Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas

The Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) was established in 1974. As a social science teaching and research institution, CIDE is regarded as one of the best think tanks in Mexico, and one of the most competitive undergraduate programs to be granted admission in Mexico. This program is university-wide, meaning any undergraduate Pitt student regardless of major may participate. For more information about the university, go to the specified university website here, check out the video below, and download the information linked.  

Learning Objectives: 

As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment.
  • non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path.
  • a global network of peer in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Mexico.
Partner Information: 

Department of Languages and Educational Internationalization (DIIE)
Departamento de Idiomas e Internacionalización Educativa
Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE)
Carretera México-Toluca No. 3655
Col. Lomas de Santa Fe
C.P. 01210, México D.F.
Tel. (52) 55 5727 9800 ext. 2833

Location Description: 

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is centrally located in Mexico on the Valley of Mexico. With historical roots dating back prior to the Aztec Empire, it is the olddest capital in the Americas. Today it is home to over 8 million people, making it the the most populous city in North America. The local government has strived to make Mexico City more bicycle-friendly, and it now boasts the second largest bicycle sharing system, EcoBici, which consists of over 4,000 bicyles. 

Housing Description: 

CIDE offers options for private accommodations, and therefore cannot guarantee housing for Pitt students. CIDE will provide instructions on when and how to apply for housing through their affiliate Accomodation Network, which includes homestays, shared apartments, single apartments and guest houses.

Academic Description: 

At CIDE, courses are taught in Spanish and in English. Overall, the majority of the coursework is conducted in Spanish. Credits taken at CIDE are equivalent to credits received at Pitt according to a 2:1 ratio. For example, 6 credits at CIDE will transfer as 3 Pitt credits. All credits taken at CIDE require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours. 


Courses taken at CIDE will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university. 


As a part of the cultural experience, CIDE offers Spanish language courses specifically designed for visiting students. These may be considered for credit or not for credit. Verify with the study abroad program manager regarding their transferability.  

Students who have attended this program in the past have taken classes in the areas of:: 
Legal Studies
Political Science

Unlike Pitt, CIDE’s grading scale assigns numerical values between 0 – 10, with 10 representing the highest grade achievable. The minimum passing grade for any course is 6. 
For Pitt transfer credit, in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt.

CIDE will provide hardcopy (or electronic transcripts) to the University of Pittsburgh’s Study Abroad Office. Make sure that you follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of your grades are receive. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. Electronic copies should be sent to the designated exchange program manager under “SAO Staff.”  
Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received. 

Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country.


Experiential Learning Description: 



Program Fees: 

Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Network Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.  


Pitt Students on financial aid and/or tuition scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid or respective entity providing the funds to confirm coverage for study abroad. 


Items Billed by Pitt







Mandatory Fees



Study Abroad Fee



Total Billed by Pitt*




*The tuition rate listed is defaulted to reflect the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. For Pitt students of another Pitt school or campus, the tuition rate will reflect the home school or campus. See posted rates on the Institutional Research page.


How Much To Budget: 
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit 
Room & Board
$3,000 - 5,000
Personal Expenses
$1,000 - 5,000
The Estimated Costs reflect information provided by CIDE and are reported to OAFA to calculate financial aid packages.The listed costs are defaulted to one semester. Multiply the costs by two for two semesters. 
Personal expenses vary with individual students. Review the CIDE's website for more information, and visit our budgeting page for more information.
Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.


Program Dates: 

Pitt students enroll at CIDE for either a full semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters). CIDE's academic calendars may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Like Pitt, CIDE’s academic calendar follows a Fall-Spring progression, meaning Fall is the first semester followed by the Spring semester as the second. The dates listed above are estimated and therefore subject to change according to the host university’s schedule.

Dr. Shawn Alfonso Wells

Hujambo, Hola, Bon jour! I am the Exchange and Panther Programs Manger. I have a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and am an Adjunct professor of Anthropology who has taught in the Anthropology, History, Sociology, and Africana Studies departments at Pitt and CMU. I recently helped students to achieve their goals as their Academic Advisor. I did my fieldwork on Color Classification in Cuba and have led many ground breaking experiential student trips to Cuba. I love learning about different cultures and want to help facilitate students being able to travel abroad learn the world. I look forward to assisting you to achieve your goals.


Schedule a Zoom appointment with me below or get in touch with me through email to discuss exchange options and your future global experience.


Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Click here to schedule an appointment with me through Pathways.
  • Log into Pathways with your Pitt username and password
  • Select Find Available Time
  • Select the time that works for you
  • Click the schedule button
  • You will see a confirms message on the screen. You will also receive a confirmation in your Pitt email.

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email!

Application Instructions: 

Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to CIDE. In addition to applying to the Pitt Study Abroad application above, be sure to review CIDE's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Study Abroad is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student at CIDE. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Study Abroad steps in addition to CIDE's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Study Abroad does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.  


The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application or by paper. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:  

  • Application Form 
  • Copy of Valid Passport 
  • Official Pitt Transcript 
  • Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment 
  • Statement of Intent or Purpose 
  • Resume or CV 
  • Official Language Evaluation 
  • Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations 
  • Up to 2 passport photos 


Additional Information: 

Language Requirements: In order to take courses in Spanish at CIDE, Pitt students will be required to submit evidence of B2 level proficiency. Please check with CIDE regarding these requirements.  

Insurance Requirements: 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. 

Visa Requirements: 

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival.
For those without Mexican nationality, students must obtain a FM3 Estudiante student visa to study in Mexico. Once accepted to CIDE you must visit the Embassy of Mexico to obtain the required visa.  To obtain a visa you must provide your letter of acceptance, your letter of nomination from the University of Pittsburgh, bank account statements showing sufficient funds, a birth certificate (original and a copy), and a form of identification from the US government (driver’s license, social security card, or national identity card). Upon arrival in Mexico students are required to go to the offices of the National Institute of migration to file further paperwork with the state.
CIDE will provide general direction after formal admission on for how to apply for either the visa and/or residency permit. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website.  
In general visa application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements: 

  • Visa application
  • Valid Passport
  • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university)
  • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.  
  • Passport photos
  • Application fee
  • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)