Study in Mexico: the ultimate guide for a PhD in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Mexico in 2024

Browse all PhD programmes in Mexico

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Study in Mexico

Mexico is the ancient home of the Mayans and the Aztecs, and a popular study destination for students who want something out of the ordinary, something exotic, something that will make their friends say: “Wow, I can’t believe you went there!”

Of course, its incredible culture and fascinating traditions aren’t the only attractions for prospective students. Mexico also has some of the best universities in Latin America, especially for people interested in Business studies.

If you want to improve your Spanish language while studying an English-taught degree and spending your free time as a modern Indiana Jones, you cannot go wrong by choosing a degree in Mexico.

Why study in Mexico?

1. Mexico is very affordable

When compared to the United States, Canada, or even some European countries, Mexico offers a much more affordable study abroad experience; this includes both lower tuition fees and much lower living costs.

2. Mexico has a fascinating culture

From the Mayans to the Aztecs, from the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) to the unique and spicy cuisine, there are so many things you can explore and experience. With such a rich culture and over 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s hard to get bored while in Mexico.

3. Improve your Spanish skills

Even if it’s not an official language, Spanish is undoubtedly the most widely spoken language in Mexico. It might be very similar to the type of Spanish you’ll hear in Europe, but local idioms and expressions make it stand out. The best part? Spain is spoken all over the world, so learning it can quickly turn into an advantage in many situations. It even broadens your career horizons.

4. Investments in high education

Mexican authorities are investing money and other resources to become a more attractive destination for international students. This is reflected in the increasing number of English-taught degrees and the overall quality of education, which keeps going up.

5. Enjoy the Mexican hospitality

It’s no secret that Mexicans are very friendly and hospitable. They treat guests very nicely and strive to make them feel comfortable and have a good time. Perhaps “My house is your house” (Mi casa es su casa) is the perfect saying to describe the Mexican hospitality.

Which universities to attend in Mexico?

All over Mexico, there are plenty of well-established and reputable universities from which you can choose. Here are some of the best Mexican universities:

  • Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • Metropolitan Autonomous University
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Autonomous University of Baja California
  • Autonomous University of Hidalgo State (UAEH)

What is it like to study in Mexico?

Studying in Mexico should be an enriching experience. You’ll mostly have local colleagues, through whom you can improve your Spanish skills or learn more about the culture, habits, and fun activities. Outside classes, you can enjoy the active nightlife or travel around with a group of friends.

What to study in Mexico?

The following are some of the most popular academic disciplines among international students in Mexico:

How to apply

Each university in Mexico has its own admission system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some documents you might need to submit during your university application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (2 or 3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Mexican university

Take preparation courses

This kind of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-MBA, pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in Mexico, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures; some schools will require Spanish, while others will require strong English skills. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To study in Mexico, you’ll need to provide proof of your English language proficiency. The certificates generally accepted by Mexican universities are:

Still, you should always check your university’s website to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Living in Mexico

In addition to being an exotic attraction for international students, Mexico is also an affordable study destination. But how affordable exactly? Let’s look at some of the average tuition fees and living expenses.

Tuition fees at universities in Mexico

For Mexican universities, it’s fairly difficult to find average tuition fees that are accurate or come from reliable sources. As you prepare a budget for your studies, always check the official university website or contact a university representative to see how much you can expect to pay.

Based on the limited data that we have, we know that:

  • Public universities are free (or almost free, less than 10 EUR) for local/national students
  • Public and private universities charge tuition fees to international students, between 1,000 and 10,000 EUR per year
  • Private universities are more expensive than public institutions, and some programmes cost over 10,000 EUR per year

Living costs in Mexico

If you want to study in Mexico, the monthly living costs will vary significantly depending on the city where you study, your spending habits, and the type of rent. For example, Mexico City is the most expensive place where you can study.

Here are some of the average living costs in Mexico:

  • Rent: 280–390 EUR per month
  • Utilities: 40–70 EUR per month
  • Monthly transportation pass (metro, bus, train): 15–20 EUR
  • Three-course meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant: 20 EUR
  • Milk: 0.75 EUR
  • Loaf of bread: 1.21 EUR
  • Cappuccino: 1.71 EUR

Check out other living expenses in Mexico.

Universities, colleges and schools in Mexico

Ciudad López Mateos



Interested in scholarships for Mexico? Check out our scholarship search page.

How to Apply to a Master's in Mexico

If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Mexico, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.

What documents do I need to provide to apply in Mexico?

To apply to a university in Mexico you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:

  • birth certificate;
  • recent photos;
  • your passport or national identity card;
  • one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
  • copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
  • academic transcripts;
  • letter of intent;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.

Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.

The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Mexico so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.

Prove your English skills

Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.

Application deadlines for Mexico

The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Mexico are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.

To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.

Interesting programmes for you

Find PhDs Degrees in Mexico

Recent international policies promote international university cooperation and student exchange between countries worldwide. High-quality study and PhD degrees are made more available to students in order to create a global educational network, achievable through student and staff mobility. Career and research oriented programmes support international student development.

University cooperation enables students study worldwide, for instance in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States and provides ways of recognizing previous degrees. Different study options offer appropriate alternatives to students, depending on their preferred mode of study.

Many study programmes in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are English-taught. The most popular international student destinations include the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, and more. However, these are not the only countries offering English-taught education. The rest of the world is full of endless study choices, from highly ranked to smaller, more specialized, universities.

PhD (postgraduate) Degrees

If you want further education beyond the undergraduate level or if you want more personal development or a career in academia, you could obtain a PhD degree. PhD degrees are postgraduate programmes that usually follow a Master's, MPhil or MRes, but there might be additional requirements depending on the university. Students are required to do their own research in a chosen topic. With the help of a supervisor, you develop knowledge and analytical skills in a specific or multidisciplinary field and you carry out independent research. The duration of a PhD degree differs per country and institution. Sometimes your own research is accompanied by work for the department such as giving seminars or small group teaching.

PhD students are required to study on campus under close supervision, but there are universities that accept students enrolled into a part-time distance education PhD degree. Studying on campus can also be full-time as well as part-time, in which case the part-time variant is normally twice as long as the full-time study.

Discover other countries

The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Greece is the cradle of European civilization and the birthplace of philosophy. Greek universities and colleges have a long history in academics, attracting international students from all over the world. Classes are not typically formal, so you can expect open discussions between students and professors, in line with the classical philosophical debate tradition. EU/EEA students don’t pay any tuition at public universities, while non-EU/EEA citizens pay low fees. In Greece, you’ll also enjoy the well-known local hospitality and the wonderful Mediterranean climate. There are many landmarks and monuments waiting to be explored, including the Acropolis, Delphi, the Parthenon, and many others.
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.


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