Monterrey Tech


Tecnológico de Monterrey or ‘Tec’ is a selective, non-profit, private, multi-campus research university in Mexico founded in 1943 by an MIT alumnus. The university is generally ranked as the top private university in Mexico. Monterrey Tech promotes their educational mission as one that provides strong technical education with an emphasis on social responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and global engagement. The Monterrey campus in particular, has a strong research program. Most of the campuses in this university system teach undergraduates, with a few offering graduate programs. The Tec has partnered with foreign universities in the U.S. (Carnegie Mellon, John Hopkins, University of Texas at Austin among others), Europe, and Asia to offer a variety of combined academic programs, research experience and joint degrees. The university also sponsors several high schools, a trend common among Mexico’s largest universities.

Location: 26 campuses in Mexico (additional global offices); based in Monterrey, Mexico

Undergraduates: 55, 565

Graduates: 7,962

Faculty: 10, 117

For more demographic information see here.

Programs of Note

The following are noteworthy programs or practices that differ from MIT offerings. Unless otherwise stated, assumptions should not be made about the effectiveness of these programs and/or practices.


In 2015, Monterrey Tech embarked on a complete redesign of their undergraduate curriculum. The new curriculum aims to provide students with more flexibility in choice of major and better prepare students for future careers. The new curriculum, titled Tec21, is currently being implemented across Monterrey Tech’s various campuses.

The new curriculum, contains key components of note:

Majors based on personalized trajectories: students are given 3 semesters for exploring possible majors. During major exploration, students begin by choosing among 7 broad areas of interest (engineering, bioengineering & chemical process, information technologies, social sciences & humanities, business, architecture & design, and communications & product design). In addition to the traditional majors, students are given the freedom to create interdisciplinary majors and courses of study based on their interests and intended career paths. In general, students at Monterrey Tech have a small number of broad ‘entry’ points, and large variety of customizable exit points as they choose their path of study. Monterrey Tech also allows for flexibly in the sequencing of courses and the location of where the courses are taken, either in one of the various campuses or within one of its many university partners. Monterrey has more than 600 university partners, MIT included, in 63 countries (56% of graduating Tec students have international experience or course work upon graduating).

Challenge-based curriculum: the newly-designed curriculum emphasizes solving ‘real-world challenges’. The challenges are designed in collaboration with industry partners, government entities and NGO’s. The curriculum aims to strengthen specific disciplinary skills and knowledge and increase readiness for professional careers while providing opportunities for students to develop broader competencies and practical skills that can be utilized outside of their chosen curriculum paths (leadership, management, communication skills, etc.). The new challenge-based curriculum has been implemented in two different ways:

  • Week i (‘Semana i’): once a year, regular classes cease for a full week while all students come together to tackle real-world challenges. Annually, more than 50,000 students, 2400 professors, 1200 alumni, and 1300 organizations participate in 1400 activities (60 international projects). ‘Week i’ is mandatory for all Monterrey Tech students.
  • Semester i (‘Semestre i'): an experiential learning semester without traditional courses. Second-semester sophomores and beyond are eligible to apply for an optional ‘Semester i’ experience. Each experience is based on a single project with an industry or outside partner. Students may apply to one or multiple ‘Semester i’ experiences in any of the campuses in which they are offered, and applicant selection is based on academic performance and number of available spots per experience. Annually, more than 100 projects are offered, with more than 2000 participating students and 500 faculty. Doing a Semester i is equivalent to carrying a full academic load and students are not allowed to enroll in any additional courses. Beyond working on the particular experience of their choice, students take supporting modules provided by a group of interdisciplinary faculty that work side-by-side with students helping them and guiding them throughout their Semester i experience. In addition to serving as instructors and mentors, faculty also provide mediation between industry partners and students and evaluate student outcomes.