Universitat Abat Oliba Ceu, Barcelona


The Adler-Aquinas Institute is pleased to announce that it has recently signed a collaboration agreement with the University Abat Oliba (UAO), CEU, in Barcelona, Spain, through which AAI will assist UAO to internationalize its offerings in Thomistic studies. Other institutions that have signed such agreements with UAO include:

Pontificia Università Urbaniana (Rome)
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland)
Universidad Santo Tomás (Chile)
Universidad Anáhuac Méjico Norte (Mexico)
Nicolaus Copernicus University of Torun (Poland)
Universidad de la Vera Cruz (Mexico)
Fundación Bariloche (Argentina)


Universitat Abat Oliba CEU (UAO), located in Barcelona, is one of three Spanish universities belonging to the San Pablo CEU University Foundation. San Pablo University CEU in Madrid and Cardenal Herrera University CEU in Valencia comprise the other two universities. San Pablo University CEU leads the Foundation which was established by the Catholic Association of Propagandists in 1933. “CEU” stands for Centro de Estudios Universitarios or Center of University Studies.

Prior to 2016, UAO offered two doctoral programs in (1) Thomistic Studies and (2) Humanities and Social Sciences. These programs will phase out in September 2017 and no longer accepts new students.

The San Pablo CEU University Foundation gained approval from Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports to establish an international school of doctoral studies called CEINDO (CEU Escuela Internacional de Doctorado). CEINDO offers several doctoral programs and students can now benefit from the resources of all three universities depending on their research interests.

CEINDO’s newest doctoral program is “Humanities for the Contemporary World” which offers three areas of research: (1) ‘History and Society’ (2) ‘Philosophy and Thought’ and (3) ‘Literature and Artistic Creation.’ Dr. Enrique Martinez Garcia of UAO is the coordinator of the ‘Philosophy and Thought’ research area.

The CEINDO Humanities program adopts the classical model of doctoral education consisting of the ‘big book’ type of dissertation as opposed to the more commonly known ‘taught model’ in the United States consisting of passing a combination of doctoral courses, comprehensive exams, and writing a shorter dissertation.

To be admitted to the CEINDO program, prospective students need to a master’s thesis related to their intended area of research. In addition, CEINDO will likely require a research methodology course. Depending on this doctoral program selected, they will offer a course for that area of research. CEINDO may also ask prospective students to make up any deficiencies by having them take additional masters courses from one of the three universities depending on their research interest. Masters students from Holy Apostles College and Seminary will have satisfied the course requirements by taking the four-course sequence in Christian Wisdom.

At the moment, UAO does not offer Masters courses in English; all are taught in the Spanish language. If prospective students want to do work on St. Thomas Aquinas, they will need to know some Latin. Dissertations can be written and defended in the English language.


CEINDO offers a research doctorate in “Humanities for the Contemporary World.” In the United States, research doctoral programs typically award a “Doctor of Philosophy in [subject]” or PhD degree. According to a Royal Decree (RD) 1002/2010 published by Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports (equivalent to the U.S. Department of Education in the United States), the title of CEINDO’s doctoral degree will be “Doctor in. . .” and the research area of the dissertation. Thus, a successfully defended doctoral dissertation in the ‘Philosophy and Thought’ line of research will be award the candidate the title of “Doctor in Philosophy and Thought.”

All foreign degrees have to be evaluated for degree equivalency in the United States. The Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports describes the process and lists some of the credentialing agencies in its website: http://www.mecd.gob.es/eeuu/reconocimientos-titulos/para-espanoles.html

You may also find helpful that the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports has a directory listing all of the affiliated Spanish universities and recognized degrees: https://www.educacion.gob.es/ruct/home.