For specific graduation requirements for any degree offered at NMSU please see the Degrees, Majors, Minors and Other Academic Programs of Study section, as well as the departmental sections for those requirements. These requirements will include the minimum GPA, total credits and specific course requirements for graduation.
Applying for a Degree
Any students that are in their final semester of classes are considered degree candidates and are required to submit an “Application for Degree” as well as pay graduation fees for each degree being sought. The application for Degree form is available online through the myNMSU website. It must be completed and submitted by the designated deadline for that semester. The fees for the Las Cruces campus are all listed in the Tuition, Fees and other Expenses section of the catalog. Once a student submits the application, the fee will be included in the total cost for the semester or session in which the candidate anticipates completing their degree requirements.
If degree requirements are not completed during the semester/ session the student originally applied for, the student must then reapply and pay the appropriate fees. A $50 late fee applies to applications received after the application deadline, and no applications will be accepted after the posted deadline date.
A student must specify which catalog they are using for their degree requirements in order for the university to determine if the requirements are met and if a degree can be certified. The latest date for substitution or waiver of required courses for degree candidates is two weeks after the last date of registration for full or summer terms.
Attendance at the Commencement Ceremony
Commencement is a symbolic ceremony, that students can elect to participate in after they have applied for their degree. Participation in commencement does not, in itself, mean that a student is considered an NMSU graduate. In order to be awarded a degree, a student must fulfill university requirements as determined by academic colleges. The degree will reflect the graduation date from the application for degree in which all degree requirements were determined by the academic colleges.
The academic colleges will confirm students' eligibility to participate in the commencement ceremony that is held at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Eligible candidates who are in the process of completing their final degree requirements and degree recipients from the previous summer session will participate in the fall ceremony. Students who are in the process of completing their final degree requirements in the spring can participate in the spring ceremony. However, degree candidates who wish to participate in a spring commencement, prior to completing degree requirements in summer school may do so if they meet the following conditions:
- Receive permission from the Academic Dean of their college
- Show a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0
- Only need 12 or fewer credit hours to complete their degree requirements
- These remaining credit hours are being offered in the upcoming summer schedule of classes
- Submit a degree application and approved petition form (available in the Dean’s office of the student's primary major) by the late application deadline to apply for a degree in the spring semester.
Each college may approve distinctive symbols to be worn by the top 10 percent of its graduates at commencement. Only one symbol may be worn by each graduate. In addition, the student with the highest honors in each college may wear a crimson- colored gown. No other symbolic additions to academic regalia are allowed without the approval of the Academic Deans Council.
All fees and bills owed the university must be paid in full before a student may receive a diploma or official transcripts. The degree title and major(s) will be printed on the diplomas, in accordance to the degree application award, determined by the academic colleges. Academic honors will also be printed on the diplomas below the degree and major(s). The name on the diploma will reflect the student’s current official NMSU records. Name changes are only processed for currently admitted students.
Diplomas will be mailed to graduates approximately eight weeks after the individual colleges certify the degree requirements and the final grades have been processed by the University Student Records Office. The diploma will be mailed to the address specified on the degree application, unless an address change was requested before the last day of the semester.
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:
- 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.
- New Mexico General Education- state mandated general education courses (as specified in General Education section); such courses are designed with a “G”
- For Associates Degrees: 32-35 credits
- For Applied Associates Degrees: 15-18 credits
- 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.
- For Associates Degrees: 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).
- For Applied Associate Degrees: Basic Skills requirements do not apply, but if the student plans to pursue a Bachelor's degree at any point in the future it would be highly recommended.
- 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.
- Major: All requirements for at least one major field of study as specified in the college and departmental sections of the respective catalog.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Residency: A minimum of 6 credits earned toward the certificate must be completed at NMSU or one of its community colleges.
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:
- 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 outlined in the respective catalogs and sections describing these certificates.
- GPA requirement: Students must successfully complete all courses for the certificate as outlined in the catalog 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.
- 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.