Welcome to the Academic Communities Program!

Courses in the Academic Communities Program serve as your academic gateway to UNM and provide the tools you need to succeed in higher education. 

Academic Communities are community-based classes dedicated to helping first-year students develop:

  • Academic and social community
  • A sense of engagement in their education
  • The skills necessary for academic success
  • An understanding of the culture of higher education
  • Connections to UNM resources and support systems
  • Close relationships with University faculty and staff

In your very first semester, you get to take classes in your degree, learn the skills employers want you to learn in college, meet new friends, get a great academic start at UNM and have a fun time!

There are no special requirements for freshmen to participate in Academic Communities courses. First-year students elect to participate by registering for the courses on a space-available basis at their Orientation. There are no additional costs to participate.

There is an Academic Community for everyone! Browse Academic Community Course Offerings by navigating the Programs tab above!


First-Year Learning Communities (FLC)

FLCs offer an intellectually stimulating introduction to university life. Twenty-five first-year students take two freshman-level courses together that are linked by a common theme. They are taught by UNM’s most experienced faculty, together as an integrated whole. Each FLC has a different theme centered on specific majors, areas of interest and exploration, or creative means to completing UNM core requirements. FLCs are offered during fall semesters only for first-year students. Both courses in the FLC count for full credit (3 credit hours each) and count towards graduation.

Transition Communities

A Transition Community is a one or three-credit first-year seminar that helps students excel in their first year at UNM by learning college success skills and building community. Twenty-five students enroll in a community-oriented seminar where they will learn how to better navigate the University and have an overall, smoother transition to university life. A primary goal of the seminar is to excel in the other core or academic courses while learning about majors, careers, and college success skills. There are several Transition Communities created for the general student population as well as courses designed for unique cohorts at UNM by major, affiliations, or interest areas.

Big Questions

Big Question courses offer first-year students and upperclassmen an opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of unique topic areas through a project-based curriculum. They are taught by three to five UNM faculty who specialize in cutting-edge subject matter and give first-year students an opportunity to engage in inquiry and analysis of the world’s biggest questions.

Academic Foundations

Academic Foundations courses prepare students for college-level work by offering introductory-level courses in math and reading. Students taking these courses will be better prepared for success in UNM core curriculum courses and their rigorous academic majors. The courses count toward graduation but do not fulfill core curriculum requirements.