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 the Summer session), 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 Admissions section of this 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 credit hours 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 receive advising in the college and department to which they are admitted in order to establish an appropriate program which meets their needs and the aims of the Core. Where degree program requirements are so structured that a student’s total academic program credit hours 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 credit hours of courses in seven areas of study.

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 and 122L, 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), 122 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 105; University Honors 207. Students may elect to take one 3 credit hour studio course offered by the Departments of Art, Cinematic Arts, Music, and Theatre and Dance to fulfill this requirement.

U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion Requirement

The University of New Mexico values learning outcomes related to diversity and inclusion. The aim of the three-credit hour "U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion" undergraduate degree requirement is to promote a broad-scale understanding of the culture, history or current circumstance of diverse categories of people who have experienced historic and/or contemporary inequitable treatment in the U.S. or in a global context. Courses that this requirement must have their primary emphasis (at least 50%) on one or more of the following areas: gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, language, culture and/or other marginalized category of people and address two of four learning outcomes identified in the syllabi checklist on the Division of Equity and Inclusion Web site. These courses should include primary learning outcomes pertaining to the experiences of diverse categories of people and potential solutions to the challenges facing diverse communities. Courses can double-count with other core or elective courses that have met the aforementioned student learning outcomes. 

To satisfy the U.S. Global Diversity and Inclusion requirement, a grade of "C" or better is required in the course chosen from the approved course list. The approved course list may be obtained from an academic advisor or from the Division of Equity and Inclusion Web site.

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. The student must complete a minimum of 120 semester credit hours of earned credit.
  3. The student must complete the University Core Curriculum.
  4. The student must complete the 3 credit hour U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion requirement.
  5. The student must meet the residence credit requirement. A minimum of 30 credit hours of credit, exclusive of extension and correspondence (independent study) credit, must be earned at the University of New Mexico. Of these 30 credit hours in residence, 15 credit hours must be earned after the candidate has accumulated 92 of earned credit hours. These 15 credit hours, however, do not necessarily have to be the last credit hours of a degree program. A student may fulfill all or part of this residence requirement by attending Summer session.
  6. The student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.
  7. The student must demonstrate a minimum competence in English writing by passing ENGL 120 with a grade of "C" or better, or by attaining a suitable score on an authorized proficiency test prior to graduation.
  8. A maximum of 24 credit hours of pass/fail (CR/NC) grading option courses may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree.
  9. A maximum of 40 credit hours of extension and correspondence (independent study) credit may be applied toward a bachelor degree and no more than 30 of these credit hours may be correspondence credit.
  10. The student must contact his/her college office prior to his/her last semester in order to initiate and complete the graduation process.
  11. The student must complete 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 credit hours required for the major. Most colleges do not accept Introductory Studies courses or technical courses to satisfy any of these requirements.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 are made by the University of New Mexico.

Additional degree requirements for a specific bachelor’s degree are found in the appropriate college section of this Catalog.

Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Programs

A shared-credit undergraduate/graduate degree program (such as 3+2, 4+1, etc.) provides an accelerated path to earning both a baccalaureate and master's degree. Both the baccalaureate and master's degree requirements are completed in a program-defined number of years by means of shared course work. Such programs help recruit high-achieving UNM undergraduate students into UNM graduate programs. Shared-credit undergraduate/graduate degree programs are not available for individual design. Consult a College advisor for available approved programs.

More information about these programs is available in the Graduate Program 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 credit hours beyond the requirements for the first degree and must meet all degree requirements of the second degree, including residence requirements.

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 is to be evaluated by the new degree college in accordance with the credit hours and requirements completed toward the new degree. Residence credit requirements for the second degree are 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 credit hours must be earned. Technical-vocational work (up to the limit specified below) may be included in these 60 credit hours, upon approval of the appropriate degree-granting program.
  2. A minimum of 15 credit 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 credit hours minimum, no more than 9 credit 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.

Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate certificates offered by any of the University of New Mexico’s colleges or branches must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. A minimum of 30 acceptable credit hours must be earned. Technical-vocational work (up to the limit specified below) may be included in these 30 credit hours upon approval of the certificate-granting program. Of the 30 credit hours, a minimum of 15 credit hours must be earned in residence at the University of New Mexico. 
  2. Branch campuses may offer technical-vocational certificates of less than 30 credit hours, provided:
  • The proposed curriculum fulfills a recognized professional certification: e.g., Certified Nursing Assistant (NLN) Fire Science Officer (IAFC), etc.; or
  • The proposed curriculum fulfills a specified local workforce need.

Certificates consisting of academic (transferable) coursework require approval of the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate. Technical-vocational certificates require approval of the Office of the Provost.

Second Associate Degree/Second Undergraduate Certificate

A second certificate or a second associate degree is not be granted until a student has earned a minimum of 15 credit 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 session or in the preceding 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 an academic advisor to determine the deadline and the process for a particular department. This deadline may be up to one year before the intended graduation semester.

During the graduation semester, students should use the Diploma Information Form to confirm display name and mailing information for the diploma. The Graduation Web site provides information and sign-up forms for attending the university-wide commencement and/or departmental convocation ceremonies. Other useful graduation-related information can be found here, including purchasing 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 credit 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 are 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 the 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.

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 is be graduated are both at the discretion of the department and may be cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Honors designations are 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 credit 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 are 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 credit hours 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.

Western Undergraduate Exchange

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is 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. Additional award levels may be available for selected beginning freshman. WUE tuition rates are considerably lower than the nonresident tuition rate.

Requirements for WUE Enrollment

New freshmen and undergraduate transfer applicants are considered for the WUE tuition waiver program upon admission to UNM. No additional application is necessary. Qualified new students are notified of their eligibility and the tuition offer. Students offered the WUE tuition waiver must accept the offer by the deadline indicated in the offer letter.

All UNM programs are open to WUE students. Access to the WUE program is selective.


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Office of the Registrar

MSC11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
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