UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellowships for Mexican Students
PROSPECTIVE FELLOWS

Versión en español

Description of UC MEXUS/CONACYT Program

The UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowships provide up to five years of funding for Mexican students doing their doctoral studies at any one of the ten University of California campuses. Students may pursue doctoral studies in most of the academic disciplines, with the exception of the arts.

Eligible areas of study include the following:

  • Architecture
  • Biological Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Urban Planning

The UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship provides non-resident tuition, fees, a stipend, and support towards health insurance.

To be considered for this fellowship, students must complete a number of steps including:

  1. Students must apply for admission to UC programs of study and be at least provisionally admitted.
  2. Once students have applied for admission to a UC program, all applicants are required to complete and submit the “UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante” to UC MEXUS by January 26, 2018.
  3. Eligible students* must apply for a doctoral fellowship directly with CONACYT. CONACYT reviews fellowship applicants only when they are eligible and have fulfilled all CONACYT application requirements, including submission of a letter of acceptance to a UC program.

*Mexican citizens who are DACA recipients and have AB 540 status may also be eligible to apply. Please contact us to obtain additional information.

See Administrative Process and Timeline for more detailed information.

Why UC?

UC's ten campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara provide exciting environments that foster world-class educational and research opportunities. More UC academic programs are consistently rated among the top 10 nationally than any other public or private university, and the UC system consistently earns two to three times more NSF research support than any other university system. UC also boasts some of the top graduate programs in the nation. Recent rankings place UCLA and UC Berkeley in the top three public universities of the nation (Washington Monthly, 2005). Impressively, most of the UC campuses are ranked in the top 25 American public research universities (Lombardi Group, 2003).

The University of California has historically recognized Mexico as a valued partner in educational and research exchange. As a specific part of its international focus, the University of California is especially dedicated to cultivating strong ties of collaboration between California and Mexico. Indeed, the UC's recognition of the value of a strong UC-Mexico partnership extends beyond the classroom to its dedication to improving the quality of life for citizens of the U.S. and Mexico, as evidenced by its adoption of four major initiatives in its partnership with Mexico designed to address issues of air quality, technology, and economic policies (Jagoda, 2005).

From an academic standpoint, UC's formal agreements with Mexico are long-standing and have often served as the standard for other university's collaborations with Mexico. Since the inception of UC MEXUS in 1980, over 200 Mexican scholars have participated in its fellowships programs. Such historical ties facilitate a welcoming and thriving intellectual climate for Mexican graduate students and scholars alike.

UC MEXUS/UNAM Video Presentation: How to Apply for Graduate Studies and Funding at the University of California (en Español)
Flash video needed to view presentation.
Presenters (listed in order of appearance):
Mtra. Patricia Martínez-Torreblanca, Secretaría de Desarrollo Académico de la Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de la UNAM
Dr. Ricardo R. Gómez Vilchis, Profesor de Tiempo Completo de la Facultad de Ciencias Polïticas y Sociales de la UNAM
Susana Hidalgo, Academic Programs Officer, UC MEXUS
Clara Quijano, Academic Programs Coordinator, UC MEXUS
Administrative Process and Timeline
Applying to the UC system

Typically, successful fellowship candidates begin the application process one year in advance of UC deadlines. This time is needed to achieve the following steps:

Researching UC programs

The first step is to research the 10 UC campuses and their various programs of study. This step is critical not only to choosing the best department for the applicant's particular area of study, but to help in ensuring acceptance to a UC campus and their preferred program of study. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to multiple campuses and to multiple programs. Applying at a number of campuses, though it can be more expensive, also increases the applicant's chances of securing admission. This point cannot be overstated. (See frequently asked questions on how to choose a campus.)

Applicants should collect as much information as possible about UC campuses and graduate programs. The UC websites are a very useful tool for gathering basic information about campuses and departments. Applicants may also consult the UC MEXUS Posting Service for UC Departments Seeking Mexican Applicants.

Students should also contact departments directly to request additional information that may not be available on the Web. Please note that every campus and every department has a distinct set of deadlines and admissions criteria. A critical first step will be to identify these different deadlines.

Once students have narrowed down the campuses and programs they are most interested in, they should begin to make more individualized contact with faculty whose interests overlap with their own. Communicating directly with faculty about students' interest in working with them and securing their informal support can play an important role in the application process.

Taking the Necessary Exams

Another important step is researching the TOEFL and GRE exam requirements for each program of study. Every campus has a minimum score that applicants must achieve, however required scores vary by campus and by program. Generally speaking, UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles have the highest TOEFL and GRE requirements because they receive the most applications each year. However, within every campus these requirements can vary according to the specific graduate program to which students are applying.

Applicants will also need to identify campus and graduate program deadlines for taking these exams, and further determine whether they need to take the GRE subject test for their specific area of study in addition to the basic GRE. Please note that the GRE is a very challenging exam, even for native speakers of English. American applicants to graduate programs often invest substantial amounts of money in courses or books in the hopes of improving their scores. A number of American students also take these exams more than once. At minimum, applicants can prepare themselves by becoming familiar with the structure and scoring of the exam. Free test preparation materials are available at the GRE website. Strive for the best performance on these exams, but do not consider them as barriers to applying. Depending upon the campus and program students are applying to, there can be some flexibility in minimum scores, especially if their overall application to the university is strong.

Communicating with UC MEXUS

Applicants must submit the “UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante” to UC MEXUS, indicating to which UC campuses they are applying. This step is essential in their application process, and enables UC MEXUS to communicate directly with the campuses regarding their solicitation of a UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship.

Applying to CONACYT

See CONACYT's website for detailed information: www.conacyt.mx.

Search for the page titled "Becas para Estudios de Posgrado," and look specifically for "Convenios vigentes."

Electronic submission of materials to CONACYT

Please note that the deadlines for the electronic submission of materials to CONACYT are strict. Applicants should not wait until the last minute to upload their documentation and, ideally, will submit their applications at the earliest point possible within their window of submission. The inability to upload documents and/or uploading of incorrect documents (and incomplete documents) may prevent applications from being reviewed by CONACYT. For more information, please see FAQ #33.

Administrative Timeline for Prospective Doctoral Fellows
May 2017 (and prior)
  • Request academic and admission information from the 10 UC Campuses and academic departments of interest.
  • Obtain information about the GRE & TOEFL exams. Review the GRE and TOEFL websites. (Exams are offered at various official sites throughout Mexico.) It is advised that applicants take the GRE and TOEFL no later than October to ensure that the scores are available on time for the UC application.
June - August 2017
  • Establish contact with UC professors and/or investigators in the departments of interest (See FAQs for more information).
  • Take TOEFL and GRE exams.
September 2017
  • UC admission applications available online. Visit the department website of each UC campus in the area of your interests to learn about their admission requirements and deadlines.
November 2017 - January 2018
  • Apply for admission (online) to each of the UC campuses selected. UC MEXUS encourages applicants to apply to multiple campuses and programs.
  • Submit all admission materials including application fees for each UC campus.
December 2017 - February 2018
  • Deadlines to apply for admission to UC Campus (Note: it is very important to verify admission deadlines for each individual UC campus/department).
  • Apply for the doctoral fellowship directly through CONACYT. The 2018 Call for Applications (Convocatoria) will be available on the CONACYT website. (The Convocatoria will be published between February and March 2018.) For more information about the 2018 Convocatoria, please contact Maestra Marcela Cruz Caballero at CONACYT by email at mcruzca@conacyt.mx.
January 2018
  • UC campuses/departments begin to send admission letters.
  • Submit the “UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante” by January 26, 2018. The online form is available at the UC MEXUS website.
June 2018
  • Deadline to submit application for the doctoral fellowship with CONACYT: (Date to be announced).
  • Applicants must have completed their bachelor or master degree prior to the CONACYT deadline to submit the doctoral fellowship application.
July 2018
  • CONACYT publishes their list of awardees.
  • Initiate visa process. Contact your academic department and/or Office of International Students and Scholars at your UC campus to obtain additional information.
    • It is our understanding that international students will need to submit proof of funding and meet a minimum amount in order to initiate the visa process with their respective UC campus. We strongly urge you to contact the International Students & Scholars Office at your campus to obtain additional information about this matter. UC MEXUS cannot issue visas for its doctoral fellows, nor are we able to assist or answer any questions regarding the visa process.
August - September 2018
  • Contact UC MEXUS with any questions regarding the University of California or the CONACYT fellowship.
  • Classes begin at the UC campus.

return to funding

Updated on 10/02/17