disposition of the Royal Decree 55/2005, a process that should be completed before 1 October 2007).


V. Procedure:

a) Application

The procedure of recognition will be initiated on the request of the interested party in the model designed for this purpose based on that published as an annex to Order ECI1712/2005, of 2 June, which modifies Order ECI/3686/2004, of 3 November, which sets out regulations for the application of Royal Decree 285/2004, of 20 February, which regulates the conditions of recognition of foreign higher education degrees (BOE of 15).


Recognition may not be applied for at more than one university at the same time. A foreign degree which has already been recognised by a university may not be subjected to recognition at another university. Nevertheless, if the recognition is rejected, the applicant may apply for recognition at a different Spanish university.

The application may be handed in at:

· The Registers of the University of Zaragoza, recognised as such.

· Any other location set out in Article 38.4 of the Law 30/1992, of 26 November, of the Legal System of the Public Administration and of the Common Administrative Procedure (LRJ-PAC).

b) Documentation

The application form must be accompanied by:

· Accrediting certification of the country of the applicant (certified or verified photocopy of the document accrediting the identity and nationality of the applicant), issued by the competent authorities of the country of origin or by the Spanish authorities responsible for foreign affairs. In the case of Spanish nationals, a certified photocopy of the national identity card.

· A certified or verified copy of the degree whose recognition is applied for, or original certification accrediting its issue.

· Certified or verified copy of the academic certification of the studies undertaken to obtain the degree, which states, amongst others, the official duration, in academic years, of the study plan followed, the courses studied and the total number of hours of each of them.

  • A copy of the doctoral thesis and an explanatory report of the thesis in Spanish (once the resolution has been published the copy of the thesis will be returned).
  • Curriculum vitae of the person applying for homologation
  • The application form can be optionally accompanied by: 
  • Curriculum vitae of the doctoral thesis director

· Accreditation of the payment of the corresponding FEES set by the University of Zaragoza in the Decree of Public Prices approved by the Government of Aragon for each academic course, which must be paid into bank account Ibercaja 2085 0111 7603 3037 2392, or directly to the Specific Studies and Degrees Department of the University of Zaragoza.

Information of the account if money is to be transferred from abroad:

Holder: University of Zaragoza
Bank: Ibercaja, branch: Urbana 10
Branch address: Fernando El Católico, 35, 50006 - Zaragoza (Spain)
IBAN: ES43 2085 0111 7603 3037 2392
(The applicant will pay any possible commissions)


Complimentary Documentation:

The competent body may also require other documents it considers necessary for the accreditation of the equivalence between the studies leading to the obtaining of the foreign degree and that demanded for obtaining the Spanish degree for which recognition is applied for, including, if applicable, the programmes of the courses, which states their contents and scope, or the academic documentation accrediting that the studies required for access to those for obtaining the degree for which equivalence is applied have been passed, in their totality.

Document Requirements:

The documents issued abroad must comply with the following requirements:

· They must be official and be issued by the competent authorities, in compliance with the legal system of the country in question.

· They must be presented legalised via diplomatic means, or otherwise, by means of the Hague Convention apostille. This requirement will not be demanded for documents issued by the authorities in EU Member States or signatories of the Agreement on the European Economic Area.

· Regarding that set out on the supply of certified copies, the legalisation or apostille must appear on the original document before the certified copy is made.

· They must be accompanied by their official translation into Spanish when applicable. It will not be necessary to supply an official translation of the copy of the doctoral thesis that must be supplied with the application for the recognition of a Doctor’s degree, nor of the complimentary documents required by the competent body.

Supply of certified copies

The supply to these procedures of certified copies is governed by that set out in Section 8 of the Royal Decree 772/1999, of 7 May, which regulates the presentation of applications, documents and communications to the General State Administration.

In the record office at which the application is handed in, the applicant must supply a photocopy of each original document handed in. The record office will compare the documents and their photocopies, checking the identity of their contents and will return the original documents to the applicant and will attach the copies to the application, once they have been stamped, in terms set out in Article 8.2 of Royal Decree 772/1999.

If the photocopies have already been compared and legalised by a notary or by the Spanish diplomatic or consular representatives in the country of origin of the document, the originals do not have to be presented. In general, the original documents will not be presented to this procedure, except when required by the competent body.

Document Validation:

If in doubt over the authenticity, validity or contents of the documents supplied, the competent body may take the necessary measures to check them, and may contact the competent authorities issuing the documents to validate them.


VI. Recognition Criteria:

The Commission of Postgraduate Studies of the University of Zaragoza will examine the documents supplied by the student and will issue a report which will be presented to the Rector with the recommended action. For the issuing of this report, the following criteria will be considered:

· The correspondence between the academic levels required for access to the studies leading to obtain the foreign degree and for access to the Spanish degree.

· Duration and total number of hours of the training period required for obtaining the foreign degree whose recognition is sought.

· Correspondence between the academic levels of the foreign degree and the Spanish degree whose recognition is sought.


VII. Resolution:

After the instruction of the procedure and, if applicable, having an audience, set out in Art. 84 of the LRJ-PAC, the Rector of the University of Zaragoza, in light of the report issued by the Postgraduate and Doctorate Commission, will pass a Resolution, which will contain arguments and will contain one of the following pronouncements:

  • · Recognition of the foreign degree as equivalent to a Doctor’s degree.
  • · Rejection of the requested recognition.

The maximum period to resolve and notify the resolution of the procedure will be six months, to be counted from the date on which the application was made at any of the record offices of the University of Zaragoza.

If a resolution is not delivered within the abovementioned period, it must be assumed that the application for recognition has been rejected, as set out in the 29th additional disposition of Law 14/2000, of 29 December, of Fiscal, Administrative and Social Order Measures, and in Annex 2 of the same disposition.


VIII. Credential

The resolution of recognition of foreign higher education degrees will be formalised by an accreditation issued by the Rector of the University of Zaragoza, based on the model published as Annex II of Order ECI/3686/2004, of 3 November (BOE of 15).

The accreditation will be issued on unbleached UNE A-4 cellulose paper, with invisible fibres reacting to ultraviolet light and with other security measures determined by the General Secretariat of University Coordination Commission of MEC.

The University of Zaragoza will sent the General Department of Degrees, Recognitions and Accreditations the information relating to the favourable resolutions of recognition, which will be registered in a special section of the National Record of Official Degrees referred to in Royal Decree 1496/1987, of 6 November, on the obtaining, expedition and recognition of university degrees.

The accreditation will be issued to the applicant through the Specific Studies and Degrees Department, following procedures similar to those followed for official degrees.

Sección de Estudios Propios y Títulos

Pedro Cerbuna 12 - 50009 Zaragoza

Tel. + 34 976 76 24 29