Skip navigation.
New Mexico State University
Undergraduate Catalog


Dean · Christa Slaton

Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Affairs) · Jeffrey P. Brown

Associate Dean (Academics) · Beth Pollack

Associate Dean (Academic Planning and Resources) · Lisa Bond-Maupin

Associate Dean (Development and External Affairs) · Kenneth Van Winkle

Associate Director, Research Center, Olga Ostos

Acting Associate Director, Advising and Retention · Jodie Kenney

Coordinator, Student Records · Hilda M. Olivas

Bachelor of Arts–Majors in Anthropology, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Economics, English, Foreign Languages, Government, History, Journalism and Mass Communications, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Theatre Arts, Women's Studies

Bachelor of Science–Majors in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Microbiology, Physics

Designated Bachelor's Degree–in Conservation Ecology, Creative Media, Criminal Justice, Fine Arts, Genetics, Music, Music Education


In the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society. Music curricula in the Department of Music are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The Master of Public Administration program in the Department of Government is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.

Programs offered in the College of Arts and Sciences prepare students for a variety of career opportunities and for graduate study. The broad curriculum offered provides both the motivation and the tools for lifelong learning experiences.

While the ultimate responsibility for planning an academic program in compliance with university, college, and departmental requirements rests with the student, the college recognizes the importance of helping students work out appropriate academic programs. Some freshman students and unclassified/ undecided arts and sciences students may be advised on academic matters in the college advising center, which is located in the west wing of Breland Hall. In addition, all students are encouraged to contact departments for specific subject area information and career planning.

Students with 36 or more credits who have declared a major are advised in the appropriate departments.

Students should consult the University section of the catalog regarding general limitations for total credit hours, independent study, and registration under S/U option. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences on academic Probation 1 are limited to 13 credit hours, and students on Probation 2 are limited to 7 credit hours. The University section of the catalog discusses registration, drop/add and withdrawal deadlines. Students may not do additional course work or repeat course exercises after the semester has ended in order to raise a grade in any course. Exceptions will be made for students completing official incompletes.


  1. In accordance with NMSU policy, students in all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences must meet the Basic Academic Skills requirements in English and Mathematics. See "Basic Academic Skills" in the General Information, REGULATIONS section.
  2. Basic Academic Skills rules:
    1. Students must complete, with a C grade or better, in MATH 111 and 112G, or any mathematics course numbered 120 or above. Please see department requirements for each major for specific mathematics requirements.
    2. Students must complete, with a C grade or better, ENGL 111G, 111H, or SPCD 111G prior to enrolling in upper division courses numbered 300 or higher.
      NOTE: Transfer students must complete an English course listed above and begin their Math sequence no later than their second semester at NMSU in order to continue enrolling in upper division courses numbered 300 level or higher.
    3. Students whose ACT or other test scores require them to take developmental Mathematics or English courses must complete those courses prior to enrolling in the English and Mathematics basic skills courses listed above.
  3. University graduation requirements. See "Graduation Requirements" in the "General Information" chapter earlier in this catalog. In order to graduate, students must have met all degree requirements for their major, and earned a minimum of 128 university level credits of which at least 48 must be upper division, and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all courses taken at NMSU. Each student must complete at least 30 of the last 36 credits necessary for their Bachelor Degree at NMSU
  4. Some departments in the college require a second language and some do not. For those students whose major requires a second language, the following parameters apply unless otherwise specified in their departmental requirements. A student must meet one of the following requirements.
    • Complete the normal foreign language course sequence: 111, 112, 211 and 212. Students should enter the sequence at their proficiency level. Heritage speakers should complete the Spanish 113-213-214 sequence. Students who successfully complete either Spanish 113 or 213 or 214 (or all) may not take SPAN 111, 112, 211 or 212 for credit.
    • Challenge the 212 level of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish, or the 214 level of Spanish for Heritage Speakers, or Portuguese.
    • Obtain college certification of completion of a second language at the high school level by fulfilling one of the following:
      • Option A: For those departments requiring one year of a second language a student must pass two years of a high school language with a C or better in the last year level.
      • Option B: For those departments requiring two years of a second language a student must pass three years of a high school language with a C or better in the last year level.
    • Obtain, from the head of the Department of Languages and Linguistics, certification of a working knowledge of a second language if such language is not taught at New Mexico State University.
    • Obtain certification of a working knowledge of a Native American language from the American Indian program director, or as attested by a Native American Elder.
    • Successfully complete a regular university course taught in a language other than English. A student can receive credit only once for the same course taught in two languages.
    • Pass a three-credit upper-division course (numbered 300 or above) taught in a foreign language by the Department of Languages and Linguistics.
    • Pass C D 476, America Sign Language III with a grade of C or
    • In the case of an international student who is required to take the TOEFL exam for admission, the dean will automatically waive the foreign language requirement.

Students should satisfy the language requirement as soon as possible and take the necessary courses in consecutive semesters.

Please note: SPCD or English language may not be used to fulfill the language requirements.

S/U Grading Option

Instructors may establish individual standards for an S grade, but the minimum standard for an S grade in the College of Arts and Sciences courses is a C.

Developmental and Applied Credit Limitations

The College of Arts and Sciences may accept up to 9 credits toward graduation of applied coursework, which include Occupational Education courses, BOT, CMT, UNIV (not including UNIV 150 and UNIV 350), ART (applied), DANC (applied), MUS (applied and participation), THTR (applied), NURS, A EN, AXED, AG E, AGHE, COLL, CCDL, CCDS, all lower-division RDG. Credits earned in developmental courses (N suffix) are not counted toward any arts and sciences degree. Students should contact the Student Records Center regarding the acceptability of specific courses.

In addition to the above limitation, the college will also accept a maximum of 9 credits towards graduation of applied P E and PE P courses, and ANSC 190, 191, 290, 291, 380, and 381. This restriction does not apply to PE P 185, 280, 281, 285, 286G, 295, 309, 311, 320, 341, 342, and 411.

Independent Study/Directed Reading Courses

Students are limited to six credits in any independent study course. Independent study courses include directed reading and special topic courses, which do not carry a subtitle.

Distance Education Courses

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a variety of distance education courses each semester. Specific courses can be found under departmental course listings in the Schedule of Classes. Students who successfully complete NMSU distance education courses receive the same credit as students who take an equivalent course on the Las Cruces campus. Distance education courses appear on a student's transcript in the same way a course taken on the Las Cruces campus does.

Majors, Minors and Supplementary Majors

Students who wish to obtain a bachelor's degree must select a major field or fields. For a listing of major fields, the student should see the first page of this chapter. Course requirements for majors are listed under individual departments. Students should consult the department for current admissions requirements. Until a major is selected, the student is designated as unclassified.

Each major consists of not less than 20 credits of upper-division courses (300 and above) in a specific field. Students must earn a grade of C or better for all course requirements for a major, minor, or supplementary major, including any courses required from outside the department. Students may not count an S grade towards completion of any major, minor or supplementary major requirement unless a course is automatically S/U for all enrolled students. A student may not earn a minor that bears the same name as a bachelor's degree that the student also earns. (For example, a student earning a B.S. in Biology cannot also earn a minor in Biology.) Some departments also require specific courses outside the major field. Please refer to the departmental section of the catalog for specific nondepartmental requirements. These nondepartmental requirements must be passed with a grade of C or better. It is imperative that students consult the departmental sections of this catalog and the department or departments for advice in planning to fulfill requirements for declared majors.

The requirements for academic minors in the College of Arts and Sciences are found under each offering department or program's section of this catalog. Requirements for supplementary majors are found as follows: the Supplementary Majors in Chicano Studies, Latin American Studies, and Linguistics are listed under Languages and Linguistics; the Supplementary Major in Law and Society is listed under Government; and the Supplementary Major in Applied Mathematics is listed under Mathematical Sciences.

Most students have considerable latitude in choosing elective courses. These are the courses beyond university and major requirements that a student must take to bring her or his total credits to a minimum of 128. This latitude provides students with opportunities to major in more than one field or to devise interdisciplinary programs tailored to individual interests or future career needs.

Regardless of the option elected, students should consult regularly with an advisor and keep track of their progress towards graduation using the online degree audit system STAR (Student Academic Requirements), at


Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Chicano Studies in the Department of Languages & Linguistics

Latin American Studies in the Department of Languages & Linguistics

Law and Society in the Department of Government

Linguistics in the Department of Language & Linguistics

Sustainable Development in the Department of Anthropology


Prehealth Studies in the Department of Biology

Prelaw Studies in the Department of Government