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Field Research, UC Center Mexico City

Study Abroad Program Overview

This experiential program is geared toward juniors and seniors who want to explore the “real” Mexico outside the classroom and focus their studies on a topic of particular interest to them. At the Casa de California during the early weeks of the program, UCEAP provides training to help you refine your ideas, design a research plan, and identify the Mexican professor/mentor who will guide your investigations at one of UCEAP’s research sites in Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Queretaro or Mexico City (final site choice depends on the research topic).
Students attend classes with UC students only.

Language of Instruction


Language Study

Spanish language study is required during the first four weeks of the program.​


Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars.
Fall :  
early July to early November​








You may extend your UCEAP participation to the spring National Autonomous Univ. of Mexico (UNAM) program, provided you have a 2.85 GPA at the time of departure from California.​


In Mexico City, housing is prearranged for you by the program coordinator in a homestay. Following the Mexico City portion of the program, you will travel to your research site and work with your mentor to arrange housing. Depending on your research site, housing choices may be limited.

More information on housing

Extracurricular Activities

​During the time that you are in Mexico City (D.F.), you will discover a wealth of cultural activity with its many museums, theaters, parks, monuments, and frequent special events. As one of the largest cosmopolitan cities in the world, D.F. will offer you a variety of modern experiences typical of any large urban center, in contrast with elements that are distinctly traditional. Many students find the blend of old and new worlds to be particularly interesting. Among other things, Mexico City is a center for international and national cinematography.

The program includes trips to local sites, such as Teotihuacan and Tlahuac, as well as to cultural events and museums in the Distrito Federal. 

At your research site, which will likely be less urban, there will be even more ways to immerse yourself in the culture. Spending time in rural areas and smaller towns will offer you a glimpse of a different Mexico. Many of your research projects will bring you into close relations with the community in which you will be living and working, and your involvement in volunteer activities may well expand. You may enjoy some of the many cultural festivals and events such as El Día de Los Muertos, the Feast Day of Guadalupe, or others more specific to the region. Your mentor/professor and others will be able to guide you toward the sorts of music- or sports-related activities that may interest you.

On-site Support

UCEAP students are supported by UC’s network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. The Mexico City Study Center Director and staff abroad will help you integrate into the local culture and provide assistance with academics, housing, safety, and other issues. Local faculty serve as UCEAP mentors at each of the research sites and will also be on hand to provide support during the field research portion of your program.

Meet our staff...
See the UCEAP Program Guide for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing; and information about the intensive language program.​

Course Opportunities

The Mexico Field Research Program begins in Mexico City where you will receive an introduction to contemporary Mexican culture and society together with an intensive review of Spanish language. Both courses are designed to help you immerse yourself into your selected community while conducting your fieldwork.
You will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with the program mentors, all of whom are scholars at different Mexican universities and have years of experience working with UC students. With the skills you acquire during the field research methodology course and with personalized guidance from your mentor, you will be well prepared to delve into your research and prepare a paper to submit and present to your fellow students at the end of the program.
Four courses are required for all students:
  • Contemporary Mexico
    listed under History and Political Science, upper division, 4.5 UC quarter units
  • Spanish
    offered at various levels depending on placement, upper division, 4 UC quarter units
  • Field Research Methods
    listed under all subject areas, upper division, 5 UC quarter units
  • Special Studies Research
    listed under all subject areas, upper division, 9 UC quarter units
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:
  • MyEAP Course Catalog provides the descriptions for each of the courses listed above with the exception of the special study research course. All students will complete a separate project form outlining their particular research proposal on-site.
  • Sample Research Projects...
Graduate students are also encouraged to participate in this rewarding program.


All students complete a full-time course of study while abroad. Students enroll in four courses to reach the program requirement of 22.5 quarter units (equivalent to 15.0 semester units) of UC credit.

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

Independent research is the core component of this program. Predeparture preparation is encouraged.
On this program, you devote the semester to a research experience that will distinguish you from most other undergraduate students, whether you list it on your résumé, show the final paper to professors at UC, or use it as a head start on graduate work.
The more thought you give to your topic before you leave California, the more productive and exciting these first weeks of the program will be. UCEAP recommends that you discuss your topic with a faculty member in your major department to help narrow your research focus and consider the ways in which your project will fit into your overall academic career. However, your research topic will only be finalized after you have had a chance to meet with the mentors. Field research may be conducted only at the established sites or the surrounding countryside under the supervision of the site mentor.
It is also possible to do an unpaid internship in lieu of fieldwork to conduct your independent research. You would need to submit a petition at the beginning of the program so that the Visiting Professor and staff can review your request and determine if the request and proposed project is viable. 
At the end of the program, you present the results of your fieldwork or internship research in a substantial written paper that is the basis for your grade. You also conduct a presentation for your fellow program participants, instructors, and the UC faculty professor in Mexico City.

All students begin the program at the UC Center Mexico City before moving to one of the UCEAP's research sites in Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, or Queretaro. Research can also be conducted in Mexico City.

UC Center Mexico City

UC Center, Mexico City
The Mexico City UC Center is housed at La Casa de California, a University of California facility founded to enhance the cultural ties between California and Mexico. The principal structure of the complex, known as La Casona, is a beautiful building from the turn of the 20th century. The UCEAP Study Center offices and classrooms for the UNAM ILP, FRP and Contemporary Mexico programs are also located on the elegantly landscaped grounds. Conveniently located between Coyoacán and San Ángel, the Casa is near the National University (UNAM), the Colegio de México, and other premier institutions of higher learning and research. A “mini-campus” itself, La Casa de California complex is a comfortable and relaxed place for students and scholars from the US and Mexico to interact not only in classrooms but in other cultural events as well.
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.

These expenses are estimated for 2016-17. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2016-17 payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
  • UC fees
  • Intensive language program
  • Estimated room and board
  • Personalized guidance from a Mexican professor at your research site
  • Excursions to Teotihuacan, Cacaxtla and Tlaxcala
  • Tickets to the Ballet Folklórico
  • Arrival hotel and meals, orientation, and transportation to housing
  • Round-trip transportation from California
  • Phone card for local and long-distance calls
  • Predeparture expenses (health clearance, student visa, etc.)
  • Books and other incidental expenses
  • Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
  • Trip to Puebla for Final Presentations
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.​


UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.​


​You could receive one of up to 25 scholarship awards of $2,000 if you are an undergraduate student studying in Mexico. In support of the UC-Mexico Presidential Initiative, UCEAP is proud to announce that $50,000 in scholarships will be set aside in 2016-17 for students studying abroad with UCEAP in Mexico. You must apply for a UCEAP Promise Award to be considered for a scholarship to study in Mexico. In addition, you cannot receive both a Mexico scholarship and a UCEAP Promise Award for the same term.​​


Language Requirements 

Which UCEAP Spanish Language Requirements Apply to Me?

  • Students studying Spanish as a second language are required to complete the intermediate series of Spanish language courses at the university level, or provide proof of equivalent via AP exam, IB exam, SAT II exam, UC language placement exam, or UC language evaluation.
  • Native/Heritage Spanish speakers with some formal study of Spanish are required to provide proof of completed Spanish course(s) or study, or proof of equivalent via AP exam, IB exam, SAT II exam, or UC language evaluation.
  • Native/Heritage Spanish speakers with no formal study of Spanish are required to complete a minimum of one university level Spanish course for Native/Heritage speakers.


Class Level:

Junior, Senior, Graduate

Language Prerequisites:

- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 2 years (6 quarters / 4 semesters) with a minimum language GPA of 2.50.


2.50 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. Your Campus EAP Office determines selection and final admission.  

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: