Academic Communities

University Advisement and Enrichment Center, Suite 180
MSC06 3680
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-0122

Associate Dean, Curriculum and Development
Sonia Gipson-Rankin, J.D.

Program Coordinator
Lindsey Degenhart

Director, Research Service Learning Program
Dan Young, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Academic Excellence and Leadership Development
Kiyoko Simmons, National and International Scholarships and Fellowship

Academic Communities

UNM offers several opportunities for students to engage in their education. Academic Communities are classes dedicated to helping students develop:

  • Academic and social community
  • A sense of engagement in their education
  • The skills necessary for academic success
  • An understanding of the culture of higher education
  • Close relationships with University faculty and staff
  • Critical and creative thinking skills 

Since 2000, over 8,000 students have overwhelmingly endorsed Academic Communities; they are more engaged in their education, achieve higher grades, and stay in school in greater numbers than freshmen who do not select from these courses.

First-Year students have the choice of:

First-Year Learning Communities (FLCs)

Twenty-five first-year students take two freshman-level courses together. The classes are planned around a common theme. They are taught by UNM’s most experienced faculty, together as an integrated whole. FLCs offer an intellectually stimulating introduction to university life. Each FLC has a different theme, centered on specific majors, areas of interest and exploration, or to creatively complete UNM core requirements. There are no special requirements for freshmen to take the FLCs. First-year students elect to participate by registering for the two classes on a space-available basis at their Orientation. FLCs are offered during fall and spring semesters for first-year students.

Transition Communities

A Transition Community is a three credit hour first-year seminar that helps students excel in their first year at UNM by learning college success skills and building community. Twenty-five students enroll in a community-oriented seminar where they acquire skills and learn how to better navigate the University, and have an overall, smoother transition to university life. A primary goal of the seminar is to excel in the core or other academic course, while learning about majors, careers, and college success skills. Courses are offered for the general student population as well as for unique cohorts at UNM by major, affiliations, or interest areas.

All Undergraduate Students can choose:

Research Service-Learning Program (RSLP)

Dan Young, (505) 277-3355,

The Research Service-Learning Program (RSLP) offers courses that engage undergraduates with faculty and graduate students in community-based research/service-learning projects. The RSLP provides undergraduates with an engaging, hands-on introduction to research methods and questions across the disciplines. Faculty and students work with community residents, agencies, and organizations to identify and address community projects, and collaborative research questions that benefit the people of New Mexico. Students learn through first-hand experience in the complexities of real-life situations and contribute their skills and energy to address issues such as health, education, community development, environmental sustainability, and economics.

The courses included in RSLP are drawn from the Core Curriculum courses and courses that are required for specific departmental majors. RSLP courses are available to all undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program actively recruits undergraduate students to participate in research that is happening across campus. The program enhances research opportunities and research-based education, and enriches undergraduate learning experiences for UNM undergraduate students.  The students are encouraged to present their research in the scholarly community including the annual conference hosted by UG Research Opportunity program. The program also partners with other offices to offer workshops on research and preparing for graduate school.

Through experiencing the processes of scholarly discovery and dissemination of their results, students become fully engaged members of the community. Students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through research learning provided by the program. Our mission is to support and increase the retention in all disciplines by enhancing the visibility, prestige, and material support for participation in undergraduate research and creative activities, both for students and faculty.

Center for Academic Excellence and Leadership Development (CAELD)

The Center for Academic Excellence and Leadership Development provides programs to enhance the academic, personal, and professional development of high-achieving students at the University of New Mexico. CAELD’s primary mission is to prepare students for their next steps after graduating from UNM, by strengthening each student’s potential to become a competitive candidate for graduate schools, nationally prestigious scholarships, and professional opportunities.

National and International Scholarships and Fellowship Office (NISF)

The National and International Scholarships and Fellowship Office provides UNM students the opportunity to apply for competitive scholarships. Students are encouraged to investigate potential opportunities as early as possible so that they can start building a compelling application and curriculum vita. These scholarships require institutional nomination. Students must submit the UNM preliminary application to gain the institutional endorsement. Some of the scholarships possible are: Rhodes, Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Mitchell, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, Ford, as well as many others.


UNIV 101. Seminar: Introduction to UNM and Higher Education. (1-3)

UNIV 102. Topics: Academic Foundations. (1-3 to a maximum of 9 Δ)

UNIV 103. Foundational Math. (3)

UNIV 104. Math Learning Strategies. (1-3, may be repeated once Δ)

UNIV 105. University College Interdisciplinary Co-Op. (0)

UNIV 106. Critical Text Analysis. (1-3 [3])

UNIV 201. Topics in Career Exploration. (1-3 to a maximum of 6 Δ)

UNIV 391. Topics in Leadership Development. (1-3 to a maximum of 12 Δ)

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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