Graduation Requirements

Certificate of Achievement

The Certificate of Achievement is a program of study less than 16 credits and is not eligible for Federal financial aid. This Certificate provides employment related and/or career enhancing skills necessary to succeed in a job or a chosen field of study. These courses can be a subset of those required for a corresponding Certificate of Completion or Applied Associates Degree. These certificates are recorded on the student’s transcript.The following requirements apply to all certificates of achievements:

  1. Minimum Credit Hours: The number of credit hours varies from certificate to certificate but must be fewer than 16 credits. Students must successfully complete the total number of credit hours as outlined in the respective catalogs and sections describing these certificates.
  2. GPA requirement: Students must successfully complete all courses for the certificate as outlined in the catalog and and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater in all courses required for the certificate, but may have a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 for courses taken outside of the certificate.
  3. Residency: A minimum of 6 credits earned toward the certificate must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges. If the certificate requires fewer than 6 credits, all credits must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges. Individual academic programs may have additional requirements.

Certificate of Completion

The Certificate of Completion requires a minimum of 16 credits (other Title IV requirements must be met to be eligible for financial aid) and has been approved through the academic review process. These courses can be a subset of those required for a corresponding Applied Associates Degree. These certificates are recorded on the student’s transcript.

Requirements for certificates are found in the respective catalogs and sections concerning these programs. The following requirements apply to all certificates.

  1. Minimum Credit Hours: The number of credit hours varies from certificate to certificate. Students must successfully complete the total number of credit hours as outlined in the respective catalogs and sections describing these certificates.
  2. GPA requirement: Students must successfully complete all courses for the certificate as outlined in the catalog. In addition, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in all courses taken at NMSU or one of its community colleges.
  3. Residency: A minimum of 6 credits earned toward the certificate must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges. If the certificate requires fewer than 6 credits, all credits must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges. Individual academic programs may have additional requirements.

Associate’s Degree

Associate’s degrees are of two types.  The academic associate’s degree prepares students to transfer to a baccalaureate program and generally includes credits toward the first two years of a four-year degree. Academic associate’s degrees include the Associate of Arts, the Associate of Science, and other named degrees that link to a specific major (the Associate of Education, for example). Other associate degrees, typically called Associate of Applied Science, prepare students for entry into the workforce. Credits for these programs may or may not apply toward a four-year degree. Associate degree seeking students who are interested in a dual degree should consult with their academic advisor. The Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degrees cannot be earned together.  The Associate of General Studies degree may not be earned with other associate degrees. 

Students interested in transferring to NMSU or another four-year institution should check the appropriate sections of the university catalog for more information.

Requirements for the two-year associate degrees are found in the respective catalogs and sections concerning these degrees. The following requirements apply to all associates degrees:

  1. Minimum Credit Hours: a minimum of 60 credits (excluding “N” suffix courses).  Some programs of study require coursework in excess of the 60 credit-hour minimum.
  2. New Mexico General Education- state mandated general education courses (as specified in General Education section); such course are designed with a “G”
    1. For Associates Degrees: 32-35 credits
    2. For Applied Associates Degrees: 15-18 credits
  3. GPA requirement: Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in all courses taken at NMSU or one of its community colleges. In addition, students must earn a C- or better in classes they take to meet the Basic Skills requirement (ENGL 1110G and one of several math course options),
  4. Residency - A minimum of 15 of the 60 credits for the associate’s degree must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges. Individual academic programs may have additional requirements.
  5. Major: All requirements for at least one major field of study as specified in the college and departmental sections of the respective catalog.

Associate Major

An associate major, consisting of at least 18 credits, may include courses from more than one department. Requirements for the Associate Majors are specified in the respective Community College Catalogs.

Graduate Outcomes

Upon graduation, students of NMSU Carlsbad will be able to satisfactorily demonstrate:

  • Effective communication skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • Basic critical thinking skills including problem identification, evidence acquisition, evidence evaluation, and reasoning/conclusion.
  • An understanding of personal and social responsibility.
  • An ability to apply the fundamental concepts of quantitative reasoning in mathematics and science.
  • Appropriate information and digital literacy, and skills for personal and professional use.
  • An understanding of the fundamental concepts for analyzing significant primary texts and/or works of art, including fine arts, literature, music, theater and film.

ETS Proficiency Profile Exit Test Requirement

To evaluate its graduate outcomes, NMSU Carlsbad has chosen the ETS Proficiency Profile. This exam measures students’ proficiency in reading, writing, mathematics, science and critical thinking. All students who are graduating with an associate degree should take this exam within the last two semesters of their program. Some courses have incorporated this exam into the required coursework. Students will be given information about the exam site and date at the time that they apply for graduation.