Liberal Arts, BLA

University College

Program Description:

The faculty of The University of New Mexico offers the degree of Bachelor of Liberal Arts (B.L.A.). This program, approved in 2013, was formally known as the Bachelor of University Studies degree established in 1969, and is administered through University College.

This baccalaureate degree program provides the opportunity for students to develop a unique program of study combining courses from three or more University of New Mexico departments and/or colleges. With the help of a Liberal Arts & Integrative Studies [lais] advisor, students will structure a comprehensive plan of study, which will be thematically based and multidisciplinary in nature. The B.L.A. degree also enables students who have obtained a certificate or associate degree at an accredited community college to complete a bachelor’s degree at UNM. The B.L.A. degree is not intended for the undecided student, and it may not be part of a double major – however, it may be used as a dual or second degree. Liberal Arts is a major only, and while no official minor is required to be declared with this major, the use of an existing departmental minor is encouraged.

Strict compliance with B.L.A. requirements is mandatory for admission to and continuation in the program. Changes to approved plans of study may be made only in consultation with an advisor. Students in the Liberal Arts program must meet the general academic regulations of the University for admission, academic standing, and graduation found under the University Catalog headings of Admissions & Undergraduate Programs. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with both the specific and general current academic regulations. Students who have not been continuously enrolled for 3 consecutive semesters must follow the requirements of the current University of New Mexico Catalog upon readmission.

Questions regarding any aspect of the program should be addressed to an advisor in the LAIS office. Please also visit the website at for FAQs, Forms and Downloads, and Helpful Hints, etc…

Admission Requirements:

Admission to the Liberal Arts program for the current term must take place before the end of the third week of classes. After that deadline, admission will be for the following term (Fall, Spring or Summer). Please see an advisor for more information on LAIS admission requirements. Please refer to the website for details on designing a Plan of Study.

Minimum requirements to transfer into the Liberal Arts program are as follows:

  1. Demonstrated competence in the writing of English as evidenced by one of the following:

    • a) Completion of English 101 and 102 with a grade of C (2.00) or higher in both.

    • b) A score of 29 or better on the English portion of the Enhanced ACT.

    • c) A score of 650 or better on the verbal portion of the SAT.

    • d) Successful completion of a Writing Proficiency Portfolio (see the English Department for details).

    • e) Credit for English 102 through CEEB advanced placement program.

  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher.

  3. Twenty-six or more hours of earned credit applicable to this program.

  4. Completion of LAIS 199 (and earned credit)

Application Process

Application to the Liberal Arts program includes a preliminary advisement session with an LAIS Academic Advisor. The meeting is the student’s opportunity to discuss their ideas and goals for their degree, and ask any questions they may have before admission to the program.

In order to apply to the Liberal Arts program, students must submit the following to an LAIS Advisor:

  1. A comprehensive Plan of Study. This Plan of Study must list all course work taken, including transfer work, and especially all remaining courses that the student intends to take to complete their B.L.A. degree. In preparing a Plan, the student must consult The University of New Mexico Catalog to find courses appropriate for their multidisciplinary (theme-based) plan.

  2. A Statement of Purpose, no less than 250 words. This statement should describe how the student has organized courses in the Plan to meet the student’s needs as well as exactly to what end the student hopes to use their Liberal Arts degree.     

  3. A completed Qualified Signature form. The Qualified Signatures indicate that a student has discussed the relevance and appropriateness of their degree plan with a knowledgeable and experienced individual in their chosen profession and a Career Development Facilitator. Details on this form will be discussed in the initial interview.   

Contact Information:

Mariah Harrison: Senior Academic Advisor
(505) 277-0112

Stephanie Heikkinen: Senior Academic Advisor
(505) 277-8276