University General Education/Arts and Sciences Core Requirements

Students must fulfill University General Education requirements as listed in the General Information section of the Undergraduate Catalog and Arts and Sciences core requirements as listed in the college's section of the Undergraduate Catalog. Many of the University General Education courses may also be used to meet the college core requirements. Listed below are courses commonly offered at other universities that will meet both the university and the college's requirements.

Freshman Composition. NMSU requires a four-credit Rhetoric and Composition course. Many universities offer a two-semester version of this consisting of two three-credit courses. We will accept either semester of a two-semester sequence, as long as the course is at least three semester hours. If you take both semesters, the second one will count as the sophomore/junior writing requirment, see below. This course fulfills part of NMSU's basic skills requirement in English and mathematics that must be met prior to enrolling in upper division classes.

Sophomore/Junior Writing. Also required is a second 3-credit writing course at the sophomore or junior level. The courses that will meet this requirement are Business Writing, Writing for Humanities and Social Sciences, Technical and Professional Communication, Advanced Composition, and Advanced Technical Writing.

Mathematics. Transfer students should complete a course in basic algebra, intermediate algebra, or a higher level mathematics course with a grade of C or better to meet the mathematics basic skills requirement before enrolling at New Mexico State University. The university general education requirement in mathematics can be met in a number of ways. Most non-science majors will complete MATH 210G, Mathematics Appreciation, 3 credits, to fulfill this requirement. This is a course not commonly offered at other universities. An alternative would be to complete a calculus course, particularly if calculus is required for your major. Mathematics requirements for each of the majors in Arts and Sciences can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Critical Thinking and Analysis. The courses most commonly used to complete this requirement are Computer Literacy (3 credits) and a general education course in either communications (speech) or philosophy (3 credits). The courses that meet the communications/philosophy requirement are Principles of Human Communication, Public Speaking, The Art of Wondering, Introduction to Philosophy, and Informal Logic.

Historical Perspectives. One history course is required (3 credits), and it must be chosen from early or recent European history, early or recent U.S. history, early or recent Asian history, or Islamic history.

Basic Natural Sciences. This is a four-credit requirement and the course must include a lab. Courses that meet this requirement are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog, but Arts and Sciences requires the course to be chosen from astronomy, biology, chemistry, physical geography, geology, or physics. We're looking for a general course, for example, general biology as opposed to anatomy or zoology.

Human Thought and Behavior. Students in Arts and Sciences should take an introductory 3-credit course in anthropology, psychology or linguistics.

Social Analysis. Students in Arts and Sciences should choose from introductory economics, social geography, government, sociology, or an introduction to mass communications.

Literature or Fine Arts. The only literature class that meets this requirement is Literature and Culture, a course not commonly offered at other universities. The requirement may also be met by taking a 3-credit survey course in art, music or theater appreciation. Applied courses, such as drawing, acting, piano, etc., will not meet this requirement.

Viewing A Wider World. This is a six-credit, upper division requirement that consists of two courses, each from a different college than your own. (The six undergraduate colleges at NMSU are Agriculture and Home Economics, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Economics, Education, Engineering, and Health and Social Services.) For example, Arts and Sciences students might take one course from Business and one from Engineering. The courses must be chosen from a list of approved classes in this category. It is not likely that you will find these at other universities; it is best to take them at NMSU.

The Nine-Hour Rule.  Students can use nine credit hours in any of the above University General Education areas to substitute for a University General Education course.  For example, transfer students who have completed nine credits in English courses (in addition to the freshman composition course) can use those credits to substitute either for the second writing course or for the Literature/Fine Arts requirement.  To use the nine-hour rule to meet a Viewing a Wider World requirement, all nine credits must be upper division and must be taught under a single prefix from another NMSU college.  For example, nine credits of upper division MGT courses would substitute for one Viewing a Wider World course; but two upper division MGT and one upper division ECON would not.

Arts & Sciences Core. Arts and Sciences requires: (a) three liberal studies courses, each from a different subject area: English literature, fine arts (no more than one course in total from nonapplied art, music, or theatre), history, upper division foreign languages, philosophy, or women's studies in the humanities; (b) three science courses, each from a different subject area: astronomy, biology, chemistry/biochemistry, computer science, geology, physical geography, or physics; (c) three social science courses, each from a different subject area: anthropology, communication studies, economics, social geography, government, psychology, sociology, JOUR 105G (Intro. to Mass Communications), LING 200G (Intro. to Language) or women's studies in the social sciences. A complete list of the courses that fulfill the A&S core is available from the Advising Center. Courses that meet University General Education requirements can in many cases also meet the A&S core.

Second Language. Arts and Sciences requires a second language for all bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and the bachelor of criminal justice degrees. The requirement can be met in several ways.

  • Complete the normal 4-semester sequence in a second language, or complete the fourth semester in such a sequence if you enter at your proficiency level.
  • Pass the third level of American Sign Language with a grade of C or better.
  • Pass an upper-division course taught in a foreign language.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of a language other than those taught in NMSU's Department of Languages and Linguistics. Check with the head of that department, or the director of American Indian Programs for proficiency in a Native American language.
  • The requirement is waived for students who successfully completed the third year of a second language in high school.
  • Foreign students who are required to take the TOEFL Exam for admission to NMSU are exempt from the second language requirement.
  • Arts and Sciences does not accept computer languages to meet the second language requirement.
©2005 NMSU Board of Regents - Legal Information - Search - NMSU Home - Organ Mountain photo by Mike Groves
view photo