Insight on University of New Mexico for Political Science?

Hi! I was just accepted to UNM as an out of state student + received the Amigo scholarship which covers almost all of my tuition. I’m considering going to UNM as a political science/Native American studies double major, and I’d really appreciate any insight as to what the programs for both are like there, and what the campus culture + social scene is like!!!

Hi, my daughter was also just accepted to UNM, in the College of Engineering. I don’t have any insights on your major, but have found the posts from @DiotimaDM very helpful, esp the trip reports with her impressions of the campus & dorms from her visits in 2018. Also maybe do a search on Reddit; there’s some info there too about specific majors. And congrats!!


UNM has very strong Native American studies program and offer classes in NA languages ( chiefly Navajo) and linguistics. Native American students attending UNM tend to be very politically active. ~10% of UNM’s students identify as Native American.

New Mexico is a very interesting state politically speaking. It has both strongly red areas (southern NM) and strongly blue areas (northern NM). The late Hubert Humphrey once said, “For an education in how politics works, you get your bachelors in the NY legislature, your master in Illinois and your PhD in New Mexico.”

Poli sci students can get hands on real-life experience working as interns and aides at the Round House (State Legislature) in Santa Fe and in one of offices of a state or federal representative. Many NM state and federal level politicians recruit at UNM. NM has the only remaining unpaid state legislature in the US.

One of my daughters did policy research/policy development for a member of the state legislature (and she wasn’t even a politician sci student–she was med student) and saw the bill she helped write introduced on the floor of the StateHouse. It was very exciting. (The bill got held up in committee and ultimately never made it to a full vote the year she worked on it, but it was reintroduced the next year and passed.)

UNM campus culture is best described as “laid back”. More western/California/Colorado than East Coast. But if you want sororities/fraternity life, UNM has that too. It just doesn’t dominate campus culture. Lots of outdoor activities nearby-- skiing, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc.-- so students tend to physically active.

Social scene–lots of bars/restaurants/coffeehouses along Central Ave/Nob Hill next to campus. All kinds of cuisines and price points to choose from. Popejoy Hall on campus is a major performance venue for the state–everything from the NM Symphony to traveling Broadway shows to student-written plays happen here. NM is D1 in sports–so football, basketball (men’s and women’s) and women’s soccer are all a big deal.

Both my daughtesr have graduated so I don’t have current info about dorms. (And both Ds lived off campus while at UNM.)

Thank you, @WayOutWestMom for your detailed post. I think UNM seems like a great fit for my D20 on many fronts; she isn’t so sure. Hoping to make a trip in late March so she can see it all & check out the departments for herself.


Weather ought to be nice in late March, although be warned spring is often quite windy.

Have your D stop by CSEL–the engineering library–on her tour. It’s entirely underground, but is a light, bright, cozy place to study. (I personally prefer it over the main undergrad library.)

If you have any specific questions about UNM or ABQ, I’d be happy to answer.

If your daughter ends up picking UNM and wants to connect, feel free to shoot me a PM! I’m an OOS (Texas) student enrolling in UNM engineering next fall! A campus visit is a great idea, it sold me on the school. If you can’t go to the Spring Preview, email the Engineering recruitment coordinator Alexander Gordon (?) and set up a meeting, I found it super helpful! :slight_smile: hope y’all find the best place for your daughter

@AllegedlyFrench, thank you! Congrats to you on deciding on UNM, & thanks for the tips. Will you also be in the Honors College? D20 applied but hasn’t been confirmed in yet.

@SoCalKel Yes, I just received my acceptance last week! It took me a while to hear back. I submitted my application back in November, so it took about 2 months.

@AllegedlyFrench I have this school on the radar for my D who is a hs junior this year. I’d like to hear any pros/cons you saw about UNM and your D stats for honors acceptance to get a feel for if my D has a chance at honors. Please post here or pm me?

1 Like