Program Overview

This program offers you the opportunity to enroll in Mexico’s most prestigious university, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). If you have reached an advanced Spanish language level (completed three of college-level Spanish or the equivalent) you can take regular university courses—taught entirely in Spanish—alongside Mexican students in most academic fields. UNAM is a major public university that enrolls a total of 214,000 undergraduate students. Students from all across Mexico and international students from all over the world travel to Mexico City to study at UNAM.  

UNAM is located in the southern region of Mexico City, near the bohemian borough of Coyoacán and the cultural and commercial neighborhood of San Angel. The UNAM campus, called “Ciudad Universitaria” (often abbreviated to CU, pronounced Se uu) is an impressive “city within a city” that spans 2,000 acres in territory and features an ancient volcanic forest and ecological reserves. Mexico City, also known as “El DF” (short for Distrito Federal), is the heart of Mexico. Many of Mexico’s most well-known intellectuals, writers, artists, scientists, and political leaders have studied at UNAM.

Additional requirements

  • Three years of college-level Spanish language complete, including University or Oregon SPAN 311
  • Relavent coursework on Latin American culture and history (e.g., UO HIST 480, LAS 200)

What is an Exchange?

This is a program in which the University of Oregon and the partner universities exchange students on an ongoing basis. The number of places available to UO students varies based on the number of partner institution students coming to UO. If there are not enough exchange places available in a given year, then qualified applicants will be offered the opportunity to apply as a fee-paying study abroad student, or to apply for an alternate exchange program.

This is an exchange program in which you will directly enroll in courses at a UO partner university. Exchange programs differ from other study abroad options and on-site student support services such as academic advising, health & counselling services may vary. Students most comfortable and successful in exchange programs typically have high levels of self-reliance, resourcefulness, and willingness to adapt to unfamiliar teaching styles and living arrangements.

NOTE: The host university has its own credit and grading system. The transcripts provided by the host institution will be converted by the UO Registrar’s Office based on established standards of conversion. Exchange applicants should meet with a GEO advisor to discuss program details.

Academic Details

You can take courses in any academic discipline at UNAM. The academic year is divided into two semesters. Each semester is approximately 18 week long; you can participate in a Fall Semester, Spring Semester, or an entire Academic Year. UNAM is a good option for students who are studying: Spanish Language and Literature, Latin American History, International Studies, Political Science, Ethnic Studies, Planning and Public Policy, Business, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Journalism, Education, and the natural sciences. The university is organized around 15 main colleges (also known as facultades) and hundreds of majors (also known as licenciaturas).

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Housing Description

You will need to arrange housing on your own. UNAM does not have university housing, nor does it manage housing partnerships with host families or apartment complexes. GEO will assist you in your search for housing, but it will be your responsibility to arrange final accommodations. Housing options range from single bedroom apartments to shared apartments to host families. There are several resources available to find housing in Mexico City.

Some of the resources that recent students have used to locate housing include the following:

The international office at UNAM, Dirección General de Cooperación e Internacionalizacióne will also provide orientation and guidance on housing options.

Application process

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. First, you will complete the GEO application process and interview. Selection for this program is based on a review of your statement of purpose, transcripts, recommendations, and completion of the interview process. After your initial application is complete, GEO will review it and select successful candidates for nomination to UNAM. Nominations are made in March for the fall semester and in September for the spring semester of the following year. 

After being nominated by GEO, students will receive instructions regarding the secondary application for UNAM. You will be asked to complete an online application and provide documents such as your transcript, copy of passport, letters of recommendations, course selection, etc. 

UNAM makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall Semester202002/01/2020Early AugustEarly December
Academic Year2020-2102/01/2020Early AugustEarly June
Spring Semester202103/15/2020Late JanuaryEarly June

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.