International Undergraduate FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
May I apply on the web?
We prefer that you apply online. Be sure to answer every question fully and to print out, sign, and send in the signature page. You will also need to complete the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (pdf).
I'm already in the United States. Should I use the international-student application or the domestic-student application?
If you are not a U.S. Citizen or confirmed permanent resident (i.e., holding a "green card"), you need to complete an international application. Completing a domestic application will only slow down the admission process. All undergraduate applications from persons who are neither citizens nor confirmed permanent residents are processed through the Student Affairs Office.
What is the preferred method of communication during the admission process?
Because telephone communication often results in misunderstandings, we much prefer to use e-mail communication. This is the address to use: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do I have to submit a TOEFL score? If so, what is the minimum acceptable score?
If English is not your first language, we must receive an official TOEFL score report of at least 540 (paper-based), 207 (computer-based), or 76 (Internet-based test). We request that the Educational Testing Service send your score directly to New Mexico Tech. Our ETS institution code is 4533.
Do I have to take the ACT or SAT exam?
No. International students are not required to submit these scores. However, if you are a transfer student and have not taken the TOEFL, you will not be eligible for certain scholarships without either a TOEFL, SAT, or ACT score.
What is New Mexico Tech's school code (the Department of Education, or DOE, code)?
Do I have to submit vaccination records or other medical information?
Yes. Health records are required. We do urge you to take care of all existing medical, dental, and eye problems in your own country, before you arrive in the U.S. Our health-care system, while state-of-the-art in many ways, is very expensive to use.
What is Tech's minimum secondary-school GPA (grade-point average, or marks average)?
Your secondary-school average must equal at least 2.5 in the 4-point U.S. system.
What must I submit if I have finished secondary school (no higher education)?
To make your application file complete, we must receive:
- Your completed and signed International Application for Undergraduate Admission.
- Your completed and signed Certificate of Financial Responsibility (pdf). This must also include any financial contributions from other (friends, family members) and their signatures. Supporting documents (bank statements, employer's statements) must come directly from the bank or employer. If you will be sponsored by an agency, we must receive their letter specifying the amount and duration of your scholarship.
- Application fee of $15 in U.S. currency.
- Official TOEFL test score.
- All international academic credentials must be evaluated through World Education Services (www.wes.org); freshmen can request a Document-by-Document Report; transfer students must request a Comprehensive Course-by-Course Report. WES charges a fee for this service, payable at time of request. WES will send the results directly to New Mexico Tech with copies of your original transcripts.
Please see the instruction sheet "How to Prepare and Send Application Documents."
What other fees related to admission will I have to pay?
Later in the process, if you are admitted to Tech, you will also need to send a $50 acceptance fee along with your Acceptance form.
It's difficult to send money from my country. May I ask someone in the United States to send the Application fee ($15) and the Acceptance fee ($50) on my behalf?
Yes, no problem. Just ask that person to make the check or money order payable to New Mexico Tech and to note that the payment is for you. Make sure he or she spells your name the same way you have put it on your application form.
What should I do if I have already completed some university-level courses?
You must submit all the materials listed above, but also include:
- An official transcript from each college or university you have attended, along with certified English translations, showing a GPA of at least 2.0. All interntaional transcripts must go through WES using the comprehensive,l course-by-course evaluation.
- A catalog or course syllabi from each university attended, containing descriptions of all college/university courses for which you want to receive transfer credit should be sent directly to International Programs, Student Affairs, New Mexico Tech.
Which credits will transfer? What is the procedure?
As soon as your file is complete, we will send your transcripts and course descriptions to our Registrar for transfer evaluation. Generally, if you have passed courses for which there is an equivalent course here at Tech, you will receive credit for that course.
How much does it cost to attend New Mexico Tech?
Please see Estimated Costs (pdf).
May I choose not to register for summer classes?
Yes. You are generally not required to attend summer classes. However, bear in mind two things: (1) summer classes are always offered at the lower in-state rate and (2) taking some classes in summer may mean that you can relax a little and not take such a heavy load of classes in fall and spring. Planning to include summer study may be a good idea. You may not begin studies at New Mexico Tech during summer session.
Can I become a New Mexico "resident" and pay in-state rates during fall and spring?
No. By State law, international undergraduate students cannot establish residency. You will pay out-of-state tuition every fall and spring throughout your program.
What scholarships are available to international students?
We offer substantial scholarships for students transferring at least 30 credits from another U.S. institution. - International Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships Opportunities .
How do I apply for a transfer scholarship?
There is no separate scholarship application or procedure. Every application from a student transferring from another U.S. institution is examined for transfer scholarship eligibility.
May I work on the Tech campus?
Yes. As long as you are enrolled full time in the spring and fall and are maintaining good academic standing, you may work 20 hours per week while school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods. Most student jobs pay between $7.50 and $10.00 per hour; they offer supplementary income, but are never enough to pay tuition and fees.
May I work outside the Tech campus?
Probably not. It is illegal for international students to work outside the campus unless they obtain specific permission from the government. The few who do get permission are usually working under the regulations of Optional or Curricular Practical Training, and these opportunities are rare before the degree program is completed.
Is on-campus housing available to international students?
Yes, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the Residential Life office at as early as possible and follow their instructions carefully.
What about off-campus housing in the Socorro community?
Socorro offers a wide variety of housing possibilities within walking distance of the Tech campus. Residential Life keeps an online list of apartments and houses for rent, but many students find housing by coming to campus a few days early and checking all the bulletin boards to see all the "need a roommate" advertisements which other students have posted.
I know I have to prove that I can pay for my education. How do I do this?
For many, this is the most difficult part of the application process. To begin, please refer to How to Prepare and Send Application Documents (pdf). Please understand that we try to prevent both educational and legal problems by encouraging you to have a financial plan that will see you through your entire study program! New Mexico Tech reserves the right to require an advanced payment equal to out-of-state tuition and fees for one academic year.
How do I complete the How to Prepare and Send Application Documents (pdf)?
You will see that the Certificate contains a grid or matrix that asks you to show how much money is available to you from each source for each year of your program. The number of years you will be at New Mexico Tech will vary, depending on whether or not you are able to transfer a significant number of courses and on the number of credits you earn each semester. Without transfer credits, it is possible to earn a bachelor's degree in four years by following the suggested program (see the Catalog description of your chosen major program). This generally means taking a rather heavy load (16 to 18 credits) each semester. Taking fewer credits per semester means that you will lengthen your stay past four years.
We must have proof that your support for the first year is available in cash, from one source or a combination of sources, but we do not expect that you or your family necessarily have cash on hand for all four or five years. However, we need to see a plan of support for your entire study program. The grid on the Certificate of Financial Responsibility should be filled in to show the amount of money that you expect (and others have pledged) for each year of support.
Each person who pledges an amount of money that appears on the grid needs to sign the Certificate. If passing the Certificate from person to person is inconvenient, you may use multiple copies of the grid page. You, the student, should sign each copy.
What supporting documentation is needed?
We must receive proof that your sponsors will be able to fulfill their promises. For this, we need to receive official documentation (bank records, employer statements, tax records) directly from the source.
If you are to receive a scholarship from a government, a university, a private company, or some other agency, we must receive an official letter which names you, the duration of the scholarship, and the amount of money (in U.S. currency) to be awarded each year.
How much money do I need to bring with me for my first semester?
Tuition, fees, and medical insurance must be paid immediately upon registration. The same is generally true for room and board, and you will need money for books, laundry, and various personal expenses. In all, you should have access to approximately $14,000 to begin your first semester.
What is the best way to bring money into the United States for my education?
For your initial semester, we recommend a combination of methods:
- an international money order or a cashier's check (a bank draft with Routing Number), in U.S. currency,
- traveler's checks (again, in U.S. currency), and
- a credit card accepted in the U.S.
The money order or bank draft can be deposited directly into your student account to pay for tuition, fees, room, board, etc; the traveler's checks are easy for you to use immediately, and almost anywhere, to meet your personal expenses.
What if I arrive without enough money?
Registration is possible only if your tuition, fees, and medical insurance are paid. At the end of the registration period (the third week of classes), students who have not paid are disenrolled. For an international student, this means you are automatically reported to the immigration system as an illegal alien in the United States - not a good situation!
If you are to be totally sponsored by a government, university, or other agency, your charges at New Mexico Tech can be billed to that agency. But even if you are a fully-sponsored student, you should bring several thousand dollars with you, in the form of traveler's checks, especially if you plan to rent an apartment off campus.
What is the international situation at New Mexico Tech?
We enjoy having about 140 international students at Tech, coming from about 35 different countries. Our two largest national groups are from India and China; quite a few of our students are their country's sole representative. Most (about 100) are graduate students (MS and Ph.D.), about 40 are undergraduates (BS), and a few are short-term exchange students. We also have quite a few international faculty spread out among our departments. International students are encouraged to take part in all the usual student activities, but we also hold a special "Global Village Day" each fall as well as occasional international events.
What about sports at Tech?
New Mexico Tech is a fairly small school (about 1300 full-time students plus another 425 part-time or "special" students) and offers a demanding science and engineering curriculum. Not surprisingly, we do not have the team-sports programs in basketball, football, etc., that are typical of large U.S. schools. However, our students are active in many sports "just for the fun of it." We have an 18-hole golf course, a swimming pool, two tennis courts, squash and racquetball courts, a rock-climbing wall, two gymnasiums, and weight-training/fitness facilities. Several sports clubs (soccer, rugby, table tennis, indoor soccer, basketball) meet regularly and sometimes challenge other nearby colleges in friendly competition.
If I have academic trouble, who can help?
New Mexico Tech's Center for Student Success arranges free tutoring and study groups, especially for the lower-level courses, as well as individual counseling and assistance with study skills and time management.
What if I get sick?
The New Mexico Tech Student Health Center on campus is currently open Monday through Friday. Excellent, fully-qualified staff offer routine care and references to outside physicians when necessary. Note that all students at New Mexico Tech are required to carry health insurance.
What is it like to live in Socorro, New Mexico?
Socorro is a small town with three grocery stores, one movie theater, numerous gas stations and motels, and several good restaurants. Located 75 miles south of Albuquerque, it is surrounded by farms, ranches, and high desert. With its friendly, relaxed pace of life, it is a good, safe place to raise small children. It is also a good place for serious study, because there are few distractions. Weekend fun off campus might be a bicycle trip on dirt roads in the wilderness, a hike or a rock climb in the mountains west of town, or a trip to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or one of the many geological, scientific, or cultural attractions of the state. Socorro also offers many places of worship, including a small mosque.
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801
What if I cannot complete the online application?
Use the paper International Undergraduate Application, a (pdf) that you can print out. Complete it and sign.