The NMSU undergraduate catalog is your information source for degree requirements, academic regulations, department contacts, and course descriptions. The following are just some of the questions you can answer from your catalog.
What is a major?
A major is a set of courses that provide a fundamental understanding of a subject area. Your bachelors degree will be in the field you chose as your major. Your major is content that you want to learn. It should be something you are passionate about, because majors require at least 24 credit hours of coursework. To receive a bachelor degree you must complete at least 128 credit hours. So where do the rest of the credits come from? Read on.
What is a college?
Although your university is New Mexico State, NMSU is further divided into colleges that grant degrees. Sound confusing? Let’s say you want to teach kindergarten. You would major in Elementary Education, which resides in the College of Education. If you want to be a nurse, your major is nursing which resides in the College of Health & Social Services. Some colleges are also divided into departments. For example, if you wanted to be a chemist and blow things up, you would major in chemistry which resides in the Chemistry Department which resides in the College of Arts & Sciences.
How do I know what is required for a degree?
Your undergraduate catalog explains the two types of requirements for your degree. The first type is the Common Core. No matter what you choose as a major, every student must satisfy these requirements.
The second type is your major requirements. Let’s use an example for this. If you were a philosophy major, you would follow the major requirements for philosophy. If you were majoring in economics, you would follow major requirements for economics. So to satisfy the requirements for a bachelor degree, you need a mix of major requirements and common core.
Try looking up your major. It should be listed under your academic college. This website will be useful.
What if I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?
No worries at all. If you are undecided, then you belong to the College of Arts & Sciences. Explore different courses your first and possibly second semester, paying attention to what interests you. Remember you have Common Core classes just like everyone else.
NMSU also has a Career Exploration Center that can assist you in making this choice.
How do I find out what Phil 101G is?
Can you find a commonality in the list of Common Core that you have already looked at? Each course code has one letter in common: G
Common Core are also called general education. Makes sense that every student must satisfy something called general education. So when an advisor tells you to take a “gen ed” course, you know it means general education, which means common core.
Academic advisors assist students as they become self-directed learners by teaching how to develop educational plans directed toward their academic, career, and personal aspirations.
Your academic advisor will help you
- choose a major
- learn about degree programs and meet graduation requirements
- select, add, and drop courses
- understand NMSU policies, procedures, and deadlines
- connect to resources that promote success in and out of the classroom
So how do you find an advisor?
Here are general phone numbers for advising:
- College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences 575-646-1807
- College of Arts & Sciences 575-646-2941
- College of Business 575-646-2531
- College of Education 575-646-3404
- College of Engineering 757-646-3440
- College of Extended Learning 575-646-8231
- College of Health & Social Services 575-646-7311