Studying in Mexico

Studying in Mexico

Undergraduate degrees are usually four years in length while studying for a masters degree (Maestria) and a PhD (Doctorado) is similar to that of the Bologna Process in Europe.

There are around 40 private universities and institutes in Mexico, as well as other public institutions, which include technical institutes, federal and state-run universities. The institutions mentioned below are well known and you’re likely to find them in the Times Higher Education University Rankings as well as Top Universities listings.

State (public) universities

Each Mexican state also has its own public university.

Private universities

For a list of further education institutions and more details, consult La Subsecretaría de Educación Superior. Courses usually start in August or mid-September.

What courses can you study?

At postgraduate level, you can get a masters degree or PhD in Mexico. Two years is normal for a masters degree, with longer periods needed for research degrees.

To find out more about postgraduate courses, go to:

How do you apply for postgraduate study?

To do a masters degree, you need to have a good undergraduate degree. For a research degree, a masters is essential.

Look carefully at what your particular target institution requires. Administrations are accustomed to seeing paperwork of foreign students, so do not be put off by the level of bureaucracy you encounter.

It’s best to apply well ahead of deadlines and directly to universities. Look at the particular application details for the universities you’re applying to as requirements vary according to each university. Sometimes, entry exams and language proficiency tests are part of the procedure.

Fees and scholarships

Fees vary, but the public sector institutions have lower fees than the private universities. You can find out exact fees from the university itself. When budgeting, remember you’ll need to fund all your living costs – accommodation, food, local transport – and allow for contingencies like travelling while you’re in Mexico, socialising, and so on. Foreign students aren’t allowed to work part-time while studying in Mexico.

Details of available scholarships, or ‘becas’, can be found at the Subsecretaría de Educacion Superiór.

Are there any exchange programmes?

Check to see if there are any academic exchange programmes between your university and one in Mexico. has details of graduate programmes, internships and study opportunities.

Will your qualifications be recognised in the UK?

Check with the university or higher education institution where you are hoping to study to see if their qualification is recognised or has an equivalent in the UK.

Do you need a visa to study in Mexico?

If you’re only studying in Mexico for less than six months, then you don’t need a visa. Simply fill in the FMM migration form (landing card) which you’re given on the plane.

If you’ll be studying in Mexico for longer than six months, then the institution has to request the Consulate to issue a Temporary Resident Student Visa (Residente Temporal Estudiante). This allows single entry into the country and you must exchange it for a Temporary Resident Student Card at the nearest migration office (INM) within 30 days of arrival. The card is valid for a year and you can travel in and out of Mexico.

If you’re not a UK or EU national, contact the Mexican embassy in the country where you are currently residing about how to obtain visas and work permits. If you are living in the UK, go to the Mexican Consulate in London. Also contact the institution you’re planning to study in.

Written by AGCAS editors, September 2016