University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, United States
Website: Founded: 1889 year Type of University:Public 251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 1426 pts. No. Students: 27353 No. Staff: 6899 Languages: English Phone: +15052770111 Fax: +15052776019
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About the University of New Mexico

Founded in 1889 as New Mexico’s flagship institution, The University of New Mexico now occupies nearly 800 acres near old Route 66 in the heart of Albuquerque, a metropolitan area of more than 500,000 people. From the magnificent mesas to the west, past the banks of the historic Rio Grande to the Sandia Mountains to the east, Albuquerque is a blend of culture and cuisine, styles and stories, people, pursuits and panoramas. 

Offering a distinctive campus environment with a Pueblo Revival architectural theme, the campus buildings echo nearby Pueblo Indian villages. The nationally recognized campus arboretum and the popular duck pond offer an outstanding botanical experience in the midst of one of New Mexico's great public open spaces.

  • Anderson School of Management

  • College of Arts & Sciences

     As the central leadership for the largest degree-granting college at UNM, the Dean’s office of the College of Arts & Sciences provides support, structure, consistency and service to enhance scholarship and student success. We serve as the liaison between departments and other units and make creative use of our resources to further the values of the University of New Mexico and to promote excellence in faculty, staff and students.

  • College of Education

    We do much more than educate teachers, counselors, and researchers. We inspire each student to lead, to celebrate diversity, and to make a lasting difference in the world. As New Mexico’s flagship college of education, we deliver high-quality instruction, diverse course offerings, active research programs, and challenging professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Our stellar and highly diverse faculty leads dynamic classes, while conducting innovative research on today’s educational challenges.

    We excel in multicultural education, which is critical because of our nation’s growing cultural diversity. Of course, we have a strategic advantage over other schools: New Mexico’s multicultural and multilingual population. Our unique setting gives COE students unparalleled opportunities to practice what they learn with a wide variety of student populations.

  • College of Fine Arts

  • Graduate Studies

    As the central graduate academic administrative unit at the University of New Mexico, Graduate Studies is committed to helping students succeed. Our staff are always eager to assist students, and we often collaborate with UNM administrators, faculty, graduate students, and staff in implementing many programs and services, including:

    • Student Support
    • Financial Support
    • Program Support

  • Honors College

    The Honors College offers undergraduate students access to the amenities of a research university: state of the art labs, studios and facilities, the largest library in the state, faculty working at the frontiers of their fields, and hundreds of degree programs from which to choose. At the same time, the Honors College offers the benefits of a small community of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary, highly interactive seminars.

    Honors students at the University of New Mexico can choose from among any of UNM’s majors or can design their own interdisciplinary Honors Major. Honors seminars are safe spaces in which students from different majors explore and question the limits of disciplinary boundaries while engaged in lively debates about some of the most pressing issues of our day. Our innovative and flexible curriculum encourages – requires! – students to expand their problem solving skills to include the methodologies, sources of knowledge, and perspectives of multiple academic traditions.

  • College of Nursing

    The vision of the College of Nursing is to develop solutions for the most important nursing challenges pertaining to human health and health equity in our communities through education, scholarship, practice, and service.

    The mission of the College of Nursing is to provide exemplary and innovative education, research, practice, service, and leadership that improves state, national, and global health. The College’s efforts focus on the scholarship of nursing education, research, practice, and policy to inform and lead in the delivery and analysis of nursing and health care. 

  • College of Pharmacy

    We are a small college in a large research university. Our students have the opportunity to learn, practice and conduct research in interprofessional/interdisciplinary teams in state-of-the art facilities while receiving the support and attention of our close-knit community.Our distinguished faculty, recognized nationally and internationally for their research and clinical practice, are dedicated to educating the most talented students.Our faculty is engaged in cutting-edge research in basic and applied science, answering important questions about drug efficacy and drug delivery. Their work is funded by nearly $8 million in federal grants this year and has resulted in 20 U.S. patents on innovative solutions to improve diagnoses and combat deadly diseasesWe are the state’s only College of Pharmacy. Three of every five practicing pharmacists in New Mexico is a graduate of our program – many of them practicing in rural and otherwise underserved areas of the state – shaping the profession and continuing to support our students. We are the birthplace of nuclear pharmacy and have partnered to expand the role of pharmacists in new models of patient care and via prescriptive authority.We make a difference – in improving health, discovering new treatments and translating best practices into our communities. We work closely with practicing pharmacists to offer our students hands-on practical experience. Our students, who volunteer across New Mexico, are nationally recognized for their service.

  • College of Population Health

    From big-picture thinkers wanting to solve global health problems to students aspiring to create healthy outcomes in their own neighborhoods, becoming a student at UNM Health Sciences Center’s newest college could be for you.

    The College of Population Health, which focuses on preventing disease and promoting wellness, is only the third of its kind in the world. The college is offering a first-of-its-kind undergraduate degree for Fall 2016.

    Skills students will attain include:

    • Policy analysis and evaluation
    • Community health assessments
    • Program evaluation
    • Health data analytics
    • Community coalition and advocacy
    • Community & clinical program planning
    • Public health protection
    • Case management
    • Data collection
    • Disaster preparedness
    • Technology
    • Health policy

  • College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences

    The College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences’ combination of an academic library system and a degree granting program is unique in the country. As an educational partner and source of quality scholarship for the entire University we offer superior expertise, services and resources.

    University Libraries has over three million volumes and millions more electronic resources and combines specialized and traditional collections of great depth with a dynamic approach to instruction and learning.

    The Organization, Information and Learning Sciences program (OILS) merged with University Libraries in 2012. OILS - which is not a library science program - awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees and offers a large number of classes in an online environment focusing on adult learning; instructional design and technology; the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of training; organization development; knowledge management; distance education; eLearning and data management.

  • School of Architecture and Planning

    The School's academic and professional programs are deeply rooted in the traditions and environments of the region—an unparalleled cultural heritage, diverse and resplendent natural landscapes, the unique urban settlements of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and the stimulating climates of the arid Southwest.

    The School offers the state's only professional, graduate degrees in these fields: Master of Architecture (M Arch),Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP), and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). Two certificate programs—Historic Preservation and Regionalism and Urban and Regional Design—provide additional options for interdisciplinary study that is directly applicable to the needs of the state and region.

    At the undergraduate level, the School currently offers two pre-professional degree programs, the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BAA) and the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Planning and Design (BAEPD).

  • School of Engineering

    The mission of the School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico is to educate students in engineering and computer science to contribute to the social, technological, and economic development of our state, nation, and global community. We offer a superior education in engineering and computer science in an environment that fosters teamwork, cultural and intellectual diversity, a strong sense of public responsibility, and lifelong learning.

  • School of Law

    Our mission is to educate and train students to become excellent lawyers who will enrich and serve local, state, tribal, national and international communities after graduation. We seek to maintain our long tradition of opening access to the profession. We also seek to make legal education more broadly available by educating practicing attorneys and non-lawyers in New Mexico. We endeavor to focus our resources on some of New Mexico’s most pressing legal needs through educational, research and service programs of national and international prominence. These goals track the University’s overall vision and mission to offer New Mexicans and others access to high quality educational, research and service programs; to operate as a significant knowledge resource for New Mexico, the nation, and the world; and to foster programs of international prominence that will place UNM among America’s most distinguished public research universities.

  • School of Medicine

    Fifty years ago, a pioneering group of medical educators, recruited from across the United States, undertook an audacious experiment. They came together to create a medical school in a state beset by endemic poverty and daunting geographic barriers.

    Today, New Mexicans are justifiably proud of their School of Medicine, which owes so much to the foresight, vision and courage of those educational pioneers. Over and over, we learn of their fearless questioning of the status quo and their compulsion to ask, "Why?" They are icons to us, but in their day they clearly relished being iconoclasts.

    More than 40 percent of New Mexico's practicing physicians are graduates of our school and its residency programs. We continue to place special emphasis on admitting state residents. The state of New Mexico supports us with public funding, as it has from the beginning. As in the beginning, challenges to our mission, are ongoing.

  • University College

    We are one of the few UNM colleges devoted exclusively to undergraduate student success. We are also unique in that all of our programs are collaborative: we work with schools, colleges and departments throughout the UNM system. UC advisors know the many academic pathways available at UNM and work with students who aren’t ready to decide on a major or are preparing for admission to one of UNM’s many health career majors.

    Any UNM student can take advantage of UC’s collaborative and interdisciplinary focus. Many first year students enroll in a Learning Community, Success Seminar, or other freshman-only course coordinated by UC. We offer them in virtually every field, so there is sure to be one that fits your schedule and interests. Native American Studies offers an interdisciplinary degree that emphasizes leadership, education, sustainability and community. The Research Service Learning Program can help you combine community service with your education. And if you would like to craft your own degree program by combining courses from multiple academic fields, you can do that with either a Bachelors of Liberal Arts or a Bachelors of Integrative Studies.

History of the University of New Mexico


The University of New Mexico was founded on February 28, 1889, with the passage of House Bill No. 186 by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of New Mexico; stipulating that "Said institution is hereby located at or near the town of Albuquerque, in the county of Bernalillo within two miles north of railroad avenue in said town, upon a tract of good high and dry land, of not less than twenty acres suitable for the purposes of such institution," and that it would be the state university when New Mexico became a state. Bernard Shandon Rodey, a judge of the territory of New Mexico, pushed for Albuquerque as the location of the university and was one of the authors of the statute that created UNM, earning him the title of "Father of the University." Two years later, Elias S. Stover became the first president of the University and the following year the university's first building, Hodgin Hall, opened.

Early growth

The third president of UNM, William G. Tight, who served from 1901–09, introduced many programs for students and faculty, including the first fraternity and sorority. Tight introduced the Pueblo Revival architecture for which the campus has become known. During Tight's term, the first Pueblo Revival style building on campus, the Estufa, was constructed, and the Victorian-style Hodgin Hall was plastered over to create a monument to Pueblo Indian culture. However, Tight was vilified for his primitivism and was removed from office for political reasons, though history would vindicate him as the Pueblo Revival style became the dominant architectural style on campus.

Under David Ross Boyd, the university's fifth president, the campus was enlarged from 20 to 300 acres (1.2 km2) and a 200,000-acre (810 km2) federal land grant was made to the university. In 1922, the university was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. During this time, more facilities were constructed for the university, but it was under the tenure of James F. Zimmerman, the university's seventh president, that the university underwent its first major expansion. Under Zimmerman, many new buildings were constructed, student enrollment increased, new departments were added, and greater support was generated for scientific research. Among the new buildings constructed were Zimmerman Library, Scholes Hall, the first student union building (now the anthropology complex), the university's first gymnasium and its first stadium. John Gaw Meem, a famed Santa Fe architect, was contracted to design many of the buildings constructed during this period, and is credited with imbuing the campus with its distinctive Pueblo Revival style.

World War II and beyond

During World War II, University of New Mexico was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

Thomas L. Popejoy, the ninth and the first native New Mexican university president, was appointed in 1948 and oversaw the university through the next twenty years, a period of major growth for the university. During this time, enrollment jumped from nearly 5,000 to more than 14,000, new programs such as medicine, nursing, dental, and law were founded, and new facilities such as Mesa Vista Hall, Mitchell Hall, Johnson Gymnasium, new dormitories, the current student union building, the College of Education complex, the business center, the engineering complex, the Fine Arts Center, the Student Health Center, University Stadium, University Arena (now officially known by its nickname of The Pit), and the first facilities on North Campus were constructed. This period also saw the foundation of UNM's branch facilities in Los Alamos and Gallup and the acquisition of the D.H. Lawrence Ranch north of Taos.

During the early 1970s, a series of protests were held at the university and some of them turned violent. On May 5, 1970, a protest over the Vietnam War and the Kent State massacre occupied the Student Union Building. The National Guard was ordered to sweep the building and arrest those inside; eleven students and journalists were bayonetted when those outside did not hear the order to disperse given inside. On May 10, 1972, a peaceful sit-in protest near Kirtland Air Force Base led to the arrest of thirty-five people and was pushed back to UNM, leading to eight more arrests. The following day, tear gas was used against hundreds of demonstrators on campus and the situation continued to deteriorate, leading to the university to declare a state of emergency.

New programs and schools were created in the 1970s and the university gained control over the hospital on North Campus. New facilities for the medical and law schools were constructed on North Campus and new Main Campus buildings were constructed on the site of the now demolished Zimmerman Field and Stadium, including Ortega Hall, Woodward Hall, the Humanities building, and the Art building. The campus also underwent a new landscaping plan, which included the construction of the duck pond west of Zimmerman Library and the conversion of many streets to pedestrian malls in order to make a more pedestrian-friendly campus.

At the end of the decade, the university was implicated in a recruiting scandal dubbed "Lobogate" by the press. An FBI wiretap on the phone of a prominent Lobo booster recorded a conversation in which basketball head coach Norm Ellenberger arranged with assistant coach Manny Goldstein to transfer bogus credits from a California junior college to the office of the UNM registrar. Subsequent investigation turned up a manufactured college seal from Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, along with blank transcripts and records of previous forgery. Further investigation uncovered alleged incentives like cars and apartments doled out to prime players and exposed a vast network of sports gambling. The scandal forced Ellenberger to resign and defined the term of William E. Davis, UNM's eleventh president.

Recent history

The university has continued to grow, with expanding enrollment and new facilities. In the 1980s, dramatic expansion occurred at the medical center, business school, and engineering school. The Centennial Library was also constructed. During the 1990s, an Honors College was founded, and the university completed construction of a new bookstore and Dane Smith Hall. The Research Park at South Campus was also expanded.

By this point, the university had one of the largest student and faculty populations of Hispanics and Native Americans in the country. A study released in 1995 showed that the number of full-time Hispanic faculty at UNM was four times greater than the national average and the number of Native American teachers five times greater. The schools of law and business had some of the largest Hispanic student populations of any university in the country.

In the first decade of the 2000s, major expansion began on medical facilities on North Campus. The current visitor center, a new engineering center, and George Pearl Hall were constructed. Renovations and expansions were undertaken on several buildings on Main Campus, along with the creation of a branch campus in Rio Rancho. This wave of construction is continuing at present with more projects ongoing.

In 2016, UNM was the first university in the country to launch a Signature School Program with the Central Intelligence Agency, which enables students to interact with analysts and learn how to join the CIA once they graduate.


Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools


  • The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UNM at 201–300 out of world universities and 72-98 out of U.S. universities in 2016, while The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked UNM 181st on its world university rankings list and 78th in the United States in 2015, which is up from 185th and 82nd respectively in 2014.
  • High Impact Universities Research Performance Index (RPI) ranked UNM 112th in 2011 in their Top 500 Universities worldwide.
  • U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) ranked UNM at tied for 180th in the country in their 2016 ranking of "Best Colleges".
  • USN&WR in 2016 also ranked the University of New Mexico School of Medicine tied for 35th in primary care and tied for 83rd in research, with the Rural Medicine residency program as 2nd best in the country and the Family Medicine residency program 10th.
  • The University of New Mexico School of Law is ranked by USN&WR in 2016 as tied for 71st in the country, with the Clinical Law program ranked 10th nationwide, while The School of Engineering was ranked tied for 85th.
  • Also, according to USN&WR 2016 rankings, the school has the 5th best graduate program in photography and 17th best graduate program in printmaking. Other programs ranked in the top 50 nationwide by USN&WR in 2016 include occupational therapy (36), pharmacy (48), and earth sciences (49).
  • The Princeton Review listed UNM as a "Best Western College" and ranked the School of Engineering 14th out of the graduate engineering programs nationally.
  • The University of New Mexico Model United Nations team is one of the top ranked teams in the country, with multiple awards at several different competitions, most notably, the Harvard World Model United Competition in Geneva, Switzerland and Puebla, Mexico. They have also competed and won awards at the St. Mary's University Model Organization of American States Conference.

Student life @the University of New Mexico

UNM Traditions

A number of legends have arisen over the years as to how The University of New Mexico got "Lobo" as its official nickname. When the university began playing football in 1892, the team was simply referred to as "The University Boys" or "Varsities" to distinguish themselves from the prep school kids.

The student body, at least as early as 1917, began to seriously explore the possibilities for both a mascot and a new name for the student newspaper, which was then called simply the "U.N.M. Weekly." Several names for the paper were suggested, including The Rattler, the Sand Devil, the Ki-yo-te and the Cherry and Silver. However, there was no single name that struck a responsive chord among the students and when school opened in the Fall of 1920 the U.N.M. Weekly was still there.

On Sept. 22, 1920, sophomore George S. Bryan, editor of the U.N.M. Weekly and student manager of the football team, was present at a Student Council meeting for the purpose of suggesting that the University teams be given a mascot name as at that time many universities had mascot names for their teams. Bryan suggested Lobo, the Spanish word for wolf, as the nickname. The name was enthusiastically received. The Oct. 1 issue of the student paper said, "The Lobo is respected for his cunning, feared for his prowess, and is the leader of the pack. It is the ideal name for the Varsity boys who go forth to battle for the glory of the school. All together now; fifteen rahs for the LOBOS."

From that beginning, the Lobo nickname has remained with The University of New Mexico for over 70 years.

The Lobo Mascot

After "Lobo" was adopted as the school's nickname in 1920, it was not long thereafter that a real Lobo became the mascot.

Bruno Dieckmann, class of 1902, and by 1920 a successful Albuquerque insurance and real estate agent, acquired the first Lobo for the University at his own expense. At the time he was treasurer of the Athletic Association and "one of the most admired men in town."

Elsie Ruth Chant, class of 1923, recalled, "All of the girls on campus wanted to be seen with him. He was an accomplished concert violinist as well as being a successful businessman, and he was rich. He drove a Stutz Bearcat convertible around town and all of the girls would compete to get rides with him. Sometimes he had five or six girls in the car, and when he finally got married, he left broken hearts all over campus. Anyway, he either caught it himself or he paid to have a wolf captured in the Mount Taylor area. The wolf was brought into the school and a student by the name of Bowman would take it on a leash to the football practice area."

Apparently, a government trapper named Jim Young caught a wolf pup on the Floyd Lee Ranch near Mount Taylor in western part of the state. The cub became the responsibility of the cheerleaders and it appeared in harness at every football game. However, in the late 20s, a child teased the wolf and the child was bitten at one of the games. UNM officials were forced to dispose of the wolf, as one historian put it, "for fear other ill-bred brats might become tempted to play with the wolf and bring a damage suit."

A live wolf has really never been a part of the athletics scene since. In the early 1960s a human mascot named "Lobo Louie" was created. A second mascot, "Lobo Lucy" was created in the early 1980s. Both are now members of the school's cheerleading squad.

The Fight Song

The UNM fight Song was written in 1930. The music to the Fight Song was written by Dean Lena Clauve, who served the University for 32 years as a professor of music education and as the Dean of Women. Dr. George St. Clair, professor in the English Department, wrote the lyrics.

Hail to thee, New Mexico,
Thy loyal sons are we. Marching down the field we go,
Fighting for thee.
Now we pledge our faith to thee,
Never shall we fail.
Fighting ever, yielding never.

Student organizations

There are over 400 student-run organizations on campus, which include academic, athletic, ethnic, honorary, political, religious, and service groups, as well as fraternities and sororities.

reek life[edit]

The University of New Mexico is home to several fraternities and sororities, around 5% of the UNM student body is involved in Greek life.

  • Interfraternity Council
    • Alpha Tau Omega
    • Phi Delta Theta
    • Phi Gamma Delta
    • Pi Kappa Alpha
    • Pi Kappa Phi
    • Sigma Chi
  • College Panhellenic Council
    • Alpha Chi Omega
    • Chi Omega
    • Pi Beta Phi
    • Kappa Kappa Gamma
  • Multicultural Greek Council
    • Beta Sigma Epsilon
    • Kappa Alpha Psi
    • Lambda Theta Phi
    • Omega Delta Phi
    • Omega Psi Phi
    • Phi Beta Sigma
    • Phi Iota Alpha
  • Multicultural Greek Council
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha
    • Alpha Pi Omega
    • Gamma Alpha Omega
    • Kappa Delta Chi
    • Lambda Theta Alpha
    • Theta Nu Xi
    • Zeta Phi Beta


UNM owns and operates KUNM-FM, one of two National Public Radio stations in Albuquerque. In 2008, KUNM-FM won 16 Associated Press awards, including Station of the Year. UNM also owns and operates the University of New Mexico Press, its publishing arm established in 1929. With Albuquerque Public Schools, UNM also operates New Mexico PBS, Albuquerque's public television station which currently broadcasts in High Definition Digital on two channels, English and Spanish.The Daily Lobo is UNM's student-run daily newspaper and is an award-winning publication serving the metro area.

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