Students in Universities and Professional Schools in Mexico and the U.S.: A Comparison of Curriculum and Strategies for Preparing Psychologists

McCarthy, Sherri
Northern Arizona University,
Alvarez, Ernesto
University of Baja California,
Vasquez, Francisco
San Luis Middle School,

Increasing attention is being focused on international connections in psychology and in teaching practices within our discipline around the globe. This paper compares the teaching of psychology in the U.S. and Mexico. Psychology degree programs, courses and curricula of six colleges, three in the southwestern U.S. and three in Mexico, are compared. The paper briefly describes the common components of the curriculum in psychology programs in each of these institutions. Courses included in each of the various psychology programs offered are described. Course descriptions, content and objectives are examined. Textbooks and materials are compared. In addition, entry and exit criteria for each course and each program are summarized and common teaching methods of the professors at the various institutions are discussed. Information is also included on the expectations students at each of the universities have when they enter psychology programs and on the criteria (exams, assignments, projects, etc.) commonly utilized by instructors to assess student understanding and progress. Department size and structure and credentials of professors are explained. Common post-degree career paths of graduates are also described. In addition, public perceptions of the field of psychology in the geographical location of each institution are addressed.