Higher Education

There are both public and private institutions of higher education. Higher education usually follows the US education model with an at least 4-year bachelor's degree undergraduate level (Licenciatura), and two degrees at the postgraduate level, a 2-year Master's degree (Maestría), and a 3-year Doctoral degree (Doctorado). This structure of education very closely conforms to the Bologna Process started in Europe in 1999, allowing Mexican students to study abroad and pursue a master's degree after Licenciatura, or a Doctoral degree after Maestría. Unlike other OECD countries, the majority of Mexico's public universities do not accredit part-time enrollment programs.

Undergraduate studies
Undergraduate studies normally last at least 4 years, divided into semesters or quarters, depending on the college or university, and lead to a bachelor's degree (Licenciatura). According to OECD reports 23% of Mexicans youth from ages 23-35 have a college degree.

Although in theory every graduate of a Licenciatura is a Licenciate (Licenciado, abbreviated Lic.) of his or her profession, it is common to use different titles for common professions such as Engineering and Architecture.
Engineer, Ingeniero, abbreviated Ing.
Electrical Engineer, Ingeniero Eléctrico
Electronics Engineer, Ingeniero Electrónico
Mechanical Engineer, Ingeniero Mecánico
Computer Systems Engineer, Ingeniero en Sistemas Computacionales, abbreviated I.S.C.
Architect, Arquitecto, abbreviated Arq.
Licenciate, any degree, especially those from social sciences, Licenciado, abbreviated Lic.

Postgraduate studies
New regulations since 2005 divide postgraduate studies at Mexican universities and research centers in two main categories:
Targeted at professional development
Especialización. A 1-year course after a bachelor's degree (Licenciatura), which awards a Specialization Diploma (Diploma de Especialización).
Maestría. A 2-year degree after a bachelor's degree (Licenciatura), which awards the title of Master (Maestro).
Targeted at scientific research
Maestría en Ciencias. A 2-year degree after a bachelor's degree (Licenciatura), which awards the title of Master of Science (Maestro en Ciencias).
Doctorado en Ciencias. A 3-year degree after a master's degree (either Maestría or Maestría en Ciencias), or a 4-year degree directly after the bachelor's degree (Licenciatura) for high-achieving students, which awards the title of Doctor of Science (Doctor en Ciencias).