The Undergraduate Program

General Academic Regulations

Students are responsible for complying with all regulations of the University, their respective colleges and the departments from which they take courses, as well as for fulfilling all degree requirements. Students are responsible for knowing and complying with all academic regulations.

Catalog Requirements

Undergraduate students may graduate under the requirements in the catalog issue in effect at the time of their admission into the college or school from which they are seeking a degree. If students transfer from one degree-granting college or program to another within the University, they must comply with the catalog requirements in effect at the time of their transfer.

Notwithstanding the above, 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.

Readmission–Catalog Requirements

Students who interrupt their degree program and are not enrolled for three or more consecutive semesters (including Summer), must comply with catalog requirements in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

Responsibility for Requirements

Students are responsible for knowing the rules and regulations concerning graduation requirements and for registering in the courses necessary to meet them. Advisement at the specific department/program level as well as the college level is strongly recommended to assure timely graduation.

Students who take more than 10 years to graduate from the date of their original admission, must conform to the catalog in effect in the semester in which they intend to graduate.

Core Curriculum

The University adopted a revised Core Curriculum as of Fall 2003 which all undergraduate students must complete as part of their baccalaureate program. The Core consists of several groups of courses designed to enhance each student’s academic capabilities. Its goal is to give all students at the University a grounding in the broad knowledge and intellectual values obtained in a liberal arts education and to assure that graduates have a shared academic experience. The required courses encourage intellectual development in seven areas of study: writing and communication, social and behavioral sciences, mathematical reasoning, scientific methods in the physical and natural sciences, the humanities, the fine arts, and languages. The Core consists of lower-division courses which develop these skills and abilities, and students are strongly encouraged to complete the Core early in their college careers. Individual student substitutions should be minimal and are discouraged. Except where noted (see “Alternative Credit Options” in the Undergraduate Admissions section of the Catalog), students may apply AP or CLEP credit to the Core requirements.

Departments and colleges may restrict student choices within the Core to meet departmental and college degree requirements. A grade of C (not C-) is required in all courses used to fulfill the requirements of the Core Curriculum. Courses taken CR/NC can be applied to the core, subject to general University and individual college and department regulations on the number of credits that can be taken CR/NC and the applicability of courses taken CR/NC to the individual degree.

The University recognizes, however, that the highly structured nature of many degree programs and the presence of numerous transfer and non-traditional students requires flexibility on its part. Transfer and re-entering students will receive advising in the college and department to which they are admitted in order to establish an appropriate program which will meet their needs and the aims of the Core. Where degree program requirements are so structured that a student’s total academic program credits would be increased by taking a Core course in a particular Core area, a department may approve a blanket substitution of a course in a particular Core area for all students pursuing an undergraduate degree in that particular program. Approval of substitutions or exceptions is handled on a department and college basis.

The basic Core Curriculum requires approximately 37 hours of courses in seven areas of study.

  1. Writing and Speaking (9 hours): English 101 and 102 plus an additional course chosen from English 219, 220; Communication and Journalism 130; Philosophy 156. Students with ACT English scores of 29 and higher or SAT Critical Reading scores of 650 or higher have satisfied the University Writing Requirement and should enroll for courses of their choice in the Writing and Speaking Core. Students with ACT English scores of 26, 27, 28 or SAT Critical Reading scores of 610 or higher may enroll directly in English 102 and, upon passing, meet the University Writing Requirement. Students with ACT English scores of 25 or lower or SAT Critical Reading scores below 610 should enroll in English 101. Students who have taken an Advanced Placement examination in English Language or Literature should refer to “Advanced Placement” for placement and credit information.
  2. Mathematics: One course chosen from MATH 121, 129, 150, 162, 163, 180, 181, 215, Stat 145.
  3. Physical and Natural Sciences: Two courses, one of which must include a laboratory, chosen from Anthropology 150 and 151L, 121L (lab required), 160 and 161L; Astronomy 101 and 101L; Biology 110 and 112L, 123 and 124L; Chemistry 111 (lab required), 121 and 123L or 131L (lab required), 122L and 124L or 132L (lab required); Earth and Planetary Sciences 101 and 105L, 201L (lab required); Environmental Science 101 and 102L; Geography 101 and 105L; Natural Sciences 261L (lab required), 262L (lab required), 263L (lab required); Physics 102 and 102L, 105, 151 and 151L, 152 and 152L, 160 and 160L, 161 and 161L.
  4. Social and Behavioral Sciences (minimum 6 hours): Two courses chosen from American Studies 182, 185; Anthropology 101, 130; Community and Regional Planning 181; Economics 105, 106; Engineering-F 200; Geography 102; Linguistics 101 (AOA Anthropology 110); Political Science 110, 200, 220, 240; Psychology 105; Sociology 101.
  5. Humanities (6 hours): Two courses chosen from American Studies 186; Classics 107, 204, 205; Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies 222, 224; English 150, 292, 293; Foreign Languages (MLNG) 101; History 101L, 102L, 161, 162, 181, 182; Honors Legacy Seminars at the 100- and 200-level; Philosophy 101, 201, 202; Religious Studies 107, 263, 264.
  6. 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.
  7. Fine Arts (minimum of 3 hours): One course chosen from Architecture 121; Art History 101, 201, 202; Dance 105; Fine Arts 284; Media Arts 210; Music 139, 142; Theatre 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.

Graduation Requirements

Bachelor’s Degrees

Graduation from the University of New Mexico is not automatic. Application for candidacy for graduation is required. Each college may have differing deadlines for degree application. Students anticipating graduation should make arrangements in advance with their college.

Candidates for an undergraduate bachelor’s degree must meet the following University minimum degree requirements and are subject to the following University limitations:

  1. The student must be admitted to the University of New Mexico college from which the degree is awarded at the time of graduation.
  2. A minimum of 128 semester hours of earned credit is required.
  3. Complete the University Core Curriculum.
  4. Residence credit requirement: A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit, exclusive of extension and correspondence (independent study) credit, must be earned at the University of New Mexico. Of these 30 semester hours in residence, 15 semester hours must be earned after the candidate has accumulated 92 hours of earned semester hour credit; these 15 hours, however, do not necessarily have to be the last hours of a degree program. A student may fulfill all or part of this residence requirement by attending summer session.
  5. The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  6. The student must demonstrate a minimum competence in English writing by passing ENGL 102 with a “C” or
    better or attaining a suitable score on an authorized
    proficiency test prior to graduation. Students exempt from taking ENGL 101 and students who receive a grade of B- or higher in ENGL 101 or its equivalent at another institution, may choose to satisfy the minimum competence in English writing requirement through the Writing Proficiency Portfolio program administered in the English Department.
  7. A maximum of 24 semester hours of pass/fail (CR/NC) grading option courses may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree.
  8. A maximum of 40 semester hours of extension and correspondence (independent study) credit may be applied toward a bachelor degree and no more than 30 of these hours may be correspondence credit.
  9. The student must contact his/her college office prior to their last semester in order to initiate and complete the graduation process.
  10. Major and minor residence requirements: at least one-half of the minimum number of credit hours required for major study and one-fourth of the minimum for minor study must be class or laboratory work earned in residence at the University of New Mexico. A senior transfer student may satisfy this requirement, with the approval of the major department, with at least one-fourth of the total minimum hours required for the major. Most colleges will not accept Introductory Studies courses or technical courses to satisfy any of these requirements.
  11. A student is not permitted to graduate if unresolved incomplete (I) grades or not reported (NR) grades are on the student’s academic record. It is the student’s responsibility to resolve any and all incomplete or not reported grades by the published ending of the semester in which graduation occurs.
  12. Once a student has completed academic requirements for a degree (certificate, associate, baccalaureate, master’s, Ph.D.) and has received the diploma and appropriate notations on the official transcript, no modification of the student’s academic record leading to that degree will be made by the University of New Mexico.

Additional degree requirements for a specific bachelor’s degree will be found in the appropriate college section of this catalog.

Second Undergraduate Degree

The student seeking a second baccalaureate degree must apply for and meet admission criteria for that degree. To obtain a second bachelor’s degree the student must successfully complete a minimum of 30 additional hours beyond the requirements for the first degree and must meet all degree requirements of the second degree, including residence requirements.

The degree of Bachelor of University Studies may not be used as a second undergraduate degree. Completion of a second major under a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science program is recorded on the student’s permanent record but as a second major. A second degree is not awarded.

A student who has completed a baccalaureate degree and who is seeking a second undergraduate degree will be evaluated by the new degree college in accordance with the hours and requirements completed toward the new degree. Residence credit requirements for the second degree will be determined on the same basis as those for the first degree.

Associate Degrees

Candidates for associate degrees offered by any of the University of New Mexico’s colleges or branches must meet the following minimum degree requirements and are subject to the following University limitations:

  1. A minimum of 60 acceptable semester hours must be earned. Technical-vocational work (up to the limit specified below) may be included in these 60 hours, upon approval of the appropriate degree-granting program.
  2. A minimum of 15 semester hours must be earned in residence at the University of New Mexico, exclusive of extension and correspondence credits. The remainder may be acceptable transfer credits earned at fully accredited institutions of higher learning and/or at regionally accredited technical-vocational institutions (see also Transferring Students for transfer credit regulations).
  3. Of the 60 hours minimum, no more than 9 semester hours may be earned by extension or correspondence.
  4. The student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00.
  5. Introductory Studies 100 courses may not be used to satisfy any of the above requirements.


Candidates for certificates offered by any of the University of New Mexico’s colleges or branches must meet the following minimum requirements and are subject to the following University limitations:

  1. A minimum of 30 acceptable semester hours must be earned. Technical-vocational work (up to the limit
    specified below) may be included in these 30 hours upon approval of the certificate-granting program.
  2. A minimum of 15 semester hours must be earned in residence at the University of New Mexico.
  3. Of the 30 hours minimum, no more that 6 semester hours may be earned by extension or correspondence.
  4. The student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00.

Second Associate Degree/Second Certificate

A second certificate or a second associate degree will not be granted until a student has earned a minimum of 15 semester hours above the requirements for the first certificate or degree and fulfilled all requirements for the second certificate or degree including residence requirements.


Commencement exercises are held twice per year, at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Students whose requirements were completed and degrees confirmed in the preceding summer, fall, or spring semesters are invited to attend.

While commencement attendance is optional, all students must declare their intent to graduate within their specific departments. Check with your academic advisor to determine the deadline and the process for your department. This deadline may be up to one year before your intended graduation semester.

During your graduation semester, log-on to to sign up to receive your diploma and to attend university-wide commencement and/or departmental convocation ceremonies. Other useful graduation-related information can be found here, including purchasing your caps, gowns, and graduation announcements.

Graduation With Honors

Students may graduate with Baccalaureate Honors, from the University Honors Program, with Departmental Honors, or with a combination of the three. Baccalaureate Honors are automatically awarded. The University Honors Program and Departmental Honors are not automatic, students are required to apply for candidacy to graduate with these Honors.

Baccalaureate Honors

Baccalaureate students graduating from the University of New Mexico who have a minimum scholastic index of 3.50, and who have earned a minimum of 60 hours in residence, are awarded Baccalaureate Honors. Designations of cum laude (3.50-3.74), magna cum laude (3.75-3.89), and summa cum laude (3.90-4.33) are awarded to graduates who meet the above criteria. Honors designations will be printed on the diploma and recorded on the permanent record, after completion of all degree requirements has been confirmed. Note: If a student is completing requirements toward baccalaureate honors during their final undergraduate semester, information will not be available for the commencement program. Baccalaureate honors are automatically awarded. It is not necessary for students to apply for this category of honors. Students pursuing a second baccalaureate degree are ineligible to graduate with baccalaureate honors.

University Honors Program

The level of University Honors attained is determined by the Honors Council and may be cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Honors designations will be printed on the diploma and recorded on the permanent record, after completion of all degree requirements has been confirmed. For more information on the requirements for these Honors, see the University Honors Program listing elsewhere in this Catalog.

Departmental Honors Program

A Departmental Honors program is available to qualified students in many departments of the University. Interested students should contact the chairperson of their major department (or the dean of the college in colleges which are not departmentalized) as to the availability of a program.

The purposes of Departmental Honors programs are as follows: 1) to intensify and deepen the student’s knowledge in their major field; 2) to put this specialized knowledge into better relationship with knowledge in related fields and in the larger general area of the student’s specialization; and 3) to bring the student under closer guidance of, and acquaintance with, teachers in their field.

Normally, students enter a Departmental Honors program in their junior year. They should at least make their intention of graduating with Departmental Honors known to their chairperson or dean early in their junior year. Admission to Departmental Honors candidacy cannot be granted later than the beginning of the student’s senior year.

Minimal requirements for graduation with Departmental Honors are as follows: a) an overall grade point average of 3.20; and b) not less than 6 credit hours in independent study, senior thesis or special courses open only to candidates for graduation with honors in the department (or college, if the college is not departmentalized).

Departments or colleges may have differing additional quantitative and qualitative requirements. The prospective Departmental Honors student should confer with the chairperson of the department (or the dean of the college) regarding the requirements beyond the minimum requirements set forth.

Graduation with Departmental Honors is not determined solely on performance in standard courses or grade point averages in either the field of specialization or entire program of the student. Continuance in Departmental Honors programs and the level of honors at which the candidates will be graduated are both at the discretion of the department and may be cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Honors designations will be printed on the diploma and recorded on the permanent record, after completion of all degree requirements has been confirmed.

Other Programs

Extension and Independent Study

The University of New Mexico allows credit for correspondence and extension courses at the University of New Mexico or through other fully accredited colleges and universities toward degree requirements.

Credit for extension and correspondence courses completed at institutions not accredited by regional accrediting associations is not accepted for transfer, although a student who has completed such correspondence or extension work in a course comparable to one at the University of New Mexico may establish credit here by special examination (see Examinations).

The hours earned by correspondence or extension from accredited institutions other than the University of New Mexico may be counted toward degree requirements, but the grades will not be included in the student’s grade point average (see Grade Point Average). Courses taken from other institutions must correspond to those offered at the University of New Mexico.

Any graduating senior not in residence who expects to substitute credits earned by correspondence or extension toward fulfillment of degree requirements must have prior approval of his or her college’s dean. The student is responsible for complying with all regulations.

New Mexico/WICHE

(Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education)

Since 1951, New Mexico has sponsored and sent students across state lines to receive professional education. The 13 western states have provided this service under terms of the Western Regional Education Compact, which has been adopted by the legislatures of all 13 member states and has been administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

New Mexico participates in 7 of the 15 disciplines offered through WICHE Professional Student Exchange. Certified New Mexico residents are eligible for funding support at WICHE-participating institutions in the fields of dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, graduate library studies and public health. In addition, New Mexico receives WICHE students from the other compacting states in the fields of medicine, physical therapy, law, pharmacy, and architecture.

Western Regional Graduate Programs

The University of New Mexico is one of 35 graduate-level institutions in the West cooperating in a regional effort to make certain that graduate programs of limited availability are accessible to graduate students of the 15 participating states. Qualified students from all 14 states may enroll in these programs at resident tuition rates. The Western Regional Graduate Programs at this institution are American Studies (M.A., Ph.D.); Art History – Art of the Americas, Art of the Modern World (M.A., Ph.D.); Educational Linguistics (Ph.D.); Latin American Studies (M.A., Ph.D.); Optical Science & Engineering (MS, Ph.D.); Art Studio focusing on Printmaking (M.F.A.); Water Resources (M.W.R.).

Additional information about the Western Regional Graduate Programs may be obtained by contacting the participating units or by contacting the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education:

* Participating states include: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, ND, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY.

Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE)
Western Regional Graduate Program
Post Office Box 9752
Boulder, CO 80301-9752
(303) 541-0200

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

WUE is the Western Undergraduate Exchange, a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Through WUE, students in western states may enroll in many two-year and four-year college programs at a reduced tuition level: 150 percent of the institution’s regular resident tuition. WUE tuition is considerably less than nonresident tuition.

Requirements for WUE Enrollment
Interested students must be admitted to UNM prior to applying for the WUE subsidy.

First-time freshmen must have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and an ACT composite score of at least 21 or the SAT equivalent (1000). Transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) on 30 transfer hours.

All UNM Programs are open to WUE students. Access to the WUE Program is selective; enrollment is limited to 30 students per academic year.

How to Apply
For consideration, students must contact the WUE Coordinator at (505) 277-3361 to begin the WUE admissions process, or visit the WUE website at

International Student Exchange/Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Division administers international exchange programs whereby University of New Mexico students exchange places for a semester or academic year with international students from some 75 universities in 30 countries. The study abroad advisor works closely with the Latin American and Iberian Institute to promote extensive study abroad opportunities in Spain and Latin America. OIPS provides support and assistance for summer session and other short-term courses taught by University of New Mexico faculty at overseas sites. The program also maintains an extensive resource center and online resources for students and faculty who are seeking other opportunities for international study, research, internships or volunteer programs. Additionally, the study abroad advisor offers information and support for students in seeking grants, scholarships and other financial aid sources to help pay for international experiences. The office serves as the advising center for student and faculty Fulbright programs, grants from the National Security Education Program, the Gilman Scholarship and other special programs.

The study abroad program also provides an extensive orientation program, information resources and advising both for outgoing University of New Mexico and incoming exchange students, emphasizing health and safety issues, cultural adjustment, academic success, and immigration and visa requirements. The advising staff works to assure that every student has a safe, productive and stimulating international and intercultural experience.

The Office of International Programs and Studies is located in Mesa Vista Hall, Room 2111, (505) 277-4032. For more information, please visit us at

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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