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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Arts and Sciences

Interim Dean • Enrico Pontelli

Associate Dean (Research) • Jeffrey P. Brown

Associate Dean (Academics) • Beth Pollack

Interim Associate Dean (Strategic Initiatives and Assessment) • Anne Hubbell

Associate Director, Research Center  Olga Ostos

Director of Academic Advising • Jennifer Hodges


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

Bachelor of Applied Studies

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

Bachelor of Individualized Studies

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

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

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

While the ultimate responsibility for planning an academic program in compliance with university, college and departmental requirements rests with the student, the college recognizes the importance of helping students work out appropriate academic programs. Some freshman students and unclassified/undecided arts and sciences students may be advised on academic matters in the college advising center, which is located in  Breland Hall, room 152. In addition, all students are encouraged to contact departments for specific subject area information and career planning.

Students with 36 or more credits who have declared a major are advised in their appropriate major department(s).

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

College Degree Requirements

  1. In accordance with NMSU policy, students in all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences must meet the Basic Academic Skills requirements in English and Mathematics. See "Basic Academic Skills" in the General Information, Regulations section.

    Basic Academic Skills rules:

    1. Students must complete, with a C- grade or better, in MATH 111 and MATH 112G, or any mathematics course numbered 120 or above which includes A ST 251G, STAT 251G and STAT 271G. Please see department requirements for each major for specific mathematics requirements.

    2. Students must complete, with a C - grade or better, ENGL 111G, ENGL 111H, or SPCD 111G/ ENGL 111 M prior to enrolling in upper division courses numbered 300 or higher.

      NOTE: Transfer students must complete an English course listed above and begin their Math sequence no later than their second semester at NMSU in order to continue enrolling in upper division courses numbered 300 level or higher.

    3. Students whose ACT or other test scores require them to take developmental Mathematics or English courses must complete those courses prior to enrolling in the English and Mathematics basic skills courses listed above.

  2. University graduation requirements. See “Graduation Requirements” in the “General Information” section in this catalog. In order to graduate, students must have met all degree requirements for their major, earned a minimum of 120 university level credits, or more if required for the degree, of which at least 48 must be upper division and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all courses taken at NMSU. Each student must complete at least 30 of the necessary credits for their Bachelor Degree at NMSU. A minimum of "C-" in all courses counting toward the major, supplemental major and minor is required of all students.
  3. Some departments in the college require a second language and some do not. For those students whose major requires a second language, the following parameters apply unless otherwise specified in their departmental requirements. A student must meet one of the following requirements.
    • Complete the normal second language course sequence: 111, 112, 211 and 212. Students should enter the sequence at their proficiency level. Heritage speakers should complete the Spanish 113-213-214 sequence. Students who successfully complete either SPAN 113 or SPAN 213 or SPAN 214 (or all) may not take SPAN 111, SPAN 112, SPAN 211 or SPAN 212 for credit.
    • Challenge the 212 level of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish, or the 214 level of Spanish for Heritage Learners, or Portuguese.
    • Obtain college certification of completion of a second language at the high school level by fulfilling one of the following:

      Option A: For those departments requiring one year of a second language a student must pass two years of a high school language with a C- or better in the last year level.

      Option B: For those departments requiring two years of a second language a student must pass three years of a high school language with a C- or better in the last year level.

    • Obtain, from the head of the Department of Languages and Linguistics, certification of a working knowledge of a second language if such language is not taught at New Mexico State University.
    • Obtain certification of a working knowledge of a Native American language from the American Indian program director, or as attested by a Native American Elder.
    • Successfully complete a regular university course taught in a language other than English. A student can receive credit only once for the same course taught in two languages.
    • Pass a three-credit upper-division course (numbered 300 or above) taught in a second language by the Department of Languages and Linguistics.
    • Pass C D 476, America Sign Language III with a grade of C- or better.
    • In the case of an international student who is required to take the TOEFL exam for admission, the dean will automatically waive the second language requirement.

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

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

S/U Grading Option

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

Developmental and Applied Credit Limitations

The College of Arts and Sciences will accept all applied coursework, which include Occupational Education courses, BOT, CMT, UNIV (not including UNIV 150 and UNIV 350), ART (applied), DANC (applied), MUS (applied and participation), THTR (applied), NURS, A EN, AXED, AG E, AGHE, COLL, CCDL, CCDS, all lower-division RDG. These courses count towards overall credit hours to bring the students total to the minimum credit hours required. Students must still complete all university requirements: GEN ED;  VWW ;  a minimum of 48 upper division credits  as well as all requirements for their declared major degree.

Credits earned in developmental courses (N suffix) are not counted toward any arts and sciences degree. Students should contact the Student Records Center regarding the acceptability of specific courses.

Independent Study/Directed Reading Courses

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

Distance Education Courses

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a variety of distance education/online courses each semester. Specific courses can be found under departmental course listings online. Students who successfully complete NMSU distance education courses receive the same credit as students who take an equivalent course on the Las Cruces campus. Distance education courses appear on a student’s transcript in the same way a course taken on the Las Cruces campus does. Students will be charged a Course Delivery Fee for taking online courses.

Majors, Minors and Supplementary Majors

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

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

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

Most students have considerable latitude in choosing elective courses. These are the courses beyond university and major requirements that a student must take to bring her or his total credits to the  minimum overall credits required for the degree 120 or 128. This latitude provides students with opportunities to major in more than one field or to devise interdisciplinary programs tailored to individual interests or future career needs.

Regardless of the option elected, students should consult regularly with an advisor and track their progress towards  degree completion and graduation using the online degree audit system STAR (Student Academic Requirements), at: http://www.my.nmsu.edu.

Supplementary Majors

Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences

Chicano Studies in the Department of Languages & Linguistics

Latin American Studies in the Department of Languages & Linguistics

Law and Society in the Department of Government

Linguistics in the Department of Language & Linguistics

Sustainable Development in the Department of Anthropology

Preprofessional Studies

Prehealth Studies in the Department of Biology

Prelaw Studies in the Department of Government