Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) -
UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellowships for Mexican Students
General Questions
  1. Where can I obtain information about the University of California (UC) system?
  2. How many campuses are there in the UC system?
  3. I am interested in obtaining a doctoral degree. Can you send me information about a specific graduate program?
  4. What UC campuses does the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement cover?
  5. I am interested in obtaining a doctoral degree in political science. Is it possible to obtain a fellowship in the social sciences under the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement?
  6. Which campus offers the best graduate programs?
  7. Where can I find information on the UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship?
  8. Can you put me in contact with current UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellows?
  9. Why should I choose the UC over any other US institution of higher education?
  10. To which UC campus should I apply?
  11. Do I have to submit the form "UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante"? Why? Where can I find this form?
  12. What does the UC MEXUS-CONACYT cost-sharing program provide?
  13. How much does the doctoral fellowship provide for stipend?
  14. How much does the doctoral fellowship provide for health insurance?
  15. Does UC MEXUS have a Facebook page and why should fellows “like” the page?
Applying to the UC
  1. What are the UC graduate admission requirements? What do I need to do?
  2. May I apply to more than one UC campus or one academic graduate program?
  3. When should I start the UC application process?
  4. Where can I find the application for admission to the UC?
  5. How much is the application fee at UC?
  6. Do you recommend that I contact faculty members and/or investigators of the department from which I am seeking admission? Why?
  7. Where can I find information about faculty members and how do I contact them?
  8. What exams must I take? Where and when?
  9. What is the minimum score for the TOEFL and GRE?
  10. What if I do not have the minimum TOEFL or GRE requirement? Can I still apply?
  11. What is the deadline to apply for UC admission?
  12. If I miss the UC deadline, can I still apply for admissions to a graduate program?
  13. When do UC campuses mail out acceptance letters?
  14. Whom can I contact if I have questions about the UC admission process and/or the CONACYT fellowship?
  15. I was admitted to the UC and must obtain a visa. When will I receive the visa and what are the requirements to obtain the visa? Do I need a J1 or an F1 visa? Whom may I contact regarding visa issues?
Applying for a CONACYT Fellowship
  1. Where can I obtain information about the 2018 CONACYT Convocatoria? When is the Convocatoria published?
  2. I would like to apply for a fellowship under the UC-CONACYT agreement. What are the requirements I must meet?
  3. Do I have to submit all of the required documents to CONACYT on the deadline? Can I submit the documents I have and provide the rest of the materials later (such as official evidence of degree completion, transcripts)?
  4. When is the deadline to apply for a CONACYT fellowship?
  5. I am a current UC student from Mexico who needs funding for the next few years. Do I qualify to apply for a CONACYT fellowship?
  6. Are Mexican citizens who are DACA recipients eligible to apply for a CONACYT fellowship?
  7. I applied for a CONACYT fellowship and was told I need a letter of acceptance. Can UC MEXUS provide an acceptance letter to obtain a CONACYT fellowship?
  8. Can I apply for a fellowship to obtain a master's degree under the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement?
  9. Do I need to have a master's degree to apply for a doctoral program?
  10. If I was not awarded a CONACYT fellowship, does UC MEXUS offer any other type of fellowship for international Mexican students?
  11. If I have a question regarding the CONACYT Convocatoria and its requirements, whom may I contact?
General Questions

1. Where can I obtain information about the University of California (UC) system?
Information about the 10 UC campuses, academic departments, and graduate programs is available at the following UC website: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/graduate/admissions/index.html

2. How many campuses are there in the UC system?
The University of California consists of 10 campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

3. I am interested in obtaining a doctoral degree. Can you send me information about a specific graduate program?
To obtain detailed information about any UC graduate program, we recommend you visit the following UC website that contains a list of the degrees each UC campus offers:http://graduate.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/degree-search/index.php

4. What UC campuses does the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement cover?
The UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement covers all 10 campuses. However, it is important to apply to multiple campuses to increase the chances of being admitted.

5. I am interested in obtaining a doctoral degree in political science. Is it possible to obtain a fellowship in the social sciences under the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement?
Yes, you may apply for all academic areas, with the exception of the arts. Contact Veronica Sandoval at 951-827-3582 or veronica.sandoval@ucr.edu directly for questions about specific areas of study.

6. Which campus offers the best graduate programs?
All 10 UC campuses offer excellent graduate programs. It is critical to research each campus and academic program to find out which programs fit your academic needs and research interests. For information about graduate programs at each campus, consult this website: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/graduate/admissions/index.html..

7. Where can I find information on the UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship?
Please refer to this website's "Funding Opportunities.” Also consult the CONACYT website www.conacyt.mx in the section "Becas para Estudios de Posgrado" for information about the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement and the Convocatoria.

8. Can you put me in contact with current UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellows?
Some UC campuses have Mexican Graduate Student Associations whose members are current UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellows. They are happy to answer questions regarding the campus and housing. Contact Veronica Sandoval at 951-827-3582 or veronica.sandoval@ucr.edu for this information.

9. Why should I choose the UC over any other US institution of higher education?
UC offers a vast number of graduate programs at all 10 campuses. It is internationally recognized as one of the finest university systems and draws graduate students from all over the world. UC awards nearly 10 percent of all Ph.D. degrees in the United States. The UC provides a quality education, the opportunity to work with award-winning faculty members, (including Nobel Prize winners), and a diverse academic community. Currently, there are 100 UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellows from Mexico registered in the UC system who are supported by the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Agreement Cost-Sharing Program.

10. To which UC campus should I apply?
Prospective graduate students tend to apply only to the best-known campuses such as UC Los Angeles and UC Berkeley because they assume that they have the best academic programs. It is true that UC Los Angeles and Berkeley have some of the top ranked programs in the nation and are ranked the highest overall among UC campuses (e.g. "U.S. News and World Report"). But specific programs at other UC campuses also excel. In fact, all 10 campuses have a number of top-ranked graduate programs and the majority rank among the top schools nationwide.
The decision about where to apply should have less to do with program and campus rankings, than with which campus provides the best "fit" for you and your area of study. Applicants should research programs at all UC campuses and pay special attention to the following considerations:

1. The Faculty
  • How many of the faculty specialize or conduct research in your particular area of study?
  • Is there a particular faculty member who specializes exactly in your interest or area of study?
  • Have you already contacted someone who you feel would be a good mentor?
  • Do you know faculty members in Mexico that have collaborated with faculty at UC campuses?
  • Are there specific UC doctoral programs that are seeking Mexican applicants?
2. The Department
  • How large is the department? Do not assume that bigger is better. Often, a smaller department provides graduate students with individualized attention and offers additional sources of funding such as teaching assistantships and research assistantships because fewer graduate students are competing for the same resources.
3. The Location
  • Does the geographical location lend itself in some way to your area of study or research? For example, if you are interested in citrus or agricultural studies, UC Riverside is geographically well-suited to this topic of investigation. If your area of study would benefit from an urban location, then UC Los Angeles might be a better fit.
4. Student Makeup
  • How many international students attend a particular campus? Though UC campuses tend to attract many international students, UC Riverside has the largest percentage of international students (31%) and UC Davis has a very active Mexican student association. Though these factors should not play a primary role, they may be significant if you are selecting between two campuses.

11. Do I have to submit the form "UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante"? Why? Where can I find this form?
Submission of the UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante is not required, however we strongly recommend that all applicants submit this form to UC MEXUS indicating the UC campus(es) to which they are applying for admission. It is essential that applicants submit the form as it enables UC MEXUS to communicate directly with the campuses regarding the applicant's solicitation of a UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship.
The UC MEXUS Formato de Solicitante is available in our website.

12. What does the UC MEXUS-CONACYT cost-sharing program provide?
The program provides up to five years of support for doctoral studies. Support includes non-resident tuition and fees, monthly stipend, and support towards health insurance. Please see the cost-sharing table available on this website in the Funding section for more information about support schedule.

13. How much does the UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship provide for stipend?
The fellowship provides $1,100 a month for single fellows and $1,375 a month for married fellows. Doctoral fellows who are in good standing and have advanced to candidacy by their fifth year of funding will receive the following monthly stipend amounts during their fifth year: $2,000 for single fellows and $2,400 for married fellows.

14. How much does the UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship provide for health insurance?
The amount of support for health insurance will vary depending upon the fellow's marital status and the number of dependents. The amount depends also on who is providing funding for Health Insurance during a given year (please see cost-sharing chart). Fellows should be aware that for the majority of their fellowship, financial support for health insurance may not be sufficient to fully cover the fellow or his/her dependents. Please contact Susana Hidalgo at susana.hidalgo@ucr.edu for a more detailed response to this question.

15. Does UC MEXUS have a Facebook page and why should fellows “like” the page?
Yes, our “UC MEXUS-CONACYT Fellows Network” on Facebook helps binational scholars, including our doctoral fellows, connect with each other and share information about their accomplishments, academic activities, and funding and work opportunities. By becoming a fan of our page you can receive updates in your personal feed. (Becoming a fan of our page does not allow UC MEXUS to view anything of yours on Facebook.) We also encourage fellows to post links on our page and share information that might be of interest to other fellows. Please search for our page and “like” us at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/UC-MEXUS-CONACYT-Fellows-Network/66793583754.

Applying to the UC

16. What are the UC graduate admission requirements? What do I need to do?
The requirements can vary among departments and campuses. It is important to consult the specific UC campus and the departmental websites. However, there are certain requirements that exist in all UC campuses and departments:

  1. UC admissions application
  2. Statement of purpose
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  5. GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
  6. Official transcripts

Please refer to this website's "Funding Opportunities" page. The section "Administrative Process and Timeline" will guide you on a month-to-month basis in seeking admissions to UC and applying for a UC MEXUS-CONACYT doctoral fellowship. Also refer to the CONACYT call at http://www.conacyt.mx/index.php/convocatorias-becas-extranjeros/convocatorias-becas-al-extranjero-1/convocatorias-abiertas-becas-al-extranjero.

17. May I apply to more than one UC campus or one academic graduate program?
Yes, we highly recommend that you apply to more than one UC campus. Although you may prefer a particular campus, applying to more than one UC campus increases your chances of admittance.

18. When should I start the UC application process?
Begin the application process at least one year prior to the date you intend to begin graduate studies. Consult the section "Administrative Process and Timeline" for detailed information. Do not wait until the last minute to apply.

19. Where can I find the application for admission to the UC?
UC online admission applications are available at each UC campus website in September. If you are applying to more than one campus, you will need an application for each campus.

20. How much is the application fee at UC?
It depends on the campus. You will need to confirm the amount at the campus website.

21. Do you recommend that I contact faculty members and/or investigators of the department from which I am seeking admission? Why?
It helps to contact faculty in departments where you seek admission because they can ensure that your application receives careful attention during the evaluation process and they can sometimes help with the application. Contact with faculty also helps you determine whether this is the best program for your academic needs and goals.

22. Where can I find information about faculty members and how do I contact them?
Visit the academic department's website to find detailed information about faculty members including their research, publications, cv, and contact information. We recommend that you contact the faculty member via e-mail with a short introduction about yourself and your research and why you are interested in working with them.

23. What exams must I take? Where and when?
Most departments and campuses require that you take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Some may also require that you take the GRE Subject Test. Consult the department website for additional information.
You may take the GRE and TOEFL at various locations in Mexico. The website http://www.ets.org/ will provide information on locations. You should give yourself enough time to prepare for both exams with the goal of taking the test a year before you intend to begin your graduate studies. However, December is usually the final opportunity to take the exams because graduate admissions must receive exam results before the application deadline.

24. What is the minimum score for the TOEFL and GRE?
The minimum score required will vary from campus and department. Your will need to consult the department website.

25. What if I do not have the minimum TOEFL or GRE requirement? Can I still apply?
If you do not have the minimum TOEFL or GRE score, you may still apply. The evaluation review committees not only take into consideration GRE or TOEFL scores but also factors such as GPA, recommendation letters, and the statement of purpose. If you are not satisfied with your test results and have time to take the exam again, you may do so. However, some UC departments will average your scores, whereas others view them independently, so it is important to check with the specific program.
You may also wish to wait an additional year to apply for admission in order to improve your language skills and retake the TOEFL and GRE when you feel better prepared.

26. What is the deadline to apply for UC admission?
The deadlines to submit an admission application to the UC vary by campus and department but generally range between November and March. However, we recommend you consult the campus and departmental website for the exact deadline. As an international applicant, we also suggest submitting your application before the deadline.

27. If I miss the UC deadline, can I still apply for admissions to a graduate program?
It will depend on the campus and department. Some departments receive many applications for admission and do not allow applicants to submit late applications. However, other departments allow applicants to apply for admission later than the deadline. Contact the department and/or UC MEXUS for help.

28. When do UC campuses mail out acceptance letters?
The offices of graduate admissions begin to mail acceptance letters as early as January, however, letters can be sent as late as June.

29. Whom can I contact if I have questions about the UC admission process and/or the CONACYT fellowship?
If you have questions or need additional information, contact Veronica Sandoval, Academic Programs Coordinator at UC MEXUS by email veronica.sandoval@ucr.edu or by phone at 951-827-3582.

30. I was admitted to the UC and must obtain a visa. When will I receive the visa and what are the requirements to obtain the visa? Do I need a J1 or an F1 visa? Whom may I contact regarding visa issues?
Contact the academic department or the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at the UC campus you will attend. They can provide detailed information and answer questions about the visa requirements and documentation. 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 or prospective students, nor are we able to assist or answer any questions regarding the visa process.

Applying for a CONACYT Fellowship

31. Where can I obtain information about the 2018 CONACYT Convocatoria? When is the Convocatoria published?
The 2018 Convocatoria will be published on the CONACYT website under the section titled "Becas al Extranjero". The convocatoria is generally published sometime in late-February or early-March.

32. I would like to apply for a fellowship under the UC-CONACYT agreement. What are the requirements I must meet?
There are two separate application processes. First, you must apply and be admitted to a UC campus. (Consult this site under  Funding Opportunities). Second, you must apply for a CONACYT fellowship. Consult the 2018 CONACYT Convocatoria on the CONACYT website: www.conacyt.mx. (The Call is published between the months of February and March.) The 2018 Convocatoria will contain detailed information regarding requirements, deadlines, calendar, application and contact information. We recommend that you also contact Maestra Marcela Cruz Caballero (mcruzca@conacyt.mx), Subdirectora de Asignación de Becas en el Extranjero at CONACYT.

33. Do I have to submit all of the required documents to CONACYT on the deadline? Can I submit the documents I have and provide the rest of the materials later (such as official evidence of degree completion, transcripts)?
You must submit all required documentation to CONACYT by or before the deadline. 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 available window of submission. For materials that are uploaded earlier, CONACYT may provide review of documentation and give feedback regarding materials provided.
It is not possible to provide required materials that are pending at a later date. The inability to upload documents and/or uploading of incorrect documents (and incomplete documents) may prevent applications from being reviewed by CONACYT.

34. When is the deadline to apply for a CONACYT fellowship?
The date will be announced in the coming months. Consult the CONACYT website at www.conacyt.mx.

35. I am a current UC student from Mexico who needs funding for the next few years. Do I qualify to apply for a CONACYT fellowship?
Absolutely, you may apply directly to CONACYT. Consult the 2018 Convocatoria on the CONACYT website.

36. Are Mexican citizens who are DACA recipients eligible to apply for a CONACYT fellowship?
Mexican citizens who are DACA recipients and have AB 540 status may also be eligible to apply. Please contact us to obtain additional information.

37. I applied for a CONACYT fellowship and was told I need a letter of acceptance. Can UC MEXUS provide an acceptance letter to obtain a CONACYT fellowship?
UC MEXUS cannot provide an acceptance letter. The Graduate Admissions office of each UC campus provides the applicant with an acceptance letter if the department considers the applicant a good candidate for graduate studies and if the applicant fulfills UC requirements. CONACYT will also accept a provisional letter of acceptance from the UC department. UC begins to send out acceptance letters as early as January.

38. Can I apply for a fellowship to obtain a master's degree under the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement?
You may not obtain a fellowship under the UC MEXUS-CONACYT agreement for a master's degree.

39. Do I need to have a master's degree to apply for a doctoral program?
The majority of doctoral programs at the UC do not require a master's degree. Please consult the program’s website to confirm.

40. If I was not awarded a CONACYT fellowship, does UC MEXUS offer any other type of fellowship for international Mexican students?
The only support UC MEXUS offers for doctoral studies by Mexican students is through the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Agreement Cost-Sharing program. However, the UC offers fellowships to graduate students. Research the UC website to learn about graduate fellowships that the university offers and their requirements.

41. If I have a question regarding the CONACYT Convocatoria and its requirements, whom may I contact?
You may contact Maestra Marcela Cruz Caballero, Subdirectora de Asignación de Becas en el Extranjero, at CONACYT at mcruzca@conacyt.mx.

Updated - 10/11/17