Eligible areas of study include the following:


Biological Sciences

Earth Sciences


Environmental Studies



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:

Students must apply for admission to UC programs of study and be at least provisionally admitted.

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 April 23, 2021.

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.

Please note that in order to apply, all applicants are required to have an active e.firma from Mexico’s Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). We encourage potential applicants to check the status of their e.firma and/or process their e.firma as soon as possible to avoid delays during the fellowship application period.

UC MEXUS Conacyt Program

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

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

+ 0
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.

Applying to the UC system

Administrative Process and Timeline

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

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.


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.

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.

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 #34.

Administrative Timeline for Prospective Doctoral Fellows

  1. Request academic and admission information from the 10 UC Campuses and academic departments of interest.

  2. 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.
  1. Establish contact with UC professors and/or investigators in the departments of interest (See FAQs for more information).

  2. Take TOEFL and GRE exams.

UC admission applications become available online. Visit the department website of each UC campus in the area of your interests to learn about their admission requirements and deadlines.

  1. Apply for admission to one or more UC campuses. UC MEXUS encourages applicants to apply to multiple campuses and programs.

  2. Submit all admission materials including application fees for each UC campus.
  1. Deadlines to apply for admission to UC Campus (Note: it is very important to verify admission deadlines for each individual UC campus/department).
  2. Apply for the doctoral fellowship directly through Conacyt. The 2021 Call for Applications (Convocatoria) will be available on the Conacyt website. The Convocatoria will be published March 2021. For more information about the 2021 Convocatoria, please contact Maestra Marcela Cruz Caballero at Conacyt by email at mcruzca@Conacyt.mx.

*Please note that in order to apply, all applicants are required to have an active e.firma from Mexico’s Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). We encourage potential applicants to check the status of their e.firma and/or process their e.firma as soon as possible to avoid delays during the fellowship application period.

UC campuses/departments begin to send admission letters.

  • Conacyt application system will be available to submit online applications on April 5, 2021.
  • Submit the “UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante” by April 23, 2021. The online form will be available on the UC MEXUS website.
  • Deadline to submit applications for the doctoral fellowship with Conacyt: June 11, 2021.
    *We strongly encourage applicants to submit their application well before the deadline to benefit from receiving feedback. Please see the Conacyt call for details.
  • Applicants must have completed their bachelor’s or master’s degree prior to the Conacyt deadline in order to submit the doctoral fellowship application.
  • Conacyt publishes their list of fellowship awardees.
  • Awardees undergo the formalization process with Conacyt. Before accepting your award, please ensure that the amounts provided by the fellowship correspond to the UC MEXUS-Conacyt cost-sharing agreement. Also, verify that any other awards you received have been taken into account accurately. Contact Conacyt and/or UC MEXUS if you have any questions.
  • Initiate the 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.
  • Feel free to contact UC MEXUS with any questions regarding the Doctoral Fellowship Program.
  • Provide a copy of the Conacyt award letter (anexo uno) to your UC campus Office of Graduate Division/Studies. Grad Division/Studies needs a copy of the letter in order to invoice Conacyt for non-resident tuition and fees. Contact UC MEXUS to obtain information for the main contact person at Grad Division.
  • Classes begin at the UC campus.