Named The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico is a state of curiosity and legend, dominated by mountains and deserts. As part of the Spanish Conquest, then of Mexico, New Mexico has the largest proportion of Hispanic and Latino residents in the US, nearly 50% of the population, and the state’s roots in southwestern culture are deep.
With a well-established public higher education system including the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University, New Mexico has an excellent infrastructure in place for preparing professionals, technicians, and researchers for the needs of an economy led by the petroleum and energy industry, and by the federal government, especially the military. But New Mexico is also large, with many remote and rural communities and citizens, making education challenging in many practical respects.
To meet these needs, many of New Mexico’s universities and colleges have spent the 21st century building world-class online degree programs. Value Colleges is highlighting the top 10 Best Online Colleges in New Mexico, with institutions bringing online education to working adults and distance learners of all kids. Our commitment is to point prospective students to only regionally-accredited, reputable colleges and universities. Costs are calculated from in-state tuition rates posted on the institution’s official website; the number of online degree programs may be subject to change or availability.
(check out out new Top 50 Best Value Undergraduate Homeland Security Programs for 2017)
Eastern New Mexico University
From its roots as a normal school (the old name for teacher’s college) and community college, Eastern New Mexico University has grown into the state’s largest regional institution, educating over 6,000 students. In keeping with its history, and its status as a public university, ENMU is dedicated to providing educational opportunity for all the people of New Mexico. ENMU is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with a third of its students having Hispanic ancestry.
Eastern New Mexico has an incredible slate of fully online degrees, minors, and certificate programs, well over 50 at the bachelor’s and master’s level, including a wide selection of professional, technical, and academic degrees. Including everything from aviation to social work, criminal justice to nursing, ENMU is also well-ranked for their education and business programs, which are some of the most affordable in the nation.
Cost: $4858 annual
Online Programs: 56
New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University began as a small agricultural college and research center in 1888, when New Mexico was still a territory, and under the land-grant act expanded into New Mexico’s leading research institution. Designated as a Hispanic-serving institution, NMSU is the only university of its class on the Mexican border. NMSU’s Engineering, Nursing, and Education programs are their highest-ranked and most admired.
As a land-grant, public university, New Mexico State’s mission is to provide affordable educational opportunity across the state, and one key way they’re doing that is by building their online degree options. NMSU offers more than 30 fully online bachelor’s, master’s, certificates, and even doctorates, including some of their most respected programs, such as nursing, education, and business. New Mexico educators can also earn a number of teaching endorsements online.
Cost: $6094 annual
Online Programs: 30
University of New Mexico
With nearly 35,000 students, the University of New Mexico is the state’s flagship institution, a center of cultural and academic life for the state, and one of the leading employers in Albuquerque. With more than half of UNM’s graduates remaining in the state, UNM is key to professional and technical leadership for the region, and as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, UNM is an important force in the Hispanic community of the Southwest, and the highest-ranked Hispanic-serving research university anywhere.
UNM has extended their reach and their ability to serve the people of New Mexico with their highly-developed selection of online degree programs. Online students can choose from several degree-completion programs for bachelor’s degrees, including professional and technical fields such as Business Administration and Dental Hygienist. Master’s degree programs include nursing, education, and public administration, and a Nursing PhD is also available online.
Cost: $7071 annual
Online Programs: 26
University of the Southwest
Originally founded as a Baptist bible college, the University of the Southwest is an interdenominational, evangelical private university dedicated to Christian values and community engagement. As a small institution, USW prides itself on close, personal attention and mentoring from a highly-regarded faculty, and a close-knit community of learning, service, and entrepreneurship. USW is committed to service leadership and takes a leading role in meeting the needs of the community around Hobbs, NM.
The University of the Southwest has also expanded their capabilities with a growing selection of fully online degree programs. In addition to several online bachelor’s degrees – including Business Administration, Psychology, and Criminal Justice – USW also includes many education and business master’s degrees. Educators and future educators can earn an M.Ed. in 9 specializations, and there are nearly a dozen concentrations for online MBA students to choose from.
Cost: $14,616 annual
Online Programs: 23
Western New Mexico University
A small, rural institution at the edge of the Gila National Forest, Western New Mexico University is known for their commitment to educational accessibility, with affordable tuition rates and a growing list of online offerings. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, half of WNMU’s student body is Hispanic, and WNMU is a leading force in social mobility in the region with more than 70 professional, technical, and academic fields of study.
With just short of 20 fully online degree programs – including bachelor’s, master’s, and associate’s degrees – WNMU has made a significant contribution to online education and given more students than ever the opportunity to earn a WNMU degree. As a rural institution, WNMU’s online programs are a significant opportunity to meet the professional and technical needs of the region with programs in business, nursing, and education, among others.
Cost: $5704 annual
Online Programs: 19
Clovis Community College
Clovis Community College was founded as an extension campus by Eastern New Mexico University (#1) before becoming an independent institution in 1991. Significantly, 1991 was also the year CCC began experimenting with distance education through interactive courses broadcast by television across the region, setting the stage for online courses and degrees. As a community College, CCC is dedicated to accessibility and affordability, offering numerous professional and technical associate’s degree programs, and retaining a strong relationship with ENMU for transfer students.
CCC currently offers 8 fully online associate’s degree programs, as well as numerous certificates. Professional programs include Behavioral Science, Business Administration, and Paralegal, while technical students can also earn an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems. For transfer students who haven’t chosen a career, General Studies and Liberal Arts can prepare for a variety of majors at a 4-year institution.
Cost: $1176 annual
Online Programs: 8
New Mexico Highlands University
A small, public institution in Las Vegas, NM, New Mexico Highlands University was founded as a normal school, and education remains one of their most respected programs. The student body at NMHU is majority Latino, with many Native American students as well, and NMHU’s main mission is providing opportunities for these underserved populations. In addition to providing UMHU’s home, the Las Vegas area is a well-known location for Hollywood movies, especially Westerns, stretching back from the silent movie era to today.
NMHU’s academic programs focus on practical professional and technical programs, including education, business, and social work, that are necessary for the life of the highlands region. To make their educational opportunities more available for the public, NMHU has begun instituting fully online degree programs, with an MBA, three Master of Arts in Education programs, and an RN-BSN nursing program. These online degrees carry NMHU’s reputation for quality, and the convenience of online learning.
Cost: $4800 annual
Online Programs: 5
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Recognized as one of the best regional institutions in the west by the Princeton Review, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology began as a mining college in 1889, growing into a highly respected technology and engineering university over the 20th century by incorporating emerging fields like petroleum engineering, astrophysics, and computer technology. With their excellence in technology, this small university has also been widely recognized as a best value, providing students with a high return for their low tuition costs.
New Mexico Tech currently offers four fully online degree programs in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Management, Science Technology, and Hydrology. Rather than a disconnected, asynchronous learning environment, New Mexico Tech’s online programs are offered through a live-streaming format, allowing online students to interact in real time with on-campus students and faculty. This provides online students with the same course material, as well as an opportunity to get to know their classmates and professors.
Cost: $6613 annual
Online Programs: 4
New Mexico Junior College
Founded in 1966, New Mexico Junior College is one of New Mexico’s most esteemed community colleges, providing students throughout Southwestern New Mexico with educational opportunities in professional and technical fields. In recent years, NMJC has worked to get their courses online, providing still more options for the growing population of the region, which is largely Hispanic and Latino.
New Mexico Junior College offers online plans for Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees. While these degrees are not technically designated as “online degrees,” they can be completed fully online through a careful selection of courses, depending on availability. That includes NMJC’s acclaimed Energy Technology Program, a cutting-edge AAS degree program that prepares students for careers in the energy industry or further education in energy technology and engineering.
Cost: $1248 annual
Online Programs: variable
Central New Mexico Community College
Located in Albuquerque, NM, not far from the University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College is the largest community college in the state, with more than 30,000 students in programs ranging from certificates and diplomas to associate’s degrees and college transfer. CNM is a major factor in preparing technicians and professionals for the New Mexico job market, from business and health to technology.
CNM has developed their online courses with an eye on quality, as part of the Online Learning Consortium, and they have built up numerous support options for online learners, including Distance Learning Achievement Coaches, all hours technical support, and access to the drop-in tutoring center. Students can can work toward a variety of degrees online, though full degree programs may vary based on the availability of certain courses.
Cost: $1448 annual
Online Programs: variable