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About Mexico
Country Handbook

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO)

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Program Snapshot

ITESO is the only university in Jalisco to be recognized as an Institution of Academic Excellence by Mexico's Ministry of Public Education. With a faculty made up of professionals and resarchers recognized as leaders in their fields, together with up-to-date curricula and facilities designed to sitmulate the development of students' multiple dimensions, ITESO offers a solid preparation for life.

Please note there is a current US Department of State Travel Warning for Mexico. Please consult the section on Jalisco for site specific advisories and information. For more information, please click here.

Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, is the capital of the state of Jalisco. It is considered a major industrial, commercial and financial center for western and central Mexico. It is the Mexican Silicon Valley. At the same time, Guadalajara has retained the charm of its past and boasts a wealth of colonial architecture and important cultural centers, such as the Degollado Theater and the Cabañas Institute. The city is known for its clear, sunny weather, with an average temperature of 55 degrees in winter and 89 degrees in summer.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester.

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Excellent.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Academic year: August to mid-May; Semester 1: August to early December; Semester 2: mid-January to mid-May.

Fast Facts
Tlaquepaque (Guadalajara), Jalisco, Mexico (pop. 7 million)
Student Enrollment: 8,700
Language of instruction: Spanish, English
University Home Page
Courses in Spanish
Courses in English
Academic Exchange Office


Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish)
Architecture and Design; Business Administration and Economics (Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Industrial Relations, International Trade, Marketing); Engineering (Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Food Technology, Industrial, Information Technologies, Systems & Computer, Environmental, Mechanical, Telecommunication Networks); Social Sciences (Communications Sciences, Education, Human Rights and Peace Studies, International Relations, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Social Sciences). Students who choose this option may also take university courses offered in English.

Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Second Language Courses and Regular University Courses Taught in English
Students may enroll in Spanish as a Second Language courses (four different levels offered), and take a limited number of regular university courses offered in English, through ITESO’s Three Plus One Program.

Courses taught in English
A limited number of courses are offered in English through the “Three Plus One” program at ITESO. For information on current classes offered, please visit this website.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
Master’s Programs: Applied Information Technology, Human Development, Communication, Quality Engineering, Business Administration, Electronic Design, Political Sciences. Global Marketing, Psychotherapy, Education and Cognitive Processes, Management of Educational Institutions, Constitutional Law, Social Philosophy. PhD: Education, Philosophy of Education; Social Sciences.

Academic Notes
Students can participate in community projects in several fields or internships in the local industry. ITESO’s reputation as one of the strongest academic institutes in Guadalajara is due primarily to the quality of its architecture and engineering schools, as well as the social sciences research centers. According to a national ranking of Mexican Universities made by the newspaper “El Universal”, ITESO ranks in the seventh position of the best universities, and regionally, most of it’s programs where ranked in the first position.

NEW: A program that may be of specific interest to international studies is in Human Rights and Peace Studies. These are regular, credit-bearing courses taught in Spanish. Students can take classes in Peace and Conflict Resolution, Rights of Special Groups (Children, Women, Indigenous Populations and Migrants) and Democracy, Citizenship and Rights. For more information on this program click here.

Students generally enroll in five courses per semester, and spend 18-25 hours a week in class. Semesters are 16 weeks in length.

Transcripts are generally released in January for Semester 1 and in July for Semester 2 and Full Year. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Option 1: ISEP Exchange-Regular University Courses (Spanish)
Language Requirement: A minimum of 4 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to program. Students must have a minimum B2/Upper intermediate level proven by an official language certificate, no older than 2 years (Please note that the ISEP Language Proficiency Report is accepted for this purpose). If the student does not hold such a certificate, a free, online placement exam must be done to determine if it is suitable for the student to enroll in courses taught in Spanish. Please note that ITESO reserves the right to ask students to take this exam even if they have a prior language certificate.
Language Courses: See Option 2 for information about language courses.

Option 2: ISEP Exchange-Spanish as a Second Language and Courses in English
Language Requirement: Courses and Regular University Courses Taught in English No prior Spanish is required to enroll in this option. Students with 0 to 3 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent may only participate in this option.
Language Courses: Intensive Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. Beginner classes (101/102) meet for eight hours a week, for a total of 120 instruction hours per semester. Intermediate classes (201/202) meet for six hours a week for a total of 90 instruction hours per semester. The Advanced class (301) meets for four hours a week for a total of 45 instruction hours per semester.
Additional Information: For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

Non-native English speakers who wish to enroll in English language courses may be required to demonstrate English language proficiency. ITESO accepts the Language Proficiency Report for this requirement.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
Graduate level courses are taught in Spanish and are available to students only after approved by the departmental coordinator.

Hints for Researching Courses
Undergraduate programs: (Spanish)
1.Go to this link
2. Based on your area of interest select the appropriate tab: humanities (humanidades), engineering (ingenierias) or administrative (administrativas).
3. Click on the degree title of your interest and look for the section on coursework.

Graduate programs: (Spanish)
1.Go to this link
2. Based on your area of interest select the appropriate tab.
3. Click on the degree title of your interest and look for the section on coursework

Housing and Meals
Housing and meals for ISEP students is arranged with host families in Guadalajara. Alternatively, students may live in shared apartments and receive a housing and meal stipend. No on-campus housing is available. Accomodations for married student housing are possible.

Personal expenses per month (including books) are estimated at $250 USD. This will vary by personal spending and consumption habits.

The orientation sessions are mandatory and include a campus tour, academic advising, health and safety information, information on internaships and volunteering, and general information regarding student services available at ITESO. A welcome meal is offered on the first orientation day.


Airport pickup is available if arranged in advance with ISEP Coordinator.

Student Activities
Extra-curricular activities like acting, ceramics, drawing, singing and classes for different musical instruments are available, as well as different events on and off campus such as poetry sessions and conferences. As a student at ITESO you have access to the fully-equipped gym and the classes offered there (yoga, pilates, zumba, boxing, spinning etc.). You may also try out for the university team in any of the sports offered.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
ITESO, with its humanitarian inspiration, provides many opportunities for volunteering and social work in the community through different projects with different focus, for instance gender, empowerment and sustainability. Internships are available through selected departments; contact your ISEP Coordinator and faculty advisor when course selection is made.

ITESO, founded in 1957, is administered by the Jesuits and characterized by its academic excellence, humanistic style of education, and social consciousness. The campus consists of well-kept gardens and eucalyptus trees. Facilities include soccer fields, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, gym, library, travel agency, bank, 4 cafeterias, a bookstore and two outdoor stages, as well as chemistry, physics, electronic and photography labs, radio and television equipment with a radiostation, and an observatory. Total enrollment: 8,700.