Rio Rancho Profile

           Quality of Life          

Universities and Colleges

NEW!! The University of New Mexico has announced plans to construct the University of New Mexico West Campus on the eastern boundary of Rio Rancho's Central Business District (CBD). The new full service UNM campus will consist of academic classrooms, a Health Sciences Center, and a business research park. The first 60,000 square foot facility will provide more than 2,500 students with classrooms, student service center, library services, onsite faculty, and administrative support. The building will cost in excess of $15 million. UNM West will be joining approximately 15 other public and private post-secondary institutions that serve the metro area. UNM West is expected to become the third largest university in the State by 2015.

Under a much-publicized memorandum of understanding in August 2007, UNM and CNM, the State’s two largest postsecondary institutions, agreed to pool their resources and work together to establish a higher education campus in the City of Rio Rancho. Such a partnership will combine the best of both institutions at one Rio Rancho campus, conveniently located near the CBD. The partnership will unite the services of a nationally renowned research university with the expansive educational and workforce training capabilities of the state’s most comprehensive community college.

CNM is a 40-year old comprehensive community college offering workforce and career-technical training. CNM is in the final negotiations of acquiring 40 +/- acres from the State Land Office and UNM West for a branch campus. CNM will submit a vote in November 2007 to its district, approval of which will expand its taxable district to all of Rio Rancho and make way for a campus immediately north of the CBD.


Many post-secondary educational institutions exist within the Albuquerque MSA including the University of New Mexico (UNM), Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), New Mexico Highlands University, and the University of Phoenix.

New Mexico’s existing, four-year, research institutions include the University of New Mexico (Main Campus in Albuquerque), New Mexico State University, and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Four-year comprehensive institutions include New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico College, Eastern New Mexico University, and Western New Mexico University.

Community Colleges within the State include: Central New Mexico Community College, Santa Fe Community College, Southwest Indian Polytech Institute.

Private colleges that serve the metro area include: Apollo College, College of Santa Fe,

Institute of American Indian Arts, ITT Technical Institute, National American University, Pima Medical Institute, Southwestern College, St. John's College, University of Phoenix, and Webster University.

Total degrees awarded for universities and other higher education institutions state-wide for academic year 2005-2006 are as follows:

  • Associate’s Degrees and Certificates: 6,651
  • Bachelor’s Degrees: 6,158
  • Master’s, Education Specialist, and Doctoral Degrees: 3,132

Annual tuition and fees for select universities and colleges for the 2005-2006 academic school year are presented in the following table:

2005-2006 Tuition for Universities and Colleges

Undergraduate Graduate
Non- Resident
Undergraduate Graduate

University of New Mexico





New Mexico State University





New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology





New Mexico Highlands University





Central New Mexico Community  College





Santa Fe Community College





For more information, visit the New Mexico Higher Education Department website located at