New Mexico State University-Main Campus


The main campus of New Mexico State University is located in the city of Las Cruces, leading to its nickname NMSU-Las Cruses. The largest 4-year university in New Mexico thanks to a total enrollment of over 18,000 students, this land-grant institution also has campuses in Alamogordo, Carlsbad, Dona Ana, and Grants, along with teaching and research centers scattered throughout the state.

Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Las Cruses campus awards bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees while associate degrees and two-year programs are offered at the branch campuses.

The university defines its mission as “serving the educational needs of New Mexico’s diverse population to comprehensive programs of Education, research, extension education, and public service.” Its Carnegie classification is Doctoral/Research University-Extensive.

Information Summary

Ranks 3rd in New Mexico and 750th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 83.5
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $21,380
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 23 / 1160
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 18 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 74% / 67%
Enrollment Total (all students) 14,289


The institution now known as NMSU was founded as an agricultural land grant college in 1888. Then called the Las Cruces College, the school was renamed New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts just one year later. It received its current name in 1960 when it achieved university status.


New Mexico State University-Main Campus 2 New Mexico State University-Main Campus
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The university is made up of several colleges and schools, as well as a Graduate School and Honors College. These include:

  • Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health & Social Services

Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in over 80 different disciplines, including accounting, animal science, biology, community health, education, engineering, English, horticulture, management, music, philosophy, range land resources, soil science, theater arts, and wildlife science.

Master’s degrees are awarded in more than 50 areas, including agriculture, anthropology, education, English, criminal justice, agronomy, geology, engineering, astronomy, and family and consumer studies, among others. There is a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Public Administration (MPA), a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Social Work (MSW), a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), including a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.

Graduate students may also pursue more than 20 doctoral degrees, in fields such as education, the sciences, engineering, and rhetoric and professional communication. Some of the doctoral programs have concentrations in particular areas, such as the specialist in education degree (Ed.S.) with specializations in diagnostics, education administration, special education, school psychology, and special education for the deaf or hard of hearing.

Associate’s degrees, vocational and technical training, as well as continuing education programs are offered at the four branch campuses.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

NMSU is the only land-grant university to be identified by the federal government as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and also a Carnegie Research-Extensive institution. Students are encouraged to undertake their own research projects during the course of their academic career.

The department of International and Border Programs, established in 1972, is responsible for coordinating programs related to relations along the United States-Mexico border. The department is responsible for leading the internationalization of NMSU, providing specific programs for international students, and implementing an international outreach policy.

The Honors College, which allows academically talented students to enrich their studies at a higher level, was the first Honors College in the entire state.


Undergraduate Admissions

Prospective freshmen must complete an application for admission, which can be submitted online. The application must be accompanied by the required application fee, which can also be paid online. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Minimum high school course requirements include four units of English, two units of science, three units of mathematics, and one unit of foreign language or fine arts. Although each application is reviewed on an individual basis, many students are admitted with a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, or an ACT score of 21 (970 SAT), or a combination GPA of 2.0 and ACT composite score of at least 20.

Graduate Admissions

Graduate students must have a baccalaureate degree; doctoral program applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. In addition to the required graduate school application and fee, students must also submit official copies of transcripts and any additional application materials that are required by the department or program, such as GMAT or other standardized test scores. Prospective graduate students are advised to contact their academic department directly for full requirements, which may vary greatly by program of study.

Requirements may also vary for international students and transfer students.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for eligible students. To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. The FAFSA is available online beginning every January 1. Some types of aid are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as soon as possible.

Common types of aid include both need- and merit-based grants, student loans, and work-study programs. NMSU also offers a variety of institutional and state scholarship opportunities, including the President’s scholarship, New Mexico scholars opportunities, Regents scholarship, New Mexico Lottery scholarship, and tuition scholarship opportunities for transfer students. Out-of-state students also have the opportunity to apply for special aid consideration.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6989th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New Mexico.


Student Body

The main campus has an enrollment is nearly 18,000 and approximately half of the student body is comprised of minority students. The school has been ranked as one of the top colleges in the country with “effective practices for increasing the number of Latino recipients” of bachelor’s degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). New Mexico State at Las Cruces has also been deemed LGBT-friendly by the website CampusPride.

Student Clubs

Students can participate in more than 30 campus-recognized clubs, groups, teams, and organizations, including the Rodeo Association, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT), Collegiate 4-H, Horsemen’s Association, Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management Association, and more.

Student government is active on campus, as is Greek life with several social fraternities and sororities as well as Greek academic honor societies.

Campus Features

Campus is rich with amenities for students, faculty, and the local community. In addition to the numerous classroom, dormitory, and administration buildings, NMSU has public outdoor art, several historic buildings, museums and galleries, an animal husbandry barn, and an observatory, among other features. Other attractions and features on campus include the university museums, a professional theater for musical performances and a full symphony, both PBS and NPR stations on campus, an 18-hole golf course, tennis center, swimming pools, and an activity center. The university’s library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site or available through interlibrary loan and even maintains its own bindery.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Aggies are a member of the Western Athletic Conference, previously competing in the Sun Belt Conference. The NCAA Division I has baseball, basketball, cross-country, diving, football, golf, and tennis teams for men. Women’s teams include basketball, cross-country, equestrian, golf, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

The teams receive support from the school’s marching band and cheer squad. At football games, “Smoki the wonder dog” retrieves the kicking tee following each kickoff. Fans can listen to football and basketball games on radio stations throughout the state. Women’s basketball games are broadcast on one station and on the Internet, as are baseball games.

The Aggies’ biggest rivals are the University of New Mexico and University of Texas at El Paso.


Sports facilities include the Pan American Center and the Aggie Memorial Stadium as well as a tennis center, basketball arena, swim center, baseball complex, equestrian center, softball complex, golf course, and track and field facility.

Local Community

Las Cruces is located in southwestern New Mexico, just west of White Sands National Monument. The second-largest city in the state, over 100,000 residents call the city home.

Like much of New Mexico, Las Cruces is becoming a favorite vacation destination. The local ethnic culture, a fusion between Native American and Mexican American cultures, combines well with the modern tourist industry. Golf is a favorite pastime, as is sightseeing amongst the traditional craftsmen and shops in town. Las Cruces has been recognized by Forbes and Money magazine for its affinity for business.


Notable New Mexico State alumni include Alvy Ray Smith, who co-founded Pixar, and the President of SkyMall, Christine Aguilera,

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