College of Arts and Sciences

Arash Mafi, Interim Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
Ortega Hall, Room 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. 


The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences is to assist and guide students in the pursuit of their degree. The College collaborates with the diverse community of students in a dynamic learning environment, developing tools and strategies to navigate their academic careers with confidence and efficiency, while also providing approaches to translate those skills into lifelong practices. 

For more information on advising services and required visits, refer to the College of Arts and Sciences Web site.

College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Admission Requirements 

Pre-Major versus Major Status

All students seeking to declare a major within the College of Arts and Sciences must first be admitted as degree-seeking by the UNM Admissions Office, and will enter the College of Arts and Sciences with pre-major status, which applies to students who must satisfy prerequisites or meet Department conditions before transitioning to major status. All new students are required to attend a group advising/orientation session; sesssions are held regularly throughout the academic year. 

Upon completion of the College of Arts and Sciences and the major Department requirements, transition from pre-major to major status is automatically processed. Students who wish to transfer from other colleges and schools within UNM are required to initiate the transfer process by scheduling an appointment with the Academic Advisor for that major. During this visit, the student will be updated to pre-major status and, at the end of the third week of classes, will be examined for transition to major status eligibility with the next review cycle. Contact the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center for additional information.

The College of Arts and Sciences requires the following to transition to major status:

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 University General Education areas:

  • Completion of General Education Curriculum: Communication.
  • Completion of General Education Curriculum: Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Completion of General Education Curriculum: Second Language.

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 General Education Curriculum, found on the Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog.

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 the ACTFL Intermediate-mid equivalent. Contact the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center for additional information.

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 at the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center. Once a degree is certified 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.

General Education Curriculum

All undergraduate students must complete 31 credit hours of General Education coursework, following the guidelines found on the Undergraduate Program section of this Catalog.

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 that requires no minor. After declaration, students must complete the established program of study as outlined in the department sections of this Catalog. 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 general education curriculum requirements.

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

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 additional information.

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. In these cases, students must choose which major determines degree discipline (B.A. vs. B.S.), and degree requirements must be completed only once. Therefore, one degree is awarded, with the diploma including both majors. 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 transcript and diploma will note both majors under each discipline, with the transcript publishing the second major and discipline as an administrative comment.

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. Contact the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center for additional information.

The student-proposed distributed minor allows students to craft an individualized program of multidisciplinary study to support their major or other areas of interest. 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 contain a list of the specific courses proposed totaling at least 21 credit hours. At least 12 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. The petition should also include an explanation on how this combination of courses benefits the student’s educational and career goals. Documentation for distributed minor programs of study must be on record with the major advisor prior to application for graduation.

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 and Schools 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.

Some combinations of second or dual degrees are not allowed, typically due to too much overlap of material or coursework. Examples of such combinations are degrees with majors in Biochemistry and either Biology or Chemistry; or any Arts and Sciences degree and the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.

Undergraduate Certificate Programs

For general information on requirements for undergraduate certificates, especially regarding stand-alone vs complimentary undergraduate certificates, please visit the catalog section Undergraduate Programs.  Arts & Sciences offers undergraduate certificates to allow students to expand their experience while not compromising their intended study in their Major or Minor. 

A&S undergraduate certificates may have limited overlap in course work that is also required for a Major or Minor.  The maximum allowable overlap is 25% of the total credit hours required for the certificate.  Rules for certificates offered outside Arts & Sciences may differ.  Please refer to the offering college or department for details. 

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. A student must be enrolled in a degree-granting college or school to be eligible for a Co-op.

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.

Credit Conflicts

Content on specific courses overlaps enough to necessitate restricting credit of both courses toward a student’s degree. These courses are not considered equivalent and the completion of the second course in a pair will not affect a student’s earned hours on the transcript. Students should consult their advisor if they feel the incorrect course is applied for credit on their degree audit. See “Credit Conflicts” entries in individual College of Arts and Sciences department and program Undergraduate Program sections of this Catalog.


Dean's List

At the end of each Fall and Spring semester, the College of Arts and Sciences compiles the College Honor Roll (Dean’s List) of undergraduate 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. Students are notified via email and may request a hard copy through the Arts and Sciences Advisement Center. See "Dean's List" in the Student Services Information section of this Catalog for more information.

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 reviewed for suspension at the end of any semester in which the cumulative grade point average does not rise to 2.00 or better.

Beginning freshmen that are placed on probation after their first semester are required to enroll in a semester-long "Student Success in an Arts and Sciences" course. This topics course is designed to support student success through skill building, campus engagement, and self-reflection and assessment. If the course is not available then the student may request a Probation Contract in lieu of the course. A student that enrolls and passes this course with a grade of "C" or better is granted amnesty from suspension review at the end of that semester. This is given even if the student does not improve their GPA to be continued as outlined in the following paragraph.

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.


Students that fail to make satisfactory academic progress within their particular major are subject to review for dismissal from the College of Arts and Sciences. Satisfactory academic progress is defined both by transitioning to major status and by subsequently progressing toward graduation by earned credit hour benchmarks. Ideally, coursework required for transitioning to major status will be completed by the time a student is entering their sophomore year or has earned 30-45 credit hours. After a student surpasses 45 credit hours without transitioning to major status, they are subject to advisement review and will be prompted to contact the College to begin the process toward major status transition. After a student surpasses 75 credit hours without transitioning to major status, they are reviewed by the College and notified of impending College dismissal. Students that wish to appeal College dismissal must make an appointment with Support and Success Advisement in the College of Arts and Sciences.

While dismissal prevents a student from registering or staying registered for future semesters, students are not prevented from seeking admission to other Colleges or Schools within UNM. If a student is admitted to another College or School, their dismissal status may be removed.

Departments and Programs of Instruction within Arts and Sciences

Major in Arts and Sciences Minor in Arts and Sciences
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
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
Native American Studies (B.A.) Native American 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 programs listed below are offered by other Colleges and Schools at UNM and are approved for study for students admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences. Students must still meet the minimum amount of 90 credit hours taught by Arts and Sciences departments. Students completing the Critical Studies in Mass Media (B.A. in Communication) concentration are only required to complete a minimum of 80 hours taught by Arts & Sciences departments versus the standard 90 hour requirement.   

Undergraduate Minor Programs

Anderson School of Management: Entrepreneurship; International Management; Management.
College of Architecture and Planning: Architecture; Community and Regional Planning.
College of Education and Human Sciences: Family and Child Studies; Nutrition; Special Education (non-teaching); Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (non-teaching).
School of Engineering: Computer Engineering (for Mathematics or Physics majors only); Computer Science; Electrical Engineering (for Mathematics or Physics majors only).
College of Fine Arts: Art; Arts Leadership and Business; Dance; Film History and Criticism; Flamenco; Music; Theatre; World Dance.
Honors College: Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts.
College of Population Health: Population Health.
University College: Civic and Community Engagement.
University Libraries and Learning Sciences: Instructional Technology and Training.
Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies: Military Studies.

Requirements for these programs and associated course descriptions are found within 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

Students interested in entering law school programs may declare any major and are encouraged to utilize resources both internal (such as the UNM Pre-Law Society) and external to UNM. Information on finding admission requirements for law school may be obtained from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Web site. The College of Arts and Sciences offers pre-law advisement services for individual support.

Curriculum Preparatory to Medicine

Students interested in medical school programs may declare any major as long as they include specific pre-admission coursework. 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. Students are also encouraged to utilize resources both internal and external to UNM. Some UNM resources include UNM Pre-Medical Society, Pre-Health Professions Student Development, and UNM School of Medicine. Students should discuss future plans, strategies and resources available with their Advisor. Pre-med students may also visit with an advisor from the Exploratory and Preprofessional Advisement Center.

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 Programs

Programs of graduate study in the various departments and programs of the College of Arts and Sciences lead to Master of Arts, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, and Graduate Certificate programs. See the Degrees and Certificates Offered section of this Catalog for a full listing.

For information on graduate degree requirements, appointment as a graduate assistant or research assistant or other details, see the Graduate Program and individual College of Arts and Sciences department and program sections of this Catalog. Prospective graduate students are urged to address all inquiries to Department Chairpersons or Program Directors.

M.S. and Ph.D. in Nanoscience and Microsystems Engineering

The M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in Nanoscience and Microsystems Engineering prepares individuals for careers in the emerging fields in nanotechnology and microsystems. The programs are 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 Nanoscience and Microsystems Engineering teaching and research team. Therefore, students who choose the in these graduate programs 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, Gender, and Sexuality 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