College of Fine Arts

James Linnell, Interim Dean
College of Fine Arts
MSC04 2570
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-2112, FAX (505) 277-0708


This section of the catalog is designed to provide information about the College of Fine Arts and to help the student who plans to major in art history, art studio, interdisciplinary film & digital media, media arts, music, theatre, dance or design for performance.

Programs offered by the college are described below. If you need advice in selecting a program of studies, we encourage you to talk to a department chairperson or to an advisor in the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center, Center for the Arts 1102, (505) 277-4817.

In addition to the section on general academic regulations at the University, consult the list of courses offered by the college. These courses appear under eight headings:

Art History                                                                      Media Arts
Art Studio                                                                       Music
Dance                                                                            Music Education
Fine Arts                                                                        Theatre

In considering the course descriptions, note the prerequisites, as they determine the sequence in which courses may be taken. Also note that not all courses are offered every semester. While the listings in this catalog indicate the general pattern in which courses are offered, you will want to consult the current Schedule of Classes, to learn precisely which courses are offered in a given semester.

Programs in the College of Fine Arts have received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Tamarind Institute

Marjorie L. Devon, Director

2500 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
(505) 277-3901

Tamarind Institute, founded in June of 1970 as a division of the College of Fine Arts, is a professional center for training, study, and research in fine-art lithography. At the institute, students refine their technical and collaborative skills, and distinguished artists create original lithographs under conditions that fulfill the highest aesthetic and ethical traditions of the art.

Programs of advanced professional study are offered for qualified individuals who intend to pursue careers as master printers or teachers of lithography. The Department of Art and Art History, in cooperation with Tamarind Institute, offers an M.F.A. degree with a focus in collaborative printmaking. With prior acceptance, course credits are transferable to the M.F.A. program. Required courses in the history of the graphic arts and workshop management are offered through the Department of Art and Art History. University resources include the Fine Arts Library and the University Art Museum, which has an extensive collection of original lithographs by major artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Information on the Institute’s services for artists, its professional printer training programs and its publications are available on request, or online at

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major: Art Studio
Major: Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media
Concentration: Production, Critical Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Art History, Art Studio, Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, Design for Performance
Bachelor of Music
Major: Music with concentrations in performance, in theory and composition, in jazz studies and in string pedagogy
Bachelor of Music Education
Major: Music Education with either instrumental or vocal concentration (Level 1 Licensure in Music, K–12, in New Mexico).

Graduate Degrees Offered

Master of Arts
Art History, Theatre and Dance

Master of Music Concentrations:
Music History and Literature, Theory and Composition, Performance, Conducting, Collaborative Piano, and Music Education

Master of Fine Arts
Art Studio, Dance, Dramatic Writing

Doctor of Philosophy
Art History

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Pre-Major Status
Because of the nature of the arts, students are expected to begin courses in their intended major beginning in their first semester of enrollment at UNM. Beginning freshmen will be eligible for enrollment in the College of Fine Arts, as “pre-majors”, if they indicate an interest in one of the disciplines in fine arts on their general UNM admissions application and meet general admission requirements to the University. Transfer students may be admitted as pre-majors based upon review of their academic records, and possibly a review of their portfolio. Determination will be made at time of submission of general UNM admissions application. If further information is needed, students will be contacted by the CFA Advisement Office.

Students will remain in pre-major status until that time when they make formal application to become a “declared major" or, until they have exhausted their eligibility in pre-major status. Students must submit an application to become a declared major during the semester in which they will earn a cumulative of 66 credit hours for consideration for the following spring or fall semester. If they do not yet meet the requirements to become a declared major (see full details below) by the time they have attempted 72 credit hours and earned 66 cumulative credit hours, they must be admitted into another degree granting unit of the University. Holds will be placed on pre-major students which will prevent them from registering for future semesters if they have exhausted their eligibility in pre-major status.

Admitted students who need to take an Introductory Studies (IS) course will be enrolled in University College and advised in the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center and the University College Advisement Office. Sometimes, a student is qualified for admission to the University, but he or she may be required to take one or more Introductory Studies (IS) courses. These courses are designed to strengthen a student’s preparation for university-level work. Required enrollment in these courses is based upon established minimum standards of performance on individual tests on the ACT or SAT. Students required to take these courses must do so in their first semester(s) at the University of New Mexico, and they must do so before they are eligible to proceed to other courses in those areas or to enroll as a pre-major or, declared major in the College of Fine Arts. Please refer to the Catalog section under University College for further details.

Declared Major Status
Due to limitations of facilities and faculty, enrollment in certain curricula offered by the College of Fine Arts is limited.  Since the number of well-qualified students seeking admission to these curricula sometimes exceeds the number that can be accommodated, successful completion of the minimum requirements as stated below is not a guarantee of admission. Applications for admission in some fields of study are screened on the basis of auditions, interviews, and/or evaluation of portfolios, with selection of successful applicants made on a competitive basis. 

Students will graduate under the requirements in the UNM Catalog in effect at the time of their admission (or readmission) into the College of Fine Arts as declared majors. The University of New Mexico reserves the right to make changes in the curricula and degree requirements as deemed necessary, with the changes being applicable to currently enrolled students.

Admission from College of Fine Arts Pre-Major Status, University College, or another College/School within the University

To be eligible for admission as a declared major in the College of Fine Arts, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of 26 hours of earned credit.
  2. A grade point average of at least 2.50 in all hours attempted or, a grade point average of at least 2.50 in the last 30 hours attempted.
  3. Competency in English writing as demonstrated by: achieving a score of 26 or higher on the English section of the ACT examination or 610 SAT verbal or, completion of ENGL 101 with a grade of C or better or, receiving credit through Advanced Placement Exam.
  4. Completion of 12 credit hours of course work in the major area with at least a 3.0 grade point average.
  5. Students seeking the Bachelor of Music or the Bachelor of Music Education degree must have approval to concentrate in the appropriate instrument or voice. Refer to the Music section for additional admission requirements to the instrumental/voice programs and the Bachelor of Music Education program.
  6. Students seeking the Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media must be admitted through the IFDM selection process and have completed the first two IFDM core courses with grades of C or better.

If you plan to major in one of the departments in the College of Fine Arts, you should transfer to the college as soon as the above requirements have been completed. To apply for transfer, go to the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center located in the Center for the Arts, room 1102, to obtain and submit the application for admission as a declared major. Applications are accepted during the fall and spring semesters.

Transfer from other accredited institutions
If you are transferring to the University of New Mexico after having studied at another college or university, you may be eligible for admission directly into the College of Fine Arts. In general, the screening procedures and admission requirements are the same as those described above for admission to become a declared major.

Additional Information

The College of Fine Arts Advisement Center, room 1102 in the Center for the Arts, provides undergraduates with advisement services during walk-in and appointment advisement hours. Check advisement hours online at Advisement is required for freshman and transfer students before registration. Art Studio transfer students may be required to present a portfolio for placement in the program. Music transfer students are required to take the theory and ear-training placement exams and to audition in their principle instrument or in voice. For further information, call the Fine Arts Advisement Center at (505) 277-4817.

Graduation Requirements

Most of the requirements for graduation are listed under the specific curricula described under the department headings. A few requirements, however, are common to all of this college’s programs:

  1. A minimum of 128 hours is required in all curricula. Of these, at least 40 hours must be completed in courses numbered 300 or above.
  2. To receive a degree, you must have a grade point average of 2.00 or higher. You must also have achieved a grade point average of 2.00 or higher on all hours attempted while enrolled in the College of Fine Arts.
  3. A minimum of one semester of resident enrollment is required after admission to the College of Fine Arts; in any case, you must be enrolled in the College of Fine Arts for your final semester at the University of New Mexico.
  4. A minimum of 12 semester hours must be earned while enrolled in the College of Fine Arts.
  5. No more than 4 hours of nonprofessional physical education courses may be counted toward a degree.
  6. All degrees in the College of Fine Arts require completion of the following Core Curriculum (see specific degree program for restrictions on core requirements):
    a) Writing and Speaking
    : ENGL 101–102 and an additional course chosen from ENGL 219, 220; CJ 130; PhIL 156. If you received an ACT English score of 29 or better or an SAT verbal score of 650 or better, you are exempt from taking ENGL 101 and 102 and may substitute any 6 hours in Arts & Sciences electives. (ENGL 220 is required for majors in Art History, Art Studio, Media Arts and Music. CJ 130 or 220 is required for majors in Music Education.)
    b) Mathematics
    : One course chosen from Math 121, 129, 150, 162, 163, 180, 181, 215, Stat 145. (Math 120 does not count toward degrees in Fine Arts.
    c) Physical and Natural Sciences
    : Two courses, one of which must include a laboratory chosen from: ANTH 121L, 150 and 151L, 160 and 161L; ASTR 101 and 101L; BIOL 110 and 112L, 123 and 124L; CHEM 111L, 121 and 123L (or 131L), 122 and 124L (or 132L); EPS 101 and 105L, 201L; ENVS 101 and 102L; GEOG 101 and 105L; NVSC 261L, 262L, 263L; PHYC 102 and 102L, 105, 151 and 151L, 152 and 152L, 160 and 160L, 161 and 161L.
    d) Social and Behavioral Sciences
    : Two courses chosen from: AMST 182, 185; ANTH 101, 130; CRP 181; ECON 105, 106; Engineering-F 200; GEOG 102; LING 101 (AOA ANTH 110); POLS 110, 200, 220, 240; PSY 105; SOC 101. (Music Education majors: PSY 105 and 220 are required.)
    e) Humanities
    : HIST 101L, 102L.
    f) Foreign Language
    (non-English language; minimum 3 hours): One course chosen from any of the lower-division non-English language offerings of the Departments of Linguistics (including Sign Language), Spanish and Portuguese, Foreign Languages and Literatures, and foreign languages in other departments and programs. Students with knowledge of a second language equivalent to four semesters of study are deemed to have satisfied this requirement. CLEP and AP credit can be used for placement, but unless the student has demonstrated knowledge equivalent to four semesters of study, an additional semester of a second language must be taken.  While the core curriculum stipulates that students must complete a minimum of 3 credit hours of a foreign language, students majoring in Art History, Media Arts or Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media (Critical Studies Concentration) must complete the fourth semester of a second language to satisfy the requirements for the degree. 
    c) Fine Arts
    (minimum of 3 hours): One course chosen from: ARCH 121; ARTH 101, 201, 202; DANC 105; FA 284; MA 210; MUS 139; THEA 122. Students may elect to take one 3-hour studio course offered by the departments of Art and Art History, Music, Theatre and Dance and Media Arts to fulfill this requirement. (Music and Music Education majors: MUS 139 will not count toward the degree.)

    A studio course is a course with primary, but not exclusive, emphasis on student activity leading to skill development and the enhancement and encouragement of the student’s design or performance ability and/or artistic growth. Evaluation of individual learning may include public display of proficiency and/or evaluation by faculty other than the student’s instructor.
    A grade of C or better (not C-) is required in all courses used to fulfill the requirements of the Core Curriculum.
  7. During the semester prior to graduation, the application for degree must be completed and returned to the Fine Arts Advisement Center, Center for the Arts 1102. For summer or fall graduation, the deadline is April 1. For spring graduation, the deadline is November 1. If you fail to submit the application by the deadline, your graduation may be delayed.
  8. You must also meet the University minimum degree requirements as outlined under Graduation Requirements in The Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog.

There are other specific courses required by some of the degree programs in Fine Arts. Check your specific program for these courses.

Major and Minor Studies. A student may choose a minor or a second major from B.A. programs and minors approved by the College of Arts and Sciences as stated in that section of the Catalog. A minor may be selected from any program in the College of Fine Arts. Fulfilling the requirements for two majors may extend the hours required for a degree beyond 128 but will not necessarily constitute a second degree. If the minor or second major is outside the College of Fine Arts, a check for requirements must be made at the time the student applies for a degree. 

Two Undergraduate Degrees. Students wishing a second undergraduate degree in the College of Fine Arts must complete a minimum of 30 hours in addition to those required for the first degree and fulfill all requirements for the second degree. For a student in the College of Fine Arts, the possibilities of a second degree are limited due to the great amount of time required for the practice of the fine arts. If a second degree is desired, students must consult with an advisor in the College Advisement Center and with the associate dean for final approval. The awarding of a degree will be consistent with the regulations as stated in the Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog.

Check with the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center for details and restrictions regarding double majors, dual degrees, and minors.

Additional Information

College of Fine Arts Dean’s List

Each fall and spring the semester grades are reviewed by the Fine Arts advisor. If a student enrolled in the College of Fine Arts has achieved a semester grade point average of 3.50 or higher on 12 or more graded credit hours, the student will be on that semester’s College of Fine Arts Dean’s List. Each student on the list will receive a letter of congratulations in the mail.

Departmental Honors

Students interested in graduating with departmental honors should read carefully the guidelines on honors in the Undergraduate Program section of this catalog and should visit the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center to request a copy of specific departmental honors guidelines and an application form.

To be eligible to apply for the departmental honors program in the College of Fine Arts, the student must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on a minimum of 60 hours in residence at the University of New Mexico. The application must be submitted at least two semesters prior to graduation. In addition, applicants should have demonstrated a high level of maturity, pursuit of excellence and the ability to work and think independently. The minimum requirement for graduation with departmental honors in the College of Fine Arts is the completion of 6 credit hours in honors thesis.

Probation and Suspension

Students enrolled in the College of Fine Arts are placed on probation at the end of any semester in which the cumulative grade point average on University of New Mexico course work falls below 2.00. At the end of the next semester of enrollment, the student’s grades are reviewed. If the semester grades raise the cumulative grade point average to 2.00, the student is released from probation. If the cumulative grade point average is still below 2.00, but the semester grades show reasonable progress (usually a 2.00 or higher), the college will consider continuing the student on probation for another semester. If the semester grades are below 2.00, academic suspension may follow. For further information on the suspension period, see Scholastic Regulations in the Student Services Information section of this catalog.

Scholastic Standards

The curricula that lead to the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music are pre-professional curricula. They are designed for students who plan to enter graduate school for the professional study of the fine arts. Most graduate schools require a grade point average of 3.00 in the student’s major field of study as a condition of admission. For this reason, you should enter one of these curricula only if you are willing to make a firm commitment to work rigorously and intensively at the highest level of your creative and intellectual capacities. The faculty reserves the right to require any student whose grades fall substantially below 3.00 in his or her major to transfer to another program.

If a student's grades are low, or if the student has had academic difficulties in the past, consult with an advisor in the College of Fine Arts Advisement Center.

No student may undertake a program in excess of 18 hours during the regular semester and 9 hours in summer session without prior permission of the dean of the college.

College of Fine Arts Student Fees

Special Course Fee: A fee charged to support the instructional needs of a specific course and used to pay for materials or services provided to students.

Departmental Curriculum Fee: A fee charged to support the instructional needs of multiple courses in a curriculum or program and used to pay for general equipment and services provided to students.

College Technology Fee: A fee charged to support general student technology needs in the college and used to pay for technology equipment, technical support services, and IT instruction capabilities provided to the students.

Special Facilities in the College of Fine Arts

Instruction in the fine arts is enriched by the University Art Museum; several outstanding performance series in Popejoy Hall, Keller Hall, Rodey Theatre and Theatre X; a Fine Arts Library containing more than 105,000 volumes and a listening center with an extensive collection of CDs, tapes and records; the Bunting Visual Resources Library, containing 300,000 fine arts slides; and two research centers–the Arts of the Americas Institute and the Arts Technology Center.

Fine Arts Graduate Advisors
Colleen Sheinberg, Graduate Coordinator, Music
Kat Heatherington, Advisor, Art and Art History
Sarah Lentz, Theatre and Dance (Graduate Coordinator)
Donna Jewell, Associate Professor, & Mary Anne Newhall, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance (Dance)
Elaine Avila, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance (Dramatic Writing)

Students wishing to pursue graduate programs in art history, art studio, music and theatre and dance must meet both minimum requirements for admission to graduate study and to the departmental programs listed below.

Graduate degrees offered in the fine arts include the Master of Arts, with majors in art history and theatre and dance; Master of Music; Master of Fine Arts, the terminal degree in art studio, Dramatic Writing and Dance; and the Doctor of Philosophy in art history.

Associated Departments

Art and Art History

Cinematic Arts


Theatre and Dance

Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media

Fine Arts Minors

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809