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.

General Education Curriculum

By providing a base of knowledge and flexible tools for thinking, General Education curriculum empowers students to face a rapidly changing world. General Education equips students for success throughout their education and in future employment. General Education also creates a pathway to community engagement, offers an encounter with diverse human experiences, and generates personal enrichment through curiosity, learning, and tolerance. A student's major offers the opportunity to specialize in an area of specific interest and in the practices belonging to a particular field (for example, Chemistry, History, or Music). Complementing the major, General Education provides a set of strategies: communication, critical thinking, information analysis, quantitative skills, responsibility towards local and global communities. Students develop these strategies from different angles by taking one or more courses in each of the areas of the General Education curriculum: Communication, Mathematics and Statistics, Physical and Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Second Language, and Arts and Design. Some General Education courses involve students directly in addressing crucial problems through undergraduate research, race and social justice analysis, global awareness, community engagement, and innovation. Completing General Education early sets students up for achievement throughout their college careers by building versatile habits of mind.

All undergraduate students must complete 31 credit hours of General Education coursework, following the guidelines below. General Education consists primarily of lower-division courses (numbered at the 1000- and 2000-level). Only some of these courses fulfill a requirement within a major and only some are prerequisites to the major. Except where noted (see "Alternative Credit Options" in the Admissions section of this Catalog), students may apply AP or CLEP credit to General Education requirements.

Transfer and re-entering students receive advisement 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 General Education curriculum. Transfer students who have demonstrated completion of all of the requirements for General Education at another higher education institution in New Mexico will not be required to fulfill General Education requirements at UNM, unless they opt to do so. Transfer students who have not completed all of the requirements for General Education at another higher education institution in New Mexico will need to follow the University of New Mexico requirements for General Education listed here. The University recognizes that minor substitutions or exceptions, handled on a Department and College basis, may be necessary to accommodate specific student needs.

The three-credit hour U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion undergraduate degree requirement is independent from General Education curriculum requirements and is fulfilled through completion of an approved University of New Mexico course (some courses in the General Education curriculum may also fulfill the U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion requirement). Completion of this University requirement is mandatory for all undergraduate students, including transfer students. See the "U.S. and Global Diversity and Inclusion Requirement" section of this page for more information.

The General Education curriculum requires a minimum of 31 credit hours of courses in the following areas of study:

1. Communication (6 credit hours): English 1120, plus an additional course chosen from Communication 1130; English 2120, 2210; Philosophy 1120; University Honors 201. Students who do not place into English 1120 may apply the credit hours from the prerequisite English 1110 (or the equivalent English 1110Y or English 1110Z) to help fulfill Area 8 requirements (see below).

2. Mathematics and Statistics (3 credit hours): One course at the appropriate level determined by placement: Mathematics 1130, 1220, 1240, 1250, 1350, 1430, 1440, 1512, 1522, 2118; University Honors 202. 

3. Physical and Natural Sciences (4 credit hours): One course and, where applicable, the related laboratory: Anthropology 1135 and 1135L, 1170 and 1170L, 1211 and 1211L; Astronomy 1115 and 1115L; Biology 1110 and 1110L, 1140 and 1140L; Chemistry 1110, 1120C, 1215 and 1215L, 1217, 1225 and 1225L, 1227; Computer Science 108L; Environmental Science 1130 and 1130L; Geography 1160 and 1160L; Geology 1110 and 1110L, 2110C; Natural Science 1110, 1120, 2110; Physics 1110, 1115 and 1115L, 1125 and 1125L, 1230 and 1230L, 1240 and 1240L, 1310 and 1310L, 1320 and 1320L; University Honors 203. 

4. Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 credit hours): Africana Studies 1120; American Studies 1110, 1140; Anthropology 1115, 1140, 1155, 2175; Chicana and Chicano Studies 1110; Community and Regional Planning 181; Economics 2110, 2120; Engineering 200; Family and Child Studies 2130; Film and Digital Media Arts 1520; Geography 1165, 217; Linguistics 2110; Mechanical Engineering 217; Political Science 1120, 1140, 2110, 2120; Psychology 1110; Public Health 101, 102; Sociology 1110, 2315; University Honors 204. 

5. Humanities (3 credit hours): Africana Studies 1110; American Studies 1150; Chicana and Chicano Studies 2110; Classics 1110, 2110, 2120; Comparative Literature 2222, 224; English 1410, 2650, 2660; Film and Digital Media Arts 1520; Geography 1175; History 1105, 1110, 1120, 1150, 1160, 1170, 1180; Honors 1120; Modern Language 1110; Native American Studies 1150; Philosophy 1115, 2210, 2225; Religion 1110, 1550, 2110, 2120; University Honors 205. 

6. Second Language (3 credit hours): A second language course chosen from regular language offerings in UNM departments including (but not limited to) Foreign Languages and Literatures, Linguistics, and Spanish and Portuguese. Students will follow departmental guidelines on placement in the appropriate language course level. Languages regularly offered at UNM include (but are not limited to): American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Classical Greek, English (for qualified international students who learned English as a second language), Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Navajo, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili.

7. Arts and Design (3 credit hours): One course chosen from the following courses: Architecture 1120; Art History 1120, 2110, 2120; Dance 1110; Fine Art 284; Film and Digital Media Arts 1520, 2110; Music 1120, 1130; Theatre 1110; University Honors 207. Alternatively, students may elect to take one 3-credit hour studio course offered by the Departments of Art, Film and Digital Arts, Music, or Theatre and Dance to fulfill this requirement. Completion of prerequisites for the studio course is required as necessary.

8. Student Choice (6 credit hours): two additional General Education courses chosen from two different Areas (1-7). Students who do not place into English 1120 may apply the credit hours from the prerequisite English 1110 (or the equivalent English 1110Y or English 1110Z) to help fulfill Area 8 requirements.

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 UNM General Education or other program 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 UNM General Education 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 1120 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
Fax: (505) 277-6809