The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology – better known as New Mexico Tech – is a small STEM-focused public university in central New Mexico. Founded in 1889, New Mexico Tech began as simply the New Mexico School of Mines, intended to prepare workers and administrators for the state’s booming mining industry, at that time centered around the silver and lead mines of Socorro. Over the next 50 years, the main innovation was adding petroleum engineering to the curriculum as oil became more valuable, but New Mexico Tech truly came into its own after WWII, when its leadership turned the focus to technology and industry. Today NMT is New Mexico’s leading STEM institution, named by Newsweek as one of the top small STEM universities in the nation, and regularly ranked as a best value by the Princeton Review and others.
Academic ProgramsNew Mexico Tech is built around technology and engineering, and significant investment from the Department of Homeland Security in recent years has made an impact on curriculum and research. As a comprehensive university, NMT offers degrees at all levels from associate’s to doctoral, all in science and engineering, along with technical communication and technology business management, professional careers related to science and technology. A 13:1 student/faculty ratio gives students the kind of access to faculty mentorship and guidance that is normally expected at an elite polytechnic university, but as a public university, New Mexico Tech is committed to making that opportunity accessible to students traditionally excluded.
As a technology institute, New Mexico Tech places priority on research, including both undergraduate and graduate students. Since graduate students comprise a relatively small number of students, undergraduates get to take part in cutting-edge research and studies at an uncommonly high level (as would usually be left to graduate students). That means New Mexico Tech undergraduates are often as well-prepared for professional scientific careers as master’s graduates at other institutions, and are highly qualified for graduate education at prestigious universities. From astrophysics to petroleum recovery, NMT students are at the center of research innovation.
Student LifeWhile Tech’s student body has traditionally been largely male (though the first female student graduated in 1939), in recent years efforts at outreach and inclusion have helped to close the gap, and in many particular programs, women and men have reached parity. With New Mexico’s high Hispanic/Latino population, Tech’s student body is also highly diverse, with half of the student body claiming non-white heritage. New Mexico Tech’s low public-university tuition keeps their excellent programs available to more students, and the success is evident. According to the New York Times, a low-income student who graduates from New Mexico Tech has a 48% chance of becoming a wealthy adult – making NMT #10 in the nation for best chances of leaping upward in class.
As in any college, New Mexico Tech offers a wide variety of student-led clubs and organizations for entertainment, networking, and community building, from hobby and interest groups like the Belly Dance Club and the Gaming Club, to professional organizations like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Religious groups, intramural sports, and other clubs round out the student experience. Of course, New Mexico is a hub for outdoor sports and adventure tourism, and NMT students have easy access to everything from mountain biking and hiking to camping and fishing, while over 300 days of sunshine make every day a day to be outside.