Higher Education in Mexico

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), followed by the higher doctorate of Doctor of Sciences (Doctor en Ciencias). 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 aged 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. 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. The Doctor of Sciences degree (Doctor en Ciencias) is equivalent to the higher doctorate awarded in countries such as Denmark, Ireland, the UK, and the former USSR countries.

Intercultural Universities
Intercultural Universities in Mexico were established in 2004 in response to the lack of enrollment of the indigenous population in the country. While an estimated 10% of the population of Mexico is indigenous, it is the least represented in higher education. According to estimates, only between 1% and 3% of higher education enrollment in Mexico is indigenous. In response to this inequality, the General Coordination for Intercultural and Bilingual Education at the Ministry of Education established Intercultural Universities with the active participation of indigenous organizations and academic institutions in each region.