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Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE): Mexico City, Mexico

a. General Information

CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) is one of Mexico’s most important centers of higher education and research in the social sciences. Recognized both nationally and internationally, CIDE has been a non‐profit public institution since its establishment in Mexico City in 1974. Part of the network of highly specialized public centers for research and higher education coordinated by the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt), CIDE is fully committed to contributing to the development of Mexico through its demanding academic programs; rigorous, relevant research; and links to the public, private, social, and academic sectors. Intellectual independence and rigor, respect for plurality, a sense of equity, and a constant effort to balance a scientific approach to research with social relevance are behind CIDE’s successful search for excellence.

As a public institute of higher education, CIDE provides international‐caliber training in the social sciences to students of diverse geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Its graduates are highly skilled, responsible, analytical professionals capable of assuming leadership positions in the public, private, and social sectors and of undertaking advanced studies at the world’s leading universities. As a research center with active links to decision makers, CIDE produces creative, methodologically sound interdisciplinary research designed both to advance scientific knowledge and improve decision making. Both as a teaching and a research center, CIDE is a central point of reference in national academic debate and a key actor in efforts to improve public policy.

CIDE is organized in six departments (Public Administration, Economics, International Studies, Law Studies, Political Studies, and History), reflecting its pluralistic roots and its orientation towards promoting leadership and innovation. This flexibility allows faculty and alumni to pursue both individual interests and institutional priorities related to CIDE’s three core functions: teaching, research, and outreach to the public and decision makers.

CIDE’s BA in Law (please note that, in Mexico, law is studied at the undergraduate BA level) is a groundbreaking program based on teaching through the analysis of judicial cases and problems and is the only program in Mexico to have received the international prize Problem Solving in the Law School (CPR 2004, New York). The program features an interdisciplinary vision and emphasizes the development of abilities for critical argumentation and the use of quantitative and qualitative methods as analytic tools for juridical phenomena. The faculty is comprised of full time professor‐researchers and professors who perform their activities in the public and private sectors, which guarantees an excellent balance between theory and practice. The students are professionally trained through classes, exercises, homework, research projects, professional practice, and continuous participation in workshops, seminars, and conferences.

b. The Exchange Program

Our exchange program for students in Law includes the opportunity to take courses at CIDE in either of our two sessions: Fall or Spring. CIDE also permits exchange students to study at CIDE for two sessions. Exchange students can also engage in research relevant to their academic interests, after obtaining the approval of a CIDE faculty member who will supervise the research agenda a student wishes to pursue.

c. Academic calendar

Spring semester: early February to mid June, with a one week break in March or April (the week before Easter).

Fall semester: mid August to mid December.

Both our sessions comprise 16 weeks of courses and 2 weeks of final exams. Full dates for 2013 are as follows:
Pre‐registration: January 30-31
Classes begin: February 5
Easter break: March 25-29
Classes end: May 31
Final exams and papers due: June 3-14
Final grades due: June 19
Holidays: March 18, May 1

Pre‐registration: August 8‐ 9
Classes begin: August 13
Classes end: December 4
Final exams and papers due: December 5‐16
Final grades due: January 8, 2014
Holidays: September 16, November 18

d. Language of instruction

All our courses are taught in Spanish. A level of Spanish equivalent to B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference is required to be admitted to CIDE if the student’s native language is not Spanish. Information about testing for a Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) under the auspices of the Association of Language Testers in Europe may be found here.

However, Spanish courses are also offered at CIDE for our foreign students, and it should be noted that some academic materials such as books and academic papers and journals are in English.

e. Eligible courses

Exchange students are eligible to enroll in all of the courses in our program in Law. A list of courses to be taught at CIDE may be found here.

It is also possible to take courses from other programs at CIDE, but this must be approved by the Office of the BA in Law. Students considering this option will be asked to submit their academic reasons for taking a course outside the Law program.

f. English‐language courses

Currently none of our courses in the BA in Law is taught in English.

g. Academic requirements for admission to the exchange program

Postgraduate students must have completed one year of postgraduate studies.  

h. Standard course loads

Most of our courses involve 3 hours of class per week, usually divided into two 90‐minute sessions that meet twice per the week. Occasionally, some courses involve 4 hours of class per week, or require one to two hours per week of laboratory for practice of the theoretical skills developed in class, or are taught in a single weekly session rather than two.

CIDE Law students are expected to take five or six courses per semester. Exchange students are expected to take four to five courses per semester, depending on the sending university’s requirements. However, they can register for more courses at the beginning of the term and make a final selection of their four or five courses after two weeks of classes.

i. Course enrollment and registration

Students will pre‐register after their application has been accepted and confirmed, through the Office of International Academic Affairs at CIDE. They will confirm their choice during the week before the beginning of the classes, at CIDE’s Office of Student Affairs (“Dirección de Administración Escolar”). Definitive dates will be published online and announced to incoming exchange students by email. During the first two weeks of classes, the students will be able to add or drop courses according to their interest. Registration will be considered definitive after two weeks of classes, subject to the approval of the number of courses taken, as explained above.

j. Grading system

In all of our courses, the student will receive a partial grade that will be announced by the mid‐point of the academic semester. The final grade is assigned after final exams are taken and / or papers are submitted during the two weeks after the last day of classes. The final grade is the exclusive responsibility of the professor(s) teaching the course. Grades are not assigned on a curve. CIDE’s grading system is 0‐10, with a minimum passing grade of 6.0. Stanford Law School will determine how the number of units taken and grades earned at CIDE will be converted into credit at Stanford.

k. The application procedure

To apply, prospective exchange students must submit the following documents:

  • Application form, available online here
  • Statement of purpose (personal and academic)
  • Letter of recommendation, written and signed or sealed by the International Exchange, International Affairs, or equivalent office at the sending university
  • Copy or electronic scan of an international medical insurance policy covering accidents and diseases during the student’s planned stay in Mexico
  • Official academic transcript
  • Official report of Spanish language level (for non‐native speakers)
  • Copy or electronic scan of the applicant’s passport
  • 2 passport size photographs

Once these documents are received by CIDE’s Office of International Academic Affairs, prospective exchange students must complete the immigration procedures required by the Government of Mexico (see Section n below).

l. Application deadlines

Fall semester applicants must send their application forms by May 15.
Spring semester applicants must send their application forms by October 15.

m. Housing information

CIDE is not able to offer accommodation or housing to students. However, we do have an accommodation network (Red de Alojamiento) which lists different housing options, with a diversity of costs and locations, adapted to different needs of incoming students.

Although this list of options is maintained and updated by CIDE, we must remark that all of the information published and the services and costs offered are not affiliated to CIDE in any way.

n. Visa/immigration information

Once foreign students have been accepted as exchange students for one or two semesters at CIDE, they must appear at the Mexican diplomatic office covering their country or territory to obtain the visa allowing them to study in Mexico. IMPORTANT: All applicants must know beforehand the time they will spend at CIDE and must pay all fees for the visa application. CIDE cannot be held responsible for any extra fees arising from a subsequent extension of the visa to stay in Mexico.

CIDE provides the following English translation of the procedures and requirements for obtaining the required visa. NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT THE OFFICIAL GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS ARE IN SPANISH, AND THE SPANISH LANGUAGE VERSION PREVAILS IN THE EVENT OF ANY CONFLICT.

The Spanish‐language version of these requirements may be found on CIDE’s website or at the website of Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (“Instituto Nacional de Migración”).

The following procedures are necessary:
In the country of origin
Foreign students must present, at the Mexican diplomatic office (embassy or consulate) covering their country or territory, the following documents:

  • Letter of approval from CIDE’s Oficina de Asuntos Académicos Internacionales
  • Letter of nomination from the sending university
  • Bank account report confirming the availability of funds allowing the student to support themselves in Mexico without performing any for‐profit activities
  • If the funds legally belong to the student’s parents, a signed letter wherein the parents authorize their use by the student
  • Birth certificate (original and copy)
  • Another official document (recognized by the country of origin) valid as proof of identity
  • The Mexican diplomatic office might request other documents it deems fit before granting the student visa (FM3 Estudiante)

At the National Institute of Migration (Instituto Nacional de Migración)

  1. Upon entry to Mexico, foreign students must present their FM3 Estudiante, obtained in their country of origin, at the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM)* in order to be granted a record number at the National Registry of Foreign Residents (“Registro Nacional de Extranjeros,” or RNE).
  2. Foreign students have the obligation to seal their FM3 Estudiante at the points of entry every time they enter or leave the country during their stay. Failure to do so will result in a penalty fee established by the INM.
  3. If there is any change in the student’s status during the stay, for example, change in marital status, change of address, or change of type of migration from student to visitor with for‐profit activities, the RNE must be notified within 15 days of this change.
  4. Once they finish their stay at CIDE, students must notify the INM of their definitive leaving, fulfilling the requirements the INM deems fit.

* The INM’s address is:
Instituto Nacional de Migración
Homero 1832
Col. Los Morales Polanco, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo
C.P. 11510
México, D.F.
Phone: +52 (55) 5387 2400

o. Fees

Incoming exchange students will pay their normal tuition fees at their institution of origin, and will be exempt from any tuition fees at CIDE.

p. Estimated cost of living

Monthly estimated costs:
Housing (near CIDE): US $270.00
Food: US $230.00
Transportation (in Mexico City): US $65.00
Books and academic materials: US $50.00
Other expenses: US $115.00
Approximate monthly total: US $730.00

It must be noted that this estimate does not include travel outside Mexico City, and can vary depending on the student’s habits, choice of housing, and other factors.

q. Health insurance requirements

We require students to have in force an insurance policy that covers medical costs for accidents and diseases for their entire stay in Mexico. We recommend that students compare policies in their country of origin by contacting insurers or travel agencies. We are not able to provide an insurance policy of our own to incoming students.

Program contacts/advisors at CIDE

Federico Cortes
Office of International Academic Affairs
Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE)
Carretera México Toluca 3655
Col. Lomas de Santa Fe
C.P. 01210 México, D.F.
Phone:  (00.52.55) 5727-98-00 ext. 2805

Jimena Moreno
Director of the BA Program in Law
Phone: +52‐55‐57279800 2843

Mailing Address:
Oficina de Asuntos Académicos Internacionales
Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
Carretera México‐Toluca 3655
Colonia Lomas de Santa Fe, Delegación Álvaro Obregón
CP 01210
México DF

Library information

Our library, specialized in the social sciences, has about 84,000 books and 1,200 different journals and magazines. We also have materials in media and data CD and DVD formats. The library is organized in the following Collections:
Academic Papers
Periodic publications
Reference works (printed and electronic) Reserve
INEGI (Mexican Statistics, Geography and Informatics Institute production)
Further information (in Spanish) here