Postgraduate Training of the highest level

Our Graduate Program enjoys high prestige and international recognition for its academic quality.

Thanks to this, the School admitted about 94 students (including on-campus and online Master’s degrees). More than 100 applicants who know about CATIE’s experience and quality and who wish to be part of our prestigious institution were entered into the database of Admission: 80 in on-campus Masters Programs, 28 exchange students and 4 as part of the exclusive program for Graduates.

CATIE’s educational offer is known through its Graduates who currently contribute to CATIE’s leadership in Postgraduate Education working in academia, research centers and public and private entities. Additionally, in 2019 an online consultation and verification of the information of each Graduate from anywhere in the world was made available in an updated and transparent way


The Graduate School, aware of the socioeconomic situation of most of the students applying for masters and doctoral degrees, offers financial aid initiatives and manages the necessary financial resources with third parties so that the financial aspect is not a limitation for the candidates. For this reason, strategic alliances were also key in 2019 in facilitating scholarship management processes for applicants and other initiatives, achieving the signing of seven agreements with institutions dedicated to the promotion and financing of higher education Agreements with institutions dedicated to the promotion and financing of higher education.


2019 was particularly special because of constant changes in the governments of the hemisphere and their socioeconomic crises, which directly affected efficiency in financial resource management. Therefore, countries such as Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama, which have historically contributed resources to the Scholarship Program, are limiting their decisions and reducing their available funding for education. These changes are guiding the Graduate School to propose a strategy for approaching potential funders other than the traditional ones, including private companies and the establishment of “basket” programs in which different sources contribute to a common fund that subsequently makes it possible to redistribute resources.

With more than 70 years of training leaders in Latin America and the world, in 2019 the Graduate School launched three virtual master’s degrees in the following areas:

  • Watershed Management
  • Agribusiness Management and Sustainable Markets
  • Agroecological Intensification and Food Security
Agreements with institutions dedicated to the promotion and financing of higher education


Agreements were signed with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) of the Dominican Republic; the University of Texas of the Rio Grande Valley; The 1890 University Foundation of the United States; WeihenstephanTriesdorf University of Applied Sciences of Germany; Consortium Montpellier University of Excellence (MUSE) of France; and the University of Quisqueya of Haiti.

Other relevant actions in areas such as student wellbeing, the exchange program, accreditation and research activities are mentioned below:

Student wellbeing

With the aim of promoting adequate and harmonious conditions for the good academic performance of the student community and the wellbeing of their families, the Student Welfare Office improved the processes for visa applications and immigration procedures and provided accompaniment and counseling to students for emotional situations and/or conflict management. Monthly tours of student housing facilities were institutionalized for timely reporting of problems, damages, and situations for improvement. Similarly, several cultural exchange spaces were provided throughout the year and with the aim of supporting students in the care of minors, providing them with a space close to their academic activities, a children’s playroom was opened in the Graduate School, which includes furniture, toys, games and other recreational elements.

Exchange Program

The Exchange Program has been particularly attractive to undergraduate and graduate students. In 2019, 50% of the students enrolled (14 students) were Europeans from countries such as France, Spain and Italy. Some students who did their undergraduate internship at CATIE even returned to do their graduate internship or graduate studies at the School.

Research Symposium

For the third consecutive year, the Graduate School held its research symposium; an academic space where students can socialize with the institution’s scientific community. Thirty-seven different research projects in nine countries were presented on topics related to the environment, natural resources and agriculture. The symposium represented a space for academic exchange between students and professor-researchers of the Center and, as in the two previous editions, it included four thematic panels:

  1. Agroforestry and sustainable agriculture. With 16 investigations to be carried out in five countries: Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica.
  2. Economics, development and climate change. With 10 investigations in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Honduras and Guatemala.
  3. Management and integrated management of watersheds. With 4 investigations to be carried out in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
  4. Management and conservation of tropical forests and biodiversity. With 7 investigations to be carried out in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.


The re-accreditation process for the Master’s and Doctoral Programs with Costa Rica’s National Higher Education Accreditation System (SINAES) promoted discussions and workshops throughout 2019 on the review and adjustment of graduation periods, curricula and evaluation criteria.

Success story: beyond the classrooms

Success story: beyond the classrooms


Hellen Choco graduated in 2019 from the Master’s Program in Economics, Development and Climate Change. Upon leaving CATIE, this young professional from Belize took on an important task for the development of her country: to be in charge of facilitating the formulation of agroforestry public policy for Belize. In this role, Choco will have an opportunity to interact with high-level representatives and obtain the necessary inputs to make this project a reality.


“I decided to study at CATIE because it is an institution well known for its development and research projects, especially in the agricultural world. I am sure that leading the development of this policy has been possible thanks to the courses and teachings I received during my studies at CATIE. I believe that this is a way to make a positive contribution to my country; I will be able to promote major changes that will contribute to the conservation of the environment and help with climate change adaptation and mitigation”,

Hellen Choco, a graduate of CATIE from Belize.

Students socialize their research

Raquel Vélez, a student from Colombia, shared her research which she presented at the Research Symposium of CATIE’s Graduate School in San Antonio de los Caballeros, the Experimental Station of the Sugarcane Research Center of Colombia (CENICAÑA), as well as at a workshop organized by this institution where she also had the opportunity to participate as a speaker. “At the end of the presentation, the director of the Tibaitatá Research Centre of AGROSAVIA invited me not only to visit the Centre’s facilities, but also CIMPA’s headquarters in Barbosa (which specializes in panel production). In my tour of these institutions I had two key interviews with experts in the area: Jader Rodriguez, the engineer in charge of energy efficiency in sugar mills, and Gonzalo Rodriguez Borray, economist in charge of the social part of the projects”,

Raquel Vélez, Colombian student, M.Sc. candidate in Economics, Development and Climate Chang.