Skip to main content

Freshman Residency Requirement

The University of New Mexico is committed to providing all students with an exceptional educational experience. For this reason, UNM will require all first-year students (not qualified for an exception) to live on campus for their first academic year. Statistics both nationally and at the University level have consistently shown that students who live on campus have better grades and stay in school longer than students who choose to live off campus. Residents are successful because:

  • Our educational programming model of community, wellness, personal and professional development, and diversity and inclusion, is the foundation of our engagement with our residents
  • A multi-layer security system, from the Resident Advisor to a 24/7 security staff to the UNM Police Department, provides a safe campus environment.
  • Trained staff who design and implement events and activities based on our educational model to enhance the college experience, keeping students involved and supported.
  • Living Learning Communities connect residents directly to their academic program as well as a connection to other residents with interests just like them.
  • All the conveniences of campus life allow our students the opportunity to stay focused on learning.

Who Is Required to Live On Campus?

All first year undergraduate students enrolled as full-time students outside a 30-mile radius of campus are required to live on campus.

  • Students first enrolling in summer are required to live in the residence halls during the summer, fall and spring semesters.
  • Students first enrolling in the fall are required to live in the residence halls during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Students first enrolling in the spring are required to live in the residence halls during the spring semester. 

Who Is Not Required to Live On Campus?

First year undergraduate students who fall within one or more of the following categories are automatically exempt from the Freshmen Residency Requirement.

  • Student will be living with a parent, guardian or family member within 30 miles of main campus (additional documentation may be required)
  • Student will be at least 20 years of age by the first day of the academic year
  • Student is domestically partnered, married or has legally dependent children (additional documentation may be required)

View the 30-mile radius exception map here. 

What Campus Housing Satisfies the Freshmen Residency Requirement?

All main campus UNM Residence Halls (Alvarado, Coronado, Hokona, Laguna, DeVargas, Santa Clara, Student Residence Center Apartments, and Redondo Village Apartments) and on-campus private partner Casas del Rio fulfill the requirement. A student may apply to live in a satellite residence hall like Lobo Rainforest or at the private partner Lobo Village if the student has a demonstrable tie to a UNM academic program or a Living Learning Community.

Are There Other Exceptions to the Freshman Residency Requirement?

Exceptions to the live-in requirement may be requested and will be reviewed on an individual basis. Exceptions will be considered for students who provide documentation that demonstrates that the:

  • Student has a medical or accessibility circumstance and have applied and been approved for live-in exception through UNM’s Accessibility Resource Center
  • Student who can demonstrate that living on campus would present an undue hardship on their ability to attend the University

To request an exception to the Freshman Residency Requirement, please log into the Residence Dashboard, enter your UNM NetID and password and complete the exception application. Please be sure to attach any appropriate documentation to support your exception. Questions? Contact us at

Learn more about UNM's Living Requirement Study.