How good are colleges in Mexico?

Even though most of my family has studied in American and European colleges and of course they do well, I also have some cousins that have studied in Mexico - specifically UNAM and ITESO (if you Google them, the names will come up in English, but those are the ones I am talking about).

While I am not going to study there, I want to know their scholarly merit.

Objectively, are those schools anywhere as near as good as somewhat selective colleges like TEXAS A&M, University of Houston, University of Texas at Dallas? Hell, if they do surpass these (which would be a surprising answer), are they as high as UT Austin?

Are the degrees comparable to American colleges?

I wish to emphasize that I am not Hispanic, so please don’t go like “Yeeeeah, maybe they’re not as good but they’re okay.” I want blunt and honest answers. If you think they’re awful, tell me so.

What major? Few Mexican schools are accredited by American accrediting agencies. That would be a problem if you plan to be an engineer for example. Pre-med courses taken outside the US and Canada will not be recognized by US medical schools.

I only know that ITESM in Monterrey has a pretty good reputation. And it’s even accredited by a regional US accreditation agency.

^^which one? If it’s not one of the major regional ones that other univs recognize, it’s worthless.

is it WASC accredited?

I am not familiar with either university, but here’s how I’d go about getting a first impression.

- A look at the curriculum.

I am most familiar with math, so that’s usually the first major I look at. UNAM’s math major is pretty astonishing. It picks up at introductory calculus, which would be typical at selective-but-not-uber-selective American universities. The 4th year curriculum would be mostly graduate courses at American universities. If I saw these courses on the transcript of an American undergraduate student, I would be impressed.

ITESO does not teach a major I am super familiar with, but the engineering majors look comparable to the engineering majors at selective American universities.

- A look at rankings.

UNAM is among the highest-ranked universities in Mexico in national rankings. Often #1, or else #2 to the Tecnológico de Monterrey. In the international Times Higher Education ranking, it ranks like Stanford and surpasses UT Austin on the “industry income” scale, which measures how much money private industry is willing to pay for a partnership with the university and might be a good proxy for the quality of the work being done there. On the “education” subscale, which is partially based on a reputation survey and partially on metrics like student-to-staff ratios, UNAM ranks approximately like the University of Houston. Lower than UT Austin, higher than UT Dallas.

ITESO appears to be ranked in the top 10% of universites in Mexico, but it’s too small to be included in international university rankings.

- A look at international partnerships. Universities like to establish formal partnerships with universities in other countries that they consider their peers.

UNAM has undergraduate exchange programs with Harvard, UT Austin, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of California. All excellent American universities that wouldn’t send their students to a sub-par foreign university or invite under-achieving foreigners to their own campus.

ITESO has exchange programs with the Idaho State, Western Michigan and the University of San Diego.

In conclusion, UNAM appears to be an excellent university. ITESO is more difficult to judge from a distance. You said that you “would be surprised” if their academic merits exceeded schools like Texas A&M or UT Dallas. Why is that?

^^ To answer your very last question - because Americans have suspect ideas about other nations (Mexico in particular) and their own superiority.

I would add that academically UNAM would be as demanding as UT. However the university would be less well funded, with more difficult learning conditions. Pollution in Mexico isba greater problem than in Austin (relevant if you have asthma). Its basically free though. The student experience would likely be a test for young people who’ve grown up in the US and if you’re used to relative freedom of opinion/speech/action consequences could be quite different for you than in Austin - overall being a student there would be less comfortable and riskier than in Austin.

“How good are colleges in Mexico?” Wrong question. What you should be asking is can I get a job where I want to have a job? Do US employers (assuming you want to work in US, US citizen) hire graduates from the top Mexican colleges? Are they accredited in all fields of engineering for the US? If employers have to choose between a graduate from a college they do know and one in Mexico (exhibit 1: engineering posters here having no idea) which will they choose? Also are you profficent in Spanish? The tables turn.

ITESM holds US “regional accreditation” from SACS, which is the regional accreditor for the southeastern states. Note that ITESM is in Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, which is a SACS state.

SACS is equivalent to WASC, but it covers a different part of the US. WASC handles California and Hawaii, which are not particularly close to ITESM.

ITESM also appears to have ABET accreditation for its engineering programs.