New Mexico’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges of 2021

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in New Mexico offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

New Mexico’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in New Mexico

New Mexico has 23 higher learning establishments to choose from, and a tuition range of $1,000–$8,000 in the public sphere makes this state one of the most affordable in the nation. The University of New Mexico, located in Albuquerque, has a student population just over 20,000 and an affordable cost of $8,000. The school is known for its health sciences and business programs.

New Mexico also has four tribal colleges and universities, including the largest tribal college in the country, Navajo Technical University. Students can complete programs in animal science, early childhood multicultural education, and industrial engineering. In addition, New Mexico provides two loan forgiveness programs, one for health professionals and one for public service attorneys. Those working in designated shortage areas can qualify for up to $25,000 per year, and attorneys providing service for government, non-profit, or underserved residents may acquire $7,200 per year.

Pueblos, roadrunners, cacti, and the Rio Grande make New Mexico one of the most unique states in the nation. Though its alleged history of UFO sightings is perhaps its most famous draw, New Mexico has another fascinating monument worth mentioning — Capulin Volcano. The peak of this extinct cider cone volcano, which can be reached by car, offers visitors a view of four other states. Students looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in The Land of Enchantment are sure to find interesting activities to do alongside their studies.

Prepare to be enchanted by the higher education options and career prospects that New Mexico has to offer.

What are New Mexico’s Colleges & Universities?

New Mexico’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified a total of 7 liberal arts colleges and universities in New Mexico. The list below of the best liberal arts schools in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.
  4. The top 3 have a graduation rate of greater than 30%.

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How do we determine New Mexico's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities in New Mexico

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/26

    What is New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology known for?

    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
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  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    What is Eastern New Mexico University known for?

    Eastern New Mexico University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Medical
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  3. What is St. John's College known for?

    St. John's College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Law
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Anthropology
    • Engineering
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  4. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    2K

    What is New Mexico Highlands University known for?

    New Mexico Highlands University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Literature
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Western New Mexico University known for?

    Western New Mexico University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Northern New Mexico College known for?

    Northern New Mexico College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    45%

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is University of the Southwest known for?

    University of the Southwest’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Literature
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