Aside from the CETYS experiment and the 150 hectares bought in 1951 for the agricultural program's experimental facilities in nearby Apodaca, Nuevo León, no other expansion outside Monterrey was attempted until 1967, when a school of maritime studies was built in the port of Guaymas, Sonora. Shortly thereafter, premises were built in Obregón and courses began to be offered in Mexico City. Those premises and the ones that followed, then called external units, were fully dependant of the Monterrey Campus until 1984, when they were restructured as semi-independent campuses and reorganized in regional rectorates (see Organization).
In 1987, when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools demanded faculty members with master's degrees to lecture 100% of its undergraduate courses, the Institute invested considerably in both distance learning and computer network technologies and training, effectively becoming, on 1 February 1989, the first university ever connected to the Internet in both Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world. Such efforts contributed to the creation of its Virtual University a few years later and allowed it to become the first country-code top level domain registry in Mexico; first by itself from 1989 to 1995, and then as a major shareholder of NIC Mexico, the current national registry.