The NMSU System Academic Regulations
The following regulations are effective with the publication of all the NMSU system catalogs, this includes the Las Cruces-Academic Catalog, Alamogordo Community College, Carlsbad Community College, Dona Ana Community College, and the Grants Community College catalogs. All regulations in this section of the catalog pertain to all the campuses housed with the NMSU System, this means that information for students pursuing Associate Degrees/Certificates, Bachelor's Degree, and Graduate Degrees/Certificates is within the section of the catalog.
The regulations section is broken down into different areas:
- Academic Programs of Study
- Academic Performance and Progress
- Degree Applications, Graduation & Commencement
- Academic Standing and Probation
- Academic Misconduct and Grievances
- The University Student Records Office
Academic Programs of Study
- Additional Degree Designations
- Catalog Effective Period
- Application for Degree/Graduation or Certificate
- Multiple Degrees and Designations
- Degree Revocation
- Honorary Degrees
- Community College Certificate
- Baccalaureate Degree (Bachelor’s Degree)
- Distance Education Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program
- Graduating with Honors
- Graduate Degrees
NMSU offers Associate, Baccalaureate, Master’s and Doctoral degrees. NMSU also offers Certificates at the associate and graduate levels. Requirements for specific degrees and other designations are set forth by this catalog for the NMSU-Las Cruces (main) campus and the corresponding catalogs for the NMSU Community Colleges (Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Dona Ana and Grants).
Additional Degree Designations
As part of a degree program, students may also earn additional degree designations indicating fields of study such as majors, minors or concentrations. A major is defined as a recognized area of study in which there is an extensive and well-developed curriculum offered at the university, as well as adequate library resources and support services. A minor is based on courses that encompass a recognized field of study outside the student’s major. A concentration is based on a collection of coursework in an area that is part of a major program of study. Degrees and additional designations awarded, limited to majors, minors, and concentrations, will be noted on the student’s transcript.
Catalog Effective Period
Beginning with 2020-2021 catalog each subsequent annual catalog edition is effective Summer Session I through Spring Semester and is considered active for an eight year period for all campuses. Curricular requirements (course requirements and number of credits required) for a specific degree or other designation may be met by completing all of the course requirements as set forth by the catalog in effect at first matriculation, or any subsequent catalog, provided the selected catalog is considered active when the requirements for graduation are met. For all other matters, the current catalog is controlling. NMSU reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, change fees, rules, calendar, curriculum, degree programs, degree requirements, graduation procedures and any other requirements affecting students. Except as otherwise stated here, changes will become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled.
Application for Degree/Graduation or Certificate
Upon completion of all requirements for degrees and certificates, students will not receive their degrees automatically. In order to receive the degree or certificate, students must submit an application and pay the required fee in the semester in which the student expects to graduate or complete the degree or certificate requirements. Specified in the academic calendar for each semester is the deadline for all applications. The application must indicate/ note all designations earned. After awarding of the degree, you cannot add any additional designations.
Students who will be completing two degrees/certificates in the same semester must apply for graduation and pay the fee for each degree separately. Students applying for graduate degrees or certificates must satisfy requirements as described in the Master’s, Certificates, and Doctoral Degree sections below.
Students who do not meet requirements or elect not to graduate after filing an application need to re-apply in a subsequent semester and pay another fee.
Multiple Degrees and Designations
A student may earn more than one degree or multiple degree designations by completing all of the requirements in an appropriate catalog for each degree or designation. Students completing requirements for more than one degree must apply for and pay the application fee for each degree to be awarded. Upon completion of all requirements, multiple majors for a single degree (e.g., B.A., Major in Art; Major in Anthropology) and multiple bachelor’s degrees (e.g., B.A. and B.S.) will be noted on the student’s academic record/transcript and may also be granted at one commencement.
The Board of Regents reserves the right to revoke a degree should it be determined upon investigation that the degree requirements were not properly met. A degree revocation must be in accordance with NMSU policy and related rules.
Ceremonial Honorary Degrees may be awarded in accordance with NMSU policy and rules as set forth in the NMSU Regents Policy Manual and the related Administrative Rules and Procedures.
Community College Certificate
A Community College may offer two types of certificates, the Certificate of Achievement and/or the Certificate of Completion. Certificates may be awarded independently from any degree program.
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 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 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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 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 course 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. 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),
- 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.
Baccalaureate Degree (Bachelor’s Degree)
A baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree provides students with a broad educational base as well as knowledge in a specific major field. Each college has unique degree requirements that are listed in the college’s designated section of this catalog. In addition to the College and Department requirements, students must complete each of the following degree requirements for every Bachelor’s Degree awarded by NMSU:
- Minimum Credit Hours: a minimum of 120 credits (excluding “N” suffix courses)
- GPA requirement- a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all courses taken at NMSU
- New Mexico General Education- 32-35 credits of state mandated general education courses (as specified in General Education section); such course are designed with a “G”
- New Mexico State University’s Viewing a Wider World- 6 credits of Viewing a Wider World courses; such courses are designated with a “V”, or alternatives as specified in the Viewing a Wider World section
- Upper Division Courses- a minimum of 48 credits in courses numbered 300 or above.
- Residency – Of the last 36 credits earned toward award of the degree:
- 30 credits must be completed at NMSU
- 21 credits must be upper division (300 or above) and
- 12 of the 21 upper division credits must be within the student’s major.
NOTE: colleges or departments may require that more than 12 upper division credits be within the major and they may direct that a certain number of these credits be course specific.
- Major – all requirements for at least one undergraduate major field of study, other than a supplemental major, as specified in the college and departmental sections of the catalog. As an undergraduate student seeking a baccalaureate degree you are expected to declare a major prior to earning 45 credit hours toward your degree. You should complete your general education requirements within your first 90 credit hours earned.
Bachelor’s Degree Designations
An undergraduate major consists of 24 or more credits within the major field, of which 18 credits must be upper-division courses, and may include courses from more than one department. Additional requirements for majors are specified in the college and department’s designated sections of this catalog.
A supplemental major consists of 24 or more credits of interdisciplinary coursework, of which at least 18 credits must be upper-division (300-499), and no more than 9 credits may be from the student’s major course of study. Additional requirements for supplemental majors are specified in the catalog listing of the departmental/college sections.
An undergraduate minor consists of 18 credits of course work, of which 9 credits must be upper-division (300-499). A minor encompasses courses that may be in a single department or interdisciplinary and are in a recognized field of study outside the student’s declared major. At least 9 upper-division credits of a minor must be completed at NMSU. Additional requirements for minors are specified in the college and department’s designated sections of this catalog. Minors cannot be earned after the degree has been conferred.
A concentration consists of 12 or more credits of coursework in a specialty area that is related to a specific major field of study. At least 9 of the 12 credits must be upper-division (300-499), and at least 9 credits must be completed at NMSU. Additional requirements for concentrations are specified in the college and department’s designated sections of this catalog.
Distance Education Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program
A Bachelor Degree Completion Program allows students who have met the lower division requirements (100 and 200 level) of an undergraduate degree program to complete the remaining upper-division credits (300 and 400 level) through distance delivery courses offered by NMSU Las Cruces. Only selected degrees are available as degree completion programs. Students must complete all required lower-division (100 and 200 level) credits before they can be admitted to the Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs. The program(s) normally require two years of upper division (300 and 400 level) coursework.
Graduating with Honors
For information about graduating with Honors, please refer to the Recognition of Academic Achievement section of this catalog.
All graduate degrees are subject to rules and regulations of the Graduate School. Degrees will be certified by the Graduate School only upon the complete review and clearance of the candidate’s program of study.
Graduate Degree Designations
A graduate major may include courses from more than one department, but as a minimum it must consist of at least 30 graduate credits. Additional requirements may be imposed by the State of New Mexico and New Mexico State University as specified in this Catalog.
A graduate minor is based on at least 9 graduate credits in courses that encompass a recognized field of study outside the student’s major. Departments may require certain courses be a part of a minor and may exclude other courses.
A concentration is a collection of coursework in a specific area that is part of a degree program of study at NMSU. At the graduate level at least 9 of these 12 credits must be numbered 500 or above. Only approved concentrations within a students’ department or program may be noted on a transcript.
Concentrations will not be added to a transcript after a degree is awarded. In order for the approved concentration to be noted on the student’s transcript, the following conditions must be met:
- Request the concentration at the time they file their official program of study.
- Identify the concentration on their official Application for Degree.
A Graduate Certificate program requires 12-18 credits of course work that is interrelated and designed to develop a focused skill or area of expertise but does not culminate in the awarding of a degree. Courses that comprise a graduate certificate must be regular approved courses offered by the University and must be numbered 450 or above. A graduate certificate is indicated on the student’s transcript.
New Mexico State University offers both academic and professional master’s degrees. A link to the list of all master’s degrees is provided in the Graduate School section of this catalog.
Underprepared students may be required to take additional general or discipline-specific undergraduate or graduate courses to prepare them for the advanced academic work necessary for success in graduate level courses in their chosen field.. This may result in an extended graduation date.
Admissions to the Master’s Degree
The admission of a student into the Graduate School does not imply admission to candidacy for an advanced degree. The major department in which the student intends to become a candidate for a master’s degree must determine the student’s ability to pursue studies at the graduate level. Please see the Department(s) for specific requirements.
Program of Study
After the completion of one year of enrollment each new graduate student should prepare a complete program of study in consultation with the student’s advisor.
Application to Candidacy
The program of study will formally list the curriculum requirements for degree completion and is required for application to candidacy. The program of study must be approved by the advisor, department, and academic dean and submitted to the Graduate School. The Program of study may specify the Catalog at the time of graduation, as long as the catalog is considered active. Otherwise, the current Catalog will be listed.
An Application for Admission to Candidacy must be filed with the Graduate School. This must be done before the completion of 12 credits of graduate coursework. The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time the application is submitted. The application may specify the Catalog at the time of graduation, as long as the catalog is considered active. Otherwise, the current Catalog will be listed.
The student’s program of study must:
- Meet the requirements of the chosen catalog, including the regulations of the Graduate School and of the major department.
- Be signed by the student, the student’s advisor, department head, minor faculty if applicable, and academic dean.
- List each course prefix/number, short title, credit hours and grades if available.
If the program of study does not comply with the departmental requirements or the potential degree audit, the program of study must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. . The Program of Study is not required for master’s programs if defined within the Star Degree Audit.
Credit Hour Requirement
A minimum of 30 credits is required for the master’s degree. Most master’s degrees require at least 15 credits in courses numbered 500 or above. This includes thesis credits for any master’s programs that include a thesis option. Master’s programs involving a thesis, must include, either a minimum of 4 credits or a maximum of 6 credits of thesis. Please see the “Thesis” section for more information.
At least 15 credits for the master’s degree must be for work in courses within the student’s department. Additional credits may be selected from other fields to fit into a logical and justifiable program. However, courses that are used to remove deficiencies or satisfy prerequisites cannot be counted as requirements for a master’s degree.
Students must take coursework from a variety of faculty. Students may not take more than half of the minimum credits required for a master’s degree with the same professor, excluding thesis credits.
All graduate students are required to register for a minimum of 1 credit of graduate coursework in their final semester. Please see the Tuition, Fees and Other Expenses section for more information.
A thesis in the major field is recommended and may be required at the discretion of the department. A minimum of 4 credits and a maximum of 6 credits may be counted toward the requirements for a master’s degree. The final examination shall consist of an oral defense of the student’s thesis as well as a general examination of the candidate’s field of study.
- Continuous Enrollment- once registered, a student must continue to register for a minimum of 1 credit in thesis or graduate coursework each regular semester until the thesis is approved by the Graduate School and the copies have been accepted by the Branson Library binding section. .
Graduate Committee for Thesis Option
The graduate committee for the master’s degree consists of a minimum of three faculty members who hold, at least, a master’s degree and meet the following criteria:
- Committee chair:
- Must be from the student’s home department
- Must be a graduate faculty member
- Committee member(s):
- May be from outside the student’s home department
- Student’s with a declared minor- may have the representative from a related area or be appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.
- Must be a graduate faculty member
- Dean’s Representative:
- Must be a representative from a related area or appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School
- Must be a graduate faculty member
Finalizing the Master’s Thesis
After successful completion of the final examination, electronic submission of the approved thesis must be submitted to ProQuest ETD, no later than the deadline posted to the Graduate School website. The form and style of the thesis must comply with the guidelines provided in Preparing your manuscript for submission, located at https://gradschool.nmsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/02/2.-Preparing-Your-Manuscript-for-Submission-Revised.pdf. The guidelines also contain detailed information on the thesis submission and approval process. The thesis is not complete until the Graduate School has accepted it electronically.
Professional Degree and Non-Thesis Final Examination
Each candidate will be given a final examination conducted by their graduate committee in accordance to the schedule provided by the Graduate School. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that the Report of Results for the Master’s Professional or Non-Thesis Final Exam form is submitted to the Graduate School at least ten working days after the exam.
The final examination format for the professional degrees and non-thesis option will be determined by the department, with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. If a department does not specify an examination format, the final examination will consist of an oral defense of the candidate’s field of study.
At the time of the final examination, a graduate student must have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 and must be enrolled for a minimum of one credit hour in the final semester; or if the student is writing a thesis, he or she must have completed all course work for the master’s degree.
NOTE: the cumulative GPA, will be calculated from NMSU graduate coursework only.
Any candidate who fails in the final examination may either:
- Be granted a second examination, written or oral, after a lapse of at least one semester, only with a recommendation from the student’s advisor and approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.
- Be excluded from further candidacy for the degree.
- Failure in the second examination disqualifies a candidate from obtaining the degree.
Students in professional or non-thesis options may be required to pay a special exam fee in lieu of registering for 1 credit of graduate coursework. Please see the Tuition, Fees and Other Expenses section for more information.
Students must complete the master’s degree program within seven years (or eight successive summers) of the start of the degree, including completion of the master’s thesis or final project. Inclusion of any coursework more than seven years old at the time of the final examination will be at the discretion of the department.
Master’s Accelerated Program (MAP)
The master’s accelerated program provides an opportunity for academically qualified undergraduate students to begin working on a master’s degree during their junior and senior years while completing a bachelor’s degree. Typically, a bachelor’s degree requires four years to complete and a master’s degree requires an additional two years. The master’s accelerated programs allow students the opportunity to complete a graduate program in an accelerated manner.
Undergraduate students may apply for acceptance to a Master’s Accelerated Program available at New Mexico State University after completing 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework of which a minimum of 25 semester credit hours must be completed at New Mexico State University and apply towards the undergraduate major. The grade point average must be a minimum of 3.0; departments participating in the master’s accelerated program may have requirements that exceed these minimum requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with their financial aid advisor. Awards may be adjusted to reflect enrollment in an undergraduate/graduate program.
Graduate departments within the colleges may allow academically qualified undergraduate students to substitute a maximum of 12 graduate course credits for elective courses in an undergraduate degree program. Graduate programs have the discretion to use up to 12 credits of NMSU coursework (450 level or higher) that can logically be applied towards the completion of master’s program of study. A grade of B or higher in this coursework will be required .
Program Participation Requirements:
- Students must obtain prior approval by the graduate program
- Student’s course work must be general or discipline electives in the student’s undergraduate course of study. No required courses from the undergraduate program will be accepted towards the Master’s Accelerated Program.
- Students will enroll in approved graduate level courses. If course(s) requires instructor approval, it is the students responsibility to obtain necessary approval
- Students participating in MAP are required to submit a completed Master’s Accelerated Program Referral Form to the Graduate School by the first Friday of classes, with all required signatures.
- Students participate in the Developing New Scholars Program (DNSP) through the Graduate School. The DNSP program provides formal mentoring supporting application process to Graduate School. Upon awarding of the Bachelor’s degree and formal admissions into a master’s/graduate program at NMSU, the approved credits (up to 12) will be recorded on both the undergraduate and the graduate transcript.
Interdisciplinary Master's Degree
Interdisciplinary studies, at New Mexico State University, are intended for individuals specializing in programs that require the integration of more than one discipline to fully engage in the field of study. The programs provide a mechanism to address emerging scholarship, innovation and research, as well as, allow graduate students to engage in emerging technologies that optimize their education outside the traditional disciplinary boundaries. An Interdisciplinary study takes advantage of traditional academic training within specific departments and also allows students to customize their own career preparation. In these programs, a coherent common core is expected and is intended to combine existing courses across disciplines to meet unique objectives.
The interdisciplinary studies option should not be used in cases where the applicants’ objectives can be realized by admission to a specific department with a degree program, and inclusion of up to two minor areas in the program of study.
Students interested in pursuing an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree (IMAS) degree must meet with the Graduate School for advisement. The advisement session will include information on completing the IMAS admission application:
- Develop a proposal for interdisciplinary studies
- Create the IMAS graduate committee
- Once the student’s graduate committee is designated, the committee can require additional materials such as a statement of interest, letters of recommendation, GRE or GMAT scores and a personal interview.
- Complete the IMAS referral form and procure committee members IMAS program approval.
- Procure academic department head IMAS referral form approval.
- Submit IMAS referral form and proposal for interdisciplinary studies to Graduate School for admissions.
Students receive a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) and a concentration in the designated interdisciplinary study area.
Other conditions for being awarded a degree within the interdisciplinary studies program are:
- The student must present a written description of the program concept consisting of the following, as well as, the designated degree being sought and a name of the interdisciplinary area:
- The objective of the program of study which should include, proposed areas of skill development and proposed courses in more than one graduate degree granting department at NMSU.
- A justification for not using an existing degree program.
- The student’s program of study must include a minimum of 30 graduate level credits and a maximum of 36 graduate level credits. Students may take six credits in departments that do not grant a graduate degree, but the courses must be numbered 450 or above and be pertinent to the program of study.
- The majority of the departments involved in the student’s program will be master’s degree granting departments. The student is expected to take at least 15 credits in the primary area of study within one department. The department selected by the student will receive a copy of the student’s application for admissions to the Graduate School. In addition, the student is required to select a minor area of study in another department that consists of at least 9 graduate credit hours.
- The student will form a committee composed of members of the graduate faculty and select an advisor who will chair the committee. The chair must be from the primary department where the student has taken at least 15 credit hours listed in the proposal submitted. The other committee member must be from the department in which the student has selected a minor area of study from the approved list.
- The student will be required to submit the Candidacy Form after they have satisfactorily completed 12 credits.
- The program will meet all requirements of a master’s degree, with the interpretation, that “major field” includes courses from two or more departments and in the designated interdisciplinary study area.
- The program of study will include the completion of a research thesis or project. The work may be submitted in the form of a publishable manuscript, technical report, thesis or creative option.
- The student may enroll on a part-time basis keeping in mind that coursework cannot be more than seven years old at the time of the final examination.
- The student will be administered a final comprehensive exam that is consistent with the department selected for the primary area of study. For example, if a department requires a written exam, the student in the interdisciplinary masters will also be required to take a written exam.
- The final oral comprehensive exam will consist of questions pertinent to the area of study and the defense of the research thesis or project. In both cases, an integrated approach to the areas of study chosen should be followed.
- All other rules for graduate study at NMSU must be followed.
As with any graduate student, the student in interdisciplinary studies can select to follow a thesis or non-thesis option. Students enrolled in the thesis option register for six thesis credits. Students not wishing to follow the thesis option will be required to complete a project report. The project must reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program which the student is pursuing.
Students in interdisciplinary studies take a comprehensive exam composed of questions designed by the student’s committee. The committee consists of two individuals in the area of study, the dean’s representative who must be outside of the department/program/interdisciplinary study option, and a committee chair.
Second Master's Degree
A student who has earned one master’s degree at NMSU may be allowed to count a maximum of six semester credits earned on the first degree toward a second master’s degree, if those credits fit into a logical graduate program. The number of shared credits may be increased for joint degree programs.
Students wishing to take graduate courses for licensure, renewal of licensure or for personal enrichment must be fully admitted to a department in order to do so. Undeclared students may not register for teacher licensure classes.
Endorsement is available at both the elementary and secondary levels in bilingual education, TESOL (Teaching of English as a Second Language), reading and special education. Endorsement is also available in early childhood education at the elementary level. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Specialist in Education
The specialist in education degree is available for experienced members of the education profession who have maintained a 3.3 grade-point average while pursuing this degree or its equivalent. Programs are available in curriculum and instruction, as well as, school psychology. Emphasis is placed on the development of the competencies needed for a professional specialization in a given field. Students must complete the general application for the Graduate School and they should also check with the admitting department for specific departmental requirements.
Residency and Credit Requirements
The specialist in education degree requires a minimum of 30 credits including research, intern experiences and graduate courses. Twenty-four of these credits must be completed at NMSU to meet the campus residency requirements.
Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA, no more than 6 credits of C level work are allowed for this program.
Program of Study
After the completion of one year of enrollment each beginning graduate student should prepare a complete program of study with the student’s advisor. The program of study can be tentative, should be kept in the student’s file within the department, and is not considered an “Application for Admission to Candidacy.”
All course work taken for the degree should apply directly, through a logical program of study, to the specialty which candidate has selected. Each department is responsible for defining the required sequence of courses.
Following the successful completion of 12 credits the student is eligible for admission to candidacy. With the achievement of candidacy, a committee is appointed to work with the candidate on the remainder of the program. The committee consists of three members of the graduate faculty in the College of Education.
Each candidate will earn from three to six semester credits in an internship. This experience will consist of supervised performance of duties related to the candidate’s specialty. The student’s department will determine the structure of the internship and a research project will be conducted in conjunction with the internship.
The oral examination committee will consist of the student’s committee and a dean’s representative appointed from the graduate faculty by the dean of the Graduate School. This committee will conduct an oral examination at the conclusion of the research project and no earlier than the candidate’s last semester of enrollment.
The examination will consist of a defense of the project along with general questions on subject matter related to the candidate’s field of study. Any candidate who fails the oral examination may upon recommendation of the advisor and with the approval of the graduate dean, be granted a second examination after a lapse of at least one semester. Failure in the second examination disqualifies the candidate from obtaining the degree.
The specialist in education degree must be completed within seven years following admission to the program. Inclusion of any coursework more than seven years old at the time of the final examination will be at the discretion of the department.
The doctoral degree requires significant scholarly study beyond the master’s program.
Prospective candidates are expected to hold bachelors or master’s degrees from accredited institutions, based on curricula that include the prerequisites for graduate study in the department of their subject. To be considered for admission to a doctoral program, the applicant must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0. Prospective candidates are urged to consult the department in which they wish to study for information concerning specific requirements.
Professional Doctoral Degrees
Doctor of Economic Development (DED)
Students enrolled in the Doctor of Economic Development are required to complete and pass a comprehensive examination. Since a dissertation is not required, students are expected to complete an internship experience and a project paper as defined by their program. They can embark on the project paper once they have completed and passed their comprehensive examination. Students are not required to take 700 level dissertation hours. However, they are expected to complete at least 12 credits at the 600 level including ECDV 694 Internship and ECDV 699 Doctoral Project.
Doctor of Education (Ed.D)
The degree of Doctor of Education demonstrates proficiency in a program of graduate study in which the emphasis is in preparation for performance in professional education. This program is intended primarily for students pursuing careers in which teaching, administration or school services are predominate rather than those in research. The Ed.D. Degree in curriculum and instruction is offered in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; the degree in educational administration is offered in the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration.
The requirements for doctoral degrees in the two departments of the College of Education have the following distinguishing elements:
- The qualifying examination consists of a written and an oral section, both of which are administered prior to admission to the program. Acceptance for doctoral admission is equivalent to the successful completion of the qualifying examination. Residency of at least two consecutive semesters cannot commence until the semester after the qualifying examination is successfully completed.
- Comprehensive examinations usually are administered three times annually. The written examination tests the major and related areas of concentration and is administered after successful completion of the orals within two weeks’ time. A student who fails any part of the comprehensive examination may present him or herself for re-examination of the failed part of the exam before moving on to the next part.
- The major area of study must be within the College of Education
A minimum of nine credits constitutes the related area. The courses can be taken in any department of the university with the approval of the student’s committee. The related area must be specifically planned with the major and minor departments in order for the doctoral fields to be mutually supportive. Any transfer credit or predoctoral course work to be included in the related field must have the approval of both the major and minor department at the outset. Specified course work in both research and statistics is required for this degree. Other requirements are described in the departmental sections of this catalog.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Students holding a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing are required to complete and pass all required course work for the DNP program, as well as, complete and pass their comprehensive examination. Since a dissertation is not required, they are expected to complete an internship experience and a project paper as defined by their program. They can embark on the project paper once they have completed and passed their comprehensive examination. They are not required to take 700 level dissertation hours. However, they are expected to complete at least 12 credits at the 600 level including NURS 698 (Advanced Clinical immersion) credits sufficient to complete the DNP Final Project.
Students who hold a Master’s of Science in Nursing are required to complete the following:
- All course work requirements
- Their comprehensive exam (with passing marks)
- The DNP Project.
Post- MSN DNP students must complete at least 6 credits at the 600 level, including NURS 698 credits sufficient to finish the DNP Project. Finalized projects must be uploaded to a national DNP Project repository approved by the Graduate Faculty of the School of Nursing in order to achieve the DNP degree.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires distinguished attainment in both scholarship and original research. The doctoral degree requires significant scholarly study beyond the master’s that is tailored to the needs and interests of the student. The degree is granted in recognition of the candidate’s high attainments and ability in the special field, shown by work on the required examinations covering both the general and the special fields. The individualized program of study is designed to meet the campus residency requirement, includes a minimum of 30 graduate credits, and includes the preparation of a dissertation. A candidate for the Ph.D. degree is expected to maintain a higher level of work than the grade-point average of 3.0, plus at least 18 credits of dissertation work (700-level courses).
Students interested in pursuing an Interdisciplinary Doctorate (IDOC) degree program must meet with the Graduate School for advisement. The advisement session will include information on completing the IDOC admission application.
The following requirements for admission to the interdisciplinary doctorate degree program are:
- Students wishing to study in the interdisciplinary doctoral degree program must apply and be accepted into a doctorate-granting department.
- A master’s degree or equivalent program of study that includes at least 30 credits of graduate course work with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Twelve credits of graduate course work must be completed at NMSU in order to apply for admission into the interdisciplinary doctorate degree program. Additional course work is required for degree completion.
- Evidence of outstanding academic achievement in graduate school.
- A written description of the program concept prepared by the student consisting of:
- Areas in which competency is required
- Purposed readings and course work and how these relate to required competencies
- Objectives and an outline for thesis research
- Justification for not using an existing departmental degree program
- Student must select an advisor from his/her department to help structure and chair a committee consisting of at least five faculty members from the graduate faculty list who are willing to work on the interdisciplinary degree program. The committee must include at least two members from each of the two doctorate-granting departments. The committee chair will convene a meeting to review and approve the proposed program.
- The Graduate School will send an Admission Referral document, signed by all the committee members, to the heads of all the departments from which the student proposes to use more than 8 credits of course work, or from the department which the faculty are requested to serve on the proposed committee.
- Once the Admission Referral document has been approved by all departments, the committee chair will convene a meeting of the committee to review the student’s program and make changes as necessary. In addition, the committee will set the format and date for the qualifying exam. An effort should be made to incorporate the interdisciplinary nature of the program into the qualifying exam.
- Students have satisfied the requirements for admission to the program once the qualifying exam has been passed and the respective department heads approve the Admission Referral memorandum. Formal acceptance into a doctoral program may be required in order to receive financial assistance.
- The number of courses required for degree completion will vary depending on the student’s program of study, please see the department for more specific requirements. However, Interdisciplinary doctorate degree students must meet the requirements for residency, registration, the comprehensive examination, the Final Examination, the dissertation and the declaration of approved minor.
- The dissertation work shall include at least 18 credits of a 700-level course.
Completing your Doctoral Degree Program
Any student who fails to abide by the regulations in this section will be considered withdrawn from the university. In order to resume their studies, the student must formally apply for readmission to the Graduate School and satisfy any requirements that are in effect at the time of reapplication.
Declaration of Approved Minor
Any doctoral applicant for candidacy may declare up to two approved minors in addition to the major area of study. Demonstration of competency in the minor area will be required at both comprehensive and final examinations.
Doctoral students must pass a qualifying examination that is scheduled by the student’s advisor and is administered by the major department. Its purpose is to determine the areas in which the student shows strength or weakness, as well as the ability to assimilate subject matter presented at the graduate level. A student may not register for dissertation credits prior to the successful completion of the qualifying examination.
The following conditions apply to students who wish to take the qualifying examination:
- For students who enter the Graduate School with little or no previous graduate experience but wish to proceed directly to the doctorate, the qualifying examination should be taken after 12 credits of graduate work
- For students who enter with a master’s degree or equivalent from another university, or another department, the qualifying examination should be taken before the completion of one semester of graduate work.
- For students who earn their master’s degree at New Mexico State University and will continue in the same department, the department may allow the master’s final examination to serve as the doctoral qualifying examination or may require a separate examination.
Based on the result of the qualifying examination, the department will take one or more of the following actions:
- Admit the student to further work toward the doctorate
- Recommend that the program be limited to the master’s degree
- Recommend a re-evaluation of the student’s progress after the lapse of one semester
- Recommend a discontinuation of graduate work
In all cases, the Graduate School shall be notified by the department of the results of the qualifying examination.
Students will be admitted to the doctoral program once the qualifying examination is passed. The student’s advisor and department head will then appoint the doctoral committee to prepare the student’s preliminary doctorate program of study. The student must submit the program of study to the Graduate School immediately following admission into the doctoral program and before registering for additional coursework.
Doctoral Graduate Committee
The doctoral committee will be composed of at least four members of the graduate faculty who hold doctoral degrees. The following rules apply to the composition of the committee:
- The committee chair must be from a discipline within the student’s major area.
- At least one additional member of the committee must also be from a discipline within the student’s major area.
- If an approved minor is declared, at least one (but no more than two) members of the committee must be from the minor area.
- At least three committee members must be members of the graduate faculty and be from a doctorate-granting department
- Only one member may be outside of the student’s department.
- One member of the committee must serve as the dean’s representative. In programs where more than one department participates, the dean’s representative may not be from any of those departments. The dean’s representative may be one of the following
- the member from the related area
- a member from the minor area
- An independent member, not from the student’s department, that is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.
Departments may structure committees that include more than the minimum number of members, as long as the following conditions are satisfied. No changes can be made to the doctoral committee membership without prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.
Additional voting and nonvoting members may be any person approved or appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School
All members of the committee will attend the comprehensive oral and final defense for the student’s dissertation.
Program of Study
Students should file the Program of Study Form once they have:
- Completed 1 year of enrollment while at NMSU that are beyond the master’s degree
- Successfully completed the qualifying examination
The Program of Study Form should be completed and submitted to the Graduate School before registering for any additional courses. The individualized program of study is designed to meet the campus residency requirement and includes a minimum of 30 graduate credits beyond the master’s.
If the Doctoral degree requires a dissertation, at least 18 credits of dissertation work must be included. The professional doctoral degree includes a practicum or special project that culminates in a written report which demonstrates a command of the relevant scholarly literature and links it to the specific clinical or practical experience.
The Graduate School should receive the Program of Study and the Committee for Doctoral Students Form and the Doctoral Qualifying Examination Form.
Students will be admitted to the comprehensive examination only after the following conditions are met
- Completion of adequate course work, to the satisfaction of the major department and the Graduate School
- The graduate committee determines the student is adequately prepared for the examination
- Successful completion of all language requirements (where applicable)
Students must be registered for 3 credits of graduate course work during the semester in which they take the comprehensive examination. A student taking an oral examination during the summer must enroll for at least one credit for that term.
The Doctorate of Philosophy Examination or Professional Doctorate Examination Form must be on file at the Graduate School at least ten working days prior to the proposed date for the examination. The examination must be part written and part oral. The results of the oral examination will be reported to the Graduate School by the Dean’s Representative of the committee.
Any student who fails the comprehensive examination may either be terminated from the doctoral program or upon recommendation of the committee and approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, be granted a second examination after a lapse of at least one semester.
NOTE: In general, there should be a time lapse of at least one year between the comprehensive and final oral examination. However, due to the type of research required and the method of administering the written comprehensive in some departments, such a time lapse is not always practical. In all cases there must be one semester between the comprehensive and the final oral examinations.
Time Limit for the Comprehensive Examination
If more than five years have passed since the date of the comprehensive examination, the candidate will be required to take another comprehensive examination before admission to the final examination.
Advancement to Candidacy
Advancement to Candidacy recognizes that the student has demonstrated the ability to sustain a level of scholarly competency commensurate with successful completion of degree requirements. Upon advancement to candidacy, the student is cleared for the final stages of the graduate program which may include a dissertation, project or written examination.
For advancement to candidacy the following criteria must be met
- Successful completion of the comprehensive examination
- Recommendation of the graduate committee
- Approval of the Dean of the Graduate School
Upon receiving advancement to candidacy, students must establish residency and follow the Dissertation Registration Requirements (see Residency Requirements below).
The minimum campus residency requirements for the doctoral degree include enrollment in a minimum of 9 credit hours of program course work, including a minimum of 3 credit hours of dissertation, in at least two semesters of classes taught at NMSU. In some cases the minimum credit hour enrollment for the two semesters required to establish residency may vary based on the instructional delivery of the program, and must have prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School.
Dissertation Registration during Fall/Spring Sessions
After becoming a candidate, students must continue to register for at least 3 credits of dissertation or graduate course work, each spring/ fall semester until the dissertation is approved by the Graduate School and the dissertation format review has been completed. The total number of dissertation hours must be 18 credits. The doctoral committee can impose additional requirements for courses numbered 700.
A student who fails to abide by these regulations will be considered withdrawn from the university and in order to resume studies, must formally apply for readmission and satisfy the requirements in effect at the time of reapplication.
Dissertation Registration during Summer Sessions
If the final examination is to be held during the summer or the dissertation is to be completed during the summer, students must register for one credit during the summer session in which the final examination will be held or the dissertation will be completed.
Dissertation Leave of Absence
Students may seek a leave of absence from their dissertation. A leave of absence requires that a student must get prior approval from the Dean of the Graduate School, which means the student must receive permission for the leave of absence before discontinuing their formal studies.
NOTE: If more than five years have elapsed since the date of the student’s passed comprehensive examination, the candidate will be required to take another comprehensive examination before admission to the final examination.
Every student working toward the doctoral degree will submit a dissertation embodying the results of original research. The dissertation is expected to demonstrate the student’s ability in independent investigation and to be a contribution to human knowledge. The dissertation shall display a mastery of the literature of the subject field, present an organized and coherent development of ideas with a clear exposition of results, and provide a critique of the limits and validity of the student’s conclusions.
When a complete draft of the dissertation has been prepared, the student’s doctoral committee (appointed after the qualifying examination) will conduct the final examination. The final examination is concerned primarily with the research work of the student as embodied in the dissertation, but it may be much broader and extend over the candidate’s entire field of study. The intention of the final examination is to verify that the candidate has a satisfactory grasp of the major subject as a whole and has a general acquaintance with the fields of knowledge represented by the course of study. The final examination is oral and is open to the public.
Every student meeting the final examination qualifications must be enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour in order to defend. The final examination must be completed in accordance with the schedule provided in the academic calendar. Ten working days before the examination is taken the department must submit the form requesting this examination to the Graduate School. This form may be found on the Web at http://gradschool.nmsu.edu/graduate-forms/ and is also available from the Graduate School and departmental offices.
Students must ensure that each member of the examining committee receives a copy of the dissertation, no later than seven working days before the date of the final examination.
Any candidate who fails the final oral examination may either be terminated from the doctoral program or upon recommendation of the committee and approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, be granted a second examination after a lapse of at least one semester. Failure in the second examination disqualifies the candidate from obtaining the degree.
Finalizing the Doctoral Dissertation
After successful completion of the final examination, electronic submission of the approved dissertation must be submitted to ProQuest ETD, no later than the deadline posted to the Graduate School website. The format review of dissertation will be performed electronically by the Graduate School. The form and style of the dissertation must comply with the regulations given in Preparing your manuscript for submission located at https://gradschool.nmsu.edu/doctoral-dissertation-students/. The dissertation is not complete until the required forms are received at the Graduate School. Required forms may be found at https://gradschool.nmsu.edu/doctoral-dissertation-students/.
- Admission Requirement
- Auditing a Course (No Credit)
- Course Load for Graduate Students
- Course Load for Undergraduate Students
- Course Numbering
- Course Schedule
- Graduate Registration Requirements for Summer
- Prerequisites and Corequisites
- Registration Changes
- Registration Schedule by Classification
- Repeating Courses for A Change in Grade
- Substitutions and Waivers
- University Credits
Registration at NMSU is a process that includes: (1) academic advising with a faculty or staff member, (2) registering for classes, online or with your academic advisor, and (3) paying the tuition and fee bill. For first time freshman and transfer undergraduate students (at the Las Cruces campus), the registration process is through the Aggie Welcome/Transfer Student Orientations. For currently enrolled Undergraduate students and all Graduate students registration is through your advisor or online through the myNMSU portal. For detailed instructions and questions about registration which are not addressed on the website, please contact the University Student Records Office (USRO).
No person will be will be allowed to register for courses until formally admitted to NMSU through the Community College, International Programs, Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions processes.
Each semester and summer session, the University Student Records Office provides an online course schedule which can be accessed through myNMSU or the NMSU website. Note that not all courses listed in this catalog are offered every semester.
Registration Schedule by Classification
Several groups of students (e.g. Crimson Scholars, Students with Disabilities, Veterans) receive priority dates for course registration. For other students, registration dates are determined by the student’s current classification at the time of registration. A student’s classification is determined by the number of credits completed, and does not include courses in progress. A student’s classification depends upon the number of credits completed toward graduation. Sophomore classification is achieved with successful completion of 28 credits; Junior classification, 60 credits; Senior classification, 90 credits.
The unit of university credit is the semester hour, which is based upon one hour of lecture class or a minimum of two hours of practice/lab per week during one semester, and assumes a minimum of two hours additional, by the student, outside of class. The number of credits associated with each course is indicated in the course schedule.
Course Load for Undergraduate Students
The full-time course load in a regular semester (fall or spring) for a main campus undergraduate students is 12-18 credits. A full-time course load for a summer term is 9 credits with a maximum of 6 credits per session, totaling no more than 12 credit hours. Some scholarships have a 15 credit course load eligibility requirement. Each student is responsible for meeting their own scholarship eligibility requirements.
An overload is classified as more than 18 credits for a regular semester and more than 12 credits for the summer term. A one-credit course in physical education or supplemental instruction will not create an overload. Registration for a course overload requires written permission from the Director of the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support or the Associate Dean for Academics in the student's college. A “Undergraduate Change of Schedule” form is required and available from the University Student Records Office or on their website. Freshmen and students with a grade of D or F, or a cumulative grade-point average of less than 2.5, in either of the last two semesters, are not eligible for overloads. Concurrent enrollment in non-NMSU courses at other post-secondary institutions requires prior approval from the Associate Dean for Academics in the student’s college, and these courses are counted as part of a student’s class load.
Course Load for Graduate Students
A full-time course load in a regular semester (fall or spring) is 9 credits, with a maximum of 15 graded credits. A full-time course load for a summer term is 6 credits with a maximum of 9 credits.
The course numbering system at NMSU indicates the level of the course as follows:
Undergraduate courses are assigned numbers 100-499. Courses numbered 100-299 are referred to as “lower-division courses” and are primarily for Freshman and Sophomore level students. Courses numbered 300-499 are referred to as “upper-division courses” and are primarily for Junior and Senior level students.
Graduate courses are assigned numbers 500 or greater. Courses numbered 500-599 are primarily for graduate students working on a master’s degree. Courses numbered 600-700 are primarily for students working on a doctoral degree.
Some graduate programs may accept courses numbered 450-499 for graduate credit. Graduate students should confirm eligibility with their program department head.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
Some courses require advance or concurrently acquired specific knowledge and skills. Prerequisite(s) and corequisite(s) for each courses are indicated in the course description section of this catalog. Students must have completed (or be presently enrolled in the prerequisite(s)) courses in order to register for a course with prerequisites. Where a student was allowed to register for a course while completing the prerequisite(s), and then subsequently fails to successfully complete a prerequisite course, the student shall be dis-enrolled from the course requiring the prerequisite. In the case of a corequisite, a student must enroll in the courses during the same semester. In some instances, where a course has an enforced “pre/corequisite” the student can elect to either take the requirement before registering for the course, or take the courses at the same time.
Subject to any registration “holds” and any applicable deadlines, students may change their course registration online. Caution should be exercised as registration changes may negatively impact eligibility for scholarships, financial aid or athletic participation, the student’s ability to progress through their degree program in a timely manner, and the student’s obligations with respect to tuition and fees.
The University Student Records Office publishes an online schedule of “Important Dates for Students” for each semester. The student is responsible for reviewing and adhering to the Important Dates, including the deadlines to add, drop or withdraw from course(s) for the relevant semester.
Adding Courses: There are two different types of deadlines for adding courses:
- Last day to add a class without instructor’s signature - during this period courses may be added online through myNMSU, or through your academic advisor (if necessary).
- Last day to add a class with instructor’s signature - during this period courses may only be added with either the “Undergraduate Change of Schedule” or the "Graduate Change of Schedule" form signed by the instructor (available online on the University Student Records Office website).
* Students taking classes online and who do not live in the Las Cruces Area must email the instructor, using the NMSU email, in order to get permission to be added to the course. If the instructor approves the addition, the approved response must be sent to either the student’s academic advisor or to email@example.com with the student’s name, ID number and course CRN number they are wanting to add.
Withdrawing from Courses: There are two different types of deadlines for withdrawing from courses:
- Last day to drop without a “W” grade – during this period, the student can drop the course and not have it appear on their official transcript in any form, and the student will have no financial obligation related to the course (students will receive a 100% refund if tuition has been paid for the course).
- Last day to drop with a “W” grade – during this period, the student can withdraw from the course, but the course will appear on their official transcript with the withdrawal (W) designation as the grade, and the student will be responsible for the full tuition and fees related to that course.
Students are responsible for initiating official withdrawal from any course(s) they do not intend to complete. Students who experience extraordinary circumstances that prevent timely registration changes should consult with their Academic Associate Dean or the Registrar. For more information about the process for adding or withdrawing from a course(s), please speak with your academic advisor or contact the University Student Records Office.
Any student attending under Veteran Educational Assistance must notify the Military and Veteran’s Programs office before processing registration changes to determine if changes will affect their enrollment status or benefits.
A student found insufficiently prepared for a course they are enrolled in may be transferred to a more elementary course in the same subject any day before the last day to withdraw from an individual course.
Waitlisting is available for all courses across the NMSU system, except for labs that are linked to a specific lecture class. Waitlisting is an electronic list of students who are waiting to register for a filled course. Once students are put onto the waitlist, the process to get into that course is as follows:
- A currently enrolled student must drop the course for a seat to become available.
- The first student on the waitlist is notified through their NMSU email.
- The notified student has 24 hours to login to their myNMSU and register themselves for the class.
- If the first student fails to register within their allotted 24 hours, then the first student is dropped from the waitlist and the next student on the waitlist is notified. This continues until the empty seat is filled.
A student who fails to register for the class during their allotted 24 hours is automatically dropped from the waitlist and can add themselves back onto the bottom of the waitlist for that course.
Students cannot be added to the waitlist after the first day of classes. Instructor overrides can only be made after the second day of class, at which point the instructor’s signature is required on either the “Undergraduate Change of Schedule” or the "Graduate Change of Schedule" to add a course.
Graduate Registration Requirements for Summer
Students who have scheduled their final examination, or who are completing their thesis during a summer session, must be registered for one credit hour during the same summer session. In order to graduate during a summer session, the student must have filed the Application for Degree by the deadline posted on the Academic Calendar.
Repeating Courses for A Change in Grade
See the Grading portion of the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.
Substitutions and Waivers
Students registering for their final semester must have all course substitutions and waivers of required, for their degrees, courses approved before two weeks after the last date of registration for full or summer terms.
Auditing a Course (No Credit)
An audited course is one in which the student registers for the learning experience but does not seek to earn academic credit for the course. A student seeking to audit a course must register and pay tuition and fees for the course and have the consent of the instructor to take the class in audit form. A student who has registered to audit a course may be dis-enrolled from the course at any time before the registration deadline expires if necessary to accommodate a student taking the course for credit. After the last day to register, the student cannot change the course option from audit course to a for credit bearing course.
Audited courses are not used in determining a maximum class load (overload) for undergraduate students in good academic standing, however, the audited course will be counted as part of the maximum allowable course load for graduate students and undergraduate students who are on academic probation.
Academic Performance and Progress
- Attendance and Student Performance
- Absences from Class and Failure to Complete Assignments
- Classroom Conduct
- Student Performance Assessment
- Academic Program Assessment
- Exam Week and Final Examinations
- Developmental Evaluation
- Basic Academic Skills
- Independent Study and Directed Reading Courses
- Adjusted Credit Option
- Credit by College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Credit by Examination
- Credit for Military Service
- Graduate Course Deficiencies
- Short Courses for Graduate Students
- Challenging Graduate Courses
Attendance and Student Performance
Academic success is closely correlated to student participation and attendance. Accordingly, students are expected to regularly attend all their classes. Each course instructor will establish the specific attendance and course requirements. Only students who are currently enrolled in a course for either credit or audit are permitted to officially attend the classes. However, individual instructors may allow an occasional visitor and may allow a student who officially withdrew from the course to continue to attend for the remainder of the semester.
Absences from Class and Failure to Complete Assignments
Students who must miss class due to accident or illness, or due to other circumstances beyond their control should consult the course syllabus and the instructor for guidance. Students may be administratively withdrawn from a course due to excessive absences (consecutive absences in excess of the number of class meetings held within a week or any number of absences, including failing to use the online Learning Management System, which are impairing the student’s performance), or for persistent failure to complete assignments. In such cases, the Instructor may recommend administrative withdrawal by providing a completed “Student Absence/Lack of Progress Report” form to the Academic Associate Dean. If the Academic Associate Dean agrees with the recommendation of the course instructor, the student will withdrawn from the course. Any student who has been administratively withdrawn from a class may appeal that decision to the Dean of the College where the course was offered within 10 days after notification of the withdrawal.
Any absences due to the student’s participation in a university sponsored event (e.g. ASNMSU president representing NMSU at legislative session, student athletes competing in NMSU scheduled athletic events, or students attending educational field trips and conferences) will be excused and deemed an “Authorized Absence”. Authorized absences do not relieve the student of the course assignments or responsibilities and instructors may require students to complete course work before the absence. Prior to the student’s absence, the sponsoring department will provide the instructor with written notice of the dates of expected absence.
Each instructor has the authority to establish and enforce reasonable rules of conduct in their courses. A student who engages in behavior that interferes with the educational environment of the class may be administratively dis-enrolled with the approval of the academic department head and academic associate dean for the course, and with notification to the Provost. Any student who has been administratively dis-enrolled from a class may appeal that decision to the Dean of the College where the course was offered within 10 days after notification of the dis-enrollment.
Student Performance Assessment
Individual student performance and learning outcomes in a course are measured and evaluated by the course instructor and reported to the student in the form of grades. Each instructor has the authority to establish assignments and other assessments (such as exams and quizzes) and to assign grades based on the student’s performance on those assessments. Final grades for the course are determined by the instructor and reported to the University Registrar as described in grading section of this catalog. Any student who believes that their academic performance has been evaluated unfairly may appeal the grade through the University’s Academic Appeals process as provided in this Catalog.
Academic Program Assessment
New Mexico State University is committed to providing its students with a quality education and a supportive learning environment. Academic Program Assessment is a continuous improvement process achieved by identifying a program’s desired learning outcomes, evaluating the extent to which those outcomes are collectively achieved by students in the program, and then implementing changes to enhance and improve the collective program outcomes. For assessment to be effective, students must be actively aware of and engaged in assessment activities.
Academic Program Assessment requires participation of students who are expected to provide feedback on personal, professional and academic development and to participate in a variety of assessment exercises. Assessment activities may be a part of regular graded course assignments, or may require students to engage in other activities. Assessments may include course projects, exams, exit interviews, standardized tests, surveys, focus groups, etc. Data gathered through these assessments is published only in aggregate form. Learn more about NMSU’s Academic Program Assessment at https://assessment.nmsu.edu/
Exam Week and Final Examinations
NMSU designates the last week of each semester as “Exam Week” during which each course has only a single 2 hour meeting time for a mandatory culminating activity which may be a final examination or some other course related activity. The University Student Records Office (USRO) establishes the Final Examination Schedule for each semester (http://registrar.nmsu.edu/final-examination-schedule/). Examinations are typically held in the course’s usual lecture/lab room. Some departments hold Departmental Exams where all students for all sections of a particular course are required to take the final examination simultaneously. The date, time and location of the Departmental Exams are indicated on the Final Examination Schedule. For courses that were not scheduled to meet at the specific times listed under “Regular Class Time” on the USRO's Final Examination Schedule, the instructor and course department coordinate examination dates, times and locations with NMSU’s Academic Scheduling office (575) 646-4790. Final exams for weekend courses are held at the regular class period on the last day of class.
The final exam or culminating activity must not be rescheduled for a different date, time or location, except with permission of the department head and the unanimous consent of the enrolled students. During the week before Exam Week, instructors are not allowed to hold examinations lasting more than one class period.
Any student having more than three examinations scheduled in any one day may, no later than the week prior to exam week, notify the instructor of the examination scheduled latest in the day to obtain an alternative date for that examination. (If the fourth exam is a departmental exam, the instructor of the third exam will make alternate arrangements for that exam upon request.)
Students who believe that their instructor(s) have not honored Exam Week requirements may appeal to the instructor’s department head.
The academic skill level of all entering first-time students at the time of registration is evaluated based upon ACT scores, SAT test scores, and/or alternative placement assessments. The student’s eligibility to enroll in university level English and Mathematics courses is dependent upon this evaluation. Students who have not demonstrated adequate preparation for university level courses are required to take developmental courses. Developmental courses are included on the transcript and will be included in the calculation of the GPA, but the developmental course credits do not count towards a degree.
Basic Academic Skills
All undergraduate students must demonstrate Basic Academic Skills in both English and mathematics before enrolling in any upper-division course (numbered 300 or higher). These requirements ensure that each student in the upper-division courses has the ability to succeed without compromising the learning experience of other students. The completion of the Basic Academic Skills requirements does not necessarily result in the award of academic credit nor satisfaction of university general education requirements in English and mathematics. (Students should consult the General Education Courses and Requirements section in this chapter for these requirements.)
Transfer students with 45 or more credits are allowed to enroll in upper-division courses for only one semester before satisfying the Basic Academic Skills requirements. The Basic Academic Skills requirements may be satisfied in a variety of different ways as listed below:
English Basic Skill Demonstration Options (achieve one of the following):
- ACT English Score of 30
- Coursework - ENGL 1110G , or equivalent, completed with a grade of C- or higher.
Equivalents: the following are deemed equivalents to ENGL 111G for the purpose of satisfying Basic Academic Skills in English:
- ENGL 1110H – completed with a grade of C- or higher
- ENGL 1110M - required for International students who took the TOEFL examination
- CLEP Exam score of 57 or higher in freshman college composition
- English Advanced Placement (AP) Exam score of 3, 4, or 5
- English Composition Transfer Credits - 3 or more credits with a grade of C- or above, transferred from accredited post-secondary institutions (International students may be required to take ENGL 1110M Composition I Multilingual as noted above.)
Credits from Non-accredited Institutions - As a general rule, NMSU does not accept credits from non-accredited institutions. Students with 3 or more credits of college-level English composition with a grade of C- or higher from a non-accredited institution may, however, challenge the Basic Academic Skills requirement in English and ENGL 1110G Composition I course requirement by submitting a theme paper written under the supervision of, and demonstrating achievement of ENGL 1110G Composition I learning outcomes as determined by, the Department of English.
Mathematics Basic Skill Demonstration Options (achieve one of the following):
- ACT Mathematics Score of 23
- Coursework – any one of the following courses or course combinations completed with a grade of C- or higher in each course:
- Basic Skills Exam Passing Score - offered twice a semester by the Department of Mathematical Sciences
- Calculus AB, Calculus BC or Statistics Advanced Placement (AP) Exam score of 3, 4, or 5
IMPORTANT NOTE: Basic Academic Skills Demonstration fulfillment options may not appear on the transcript, result in the award of academic credit, or satisfy general education requirements. The Basic Academic Skills requirements are used solely for the purpose of determining eligibility for enrollment in upper-division courses. All students should seek to complete the Basic Academic Skills requirements as early in their academic program as possible. Students who postpone completion of Basic Academic Skills may be unable to progress toward degree completion in a timely manner.
Independent Study and Directed Reading Courses
Independent study courses and directed reading (other than those designated in the catalog with a subtitle), are for students capable of and sufficiently motivated to undertake self-directed study with limited oversight of a faculty member. Only students who have completed at least 28 credits at NMSU under traditional grading, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better, are eligible to enroll independent study courses. No student is entitled to enroll in independent study and enrollment requires the consent of an instructor who agrees to supervise and evaluate the student’s learning activities in the course. Students seeking enrollment in an independent study course should prepare an independent study proposal to present to individual faculty member(s) in the relevant discipline for consideration. At a minimum, the proposal should include the topic of study, a brief survey of the literature or other resources on the topic, and a description of the proposed written product or other tangible outcome of the independent study. The relevant academic department for the discipline may have additional requirements. Each college determines the maximum number of credits that may be earned in independent study courses.
Adjusted Credit Option
The adjusted credit option provides eligible undergraduate students who earned a low grade-point average (less than 2.0 cumulative) during their first few semesters to reset their GPA calculation. This option may be used only once and is not reversible. These are the consequences of exercising the Adjusted Credit Option:
- All of the student’s academic history pre-dating the request, including all NMSU course credits previously attempted or completed, transfer coursework, CLEP, ACT, advanced placement, special examination, and/or military service are included in the adjustment and designated as “ADJUSTED CREDITS” on the transcript. These credits are no longer be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.
- Courses carrying an academic grade of S, CR, C- or better, earned prior to the grading period in which the student requested this option, are treated as earned academic credit and need not be repeated, except where a higher grade is required in the student’s academic program.
- Courses carrying an academic grade of U, CD, D or F, earned prior to the grading period in which the student requested this option, remain on the student’s transcript, but no academic credit is provided for these courses. The student must repeat these courses to obtain academic credit.
- The student’s academic transcripts will continue to reflect all coursework, including courses falling under the adjusted credit option. In no circumstances will a transcript be issued that does not include all courses attempted at this university.
- The student’s current academic status, eligibility for employment, and financial aid may be impacted. Probationary status and eligibility for on-campus employment are not affected by the exercise of the adjusted credit option.
- The repeat rule for courses starts anew.
- The student will not be eligible for award of an associate degree until earning thirty (30) or more additional credits after exercise of the Option.
- The student is eligible for University honors at graduation upon completing a minimum of 60 academic credits at NMSU, after the adjusted credit option is exercised, with a resulting grade point average which satisfies University regulations for honors.
After carefully considering the consequences indicated above, eligible students may exercise the Adjusted Credit Option by paying a fee of $10 and submitting an adjusted credit option application to the University Student Records Office. Application forms are available on the University Student Records Office website and can be approved by the Director of the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support or the Associate Dean for Academics in the student's college or the Academic Vice President at the Community Colleges. Only students meeting the following criteria are eligible to exercise the Option:
- No awarded baccalaureate degree
- Enrolled as a degree-seeking or non-degree undergraduate student
- Cumulative grade-point average of less than 2.0 at NMSU
- Fewer than 60 credits accumulated (including both transfer and NMSU credits)
Credit by College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Credit by Examination
Credit for Military Service
New Mexico State University will award academic credit to United States military personnel for courses and Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), based on the American Council of Education Guide (ACE) as well as through national standardized tests, such as CLEP, AP, PEP and DANTES. Credit for military-training is in accordance with NMSU Faculty Senate Legislation Proposition 24-07/08, which was passed in May 2008. Military Training and Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) must have a recommendation evaluation by ACE (in the ACE Guide) for credit to be awarded. Courses accepted for transfer credit become part of the student’s official NMSU transcript and academic record. If a student wishes to appeal a decision regarding the acceptance of military training/education and/or MOS for academic credit, the student must submit a written statement of appeal to the Dean of the College to which the student has applied. The Dean will review the merits of the appeal and render a decision. The decision of the Dean is final.
Only Primary MOS (s) are eligible for academic credit in the initial review and evaluation. Credit for Duty and/or Secondary MOS may be eligible for academic credit if the student petitions the college’s Associate Dean. Primary MOS is the primary specialty of a soldier and reflects the broadest and most in-depth scope of military experience. Veterans, active-duty personnel, National Guard and Reservists who are current students or students applying for admission to New Mexico State University may be granted academic credit on a case-by-case basis upon evaluation of military transcripts - the Joint Service Transcript (jst.doded.mil) and the Community College of the Air Force transcripts. Course equivalencies and credit hours awarded for a particular NMSU degree are determined by colleges and/or academic departments. Credit hours may be awarded for specific courses toward degree requirement, or as elective credit. The number of credit hours awarded will be determined by the college and/or academic department.
NOTE: Students submitting military transcripts for credit evaluation must keep in mind the Maximum Time Frame policy. See Financial Aid Section.
Graduate Course Deficiencies
Students who have been admitted with departmental deficiencies may be required to take diagnostics tests and additional qualifying examinations. They must complete satisfactorily, in a manner specified by the major department, all undergraduate course deficiencies as prescribed by the department responsible for the graduate program. Courses taken to satisfy deficiencies will be listed on the undergraduate transcript; however, these course grades will not be calculated in the student’s graduate GPA or graduate hours. With the permission of the student’s advisor and the head of department, courses to meet undergraduate deficiencies may be taken under an S/U option (with S being a grade satisfactory to the professor), and such courses will not affect the maximum number of S/U graduate credits permitted.
Short Courses for Graduate Students
Short course(s) that are numbered 450 and above have been approved to carry graduate credit. Graduate students must be registered for the short course(s) to receive graduate credit. Concurrent enrollment of graduate students in regular and short courses for the fall/spring semesters is allowed, provided the combined total credits does not exceed 15. All short courses carrying one semester credit will be graded on an S/U basis and these credits will be counted toward the student’s limit of S/U credits.
Challenging Graduate Courses
A graduate student may challenge a graduate course by examination, please see the Graduate School for more information.
- University Grading System
- Midterm and Six-Week Early Performance Grades
- Retention of Grading Records
- Minimum Grade Requirement for Undergraduate Students
- Minimum Grade Requirement for Graduate Students
- S/U Grading
- I Grade Designation
- RR Grade
- W Grade Designation
- Effect of Change of Grade
- Grade Point Average
- Grading in Graduate Research
University Grading System
Each course department or instructor establishes the system for assessing student performance in achieving course learning objectives. Students should consult the course syllabus for a description of the grading system used in each course. At the conclusion of each course, instructors are required to report a final grade reflecting the instructor’s assessment of each student’s performance. Shortly after the end of the term, students can access their grades through the MyNMSU portal. No other grade notification will be issued. The final grade is reported on the student transcript. Instructors may elect whether to use fractional grading (the use of the plus and minus) in assigning final letter grades.
The NMSU system for final grades is expressed in letters, which carry grade points that are used in calculating the cumulative grade-point average, as shown in this table:
|Letter Grade||Grade Points per Unit of Credit|
|D+, D, D-||1.0|
|N- Grade not submitted||0|
|CR- Credit authorized, but not letter grade||0|
|IP- In progress||0|
|RR- Progress in undergraduate course||0|
|PR- Progress in graduate thesis||0|
|S- Satisfactory work1||0|
|U- Unsatisfactory work||0|
|I- Incomplete work||0|
S grades are grades that are satisfactory to the professor and are normally equivalent to the letter grade of C- or higher.
Any courses for which only CR, S or PR is awarded, but no traditional letter grade is given, will be included in the total number of earned hours but is not computed in the grade-point average. Traditional letter grades are those which are used in the grade point average determination: A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F. In computing the overall grade-point-average, the total credits in which grades of A+ through F have been assigned is divided into the total number of grade points earned.
Midterm and Six-Week Early Performance Grades
A Six-Week Early Performance Grade (sometimes referred to as Midterm Grade) for courses numbered 100-299 will be posted and available to students through the MyNMSU portal. The purpose of the early grade posting is to ensure that students have an opportunity to address any performance issues. Students should be mindful that the Six-Week Early Performance Grade reflects a students’ performance on only that portion of the total coursework that has been graded at that time. Any student who is doing poorly, or not as well as they would like, should meet with the instructor to discuss how they can improve. Students who have concerns about their progress in multiple courses or who are considering withdrawal from course(s) must meet with their academic advisor.
In courses numbered 300 or higher, the posting of Early Performance Grades is optional and may occur through the online course management system rather than the MyNMSU portal. However, prior to the last day to withdraw from a course, upon request, instructors will provide information to students about their progress in the course.
Retention of Grading Records
Individual assignments and exams that are not returned to students should be retained by the instructor or department through the end of the subsequent regular semester. The records used to compute individual final grades should be retained for two years after the completion of a course. If a final grade is appealed, these records are kept for at least two years after the completion of the appeal. Departments, colleges or the library may require that records be kept for longer periods.
Minimum Grade Requirement for Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate degrees require a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher for degree completion. Although D+, D, or D- can be considered passing, some departments have higher grade requirements for the courses within their program and/or their program as a whole. Students should check with their departments regarding specific course grading requirements for their particular degree program.
Minimum Grade Requirement for Graduate Students
Graduate degrees require a cumulative graduate G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher. Although B- and C grades (including C+ and C-) earned at NMSU may be counted toward the requirements for a graduate degree in some programs, this grade does not reflect acceptable graduate-level performance and may cause the cumulative G.P.A. to fall below the 3.0 required for graduate students. Some departments have higher grading requirements for courses in their programs. Students should check with their departments regarding specific course grading requirements for their particular degree program.
Courses in which a student earns a D or F grade do not ever satisfy graduate degree requirements; however these grades will be calculated in determining the students’ cumulative grade-point average. To obtain academic credit, students must retake courses in which a grade of D or F was earned.
S/U grading allows the student to attempt to earn course credit without having a course grade included in their grade point average calculations. Under S/U grading, the instructor assigns an S grade for satisfactory achievement of the course learning objectives (normally equivalent to the letter grade of C- or higher) and a U grade for unsatisfactory performance in the class.
Designated S/U Courses
Each academic college may designate courses in which the grading will be on a basis of S or U for all students enrolled in the courses. Credits in designated S/U courses are not included in the limitations on the number of S/U credits a student may take, and are not subject to the student eligibility requirements described below.
Election of the S/U Grading Option - Undergraduate Students
In courses other than those designated as S/U for all students, eligible individual students may elect the S/U Grading Option, subject to the regulations stated below. To be eligible for the S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) Grading Option, undergraduate students must meet the eligibility requirements and obtain approval of an academic advisor. Eligibility requires completion of 28 credits at NMSU under traditional grading, with an overall average of 2.5 or better. (Upon approval of the adjusted credit option, students must re-establish eligibility.) Non-degree seeking students may take courses under the S/U option without regard to eligibility requirements. However, these courses may not be subsequently applied toward an undergraduate degree at NMSU.
The S/U option must be elected as part of the course registration and may not be added once the course registration period closes. Other than honors courses and courses officially designed as S/U, the following limitations apply to courses in which the S/U option is elected:
- No more than 7 credits per semester or 4 credits per summer session.
- Not to exceed a total of 21 credits towards a degree.
- Not a required course for the student’s major.
Students electing the S/U option should be mindful that upon a change of majors, the new major department may require a traditional grade for a course within that major that was previously completed with an S grade. In such cases, the student may request that the original instructor process a change of grade form to apply a traditional grade, however, if more than 2 years have elapsed or if the instructor is no longer at NMSU, such a change will not be possible and the student may be required to retake the course or obtain a traditional grade through a course challenge.
Election of the S/U Grading Option Election - Graduate Students
With an approval from their advisor and department head, graduate students in good academic standing may elect the S/U option, at the time of registration, for courses taken outside the major department, subject to the regulations stated below:
- No more than a total of 6 credits of elected S/U courses are permitted in the master’s degree.
- Doctoral candidates may take an additional 6 credits under the S/U option after application to candidacy.
I Grade Designation
The letter grade of I (incomplete) is given for passable work that could not be completed due to circumstances beyond the student’s control that develop after the last day to withdraw from the course. In no case is an I grade to be used to avoid the assigning of D, F, U or RR grades for marginal or failing work. Examples of appropriate circumstances include documented illness, documented death or crisis in the student’s immediate family, unexpected military deployment and similar circumstances. Other job related circumstances are generally not appropriate grounds for assigning an I grade. Students requesting an I grade are responsible for providing satisfactory evidence of such circumstances. (In the case of medical records, instructors should review the information provided, note that adequate medical documentation was provided for review, and return the documentation to the student. Under no circumstances should the instructor retain any medical records or indicate the specifics of any medical condition in the academic records.) The refusal to grant an I grade may be appealed in the same manner as any other final grade.
To assign an I grade, the instructor must complete the “I grade Information Form” and have the form delivered to the associate dean of the course college. The instructor must indicate on the form whether the student will be given the option to complete the remaining coursework and have the I grade changed to the earned letter grade. If so, the instructor should indicate the steps necessary to complete the remaining coursework. The I grade form should either be signed by the student in person, or the associate dean must send a copy of the document to the student’s official permanent address, as recorded in the University Student Records Office, with a notation on the form that the student was not available for signature.
The I grade will be permanent in instances where (1) the instructor did not provide an option to complete the coursework, (2) the instructor left NMSU prior to completion of the coursework and grade change, or (3) the student failed to complete the coursework by the relevant deadline, and the instructor did not indicate that the I grade would be changed to the earned grade upon failure to complete. In such instances, the student will be required to re-enroll in the course to receive credit (in which case the permanent I grade and the subsequent earned letter grade will both appear on the transcript).
The student is entitled to have the I grade removed from the transcript only if, within 12 months or any earlier deadline established by the instructor on the “I Grade Information Form” and prior to graduation, the student completes the remaining coursework, as specified on the Form, in a manner satisfactory to the instructor. If the student fails to complete the coursework, the instructor may change the I grade to any appropriate grade (including D, F or U) only if the instructor stated that this would occur on the “I Grade Information Form.” The instructor should assign whatever grade was earned for the entire course.
To change the I grade, the instructor must complete a “Change of Grade Form,” obtain the signature of the associate dean for the course, and submit the form to the University Student Records Office.
The RR grade may be assigned only in undergraduate developmental courses (CCDE, CCDL, CCDM & CCDR) and indicates that the student has made substantial progress toward completing the requirements of the course. It carries neither penalty nor credit, so a student must re-enroll and successfully complete the course in order to earn credit. The grade of RR may be received only once in any given course, and is a permanent notation on the student’s transcript.
W Grade Designation
The W grade is assigned only in courses when the student withdraws or is administratively dis-enrolled from the course after the last day to drop the course. The W grade is permanent.
Effect of Change of Grade
The effect of a change of grade on a student’s academic standing (academic warning, probation or suspension) depends on the date the transaction is officially recorded on the student’s academic record. If the transaction is recorded before the student begins another semester, the grade change (such as replacing the I grade with an earned grade) is included in the grade-point average calculation in order to establish the student’s academic standing. If the transaction is recorded after the student begins another semester, for the purpose of calculating academic standing, the new grade is included with any other grades earned for the semester in which the grade change is processed.
Repeating Courses for a Change in Grade
Undergraduate students: may repeat courses, for a change in grade, when the original grade earned was a D or F. Once a grade of C- or better is earned, the course will then be substituted in the calculation of the grade-point-average and students will no longer be able to repeat that course for change of grade purposes. Student transcripts will continue to show the grade awarded for each course attempt. If the student’s original grade was a D and he/she repeats the course, but receives a F, the second grade will not be substituted for the original.
Graduate students: may repeat courses to achieve a higher grade, but the grade assigned for each attempt will remain on the transcript and will be counted in the grade point average calculation.
Grade Point Average
Grade point average (GPA) calculations are based solely on courses taken at NMSU or under an approved National Student Exchange.
Grading in Graduate Research
In grading both master’s and doctoral research, thesis and dissertation work in progress, the instructor reports for each enrollment period the grade PR (progress) or U (unsatisfactory) rather than a traditional letter grade. These assigned grades are permanent notations on the student’s transcript. Only those credits graded PR (Progress) accumulate toward the minimum number of research credits required.
PR indicates that the student has devoted an adequate amount of time to the work scheduled but does not indicate the quality. U indicates that the student has stopped work or is doing work of unacceptable quality.
At the conclusion of the final oral examination, or when the thesis/dissertation is submitted for the final signature of the graduate dean, the instructor will report the final S or U grade for that semester. If the thesis/dissertation and the performance in the final oral examination are found to be acceptable, the instructor will report an S (satisfactory) grade. If the thesis/dissertation or the performance in the final oral examination is found to be unacceptable, the instructor will report an U (unsatisfactory) grade.
If a student accumulates a total of two U (unsatisfactory) grades in courses numbered either 598, 599, 600, 699 or 700, the student will be placed on provisional status. If three U (unsatisfactory) grades are reported for these courses, the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School.
Withdrawal from a Single Course
Any student wishing to formally withdraw from a single course, after the last day to drop has passed, can do so through their Academic Advisor or the University Student Records Office. All such withdrawals will be registered on the student’s transcript with the “W” grade indication.
For students wishing to withdrawal from all courses, please see the section on Withdrawal from NMSU.
Leave of Absence from the Graduate School
Students who are working on advanced degrees and plan to have an interruption in studies, for a calendar year, should request for a leave of absence through their department head. The student must submit a formal letter through their department head to the Dean of the Graduate School, an email will not be accepted. The request should include the beginning date and the anticipated ending date for the period of absence.
A graduate student on leave of absence will be expected not to use university facilities and place no demands upon the university faculty and staff, and, therefore will pay no fees. Time spent in the “leave-of-absences” status will not be counted toward the advanced degree time limits.
A graduate student who fails to register for one calendar year without obtaining a leave of absence from the Graduate School will be considered withdrawn from the university, by the Graduate School. In order to resume their studies after such absences, the student must go through the formal readmission process.
In the event that a student has stopped either attending class without formally withdrawing or stopped using the online Learning Management System, the University reserves the right to remove the student from the class by means of an administrative withdrawal
An administrative withdrawal is initiated for a student who is representing the university at an official out-of-town event and becomes effective when the student returns from the event or five class days after the signed drop slip gets to the dean’s office.
New Mexico State University understands that our military and Veteran students may be called to active duty, specialized training, or disaster relief efforts with little notice. U.S. active duty military students wishing to withdraw from all their classes must present their orders and their request for full withdrawal, as indicated below. However, the below policy does not pertain to a student’s basic and/or annual training. A student who has an order for training is encouraged to formally request, through the proper military chain of command, a postponement of their orders until the summer or the end of the semester they are currently enrolled in. If a student’s request for postponement is denied, the student may then follow the below steps but must provide documentation that their postponement request was formally denied.
All NMSU students that have been called up for active duty must take the following steps in order to withdraw from all their classes:
- Military and Veterans Programs (MVP): VA students ordered to Active Duty must provide a copy of orders to the MVP office, in Corbett Center Student Union, Room 244. To assist in reporting accurate information to the VA Regional Office, student should also provide, in writing, last day of class attendance.
- NMSU University Student Records: All students presenting their orders to the University Student Records Office, (575) 646-3411, will receive a military withdrawal from classes and a full tuition and fees refund for that semester.
- Bookstore: Students who still have their receipts for textbooks purchased the semester in which they are called to active duty will be given a full refund for these textbook purchases when they present their orders. (575) 646-4431.
Student Medical Withdrawal
A student medical withdrawal applies to a student who becomes seriously ill, injured or hospitalized and is therefore unable to complete an academic term for which they are enrolled. This action applies to all courses a student is registered for in the affected semester(s). The student cannot select which courses they want to withdraw from and which they want to remain registered for when exercising this option. The students’ attending physician must provide a letter, on official letterhead with an original signature, stating the date(s) within the semester that the student was under medical care and must withdraw because of that medical condition. This letter must be submitted within the semester or no later than one academic year after the end of the term for which the withdrawal is being requested.
Once the information is reviewed a final determination will be made if the student is eligible for the consideration of tuition or other refunds (students receiving funds awarded by the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services should be aware of policies regarding withdrawal from the University). At the Las Cruces campus, medical withdrawal begins and ends at the University Student Records Office. At all other campuses, medical withdrawal begins at the Student Services Office but is ultimately finalized with the University Student Records Office on the Las Cruces campus.
Medical Conditions of a Family Member Withdrawal
A student who is withdrawing because of a medical condition of an immediate family member must submit a letter from the family member’s attending physician. This action applies to all courses a student is registered for in the affected semester(s). The student cannot select which courses they want to withdraw from and which they want to remain registered for when exercising this option. It must be on official letterhead with an original signature, stating the date(s) within the semester that the student’s immediate family member was under medical care and that the student must withdraw to attend to the immediate family member’s medical condition. This letter must be submitted within the semester or no later than one academic year at the end of the term for which the withdrawal is being requested.
Immediate family member, in this instance, includes a spouse; a domestic partner, as defined in the NMSU Policy Manual 7.04; a child, parent or legal guardian; a sister or brother and a grandparents or a grandchild. Familial relationships that are created by law are also included (i.e. mother/father in law; half or step siblings); any other relationships can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Once the information is reviewed a final determination will be made if the student is eligible for consideration of tuition or other refunds (Students receiving funds awarded by the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services should be aware of policies regarding withdrawal from the University.) At the Las Cruces campus, medical withdrawal begins at the University Student Records Office. At all other campuses, medical withdrawal begins at the Student Services Office.
Withdrawal from NMSU
Withdrawal from any NMSU campus is an official procedure that must be:
- Initiated by the student (using the Withdrawal form)
- Have all necessary signatures (as indicated on the form)
- Be approved and processed through the University Student Records Office, located on the Las Cruces Campus
Students who withdraw from all courses for the semester should do so in person through the University Student Records Office. However, students who are unable to come in person may submit an e-mail using their NMSU e-mail account to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students who leave without following the official procedure are graded appropriately by the instructor.
Applicable dates for the last day to withdrawal are published on the approved university academic calendar or under important dates at: http://registration.nmsu.edu.
A student who withdraws from all classes for the semester will retain access to their NMSU account per current policy but will lose access to other services and privileges available to enrolled students.
Financial information concerning drops and withdrawals can be found at http://uar.nmsu.edu/withdrawals/. Financial Aid Recipients should contact University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services before withdrawing. Students receiving funds awarded by the University Financial Aid and Scholarship Services should be aware of policies regarding withdrawal from the University.
The Federal Higher Education Act requires the University to calculate a Return of Federal Student Aid Funds for students who withdraw (officially or unofficially) from all classes on or before the 60 percent attendance point in the semester. Using a pro-rata schedule, the percentage of the semester attended is used to calculate the amount of the student’s earned versus unearned Federal student aid funds. The unearned portion of Federal student aid funds will be returned to the appropriate aid program(s). Students withdrawing from classes are responsible for payment of any balance due after the required return of Federal student aid funds.
Graduation and Commencement
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. 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 the students eligibility to participate in the commencement ceremony that is held at the close 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 must attend the spring ceremony. However, Bachelor degree candidates that 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 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 must be offered in the upcoming summer schedule of classes
- Submit a degree application and approved petition form (available in the Dean’s office) by the last day 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.
Academic Standing, Probation and Suspension
Undergraduate Academic Standing
When a student does not maintain adequate academic standing, he/she is placed in Academic Warning. If the student's academic standing does not improve, the placement progresses to Academic Probation I. Continued unimproved academic standing moves a student into Academic Probation II, then finally, Academic Suspension. Each stage imposes more structure and limitations on the student in order to help them return to normal academic standing. The intent is not to punish, but to help the student return to normal academic standing and success. Since some of these limitations involve limitations on the number of credit hours, students on Probation or Suspension may be subject to loss of financial aid. It is the responsibility of the student to determine the impact of their changed academic standing on their financial aid. Notification to students of academic warning, probation, or suspension appears on the student’s grade report at the end of each grading period.
Undergraduate Academic Warning
Issued only once, the first time a student's cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 while in good academic standing. The University Student Records Office will send the student a notification detailing the consequences should the cumulative grade point remain below a 2.0 at the conclusion of the semester. A student on Academic Warning remains eligible for all extracurricular activities as governed by the rules of the specific activity.
While under Academic Warning the following restrictions apply:
- The student cannot enroll in more than 15 hours of coursework during the semester.
- The student may be required to enroll in a 3-credit hour special study skills/time management course specifically designed for students on Academic Warning, or an equivalent course approved by the appropriate associate dean or CAO of their campus.
- Students may be required to enter into a contract with their advisor, approved by their department head that places further stipulations on Academic Warning. The contract may include, but is not limited to the following:
- The student may be required to take at least one repeat course to try to improve their GPA.
- Except for the special study skills/time management course, the student’s coursework may be restricted to their major.
- The student may be required to get tutoring help.
- The student may be required to see an academic counselor on a specified time schedule.
- The number of credit hours a student may register for may be restricted (due to extenuating circumstances such as the student’s workload commitments).
The associate dean or CAO may place the student on Academic Probation I should the student not adhere to the stipulations of the contract.
If the student’s semester GPA is less than a 2.0, and the cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 at the end of the semester on Academic Warning, the student is placed on Academic Probation I. If the semester GPA is greater than 2.0 but the cumulative GPA is still less than 2.0, the student will remain on Academic Warning. If the cumulative GPA is greater than a 2.0 at the end of the semester then the student is returned to good academic standing.
Undergraduate Academic Probation I
This occurs when a student under Academic Warning has a semester GPA less than 2.0, and the cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 at the conclusion of the semester or if the student maintains a semester GPA greater than 2.0 while on Academic Probation I but the cumulative GPA is still less than 2.0. Academic Probation I will also occur if a student falls below a 2.0 cumulative GPA from Good Academic Standing if Academic Warning already occurred in a previous term.
Under Academic Probation I the following conditions apply:
- The student cannot enroll in more than 13 hours of coursework during the semester. Note: Students falling below 12 credits in any one semester will jeopardize their financial aid. Should this occur, students should see the associate dean in their college as soon as possible to try to implement corrective measures.
- The student may enter into a contract or individualized education plan with their advisor and approved by the associate dean or CAO that place further stipulations on Academic Probation I. The associate dean or CAO may place the student on Academic Probation II or Academic Suspension should the student not adhere to the stipulations of the contract.
- Students on Academic Probation receiving educational benefits from the Veterans’ Administration must obtain counseling from the Military & Veterans Programs Office.
- Students admitted under special provisions whose transcripts indicate less than a 2.0 GPA are admitted on Academic Probation I.
The student must maintain a semester GPA equal to or greater than 2.0 until such time that the cumulative GPA is greater than 2.0 at which time the student goes back to good academic standing. Until the transition happens the student remains on Academic Probation I. The student will be placed on Academic Probation II if he/she is unable to maintain a 2.0 semester GPA, and the cumulative remains below a 2.0 GPA, while under Academic Probation I. A student on Academic Probation I remains eligible for all extracurricular activities as governed by the rules of the specific activity.
Undergraduate Academic Probation II
Academic Probation II is issued in two ways.
- The first is when a student falls below a semester 2.0 GPA and the cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 while on Academic Probation I.
- The second is when a student maintains a semester GPA greater than 2.0 while on Academic Probation II but the cumulative GPA is still less than 2.0.
The following restrictions are in place for student's in Academic Probation II:
- The student cannot enroll in more than 7 credit hours of coursework during the semester.
- As with rule 2 under Academic Warning and Academic Probation I and at the discretion of the associate dean or CAO, the student will be required to enter into a contract with their advisor, approved by the associate dean or CAO, to place further stipulations on Academic Probation II.
The associate dean or CAO may place the student on Academic Suspension should the student not adhere to the stipulations of the contract.
The student must maintain a semester 2.0 GPA or higher until the cumulative GPA reaches a 2.0 or higher at which time they are placed on good academic standing. A student unable to maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher, and the cumulative remains below 2.0 GPA, while under Probation II will be placed on Academic Suspension. A student on Academic Probation II remains eligible for all extracurricular activities as governed by the rules of the specific activity.
Continuing in Probationary Status
Students may continue to enroll while on Academic Probation I or II provided they maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher. If they withdraw from the university while on Academic Probation, they continue on that same level of Academic Probation.
Removal of Academic Probation
Such academic standing is removed when the cumulative GPA is raised to 2.0 or higher, with the following exceptions:
- a transfer student may not remove probation by summer work alone;
- if an I grade is removed after the student has enrolled, the new grade’s effect on academic standing is based on its inclusion with grades for the term for which the student is enrolled;
- exercise of the Adjusted Credit Option does not change academic status until subsequent grades are earned.
When a student does not achieve a semester 2.0 GPA or higher, and the cumulative remains below a 2.0 while under Academic Probation II, they are placed on Academic Suspension. Students under Academic Suspension are not allowed to take NMSU courses while under suspension. Students on Academic Suspension must sit out a minimum of 1 semester and apply for re-admission.
Under certain conditions, a student may be re-admitted at NMSU under regular status while under Academic Suspension when satisfactory progress has been demonstrated at another college or university (see Readmission- Degree Seeking). Credits earned at another university or college while under Academic Suspension from NMSU or another university or college will be accepted at NMSU only after the student demonstrates satisfactory progress over a period of two semesters after being re-admitted or admitted to NMSU. Acceptance of transfer credits that count toward degree requirements is still governed by the rules established by the student’s respective college or campus.
Summer Attendance Impact on Academic Standing
A student may use summer classes to try to get warning or probationary status removed. Students suspended at the close of the spring semester may have their Academic Suspension rescinded if they attend summer session at NMSU or one of its Community College campuses. Such attendance must raise the combined spring semester and summer GPA to 2.0 or better. Under no circumstances may a student on Academic Warning or Academic Probation be allowed to register for an overload. The current academic status is continued if the student withdraws from the university and the probation or suspension status applies to all subsequent enrollments until the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
Graduate Academic Probation and Suspension
Graduate Academic Standing is based on both the student's semester GPA and cumulative GPA. The student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to remain on Graduate Academic Good Standing.
Graduate Academic Probation I: A graduate student is placed on Graduate Academic Probation I when a graduate student's semester GPA is above a 3.0 and the cumulative GPA drops below 3.0; or when the semester and cumulative GPA's drop below 3.0 and the previous academic standing is Graduate Academic Good Standing.
Graduate Academic Probation II: Is issued when a graduate student semester GPA and the cumulative GPA drops below as 3.0 and the previous academic standing is one of Graduate Academic Probation I or Graduate Re-admit on Probation I.
Graduate Academic Suspension:
If the graduate student is unable to maintain a semester GPA of 3.0 or higher and the cumulative remains below 3.0 GPA while under Graduate Academic Probation II, the student will then be placed on Graduate Academic Suspension.
Students on Graduate Academic Suspension are barred from enrolling in graduate level courses at NMSU while on Suspension. Graduate students on Graduate Academic Suspension must sit out a minimum of one semester. Graduate students on suspension who wish to continue Graduate School after suspension must re-apply to the department and Graduate School. The student must also petition College Academic Dean or the Graduate School Dean, based on the major and degree the student is pursuing to be removed from Graduate Academic Suspension. At this time the graduate academic suspension status will be evaluated for possible readmission to the department. Should the suspension be lifted, the graduate student is placed on Graduate Academic Probation II or Graduate Re-admit on Probation II until such time that the graduate cumulative GPA equals or exceeds 3.0.
If you have questions about your academic standing, please contact your department academic advisor or Graduate Dean's office.
Academic Misconduct and Grievances
Student Academic Code of Conduct
The Student Academic Code of Conduct (SACC), applicable to both undergraduate and graduate students, provides procedures for the review and resolution of alleged or suspected academic misconduct within a reasonably prompt time frame. The full SACC is found in the university’s published Administrative Rules and Procedures (ARP), specifically ARP 5.10 and ARP 5.11.
While it is important to refer to the detailed governing rules in the ARP, the process is summarized as follows: An institution-wide Academic Conduct Officer is responsible for processing each case of alleged academic misconduct. The accused student is provided notice of the allegation and has the right to participate during the fact finding process. The student may contest the investigative findings or sanction before a neutral third party hearing panel member. Either party to the matter has the right to a final appeal of the findings or a Level II sanction to the Office of the Provost.
The SACC distinguishes between Level I Sanctions and Level II sanctions, depending upon the severity of the offense and other factors. The Level 1 sanction includes a formal warning. Offenses by graduate students and repeat offenses, even if less serious are subject to a Level II Sanction. Level II sanctions include a notation of academic misconduct on the student’s academic transcript.
The full policy, examples of academic misconduct, report form and a flowchart of the procedures for resolving alleged student academic misconduct is available at:
Examples of Academic Misconduct and Report Form
Flowchart of Procedures
University Student Records Office
The following information has been designated as directory information and is subject to release to the public under the Buckley Amendment (PL 98-380), “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974:” student’s name, class level, college and major, dates of attendance, degree(s) earned, honors and awards, address, telephone number, NMSU email address, Aggie ID number, most recent previous educational institution attended, place of birth, and some information about students involved in recognized activities and sports.
Other information regarding disclosure of student data is posted on the University Student Records Office website and in the University Student Records Office (USRO), in compliance with the Act.
Requests for withholding directory information must be filed in writing with the USRO. A student may choose to hide his/her address and phone number from the campus phonebook through the myNMSU portal. This will only hide the information from the public but the records will still be officially kept within the USRO.
Social Security Numbers in Student Records
As required by law, social security numbers are collected from prospective and current students who are either applying for admission to the university or plan to seek employment on campus. The social security number is a confidential record and is maintained as such by the university in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
In addition, the university is mandated by federal tax regulations to provide tuition and fee payment information to the student and the Internal Revenue Service so that applicable educational tax credits may be computed. The social security number is required for tax reporting purposes.
Change in Demographic Information
Students wishing to make a legal name change, citizenship change, social security number update or a gender update can do so through the University Student Records Office (USRO). All students will need to fill out the “Demographic Change form” located at https://records.nmsu.edu/forms/ and provide one of the following documents to the USRO. Legal name changes will only be processed for students currently enrolled at NMSU or any of its Community Colleges.
- Legal name change: students will need one legal documentation with the new name on it. This can be a Government Issued ID (drivers license, state card or valid passport), a Birth Certificate, a Court Order, a Marriage Certificate/Divorce Decree or a Certificate of Naturalization/I551 Card. Note: Documentation is not required to add/delete hyphen, space, apostrophe, or to abbreviate a middle name to initial.
- Citizenship change: Certificate of Naturalization or I551 card.
- Social Security Number Update: students will need to provide an original signed Social Security Card. Unsigned cards will not be accepted.
- Gender Update: students will need to bring a Government Issued ID (drivers license, state ID card or valid passport) and a Revised Birth Certificate
Students may update their “preferred name”, which is the name used in lieu of a student’s legal name, on certain documents, such as, the email display name, learning management system, the phonebook, class rosters and advisee lists. This can be done by the student through the myNMSU portal and does not need to be done at the USRO.
For more information about the specific documents that are needed please contact the University Student Records Office at (575) 646-3411.
Changes in Residency Status for Tuition Purposes
The University Student Records Office (USRO) does not determine the laws and rulings for determining Residency, these are state laws that the USRO simply administers. An individual must establish legal residency in New Mexico before he or she is entitled to pay in-state tuition rates.
The student’s initial residency status is determined at the time of admission, any changes to this status must be initiated by the student through the USRO. A continuing student, classified as a non-resident, who has satisfied the requirements to establish residency may submit a Petition for In-State Residency Tuition Classification along with the required supporting documentation to the USRO Office. Petitions must be filed on or before the third Friday of the semester for which the student is requesting resident tuition.
For specific information about the process of petitioning for In-State Residency or for information about who is eligible for residency for tuition purposes please visit the https://records.nmsu.edu/residency/ website or the University Student Records Office on the Las Cruces campus.
An official transcript is the University’s certified statement of your complete NMSU academic record in chronological order by semester and year. It includes the student’s coursework, grades and any degrees that were awarded. Any credit hours earned through transfer work are listed as the equivalent course at NMSU. Grades are not transferred, nor are they used to calculate the NMSU grade point averages. Official transcripts will not be released if the student is in debt to the university.
Transcripts can either be ordered in person at the University Student Records Office or online at https://records.nmsu.edu/transcripts/, there will be a fee for these that may vary depending on the total number of transcripts ordered and the type of delivery method that is selected. A student can request two types of transcripts an electronic one, which is sent as a secured PDF or a printed hard copy that can be delivered in a sealed envelope.
The name that will appear on the student’s transcript will match the name on the student’s official NMSU record. Name changes will only be processed for students currently enrolled at NMSU or any of its Community Colleges.
Purging of Student Files
All academic files for students who attend NMSU are kept for five (5) years following the student’s final term enrolled. Only archival documentation will be retained. The files of students who do not enroll within one year after being admitted are destroyed.