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Transfer and Other Credit

Information on transfer credits, credits for life or work experience, Advanced Placement or AP classes, challenge exams and more.

Traditional Credit

Credits earned at other post secondary institutions may be transferred and applied toward program requirements in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • An official transcript from each institution must be sent directly to the CNM Records Office for evaluation. The Request for Other Institute Transcript Form (19 kb) should be completed and forwarded to each institution.
  • Credit for general education courses earned at regionally accredited post secondary institutions will be evaluated automatically upon receipt of the official transcript (for admitted and currently enrolled students only). Courses with D or better grades earned at public New Mexico institutions will be considered for transfer credit; courses from institutions outside New Mexico and private institutions in New Mexico must have a grade of C or better to be considered for transfer credit.
  • To receive transfer credit for career and technical courses, the student must request that the CNM's Records Office refer the transcript(s) to the appropriate academic division for review. An interview and/or demonstration of competence may be required before the decision regarding credit is made. Demonstration of competence is required for all transfer credit more than ten years old.
  • Remedial courses and upper-division courses are not generally transferable.

Note: A re-evaluation of transfer credit can be requested by submitting a Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credit Form (70KB).

Non-Traditional Credit

Students may be allowed to establish credit for courses based on life and work experience and/or prior training. Because opportunities to establish such credit vary by division, students interested in this option should contact their academic division office.

Examination of Credit

CNM Challenge Exams: These exams are available to applicants and currently enrolled students who wish to establish CNM credit for prior education, training and/or experience. Other post secondary institutions may not accept challenge exam credit. The fee for most exams is $15. The following restrictions apply:

  • A student may attempt a challenge exam only once per course.
  • A student may not take a challenge exam if, within the last 10 years, he or she completed the course at any school with a final grade, including AU but excluding W grades.
  • A grade of CR will be recorded upon the student's completion of CNM credit coursework in the same or subsequent term.
  • Courses successfully challenged may count toward program requirements, but not CNM's graduation residency requirement.

Contact the appropriate academic division for information on Challenge Exams.

Advanced Placement (AP)/College Level Examination Program (CLEP): Students may earn credit through Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests. Earned AP and CLEP credit will be treated as transfer credit. For more information, refer to the CNM Catalog or contact an advisor or the CNM Records Office.

Course Substitutions and Waivers

Course substitutions: A course for which a student has already received credit may substitute for required course in the student's program, if the substituting course meets the competencies of the required course.  Course substitutions must be approved by the academic division in which the student's program is offered.  If the substituting course has fewer credit hours, the student may be required to make up the credit difference with appropriate coursework identified by the division (see Graduation).

Course waivers:  A course waiver is an exemption from a required course because the competencies of the course have already been attained due to prior training, education or work experience.  Demonstration of competencies will be required.  A course waiver must first be approved by the academic division in which the student's program is offered then secondly, by the division in which the waived course is offered.  Credit waivers do not require the student to make up the deficient credit(s), however; there are limits to the number of credits that can be waived in the program (see Graduation).

Transfer Among New Mexico Higher Education Institutions

To facilitate the transfer of students and course credits among New Mexico's colleges and universities, the state's public institutions of higher education are required to accept in-transfer courses taken within approved modules of lower-division course work and apply them toward degree requirements. Several transfer guides have been developed through collaboration of New Mexico's public post secondary institutions, consistent with requirements of state law (21-1B, NMSA 1978). Students wishing to prepare for possible transfer into a degree program at another institution are advised to take these courses during their freshman and sophomore years.

New Mexico's colleges and universities have worked together to produce guides to assist students who plan to transfer before completing a program of study. Course modules are designed to help students select courses carefully so that they may transfer with little or no loss of credit. However, planning for effective transfer with maximum efficiency is ultimately the student's responsibility. Responsible transfer planning includes early and regular consultation with the intended degree-granting institution to assure that all pre-transfer coursework will meet the requirements of the desired degree. For additional information refer to the CNM Catalog or contact the New Mexico Higher Education Department .