10 Cheapest Universities in Mexico for International Students

Mexico is perfect for those who’d like to learn much more than what is taught in the classroom. You’ll get to know its rich culture with multiple traditions and several heritage sites. The country has one of the largest economies in the world and is in the top 10 for its biodiversity. Besides this, its quality universities have earned high places on international rankings and offer affordable tuition fees for international students!

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The Mexican Higher Education System

In the last two decades, the student population of Mexican universities has doubled, going from almost 2 million to 4.4 million students! This has also happened among international students. More than 30,000 international people choose a degree program in Mexico every year, and this doesn’t include exchange students. Distance education is also very popular since more than 600,000 students choose this type of education.

If you’d like to get your degree in this Latin American country, bachelor’s degree programs last between four and five years, master’s degree programs last for two years, and doctorate degree programs usually last for three years.

The language of instruction at Mexican Universities

Finding a program that is fully taught in English could be hard, especially at public universities. This will also depend on the field of studies since less demanded programs might not be available in English. Nevertheless, it is possible to find degree programs fully taught in English, especially in the field of science and technology and in private universities.

You can also study in Spanish. Universities offer language courses specially made for international students and will support you and help you in the process of finding a program.

Tuition Fees at Mexican Universities

Public education is subsidized, so tuition fees at public institutions usually go from USD 500 to USD 1,000 for international students. This makes universities in Mexico to be very affordable for international students.

If you choose a private university, you should expect to pay between USD 5,000 and USD 10,000 on average per academic year.

Cheap Universities in Mexico

1. Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 400 and USD 1,000 Per Year

We start our list of cheapest universities in Mexico with the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM),  which is a public university and one of the most important in terms of research. UAM has second place in Mexico for the number of researchers with a doctorate degree or higher. It has also ranked in the top 100 worldwide for its social impact.

UAM is divided into five campuses called “academic units”. UAM offers 77 undergraduate degree programs and 93 graduate and postgraduate degree programs. These programs are available in the fields of social sciences and humanities, arts and design, natural sciences and engineering, communication, biology, and health sciences.

2. Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 400 and USD 1,000 Per Year

The Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) is the third biggest university in Mexico, with over 200,000 students. UANL has five campuses. The main one is located in the city of Monterrey and has 11 faculties. The rest of the campuses are regional, and two of them are specialized in medicine and agriculture.

In total, this affordable university in Mexico has 26 faculties that offer 91 undergraduate programs, 47 specializations, 117 master degree programs, and 43 doctorate degree programs. There are also 47 research centers and institutes with over 600 active researchers.

3. University of Guadalajara (UdeG)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 800 and USD 1,000 Per Year

Founded in 1792, the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) is the second-oldest university in Mexico. It is also one of the biggest, with almost 300,000 students. UdeG is organized into a network of 15 universities, six of them are located in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara and the rest are regional campuses. There’s also a virtual campus that offers distance higher education.

UdeG has 131 undergraduate degree programs and 258 graduate and postgraduate degree programs. There are available in the fields of health, economy and administration, farming, agriculture and livestock, engineering, social sciences and humanities, arts and design, and architecture.

UdeG is also known for its research projects. The university has 26 research centers and institutes.

4. Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: USD 5,000 Per Year

The Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM or Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico) is a small private university founded in 1946. Although it isn’t one of the biggest institutions in the country, ITAM has a great reputation internationally. It is known for its programs in political science, economy, and international relations.

This cheap university in Mexico has five divisions of administration, mathematics, and statistics, general and international studies, engineering, and law, economy, and social sciences. These offer 15 undergraduate programs, 31 joint programs, and 13 graduate and postgraduate programs.

ITAM is also known for its research projects, with 19 research centers. It has a place in the top 700 of the QS World University Ranking, and with only 5,500 students, its education is student-focused through small-sized classes. It has the best employability rate in the field of diplomacy.

5. Ibero-American University (IBERO)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: USD 5,000 Per Year

Founded in 1943, the Ibero-American University (IBERO) is a private higher education institution with a place in the top 700 of the QS World University Ranking. It has two campuses in Mexico D.F. and Tijuana. There are three campuses in other cities but those are completely autonomous and have their own administration and regulations.

IBERO’s facilities include multiple laboratories, an observatory, industrial plants for engineering practices, medical centers, art galleries, and sports courts. It is divided into 19 departments that offer 36-degree programs and 92 graduate and postgraduate degree programs. These are available in the areas of design, health sciences, humanities, education, engineering, economy, and architecture.

6. Anahuac University in Mexico

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 5,000 and USD 10,000 Per Year

Anahuac University in Mexico is a private higher education institution that belongs to an international network of universities. The network has universities in the U.S., Spain, Italy, and Chile. This affordable Mexican university is ranked between the 561st and 570th place in the QS World University Ranking and among the top 10 in Mexico.

Anahuac University in Mexico has two campuses with 18 faculties. As it belongs to the Anahuac Universities Network, there are plenty of opportunities for studying at the other campuses abroad.

7. Panamerican University (UP)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 6,000 and USD 8,500 Per Year

The Panamerican University (UP) is best known for its programs in the field of business. Actually, its origins can be traced back to 1967, when it started as a business and humanities institute. It is currently ranked among the 601st and 650th best universities in the QS World University Ranking.

UP has three campuses in Mexico D.F., Aguascalientes, and Guadalajara. These host over 15,000 students.

The university is divided into five schools of business and economic sciences, pedagogy, institutional administration, communication, and fine arts. It also has four faculties of health sciences, philosophy, law, and engineering. Here you’ll be able to choose among 23 undergraduate programs.

8. University of Monterrey (UDEM)

  • Tuition Fee: Between USD 8,500 and USD 14,000 Per Year

With more than 16,000 students, the University of Monterrey (UDEM) is a private higher education institution and the 13th best in Mexico. This cheap university in Mexico offers 46-degree programs and 35 graduate programs and specializations.

Programs are taught in the fields of education and humanities, health sciences, engineering and technology, law and social sciences, business, and arts, architecture, and design.

UDEM has modern facilities. Many new buildings have been opened in the 20 last years. Some of its facilities include research and innovation centers, media and science laboratories, a radio, a health center, and student residences.

9. Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 9,000 and USD 12,000 Per Year

The Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) is one of the most prestigious universities in Latin America and the World with 158th place in the QS World University Ranking. With almost 100,000 students, ITESM has five campuses throughout Mexico. It is one of the few universities in Mexico that has student residences, with 15 accommodation buildings.

It offers over 100-degree programs at the three levels of studies. Among these, there are several degrees specially designed for international students with courses fully taught in English.

ITESM is well known for its programs in its schools of medicine and business, with up-to-date facilities, small-sized classes, and affiliations with multiple hospitals and universities around the world. Actually, the university offers joint programs and exchange opportunities in prestigious universities in the U.S., France, China, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Brazil.

10. Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP)

We end our list of cheapest universities in Mexico for international students with Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP or University of the Americas, in Puebla), which is a private institution founded in 1940. It has five schools of arts and humanities, social sciences, engineering, business and economy, and sciences. There, you’ll be able to choose among 49 undergraduate programs and 29 graduate programs.

UDLAP’s campus is located in the state of Puebla. Its facilities include four student residences, a chemical plant, research laboratories, two art galleries, a museum, and an art collection.


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