UNM Los Alamos

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

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 semester hours must be earned. Technical work (up to the limit specified below) may be included in these 60 hours, upon approval of the appropriate degree-granting program.
  2. A minimum of 15 semester 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 hour minimum, no more than 9 semester 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 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 Certificate/Associate Degree

A second certificate or a second associate degree will not be granted until a student has earned a minimum of 15 semester hours in residence above the requirements for the first certificate or degree and fulfilled all requirements for the second certificate or degree.

Extension and Independent Study

The University of New Mexico allows credit for independent study, 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 independent study 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.

The hours earned by independent study or extension from accredited institutions other than the University of New Mexico may be counted toward degree requirements, but the grades will 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 student who expects to substitute credits earned by independent study toward fulfillment of degree requirements must have prior approval of his or her program’s Department Chair. The student is responsible for complying with all regulations stated in the Independent Study Guidelines.

Cooperative Education and Internships

Cooperative Education Credit provides UNM-Los Alamos students in the final semester of their degree program to work in a field related to their major. The work should be a capstone experience that allows students to apply the theories learned in the classroom to real word experiences and earn course credit. Students should contact the Department Chair of their degree program via the Office of Instruction located in Building 6, 662-4693, for more information.

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.  Students may also request to follow the requirements of a catalog that follows their admission year as long as the program name has not changed. 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. Not-withstanding the above, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos reserves the right to make changes in the curricula and degree requirements as deemed necessary, with the changes being applicable to currently enrolled students. 


Students who interrupt their degree program and are not enrolled for three or more consecutive semesters (including summer), 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 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.


Commencement exercises at UNM-Los Alamos are held once per year at the end of the spring semester. Students whose requirements were completed and degrees conferred in the preceding summer session, fall or spring semester are invited to attend and encouraged to participate.