The Complutense University of Madrid (Spanish: Universidad Complutense de Madrid or Universidad de Madrid, Latin: Universitas Complutensis) is a public research university located in Madrid, and one of the oldest universities in the world. The university enrolls over 86,000 students, being the 3rd largest non-distance European university by enrollment, and consistently ranking as one of the top universities in Spain. According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, the university is widely regarded as the most prestigious academic institution in Spain. It is located on a sprawling campus that occupies the entirety of the Ciudad Universitaria district of Madrid, with annexes in the district of Somosaguas in the neighboring city of Pozuelo de Alarcón.
In recent years, the roster of alumni comprises winners of the Nobel Prize (7), Prince of Asturias Awards (18), Miguel de Cervantes Prize (7), as well as European Commissioners, Presidents of the EU Parliament, European Council Secretary General, ECB Executive Board members, NATO Secretary General, UNESCO Director General, IMF Managing Director, and Heads of State.
In the course of over seven centuries, the University of Madrid has provided invaluable contributions in the sciences, fine arts, and political leadership. Alumni include renowned philosophers (José Ortega y Gasset, Ignatius of Loyola, Thomas of Villanova), writers (Federico García Lorca, Antonio de Nebrija, Pedro Calderón de la Barca), scientists (Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Severo Ochoa, Andrés Manuel del Río), historians (Juan de Mariana, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda), military leaders (Don John of Austria, Alexander Farnese, Cardinal Cisneros), foreign leaders (Cardinal Mazarin, José Rizal), and many Prime Ministers of Spain. In the year 1785, the University of Madrid became one of the first universities in the world to grant a Doctorate degree to a female student. By Royal Decree of 1857, the University of Madrid was the only institution in Spain authorized to grant doctorates throughout the Spanish Empire.