New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Established 1889
Type Public
Endowment $16.1 million [1]
President Dr. Daniel H. López
Academic staff 150
Undergraduates 1,344 (Fall 2008)
Postgraduates 577 (Fall 2008)
Location Socorro, New Mexico, USA
34°04′00″N 106°54′20″W / 34.0668°N 106.9056°W / 34.0668; -106.9056Coordinates: 34°04′00″N 106°54′20″W / 34.0668°N 106.9056°W / 34.0668; -106.9056
Campus Rural, 320 acres (1.3 km²) central, 40 mi² (100 km²) adjoining
Focus Science and engineering
Colors Silver and Gold         
Mascot Miners

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (also called New Mexico Tech, and originally known as the New Mexico School of Mines) is a university located in Socorro, New Mexico.

Noted for its undergraduate and graduate school opportunities,[1] New Mexico Tech offers over 30 bachelor of science degrees in technology, the sciences, engineering (including mineral engineering), management, and technical communication, as well as graduate degrees at the masters and doctoral levels. New Mexico Tech is considered one of the best small science and engineering schools in North America.[1][2] A recent National Science Foundation study of Baccalaureate Origins of S&E Doctorate Recipients in the U.S. ranked New Mexico Tech as 15th in the nation, as well as the number one ranked public institution.[3]



New Mexico Tech is a relatively small (approximately 2000 students as of 2010) research- and teaching-oriented university focused on science and engineering. The institution was founded by the New Mexico Territorial Legislature in the year 1889 as the New Mexico School of Mines to both boost the territorial economy and teach mining specialties on the college level. During the 1930s, petroleum engineering and technology also became an important field of study at the institute. In 1946, New Mexico Tech began offering graduate degrees. The institute adopted its current name in 1951, but the change was not legally effective until 1960, when its name was changed by an amendment of the New Mexico State Constitution, Art.XII, Section 11.[4]

Research and Teaching

Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO), managed by New Mexico Tech's Office of Research and Economic Development, is located 20 miles west of campus at an elevation of 10,500' in the Cibola National Forest.
The Very Large Array (VLA): a 27-dish interferometer 60 miles west of Socorro with headquarters on the New Mexico Tech Campus
The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Program for Array Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (IRIS PASSCAL) Instrument Center, located on the New Mexico Tech Campus.

New Mexico Tech's well-known areas of research and teaching include hydrology, astrophysics, atmospheric physics, geophysics, information technology, information security, Earth Science, energetic materials engineering, and petroleum recovery. Federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security and other sources has fostered significant training and research programs in this area (even going so far as to allow the university to purchase Playas, New Mexico, a former company town, as a field site). Because of its especially strong research programs, the school offers numerous scholarships and unique research opportunities for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a very high professor to student ratio of approximately one professor per twelve students. In addition to its strong focus on science and technology, New Mexico Tech has seen much recent growth in the humanities and social sciences. Minors are now available in history, Latin American studies, and philosophy, in addition to minors in science and engineering fields. The university's most recent NCA reaccreditation was in October 2004.

Affiliated Science and Engineering Centers

In 2003 the university bought the town of Playas, New Mexico for use as a research and training facility for the university’s first responders and counter-terrorism programs.

Recent National Rankings

  • 2011 Ranked one of "The Best 373 Colleges in USA" by The Princeton Review [6]
  • 2010 Ranked #19 in "Top 25 Most Desirable Small School" and #10 in "Top 25 Most Desirable Rural School" by Newsweek [7][8]
  • 2010 Ranked #12 in "America's Best Value Colleges" by The Princeton Review [9]
  • 2010 "13 Colleges That Won't Leave You In Massive Debt" by Huffington Post [10]
  • 2009 Ranked as "The 37th best value among American universities" by Kiplinger's
  • 2008 Ranked as the 15th highest proportional undergraduate producer of doctorate degree recipients (and number one public institution) by the National Science Foundation


  • 2008 Ranked among top western colleges by The Princeton Review
  • 2007 Ranked as an "America's Best Value College" by The Princeton Review
  • 2007 Ranked one of the nation’s best institutions for an undergraduate education by the Princeton Review
  • 2006 Ranked as one of Kiplinger's Top 100
  • 2005 Ranked #2 Best value in education by The Princeton Review
  • 2005 "Publisher's Pick" in Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine
  • 2005 Ranked among top western colleges by The Princeton Review
  • 2004 Ranked among top western colleges by The Princeton Review

National Center of Academic Excellence

The school is a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE). This brings several major scholarships and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

School Culture and Student Life

A view of part of Socorro, New Mexico. Aerial photograph, taken from an RV-6A aircraft flown out of Socorro's airport.

NMT hosts an annual Performing Arts Series that is free to students, and, along with the broader Socorro community, city, and county, supports a great number of special events each year. New Mexico Tech is located approximately an hour south of Albuquerque in a region of high deserts to subalpine mountains that offers considerable outdoor recreation opportunities, including rock climbing, road and mountain biking, a triathlon, and hiking opportunities. [12] [13] New Mexico Tech also hosts numerous active student clubs, a Part 15 AM radio station, and a biweekly student newspaper, Paydirt. The campus also includes an 18-hole championship golf course.

The campus population has historically been predominantly male, but it has moved increasing towards a balance between the sexes,[14] with women now equal with men in most majors. The recently admitted class of 2013 has an overall male to female ratio of approximately 3:1, but this ratio is highly variable between departments.

New Mexico Tech has nine different halls/apartments for students: West Hall (Male Only), Driscoll Hall (Female Only), Presidents (Co-Ed), Baca, and South Halls (Co-Ed), Ben D. Altamirano Student Apartments, Desert Willow Apartments, and Mountain Springs Apartments

The campus also has a 150,000 gallon outdoor swimming pool that goes from a depth of 4 feet to 11 feet. During the winter months, it is covered to allow swimming to continue during cold weather.

New Mexico Tech now has social Greek Letter organizations as of the 2007-2008 school year: Kappa Sigma, an all-male fraternity, and Alpha Sigma Kappa, a social sorority for women in technical fields. Prior to this, the only official social/academic organization on campus was The Ancient and Honorable Order of St. Patrick (patron saint of miners), into which all 2nd semester first-year students in good academic standing as of the St.Patrick's Day weekend were eligible to be inducted.

Each summer, NMT hosts the Summer Science Program, which teaches astronomy to high school students.

New Mexico Tech on Television

Several television shows have focused on New Mexico Tech faculty, students, and research. TruTV's Man vs. Cartoon features attempts by Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center to re-create contraptions and situations found in Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons. Mythbusters, National Geographic Explorer, and Nova have also featured Tech in various episodes.[15] Another TV show featuring Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, Blow Up U, began filming in the spring of 2009.[16]


  1. ^ a b Carey, John A. (Feb. 2003) "New Mexico Tech One of State's Best Assets" New Mexico Business Journal 27:2 pp48-49
  2. ^ "The 25 Most Desirable Small Schools: 19. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology". Newsweek. September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Baccalaureate Origins of S&E Doctorate Recipients, National Science Foundation Report 8-311, July, 2008". 
  4. ^ A Brief History of NMT
  5. ^ Aster, R., Beaudoin, B., Hole, J., Fouch, M., Fowler, J., James, D., and the PASSCAL Staff and Standing Committee, IRIS PASSCAL program marks 20 years of scientific discovery, EOS trans. AGU, 86, 26 April 2005.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Best Value Colleges for 2010 and how they were chosen". USA Today. February 23, 2011. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Recreation in Socorro Socorro Public Library
  13. ^ "Outdoor Recreation in Socorro County" New Mexico Tech Earth and Environmental Science Department
  14. ^ New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (2005) NM Tech 2004 Affirmative Action Report New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM;
  15. ^ "Tech on TV". New Mexico Tech. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Tech's Magdalena Ridge Observatory Now Open for Business". New Mexico Tech. October 8, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2010. 

External links

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