Higher Education in Mexico
The higher education system in Mexico is similar to the United States, with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition, associates degrees are awarded by some institutions, similar to community colleges in the US.
Why Study in Mexico?
Mexican institutions offer hundreds of master’s degree programs in a wide range of subjects, including humanities, social sciences and engineering. Many programs are offered on a part-time basis or have classes at night and some programs, especially business master’s degrees, are taught in English. Students who are already proficient in Spanish or who want to increase their Spanish fluency will find studying in Mexico to be very rewarding. More than 7,600 international students already study at more than 100 higher education institutions in Mexico, with most of them coming from France, the United States, Spain, Germany and Colombia. In addition to obtaining a high-quality education at low cost, students can also experience Mexico’s diverse culture and natural beauty during breaks.
Mexico has more than 1,200 institutions of higher education in six categories including public universities, private universities, technological universities, technological institutes, teacher training colleges and other public institutions. About half of the universities are public. For the most part, only public and private universities award master’s degrees and PhDs. Technological universities award two-year associates degrees only.
Tuition and Program Duration
Tuition at public universities and technological universities and institutes is free to Mexican citizens; however, there may be fees which can be as high as $US 150 per semester. Tuition at private universities varies widely and can be very expensive, with some charging $US 20,000 or more per year. Most master’s degree programs are 2 years long.
The higher education academic year in Mexico runs from September through August and is based on semesters. The fall semester usually begins in late August and runs for 16 weeks through early December, followed by a week of final exams. After the winter holiday break, spring semester classes begin in mid to late January and run until about the middle of May, followed by exams. A shorter summer term is also usually available.
Mexico enjoys a very low unemployment rate, so there are many opportunities for professionals with master’s degrees to find work, especially in major industry sectors such as petroleum, food processing, electronics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and consumer goods. The logistics, transportation, construction and services sectors are also experiencing growth. Foreign nationals will need a work permit. Students who want to remain in Mexico to complete PhD studies or research will find a welcoming environment and world-class scientific and technical research facilities at many universities.
Mexico has public health care for Mexican citizens, but international students should plan to obtain private health insurance or insurance from the health plan in their home country. Students should be sure that the policy is valid in Mexico.
Many visitors to Mexico are surprised by the intensity of the sun. Don’t forget to bring or buy sunscreen and use it regularly!