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More than one hundred years teaching Humanities and Technical Sciences, as well as Ecclesiastical Sciences, in a continuous effort to update the Spanish university offer and the demands of society and the Church.

Psychology Laboratory - Comillas University

More than one hundred years teaching Humanities and Technical Sciences, as well as Ecclesiastical Sciences, in a continuous effort to update the Spanish university offer and the demands of society and the Church.

The Seminary and Comillas Pontifical University

The current configuration of Comillas Pontifical University has its origins, on the one hand, in the Seminary and Comillas Pontifical University (Santander), and on the other, in the Catholic Institute of Arts and Industry, ICAI, in Madrid.

From where do you start?


In response to the projects proposed by Antonio López y López and his son Claudio López Brú, the first and second Marquis of Comillas, Pope Leo XIII founded a Seminary in the town of Comillas (Cantabria). Established under the papal brief "Sempiternam Dominici Gregis", dated December 16, 1890, this Seminary offered training for candidates to the priesthood from dioceses throughout Spain, Latin American and the Philippines.

Its ability to attract pupils from such a range of places, its rigorous internal organization, advanced level of teaching and explicit support from the Vatican, as documented from the outset, gave this Seminary the feel and status of a University.

Comillas University Logo Stamp
Comillas University Logo Stamp

First academic degrees


Fourteen years after its foundation, under the papal decree "Praeclaris honoris argumentas" issued by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education on March 19, 1904, Pope St. Pius X granted the Pontifical Seminary of Comillas the power to award academic degrees in Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law.

Comillas University Logo Stamp
Comillas University Logo Stamp

Moving to Madrid


At the beginning of the 1960s, the Vatican representative in Spain, as the most influential patron of the Institution and acting on behalf of the Holy Father, suggested moving the University from Comillas to Madrid. Assuming an active role in the promotion of this project, he believed it would increase the University's influence on current training of candidates to the priesthood and provide lay Christians with the chance to also benefit from studying ecclesiastic sciences and other similar programs.

Authorized and supported by the Vatican, and with the personal blessing of Pope Paul VI, as expressed in a letter to the Chancellor dated January 24, 1969, this move was approved by the Spanish Episcopal Conference and the project was gradually carried out.

In agreement with these authoritative bodies, the University opened its doors to all types of students, and with approval from the above-mentioned Sacred Congregation, the former Faculty of Philosophy became the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, offering non-ecclesiastic degrees in Psychology and Educational Sciences, in addition to courses in Philosophy.

Under Royal Decree 719/1977 of February 18, the Spanish Authorities acknowledged the full civil effects of all programs offered by the Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities, in application of the agreement made with the Vatican on April 5, 1962.

From this period onward, the University has offered both ecclesiastic and non-ecclesiastic programs and its founding educational mission, without losing the validity built up over so many years, was enriched with new academic and formative objectives.


The Catholic Institute of Arts and Industries (ICAI)

Comillas ICAI has been training leaders for more than 100 years and maintains its commitment to academic excellence and comprehensive training


In turn, the Catholic Institute of Arts and Industry (ICAI) of Madrid began as a School for Mechanics and Electricity, founded in 1908. Its aim was to offer Christian and technical training to factory workers specializing in these two areas. Very early on, the Jesuit Agustín Pérez del Pulgar saw the need to complement this training with courses equivalent to a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering for the most gifted of the school's initial student body, showing a clear dedication to professional and human progress.

As a result, the ICAI School of Electromechanical Engineering of was created, offering specialist degrees for engineering fitters and later engineering assistants.

ICADE Madrid Comillas University

Recognition by the Spanish State


The Institute’s impressive achievements and the high quality of its programs were finally recognized by the Spanish State by Decree, dated August 10, 1950 and then by Law, dated 20 July, 1957, granting civil validity to the courses studied at this school.

New additions


Around the same time, new additions to the ICAI university complex were being prepared. Since 1956, a Technical Seminary for Business Management was run with the support of the Bueno Consejo University College.

At first, this Seminary exclusively offered specialist postgraduate training for access to business management positions. However, being incorporated into the ICAI Institute in 1960, its range of programs was expanded to include university degrees in Business Sciences, combining various concentrations with the ICADE Law Degree.

Student Work Session Comillas University
  • 1908

Incorporation of ICAI-ICADE university studies and the rest of the studies at Comillas

The closeness of both institutions in Madrid, the fact that they were both run by the Society of Jesus and the complementary nature of the programs they offered led to the idea of uniting the two institutions, by incorporating the degrees studied at ICAI-ICADE into the Comillas Pontifical University. This would also afford said degrees the legal academic status corresponding to their reality and, as such, State recognition of their civil effects.

However, most importantly, it created a rich and diverse education institute that could fulfill the duties of a true university to a greater extent than the two individual institutions. In particular, it could accommodate technical, economic, legal, humanistic and theological programs all under one roof, so that each study area would contribute to and be enriched by the findings and questions raised in the others. This has allowed us to develop a notably interdisciplinary approach to current problems, in keeping with the search for a global perspective that become such a key part of human nature today.

Once an agreement was reached between the governing bodies of both institutions and the academic authorities responsible for the same, an application was made to the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education for the canonical establishment of the School of Industrial Engineering, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (Business Administration Section), the Faculty of Law and the School of Industrial Technical Engineering, based on the former ICAI-ICADE university centers, and for their incorporation into the Comillas Pontifical University.

Canonical erection


In two Decrees issued by this Sacred Congregation on June 20,1978, the above-mentioned requests were approved, and based on this approval, the Spanish State officially recognized the full civil effects of the programs studied at these new Schools and Faculties in Royal Decree 1610/1979 of April 4, in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement signed between the Vatican and the Spanish Government on April 5, 1962.

The University's newly drafted Statutes were presented for approval to the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, the application for which was authorized by the Chancellor on September 16, 1979 and definitively approved by the Vatican on February 15, 1986. These Statutes aimed to facilitate a gradually more unified and, as appropriate, internally diverse management system to ensure the University could effectively respond to its new situation, thorough the provision of a university service that was officially recognized by both Church and State.

Cantoblanco Campus Comillas University

Creation of the University School of Social Work

1982 - 1983

In 1982, the San Vicente de Paúl School of Social Work was fully integrated into the University's network of Centers. This school was canonically established in 1957 and officially recognized under a Decree dated April, 20 1964. It was transformed, under the legislation in force, into the University School of Social Work under a Royal Decree issued on October 26, 1983 (Official Spanish State Gazette of 2 December 1983), in which the full civil effects of its programs were also recognized.


Canonical Erection of new centres

1988 - 1991

By two decrees of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, dated 23 September 1988, the University School of Computer Science, specialising in Management, and the University School of Nursing and Physiotherapy "San Juan de Dios " were canonically erected as new centres in the university, the latter being integrated in the academic and research order into the Comillas Pontifical University, as stipulated in the agreement signed on 20 July 1988. The School assumes the university's own functions: scientific research, teaching and the integral, professional, human and ethical training of those who wish to dedicate themselves professionally to attending to the health needs of the individual and the community, and the extension and dissemination of culture.

It is inspired by the spirit, specific criteria and fundamental principles of the work of San Juan de Dios and is at the service of health professionals, especially nurses and physiotherapists, to whom it will offer means of updating and improvement that will help them in their preventive, care, rehabilitation, teaching and research work. The civil validity of its studies is recognised by Royal Decrees of 12 April 1991.

Cantoblanco Campus University of Comillas

Incorporation of new study and research centres

1981 - 1994 In recent years, new Study and Research Centers have been gradually incorporated into the University through the transformation of University Study Institutes (such as the University Institute of Business Administration and Management in 1981, whose founding mission was the study of businesses and development of business administration and management sciences. It focused on research and sharing knowledge, integrating humanist, economic, legal and technical elements, with a strong ethical and Christian approach; or the University Institute of Modern Languages in 1981), or the creation of new Centers in response to academic needs as they arose (such as the University Institute of Education in 1982; the University Institute of Marriage and Family in 1984; the University Institute of Spirituality in 1982; the University Institute of Legal Practice in 1983) or, the creation new schools to strengthen research in specific areas (such as the University Institute of Technological Research in 1984; the Institute for Research into Liberalism, Krausism and Freemasonry in 1990; the Inter-Faculty Sociology Department in 1991; and the University Institute of Studies on Migration in 1994).

Comillas University Classroom

Enlargement into the areas of Human Sciences, Engineering and Law


In 1997, the ICAI-ICADE Institute of Postgraduate and Continuous Education incorporated the programs offered over the past 40 years by the former Institute for Business Management and Administration Studies, adding new courses in Humanities, Engineering and Law.

Students in the corridors at Comillas University

Changes in the structure of the centres


With the conversion of the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering into the Higher Technical School of Engineering, ICAI, there was a change in the structure of the centres, in which the studies taught by the University School of Industrial Engineering and the University School of Computer Science, which were suppressed, were integrated.

Cantoblanco Campus Comillas University Library

Creation of the University for Older Adults


The University for Older Adults is a proposal for continuous training for people over 55 years of age that aims to become a space for learning and cultural development, exchange and reflection and a framework for social participation.

Comillas University of Graduate Studies

School restructuring

2001 - 2003

In 2001, the University School of Social Work was abolished and integrated into the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, the new name of the former Faculty of Philosophy and Arts. In 2003, the Institute of Education Sciences was integrated into the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences.

Interview with Comillas University students
  • 1978

Birth of UNINPSI


The Psychosocial Intervention Unit (UNINPSI) is created in the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, as an extension of the Clinical Unit of Clinical Health Psychology, renamed UNINPSI in 2019. Clinical Psychology Unit.

This unit is one of the most important in psychotherapy and clinical psychology in Madrid, due to the plurality in psychological intervention, the preparation of its professionals, a large group of expert psychotherapists, clinical and health psychologists, psychiatrists and speech therapists and its facilities, located at c/ Mateo Inurria, 37 in the Chamartín neighbourhood.

Psychology laboratory internship Comillas University

Creation of the Centre for Innovation in Law CID - ICADE


The Centre for Innovation in Law (CID-ICADE) is a special centre, organically dependent on the Faculty of Law, which will be responsible, in collaboration with departments, areas and research groups, as well as, where appropriate, the Postgraduate and Continuing Education Institute, for the management or promotion of official postgraduate courses, courses, seminars and refresher and advanced training sessions, legal consultancy and clinical activities (reports, opinions...) and applied research that cannot be managed directly by the research groups.

Students in class Cantoblanco Comillas University

First official postgraduate and undergraduate programmes

2006 - 2008

In 2006 the first Official Postgraduate Programmes were introduced and in 2008 the first degrees were introduced in accordance with the regulations governing official university education.

Students at the Comillas University Campus

ICADE Business School

2009 - 2010

In 2009, the Postgraduate and Lifelong Learning Institute was integrated into the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, ceasing to be an inter-faculty institute, reporting to the Rector, and in 2010 it was renamed ICADE Business School.

Lecturer in class Comilla University

International Doctoral School


In recent years, new centres have been incorporated into the university, but it was in 2012 when the Comillas International Doctoral School was created, by Resolution of 21 June by the University's Governing Board, as a special centre of the university, responsible for the coordination of doctoral programmes, the organisation of courses for complementary training and training activities for doctoral students, the organisation of transdisciplinary research seminars, the management of doctoral students and other activities carried out within the doctoral programmes.

Students Cantoblanco Campus Comillas University

Definition of the current corporate image and integration of new grades


The current corporate image of the university includes a brand architecture that was approved in 2014. Among the main ones is the creation of the acronym CIHS for the faculties of Theology, Canon Law and Human and Social Sciences.

In the same year, the Centro de Enseñanza Superior Alberta Giménez (CESAG) in the Balearic Islands was attached to Comillas Pontifical University. The CESAG, in Palma de Mallorca, is an educational institution that belongs to the Congregation of the Purity of Mary and is linked to the university by means of an agreement, in order to offer studies that lead to the awarding of official degrees that are valid throughout the national territory. With the new affiliation, CESAG dissociates itself from the public university of the Balearic Islands (UIB), to which it has been linked for 35 years, and therefore becomes part of the Comillas Pontifical University as its first affiliated centre offering degrees in Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, Journalism, Audiovisual Communication and Advertising and Public Relations, as well as postgraduate studies.

Corporate image Comillas University

Integration of INEA


The University School of Technical Agricultural Engineering (INEA) in Valladolid also joins the Comillas Pontifical University. INEA will give an academic boost to its more than 54 years of teaching, offering from the 2018-2019 academic year the new Degree in Agricultural and Agro-environmental Engineering at Comillas Pontifical University. After 36 years as a centre affiliated to the University of Valladolid and having trained more than 3,000 professionals in the agricultural sector, this new academic stage begins as a centre affiliated to the Jesuit university, maintaining its headquarters in Camino Viejo de Simancas in Valladolid.

The integration of INEA into the Comillas Pontifical University also responds to the current commitment of the Jesuit Universities -UNIJES- to welcome all its university centres and, in this way, to share its vision, mission and values with greater strength and unity.

Cantoblanco Campus Undergraduate Students Comillas University

Creation of the Adventere School of Management


By Resolution of 26 October of the Governing Board of the University, the Centro Advantere School of Management was created as a special postgraduate centre whose main function will be the promotion, coordination and execution of postgraduate teaching in business management and related areas, aimed at facilitating the lifelong learning of professionals.

It is a new international school of management that is born under the inspiration of the Society of Jesus, with the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Universidad de Deusto and Georgetown University, three Jesuit institutions of long tradition and prestige, as strategic academic partners.

Advantere will start its activity in the academic year 2022-2023 and will be located in Madrid in a newly constructed building of 8,400 m2 in the Chamartín area. A space specially designed and equipped for an educational model focused on the creation of solutions, innovation, experimentation, collaboration and impact on society.

Student at Comillas University campus

Incorporation of the San Rafael Health Sciences campus


In 2022, the San Rafael Health Sciences Campus is incorporated into the "San Juan de Dios" University School of Nursing and Physiotherapy. The centre, located in Madrid, on Paseo de la Habana, is also managed by the Order of San Juan de Dios.

Health Sciences Campus Comillas University
  • 2004

You reap what you sow

Enjoy a unique university experience by choosing from a wide range of programmes focused on technology and digital transformation to develop your future.



Occupancy rate

Percentage of students on the Bachelor's Degree in Law at Comillas enter the world of work


International internships

Recent graduates who have carried out exchanges during their studies.


Students and projects

Percentage of pupils involved in service-learning projects
Comillas University Logo
Comillas University Logo

The university today

One hundred years of evolution reflected in all areas of the university experience

The Spanish University has moved on from the education of minorities to a more universal social mission. The Church has left the protection of the State's confessionalism and has experienced the fruitful opening of the Second Vatican Council. Spanish society has become Europeanised and universalised.

The reflection of these profound changes has been reflected in the transfer of the University to Madrid, in the extension of its teaching areas, and in a continuous effort of permanent updating. Within the framework of this updating, of the growing plurality of the Spanish university offer and of the new demands of society and of the Church, our own university mission is inscribed.

Comillas University Logo
Comillas University Logo
Enrique Sanz Gimenez Rico Rector Comillas University

Welcoming words by the Rector.

Enrique Sanz, SJ, Rector of Comillas from 2021.

Welcoming words by the Rector.

Enrique Sanz, SJ, Rector of Comillas from 2021.

Latest Rectors of Comillas

Julio L. Martínez , SJ


Lecturer in Moral Theology at the Faculty of Theology, he was rector of Comillas between 2012 and 2021.

José Ramón Busto, SJ


Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at the Faculty of Theology, he was rector from 2003 to 2012.

Manuel Gallego, SJ

Lecturer in Criminal Law at the Faculty of Law (Comillas ICADE), he was Rector between 1994 and 2003.