Reference work entry

Structure of Higher Education System


The higher education system has three basic pillars: free public education, laicism in both public and private institutions, and the autonomy of public universities. It is made up of over 6,000 institutions (approx. 3,500 are private; the remaining 2,500 public). Public higher education institutions are of three types: federal, state, and autonomous. Universities must offer a minimum of 5 academic programmes at Bachelor, Master and Ph.D’s levels in at least 3 areas of knowledge.

Stages of studies

University level first stage


The usual entrance qualification is the Bachillerato. In addition, students normally have to take an entrance examination. Courses leading to the Licenciatura normally last between three to five years. Four years in Education and Nursing, five in Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

University level second stage

Maestría or Especialización

Students must hold a Licenciatura. Studies leading to the...

Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2019

Personalised recommendations