College of Arts and Sciences

Mark Peceny, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences, Ortega Hall 201
MSC03 2120
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-3046


The College of Arts and Sciences offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in a variety of subjects that relate to humanity’s cultural, social and scientific achievements. Although the fields of study offered by the departments in the College underlie the more specialized work of graduate and professional schools, most of the degree programs are not designed as vocational ends, but rather as the means for understanding society’s condition, achievements and problems. Students obtaining a degree from Arts and Sciences should have a broad understanding of the world in which they live and should be able to think logically and express themselves clearly. Consequently, the College requires preparation based on the offerings of several departments.

College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Continuing Students from other Colleges within UNM

Upon completion of the College of Arts and Sciences and the major department admission requirements, admission to the major department is automatic, if the student is in University College. Students who wish to transfer from other colleges within UNM are required to initiate the transfer process manually by scheduling an appointment at the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center once eligible for admission. Students who are in non-degree status must first apply through the UNM Admissions Office as degree-seeking. All new students are required to attend a group advising/orientation session. Sessions are held regularly throughout the academic year. Please contact the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center for details.

The College of Arts and Sciences requires the following to be admitted:

A minimum of 26 credit hours; 23 credit hours must be in courses acceptable toward graduation.

A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 on all work.

  • Transfer students must have a 2.0 transfer grade point average.
  • Continuing UNM students must have a 2.00 institutional grade point average.

Demonstrated academic achievement by satisfying the following:

  • Completion of the University Writing and Speaking Core.
  • Completion of the University Mathematics Core.
  • Completion of the University Foreign Language Core.

Completion of departmental admission coursework with grade(s) of "C" or better. See individual departments and programs for their specific admission requirements.

Transfer Students from other Accredited Universities

New students have an advisement hold placed on their account when their admission to the College of Arts and Sciences is processed. Students must visit the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center before they can have this hold removed, allowing them to register for classes. This may be done during or prior to attending a Transfer Orientation Session.

Transfer students are also required to attend a New Student Learning Workshop before the end of their first semester at UNM.

Graduation Requirements

A degree from the College of Arts and Sciences is designed to give students a relatively broad background while allowing concentrated study in at least two disciplines. This is accomplished through the selection of major and minor and the opportunity to select upper division electives from a wide range of disciplines.

Students must attend a Graduation Planning Workshop upon completion of 75 earned credit hours. Once the workshop is complete, students submit a projected graduation date to the college. The Arts and Sciences Advisement Center certifies graduation only when the degree audit reads complete (see below). Each student is solely responsible for being familiar with and completing all graduation requirements. 

A degree from the College of Arts and Sciences is awarded upon completion or accomplishment of the following:

1.  A total of 120 acceptable credit hours.

2.  A grade point average of at least 2.00 as defined under "Grading" in the Student Services Information section of this Catalog.

3.  The University of New Mexico Core Curriculum, as described below.

4.  A minimum of 90 credit hours of courses taught by Arts and Sciences departments. 18 credit hours of honors courses count for Arts and Sciences credit.

5.  A major and minor or a double major, or one of the special curricula of the College (see approved programs listed below). At least one of which must be housed within the College of Arts and Sciences.

6.  One year of enrollment subsequent to the transition to Major status the College of Arts and Sciences with a minimum of 12 earned credit hours.

7.  At least 48 credit hours of upper-division coursework (courses numbered 300 or 400) with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 on all upper-division credit hours accepted by the College of Arts and Sciences.


At least 42 credit hours of upper-division coursework and completion of a second language at the 4th semester-level or equivalent.

Fulfillment may be met through testing. Students with proficiency in a foreign language, (for example, any student who speaks English as a second language) should consult with the department offering the alternate language or their Arts and Sciences advisor for advisement, referral, placement, and/or testing.

Additional relevant information:

  • Students must comply with University requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree as outlined under "Graduation Requirements" in the Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog. Students who have not been in continuous attendance must follow the current Catalog requirements upon re-enrollment.
  • All paperwork and requirements documenting transfer equivalencies, grade changes, removals of incompletes, substitutions and/or waivers awarded at the departmental or college level must be filed with the appropriate department. Procedures for petition are available in the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center. Once a degree can be clarified by the Arts and Sciences advisor, no further changes may be made to a student’s undergraduate record.
  • Students in the College of Arts and Sciences receive a degree audit detailing their status with respect to University and college requirements, as well as those in the major and minor areas of study. This automated degree audit is intended to aid students in planning their academic program and assist them with graduation planning. Each student’s degree audit must read complete for the College of Arts and Sciences to certify the degree.

University Core Curriculum

New University requirements are applicable to students starting at the University of New Mexico beginning Fall 1999, including readmitted students and transfers to the University of New Mexico. The University of New Mexico Core Curriculum reflects the values of the University and its faculty toward the value of a liberal arts education: students graduating from the University of New Mexico should have developed common skills and abilities based on shared experiences regardless of their particular degree programs. These skills and abilities include 1) a high level of ability in written expression and communication; 2) mathematical literacy–that is, the capacity to understand and utilize mathematics in the modern world; 3) the essential concepts in the physical and natural sciences and appreciation for the natural environment and methods of evaluating it; 4) an understanding of the social and behavioral sciences and an elemental understanding of the human environment; and 5) an appreciation of cultural values, creative expression and the history and experience of human society through courses in the humanities, fine arts and languages. Specific courses (listed below) fulfill the University of New Mexico Core in seven subject areas delineated below. For updated information regarding courses acceptable in fulfillment of the University of New Mexico Core Curriculum, see A&S Advisement Center. A grade of "C" (not "C-") is required in all courses used to fulfill the requirements of the Core Curriculum. A grade of Credit (CR) is acceptable for core courses except for ENGL 120 as this is also a University Graduation requirement.

The University of New Mexico Core Curriculum is as follows:

1.  Writing and Speaking (9 credit hours): English 110 or 112 or 113, and 120 plus an additional course chosen from English 219, 220; Communication and Journalism 130; Philosophy 156; University Honors 201. For information about placement into first-year writing courses (ENGL 110, 111, 113, 120) consult the English department Web site.

2.  Mathematics: One course chosen from Mathematics 121, 129, 150, 153, 162, 163, 180, 181, 215; Statistics 145; University Honors 202.

3.  Physical and Natural Sciences: Two courses, one of which must include a laboratory, chosen from Anthropology 150 and 151L, 120 (lab required), 160 and 161L; Astronomy 101 and 101L; Biology 110 and 112L, 123 and 124L; Chemistry 101, 111 (lab required), 121 and 123L or 131 (lab required), 122L and 124L or 132 (lab required); Computer Science 108L; 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, 108 and 108L, 151 and 151L, 152 and 152L, 160 and 160L, 161 and 161L; University Honors 203.

4.  Social and Behavioral Sciences (minimum 6 credit hours): Two courses chosen from Africana Studies 109, American Studies 182, 185; Anthropology 101, 110, 130, 220; Chicana and Chicano Studies 109; Community and Regional Planning 181; Economics 105, 106; Engineering 200; Geography 102, 217; Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media 105L, Linguistics 101; Mechanical Engineering 217; Native American Studies 109; Peace Studies 240; Political Science 110, 200, 220, 240; Psychology 105; Public Health 101, 102; Sociology 101, 216; Sustainability Studies 109, University Honors 204; Women Studies 109.

5.  Humanities (6 credit hours): Two courses chosen from Africana Studies 104; American Studies 186, 201; Chicana and Chicano Studies 201; Classics 107, 204, 205; Comparative Literature 222, 224; English 150, 292, 293; Foreign Languages (MLNG) 101; Geography 140; History 101, 102, 161, 162, 181, 182; Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media 105L, Native American Studies 150, 201; Philosophy 101, 201, 202; Religious Studies 107, 263, 264; University Honors 121, 122, 205.

6.  Foreign Language (non-English language; minimum 3 credit hours): One course chosen from any of the lower-division non-English language offerings of the Departments of Linguistics (including Sign Language 201), Spanish and Portuguese, Foreign Languages and Literatures, and foreign languages in other departments and programs.

7.  Fine Arts (minimum of 3 credit hours): One course chosen from Architecture 121; Art History 101, 201, 202; Dance 105; Fine Arts 284; Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media 105L, Media Arts 210; Music 139, 142; Theatre 122; University Honors 207. Students may elect to take one 3 credit hour studio course offered by the Departments of Art and Art History, Cinematic Arts, Music, and Theatre and Dance to fulfill this requirement.

Additional Information

Major and Minor Studies. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences must declare 1) a major and a minor; or 2) two majors; or 3) one of the special curricula of the College. After declaration, students must complete the established program of study as outlined in the department sections of this Catalog. Students may not elect both a major and a minor outside the College of Arts and Sciences. Half of the major must be completed at the University of New Mexico. A quarter of the minor must be completed at the University of New Mexico.

Many degree-granting Colleges and Schools within UNM accept second majors and/or minors housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. Consult with the degree-granting college for specific approved combinations.

Only work of "C" (2.00) quality or better is accepted for the major and minor. Pass/Fail (CR/NC) grades are not accepted in the major or minor unless they are courses specifically carrying only pass/fail (CR/NC) grades. No more than 24 pass/fail (CR/NC) credit hours are acceptable toward a degree over and above the specifically designated CR courses.

Grades of "C-" and "D" are not acceptable in the major or minor (unless otherwise stated by the department), but may be used as elective credit hours counting toward the 120 required for graduation. Only grades of "C" and CR or better are accepted for core curriculum requirements.

NOTE: Some departments may have major requirements for grades which vary from the College’s established policies. For information contact the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center or the major department.

Course Double-Dipping. The same courses may not be used to fulfill both major and minor requirements. If the same course(s) are required for both major and minor, an equivalent number of approved credit hours shall be added to the total combined credit hours required. This does not apply to courses considered "Supportive Coursework." For example, Biology majors are required to have 12 credit hours of Chemistry included in their supportive coursework. If students have also selected a Chemistry minor, they are then able to apply those same courses toward the minor. Contact the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center for further information.

To facilitate the completion of double majors within the College of Arts and Sciences, some courses required by both majors may be counted toward each major. A maximum of 12 credit hours of courses may be double-counted. At least 24 credit hours unique to each major must be included in the student’s degree program.

Distributed Minor. The major department may specify, in lieu of a specific minor, a distributed minor in courses in related departments. A distributed minor shall consist of not less than 30 credit hours or more than 36 credit hours. Information about the department-specified distributed minor is available in the individual departments offering such a minor or in the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center. Students should consult with their major departmental advisor or chairperson if they wish to propose a distributed minor.

The student-proposed distributed minor allows students to craft an individualized program of multidisciplinary study to support their major or another area of interest. In the case of a double major that is "cross-discipline" (the first major is completed under B.S. requirements, and the second major is completed under B.A. requirements), the diploma will note both majors and the transcript will list the second major as an administrative comment. In order to apply for a student-proposed distributed minor, the student must present a petition to the undergraduate advisor in the major department as early as possible and not later than two semesters prior to planned graduation. The petition must also contain a list of the specific courses proposed totaling at least 30 credit hours. At least 15 credit hours of those included in the student-proposed distributed minor shall be at the 300- or 400- (upper-division) level.

Coursework must come from outside the major area of study and represent multiple departments. The list should indicate courses already completed (including semester taken and grade received), courses in progress and semester for planned completion. Documentation for distributed minor programs of study must be on record with the major advisor prior to application for graduation.

Double Major in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows students to have two majors in lieu of or in conjunction with a minor. Only one degree is awarded but the transcript indicates both majors. Because there is one degree being earned, degree requirements must be completed only once. Students must choose which major will determine degree designation (B.A. vs. B.S.).

Adding Majors or Raising Minors. Students who already have a B.A. or B.S. degree from the College of Arts and Sciences and who are not enrolled in a graduate or professional program may complete the requirements for another major or minor or raise a previously earned minor to a second major. Requirements must be complete within five years of the original degree awarded. This provision is limited to the applicability of previous coursework to the most current Catalog major requirements.

Second or Dual Undergraduate Degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students wishing to pursue a second baccalaureate degree must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in addition to those required for the first degree and must choose majors and minors different from the first degree. The minor used for the first degree may be raised to a major, but the first major may not be used as the minor for the second degree. Students may elect to complete coursework for both degrees simultaneously or consecutively. Students should consider all academic and financial consequences when deciding the timing of the degree awards.

Dual degrees from both the College of Arts and Sciences and other Colleges within UNM may be obtained upon completion of an extended program of study. Interested students should consult with their major advisor as soon as possible.

A combined program in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Anderson School of Management allows for a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion of a five-year program. This “Three-Two” M.B.A. program allows students to complete Arts and Sciences general education and major requirements in the first three years and an M.B.A. in the fourth and fifth years. M.B.A. coursework in the fourth year constitutes the student’s minor requirements for the Arts and Sciences undergraduate degree. Requirements for admission to the “Three-Two” M.B.A. Program are outlined in the Anderson School of Management Web site.

Cooperative Education Program. The College of Arts and Sciences offers a cooperative education program (Co-op) for students majoring in some departments in the College. The Co-op curriculum is a work-study program which alternates a semester or a year of full-time academic study with a semester or year of full-time employment. Co-op students gain employment experience in major subject-related areas, which provides career guidance and makes their academic study more meaningful. Also, Co-op students earn a substantial part of their educational expenses.

Students who are interested in the Co-op Program should contact the Co-op Director at the Office of Career Services. Eligibility also requires current UNM students to successfully complete 24 credit hours of UNM undergraduate coursework. Transfer students should have successfully completed 12 credit hours of undergraduate coursework with a grade point average of at least 2.5. Thus, Co-op students normally begin their first work phase after the end of the freshman year at the earliest. To be eligible for Co-op a student must be enrolled in a degree-granting college.

Students must be registered with the Office of Career Services and have an updated Lobo Career Connection profile.

While on each work phase, Co-op students must register in a special Arts and Sciences course, Cooperative Education Work Phase, and pay a registration fee. This registration maintains the student’s academic status, including eligibility for dormitories, activity cards, library privileges and insurance. After completing each work phase, Co-op students who wish to earn credit may enroll in a course, Evaluation of Co-op Work Phase, for 1–3 credit hours. A maximum of 6 hours of academic credit earned from Co-op evaluation courses may be counted as elective credit toward the degree but not toward the major or minor.

Courses for Which Degree Credit is Not Given. The College of Arts and Sciences does not accept any courses which are by nature remedial, tutorial, skills or preparatory.

Except as noted below, the College of Arts and Sciences does not accept courses that are primarily technical or vocational, such as courses in Radiography, Business Technology Programs, Medical and Biomedical Technology, etc. or any course with a “T” suffix; courses taken in a law or medical school. Students may be allowed to enroll in these courses in pursuit of their own interests but should not expect degree credit hours for them.

Limitations and Exceptions

Credit to be given toward a degree:

  1. for ensemble music or dance, up to 4 credit hours, separately or in combination. Declared dance minors may exceed the 4 credit hour limit in dance only to the extent required by the Theatre and Dance Department.
  2. for non-professional physical education activity courses, up to 4 credit hours.
  3. Undergraduates may qualify to register for graduate courses for undergraduate credit. Consult an Arts and Sciences advisor for more information.


At the end of each Fall and Spring semester, the College of Arts and Sciences compiles the College Honor Roll (Dean’s List) of students who have achieved outstanding academic success in that semester. To qualify, students must be enrolled in the College and have earned a semester grade point average of at least 3.75 for at least 12 graded credit hours in that semester. The Dean’s List is compiled after all grades for the semester are reported, and students are notified via email. Students may request a hard copy through the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center.

Departmental Honors

Students are urged to consult with their major departments about the availability and requirements of departmental honors programs.

Probation, Suspension, Dismissal

Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences are placed on probation at the end of any semester in which the cumulative grade point average on the University of New Mexico work falls below 2.00.

Students on probation are liable for suspension at the end of any semester in which the cumulative grade point average does not rise to 2.00 or better.

Students placed on probation may be continued on probation if they substantially raise the cumulative grade point average and are making reasonable progress in meeting Arts and Sciences course requirements. “Substantially raise the cumulative grade point average…” is defined as earning a semester grade point average of at least 2.5. “Reasonable progress…” is defined as at least one-half of the student’s course load being in courses offered by Arts and Sciences departments (exclusive of Introductory Studies courses) and courses taught by departments outside Arts and Sciences which apply towards the student’s major or minor requirements. If these conditions are not met, the student is suspended from the University of New Mexico.

The first suspension is one semester. The second suspension is one year. The third suspension is five years. UNM students may attend other institutions that allow matriculation while on suspension from UNM (Ex: CNM). Repeating specific failed UNM courses at other institutions is highly discouraged as students are not able to replace the failing grade on the UNM transcript and improve UNM grade point average.

Students suspended for more than one semester must successfully complete 12 credit hours of coursework outside of UNM and submit a coversheet application before they are considered for readmission to the College of Arts and Sciences. All petitions for readmission or revocation of suspension must be received by the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center no later than one week prior to the start of the semester in which the student wishes to return.

Departments or Programs of Instruction

A student may not elect both a major and minor outside the college.

Major in A&S Minor in A&S
Africana Studies (B.A.) Africana Studies
American Studies (B.A.) American Studies
Anthropology (B.A. or B.S.) Anthropology
Asian Studies
Astrophysics (B.S.) Astrophysics
Biochemistry (B.A. or B.S.)  
Biology (B.A. or B.S.) Biology
Chemistry (B.A. or B.S.) Chemistry
Chicana and Chicano Studies (B.A.) Chicana and Chicano Studies
Classical Studies (B.A.) Classical Studies
Communication (B.A.) Communication
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (B.A.) Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
Criminology (B.A.) Criminology
Earth and Planetary Sciences (B.A. or B.S.) Earth and Planetary Sciences
East Asian Studies (B.A.)
Economics (B.A.) Economics
English Studies (B.A.)
English-Philosophy (B.A.)  
Environmental Science (B.S.) Environmental Science
French (B.A.) French
Geographic Information Science
Geography and Environmental Studies (B.A. or B.S.) Geography and Environmental Studies
German (B.A.) German
History (B.A.) History
Health, Medicine and Human Values (B.A.) Health, Medicine and Human Values
International Studies (B.A.) International Studies
Journalism and Mass Communication (B.A.) Journalism and Mass Communication
Languages (B.A.) Languages
Latin American Studies (B.A.) Latin American Studies
Law, Environment and Geography
Linguistics (B.A.) Linguistics
Mathematics (B.S.) Mathematics
  Medieval Studies
Museum Studies
  Navajo Language and Linguistics
  Peace Studies
  Period Studies
Philosophy (B.A.) Philosophy
Physics (B.S.) Physics
Physics and Astrophysics (B.A.)
Political Science (B.A.) Political Science
Portuguese (B.A.) Portuguese
  Professional Writing
Psychology (B.A. or B.S.) Psychology
Religious Studies (B.A.) Religious Studies
Russian (B.A.) Russian
Signed Language Interpreting (B.S.)
Sociology (B.A.) Sociology
Spanish (B.A.) Spanish
Speech and Hearing Sciences (B.A.) Speech and Hearing Sciences
Statistics (B.S.) Statistics
  Sustainability Studies
Women Studies (B.A.) Women Studies

NOTE: Concentrations within major fields are available or required in some departments. Students should consult the individual departments listed.

Other Programs

The majors and minors listed below are not programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. A student may elect to complete either a major or minor, but not both, from the following programs outside the College of Arts and Sciences. Students must meet the minimum Arts and Sciences credit hour requirement.

Major Minor
Arts Leadership and Business
  Community and Regional Planning
  Computer Science
  Electrical and Computer Engineering (for Mathematics and Physics majors only)
Family and Child Studies
Instructional Technology and Training
Integrative Studies
Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts (Honors College)
International Management
  Media Arts
  Military Studies
Native American Studies
Population Health
  Special Education (Non-Teaching)
  Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
World Dance

Major and minor requirements and course descriptions are found in appropriate College or School departmental sections of this Catalog.

Pre-professional and Other Curricula

Students are cautioned against assuming that four-year college courses prepare them for professional work. At least one year of specialized graduate work is advisable in many fields, even if not actually required.

Law School Admissions

Information on Law School Admissions and on Law Schools may be obtained from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Web site and at the American Bar Association Web site. See an Arts and Sciences advisor for more information.

Curriculum Preparatory to Medicine

Specific requirements for admission to medical schools in the United States and Canada are included in a volume published by the Association of American Medical Colleges and is titled Medical School Admission Requirements, U.S.A. and Canada. Interested students should consult this volume and see an Arts and Sciences Advisor or visit the Association of American Medical Colleges Web site.

Curriculum Preparatory to Dentistry

Specific requirements for admission to dental schools in the United States and Canada may be obtained by writing to the individual schools. Lists of the schools and their addresses can be obtained by contacting Dental Programs or by writing to the American Dental Association, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Students interested in dental school should see an Arts and Sciences Advisor.

Graduate Program

Programs of graduate study in the various departments and programs of the College of Arts and Sciences lead to the M.A. or M.S. and Ph.D. degrees as follows:

American Studies
Communication and Journalism
Comparative Literature (M.A. only)
Earth and Planetary Sciences
French (M.A. only)
French Studies (Ph.D.)
Geography (M.A. only)
German Studies (M.A. only)
Latin American Studies (M.A., Ph.D.)
Optical Science and Engineering (Ph.D. only–see Physics)
Political Science
Portuguese (M.A. only)
Spanish (M.A. only)
Spanish and Portuguese (Ph.D.)
Speech-Language Pathology

For details on degree requirements, appointment as graduate assistant or research assistant or other details, see listing by department and general information about graduate study. Prospective graduate students are urged to address all inquiries to department chairpersons or directors of programs.

M.S. and Ph.D. in Nanoscience and Microsystems Engineering (NSMS)

The M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in NSMS prepares individuals for careers in the emerging fields in nanotechnology and microsystems. The program includes three concentrations: Nano-Bio Interfaces, Complex Functional Materials, and Information Nanotechnology. It is a collaborative effort among several departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering, with numerous cross-listed and team-taught courses. In the College of Arts and Sciences the departments of Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and Physics and Astronomy participate with some of their faculty in the NSMS teaching and research team. Therefore, students who choose the NSMS degree program can continue to be advised by and to conduct research with faculty in those departments. For more details, see the full description in the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies section of this Catalog.

Associated Departments

Africana Studies

American Studies


Arts and Sciences

Arts and Sciences Cooperative Education Program

Asian Studies



Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Chicana and Chicano Studies

Communication and Journalism

Earth and Planetary Sciences




Foreign Languages and Literatures

Geography and Environmental Studies

Health, Medicine and Human Values


International Studies

Latin American Studies


Mathematics and Statistics

Medieval Studies

Museum Studies

Peace Studies


Physics and Astronomy

Political Science


Public Policy

Race and Social Justice

Religious Studies


Spanish and Portuguese

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Sustainability Studies

Women Studies


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Office of the Registrar

MSC11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

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