Best Online Colleges in New Mexico

| Melissa Sartore


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New Mexico is home to more than 40 colleges and universities, nearly all of which offer online course options.

Online schools in New Mexico offer programs that align with the state's key industries and national projections for employment growth. New Mexico has strong bioscience, sustainable energy and agriculture, and cybersecurity industries, which reflects the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) list of fastest-growing occupations in the state.

With employers increasingly seeking job candidates with college degrees, enrolling in an online institution in New Mexico can provide opportunities for career success. Community colleges in New Mexico offer online degrees in areas like computer information systems, business, and criminal justice, while four-year institutions provide online learning opportunities across academic disciplines.

Featured Online Schools

Nearly 20 colleges and universities in New Mexico are Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities members and designated as Hispanic-Serving Institutions. With academic programs, student services, and resources specifically in place to assist Hispanic learners, colleges in New Mexico can help all students thrive as they earn their degrees.

Top 10 Online Colleges in New Mexico 2021
#1 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM
#2 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM
#3 Eastern New Mexico University Portales, NM
#4 University of the Southwest Hobbs, NM
#5 Western New Mexico University Silver City, NM
#6 New Mexico Highlands University Las Vegas, NM

The Best Online Colleges in New Mexico

University of New Mexico View School Profile Albuquerque, NM University of New Mexico is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of New Mexico, established in 1889, is a public research university and one of New Mexico’s largest postsecondary institutions as well as one of the state’s largest employers. The university provides over 200 programs of study and has over 25,000 students in attendance.

The University of New Mexico offers a wide array of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs online via its UNM Statewide platform. Bachelor’s degree programs include business administration and dental hygiene. Master’s degree programs include several topics in both engineering and education. Doctoral degrees include nursing, while available certifications include educational leadership and instructional technology.

Resources available for online students include technical support, an online job board and several online libraries.

New Mexico State University View School Profile Las Cruces, NM New Mexico State University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

New Mexico State University, founded in 1888, is the oldest university in the state, as well as one of the largest both physically and in terms of enrollment. This university is a land–grant and space–grant university with more than 18,000 students in attendance and over 160 programs of study. Available majors include subjects within agriculture, science, business, education, engineering, social services and much more.

New Mexico State University offers online bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs. Online bachelor’s degrees include sociology and criminal justice. Online master’s degrees include electrical engineering and social work. Online doctoral degrees include educational leadership and nursing. Available certifications include public health and online teaching.

Online student resources include online exam proctoring, an online writing center, an online job board and an online library with several librarians available via live chat, email, text message or over the phone.

Eastern New Mexico University View School Profile Portales, NM Eastern New Mexico University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Eastern New Mexico University, founded in 1927, has over 5,500 students in attendance and offers more than 60 majors in the arts, technology, science, education and much more. Alongside its extensive variety of online offerings, the university also offers video conference classes to several military bases across New Mexico.

Eastern New Mexico University offers online bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Online bachelor’s degree programs include accounting, agricultural business and aviation, while online master’s degree programs include multiple topics in education, nursing, special education and physical education.

Resource available to online students include an online career discovery program, an online job board, an online writing lab and an online library with several librarians readily available via email or over the phone.

University of the Southwest View School Profile Hobbs, NM University of the Southwest is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The University of the Southwest, founded by B. Clarence Evans, is a nondenominational Christian university established in 1962. The university offers three–week “Wintermester” classes, both online and in person, in subjects including criminal justice and sociology. The university offers more than 50 majors.

The University of the Southwest offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees entirely online via its USW Online platform. Online bachelor’s degree programs include business administration, while online master’s degree programs include sports management, mental health counseling, special education and TESOL curriculum and instruction.

Resources available to online students include an online writing lab, online tutoring, technical support via email and over the phone and an online library with librarians available via email or over the phone.

Western New Mexico University View School Profile Silver City, NM Western New Mexico University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Western New Mexico University, established in 1893, is one of the state’s oldest universities. The university has over 3,500 students in attendance and offers over 70 programs of study.

Western New Mexico University offers online associate, bachelor’s, master and certificate programs. Online associate degrees include liberal studies and human services. Online bachelor’s degrees include social work and psychology. Online master’s degree offerings include occupational therapy and business administration. Available online certifications include border security studies and political science.

Online student resources include online tutoring, live technical support and an online library with librarians available via live chat, email or over the phone.

New Mexico Highlands University View School Profile Las Vegas, NM NMHU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Located in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and established in 1893, New Mexico Highlands University has a student body of about 4,000. This public university also has locations in Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Farmington, and Albuquerque. NMHU offers five online programs. Student's can complete the school's traditional 37-credit master's of business administration online or in a hybrid format. The 48-credit master's of education degree is offered with several specializations, including curriculum and instruction, rehabilitation counseling, and special education. Full-time students can usually complete master's degrees online in two years. This online college in New Mexico also offers an RN-to-BSN program. Prospective students for the nursing program should complete a pre-nursing curriculum or a four-year bachelor's of science in nursing degree. NMHU does not offer these programs.

Applicants must submit their official transcripts, a statement of their educational goals and objectives, two letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. There are also program-specific requirements. Prospective online learners should check the requirements for their desired major before submitting an application.

Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in New Mexico Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in New Mexico based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

Employment in New Mexico

In New Mexico, a thriving sustainable energy and agriculture industry offers extensive employment opportunities for graduates with relevant degrees. The BLS identifies wind turbine service technicians and solar photovoltaic installers as two of the fastest-growing occupations in the state for 2019-2029.

Other growth industries in New Mexico include aerospace and defense, global trade, biosciences, and cybersecurity. Positions in these industries include information security analysts, data scientists, and operations research analysts.

New Mexico residents benefit from a cost of living below the national average. In New Mexico, the cost of living is 88.4, with health and housing costs at even lower rates compared to the national averages.

In addition to this lower cost of living, New Mexico has also seen a decline in its unemployment rate through 2020, especially as it begins to recover from coronavirus. In July, unemployment in New Mexico reached nearly 13%, but fell to 8.2% in December of 2020.

Below are a few of the highest-paying roles employing more than 750 individuals in New Mexico. Salary information applies specifically to New Mexico, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.

Highest-Paying Popular Careers in New Mexico
Career Annual Mean Salary (2019) Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) Education Required
Physicists $166,720 7% Doctoral
Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products $107,830 4% High School Diploma or Bachelor's Degree
Project Management Specialists and Business Operations Specialists $89,090 6% Bachelor's Degree
Calibration Technologists and Technicians $87,730 2% Bachelor's Degree
Tutors and Teachers and Instructors $58,860 7% Bachelor's Degree
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents $57,350 5% Bachelor's Degree
Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers $53,670 0% High School Diploma
Source: BLS

Online Associate and Graduate Degrees

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across the United States have expanded online offerings to accommodate students. In New Mexico, some colleges and universities use the ed2go system to provide extensive online course options.

Along with individual classes, institutions such as Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) and Clovis Community College (CCC) offer online associate degrees in business administration and criminal justice. An online associate degree in New Mexico provides a solid foundation for entry-level careers and continued study.

Online associate degrees cover many topics. For example, the online associate of applied science in business administration at CNM builds fundamental accounting, finance, and marketing knowledge and skills. CCC's online associate of applied science in criminal justice integrates coursework in juvenile justice, corrections, and criminal investigations and procedures.

Online graduate degrees in New Mexico also span disciplines such as business, healthcare, engineering, and criminal justice. University of New Mexico (UNM) offers an online master of business administration degree that learners can complete in just 16 months.

Similarly, Western New Mexico University's online master's degree in business administration allows enrollees to concentrate their studies in international business, management information systems, healthcare administration, and instructional technology and design.

New Mexico State University offers an online master of criminal justice degree that mirrors its on-campus offering. Enrollees can pursue a curriculum that leads to careers in teaching and research, administrative positions within the criminal justice system, and doctoral studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is College Free in New Mexico?

In 2019, New Mexico announced a plan to offer free college to state residents. The state revised this plan in 2020, passing a program that provides financial assistance to residents enrolled in two-year programs at public institutions in New Mexico.

How Long Do You Have To Live in New Mexico To Get In-State Tuition?

To qualify for in-state tuition in New Mexico, individuals must reside in the state for 12 consecutive months. Each student must be financially independent and submit a letter relinquishing residency in any other state.

How Much Does Online College in New Mexico Usually Cost?

Online tuition in New Mexico varies by institution and program. Additional considerations include county of residence, state residency, and the number of credits an individual takes each semester.

Does UNM Offer Online Degrees?

UNM offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees online, with additional online certificates available. UNM also offers accelerated online programs.

Melissa Sartore holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her BA and MA in history are from Western Illinois University. A medievalist by training, she has published on outlawry in medieval England with additional publications on outlaws in popular culture and across geographic and historical boundaries.

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