Free-Range Thinking is the University of New Mexico's unique approach to all-natural learning, free from artificial fillers and homogenized ideas. It's a blend of education, geography, people and culture not found at other "conventional" schools. So look around, learn about Free-Range Thinking and get a little taste of the freedom you'll enjoy at the University of New Mexico.

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Schools For Thought


In true Free-Range fashion, finance students at this school learn about financial markets not just by reading about them, but also by investing in them. The students get to manage a two million dollar portfolio to see firsthand how capital markets work. Anderson's marketing department created a real marketing program for the CIA. Seems even the government is interested in Free-Range Thinking. Those are just two examples of the unique way in which our management school reinforces classroom learning with real-world experience. And speaking of, students preparing to enter the real world enjoy some special advantages through the career services office. The office helps with internships, career advisement and connecting students with hiring managers who can help with employment opportunities.
Explore the Anderson School of Management


The College of Arts and Sciences emphasizes learning through research, and some very interesting research is going on here. For example, there is the LTER, or Long-Term Ecological Research Facility. It's the largest in the nation, and is at the head of the pack when it comes to studying the complex relationship between environmental factors like wind, rain, terrain and various plant and animal populations. The college is also a leader in Native American research. UNM's location near American Indian communities gives it a unique advantage when it comes to studying Native peoples. As these two examples show, the College of Arts and Sciences encompasses a wide range of subjects, with everything from Medieval Studies to Astrophysics. Then again, Free-Range Thinking is all about exposure to as much knowledge as possible. That is why students here develop such extraordinarily well-rounded brains.
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For Free-Range brains looking to teach in an increasingly multi-cultural society, this is the place. The college features one-of-a-kind programs and centers such as the Latin American Programs in Education (LAPE), the Multicultural Education Center and the Institute for American Indian Education. And these are just some of the programs geared toward helping students excel at teaching people from all kinds of backgrounds. You can get your degree in fields ranging from elementary education to sports administration education. But it's the College of Education's focus on diversity that truly separates it from other schools. And it's what prepares Free-Range thinkers to be leaders in education anywhere in the country.
Explore the College of Education


Experimentation is key to Free-Range learning, and the College of Fine Arts is a leader in experimental artistic research. Its new ARTS (Arts, Research, Technology and Science) Lab allows students to apply cutting edge technology and research in digital graphics to create never-before-seen installations. And the college's Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program (IFDM) prepares students to go into everything from digital animation to business management in the digital film industry. The college also offers outstanding opportunities in more traditional fine arts subjects such as Art History and Cinematic Arts. Regardless what field of study you choose, the College of Fine Arts is the perfect environment to nurture the creative side of your Free-Range brain.
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Diversity is a big part of a Free-Range education, and the College of Nursing is one of the most diverse nursing schools in the country. This is a tremendous advantage for students preparing to work in an increasingly multi-cultural population. The college's Office of Community Partnerships allows students and teachers to go into the community and work in clinical settings. Examples of these partnerships are the college's one-of-a-kind rural outreach programs. They allow students to go into New Mexico's outlying communities and learn to provide care in areas with small populations that are far from urban centers. All this goes to show that the Free-Range learning process includes going out and experiencing people and places you've never experienced before.
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The College of Pharmacy has been recognized as the most ethnically diverse pharmacy school in the country. It also is constantly striving to find new approaches to pharmacy learning. A great example of this is the college's Nuclear Pharmacy training program. It focuses on the use of 'radiopharmaceuticals' - radioactive drugs that detect and treat diseases. (And you thought radiation only made you glow.) UNM was the birthplace of radiopharmacy, and continues to be a leader in the field. Aside from innovative programs, students benefit from a good deal of hands-on education. They spend a quarter of their time learning in real pharmacy settings under the guidance of licensed pharmacists. They get valuable training in pharmaceutical dispensing, counseling and disease state management. This mix of unmatched diversity, unique programs and real-world experience enables the College of Pharmacy to provide students with an educational environment unlike any other.
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The School of Architecture is all about the science - and the art - of designing buildings and creating spaces. It's housed in a cutting-edge structure designed by internationally known architect Antoine Predock that incorporates the latest in environmentally conscious construction techniques. You could say the school is Free-Range Thinking realized in concrete, glass and steel. Students here enjoy access to some of the best planning and design resources in North America, including a full fabrications lab complete with a laser cutter. You can get your degree in architecture or environmental planning and design. Also, since the total number of students in the school is limited to just over 300, you'll get more one-on-one attention from teachers than almost anywhere else. No matter which concentration you pursue, you'll be challenged to create and encouraged to experiment. It's the Free-Range way of doing things.
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If your Free-Range mind craves technical knowledge and cutting-edge research, this is the school for you. It offers a unique interactive educational approach that allows students to work not just with UNM professors, but also with national scholars and professional engineers. The school is also distinctive because of its eight internationally recognized research facilities. They include the Advanced Materials Lab, run in conjunction with world-renowned Sandia National Laboratories, and the center for Biomedical Engineering. Each is involved in breakthrough research in areas such as microfluitic medical testing devices and using nanotechnology to improve fuel cells. (And yes, these things are as complex as they sound.) All of these facilities offer a place for students to apply their knowledge to projects in fields like nanoscience, biocomputing, microsystems, nuclear power and even rocket science. As you can see, this is the school for Free-Range brainiacs.
Explore the School of Engineering


The legal world, and the world in general, are getting more and more complex. Which is why the School of Law takes a Free-Range approach to legal studies by focusing on how to apply law to diverse population groups. This has resulted in truly unique programs such as the Indian Law and Natural Resources Law programs. Another distinct part of the school is its Clinical Law Program. The program is actually a working law office where students get hands on training on how to practice law in the real world. In addition to specialized programs, law students benefit from small class sizes and increased time with professors.
Explore the School of Law


This is the school for all those Free-Range thinkers who want to convert their brain power into healing power. The school focuses on four main areas: education, research, patient care and community outreach. A key advantage here is the school's integration with the UNM hospital system, which gives students access to some of the most modern hospital facilities in the country. This ensures they get valuable knowledge both inside and outside of the classroom. The school has a wide array of departments, ranging from anesthesiology to molecular biology to psychiatry. Also, the School of Medicine was recently selected as one of only 52 brain research centers nationwide that focus on pediatric brain injuries. But that's only fitting for a university dedicated to nurturing Free-Range minds.
Explore the School of Medicine


Some Free-Range thinkers go into the private sector. For those wishing to enter the public and non-profit sectors, there is the School of Public Administration. It specializes in preparing students for leadership roles in public service. Core areas of focus include public management and policy, human resources management and behavioral studies of public organizations. Students can then concentrate their degree on either public management or human resources. The school even offers a dual law/public administration degree for those students interested in careers such as governmental lobbying. Once they get their degrees, graduates can apply their Free-Range thinking to managing the numerous challenges facing our government and society.
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Most schools simply have a few programs for orienting new students. UNM has an entire college dedicated to this. It's just another way in which the university takes a unique approach to educating young minds. University College focuses on three principal foundations for success: basic skills development, effective instruction and pro-active student support. These areas of focus provide new students with orientation and placement, introductory course-work and experienced advisement for the development of majors and ultimately careers. A big part of the UNM experience involves getting the right tools and support, and University College provides everything a fresh, young mind needs to achieve a proper Free-Range education.
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Brain Games

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Brainy Stuff


Now that you know a little about Free-Range Thinking, why not spread the word around with these widgets. Each one is a fun little reminder of what Free-Range Thinking is all about. Simply click the download button to get the widget, or widgets, you like best. Then upload them to your favorite social networking site, share them with friends or post them on your own home page.
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If you had Flash software, you'd be able to show the world what type of Free-Range mind you have with this special applicaton that lets you customize your very own brain. But you don't have Flash. However, you could very easily have Flash by clicking here to download.

Free Your Mind


  • The Sandia Peak Tram, which goes to the top of Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, is the longest cable-car tram in the world.
  • Albuquerque averages 310 days of sunshine a year.
  • Here, the word 'Christmas' refers to having both red and green chile with your meal.
  • The annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world, and the world's most photographed event.
  • Albuquerque is another mile-high city, ranging in altitude from 5,000 ft. to 6,000 ft.
  • On July 8, 1947, debris from a UFO was supposedly found near Roswell, NM.
  • Albuquerque's Central Avenue is a remnant of Route 66, the famous highway that stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles.
  • Many dinosaur fossils have been found in New Mexico, including the most complete T-Rex skull discovered in the Southwest.
  • The Pit (University Arena), where UNM's basketball teams play, got its name because it was dug 37 feet into the ground.

    Sometimes Free-Range thinkers want to cheer their Free-Range brains out at a great game. And nothing beats cheering for the UNM Lobos as they play other schools.


    You can't miss a game at "The Pit," UNM's basketball arena. It was literally dug into the ground, and during game time the noise is deafening. Soon it'll be an even more exciting venue once its $60 million dollar renovation is completed. Both the men's and women's teams are competitive nationally. The men's team has an amazing .806 winning percentage, and the women's team routinely qualifies for the NCAA tournament.


    Watch the Lobos take to the gridiron at University Stadium. The football team is a tough contender in the WAC (Western Athletic Conference). Games are always exciting, particularly against UNM's in-state rival, the NM State Aggies. The Lobos play fast and f urious, but they wear helmets so their brains are well protected. Several Lobos, like Brian Urlacher and Hank Basket, have gone on to make it in the pros.


    In addition to basketball and football, UNM has a host of other competitive teams. The men's baseball and soccer teams often compete in NCAA tournaments. The school also excels in sports such as track and field, swimming, softball and skiing.


    As if UNM's athletics weren't enough, Albuquerque has professional sports as well. There are the Thunderbirds, an NBA Development team, and the Isotopes,* Albuquerque's minor league baseball team. The 'Topes play right near campus, and Isotopes Stadium is one of the nicest minor league parks you'll visit. An Isotopes game is a perfect way to spend a late spring evening.
    * Pop-culture fun fact: The Isotopes actually got their name from an episode of "The Simpsons."


    Free-Range brains should regularly venture outside for some fresh air and good cardio, and Albuquerque is great for both. The altitude and the amazing landscape make this an outdoor paradise. If the activities don't leave you breathless, the scenery definitely will.


    The Sandia Mountains, just on the edge of town, are covered with hiking trails, including the La Luz trail. It's a tough hike - 15 miles round-trip - that goes right to the top, rising over 3,300 vertical feet in the process. New Mexico is also full of amazing wilderness areas, from high alpine forests in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, to stunning cliffs in Chaco Canyon. They're perfect for a Free-Range mind to explore and experience.


    The Sandias have miles of single track, steep mountain inclines and technical high-desert terrain that will challenge you. And for you road cyclists, Albuquerque has a large network of flat, even trails. In fact, Albuquerque was named one of the best places in the country for cycling. No wonder professional cyclists come from all over the country to train in Albuquerque.


    The mountains here get some of the driest, fluffiest snow you'll ever encounter, which makes for great skiing and snowboarding. You can go to Sandia Ski Area if you want to stay close to home. Or take a short drive north to Santa Fe, where you'll find 67 high desert mountain runs from which to choose. Those looking for a true alpine experience can find it at Taos Ski Valley, about an hour north of Santa Fe. It offers world-class terrain and some of the finest powder in the country.


    This area features some great courses. One of the best is UNM's Championship Course. It's been nationally recognized as one of the best public courses in the country. Just outside of town are two public courses that rank in the top 50 nationally: Twin Warriors and Paa-Ko Ridge. In addition to being beautiful, these courses are a lot less expensive compared to the rest of the country. Add to this the fact that you can play all year long because of the mild weather, and you've got a golfer's paradise.


    For those craving some extreme brain stimulation, New Mexico is the place. You can go rock climbing and mountaineering. Or go below ground and try spelunking. If you want to get airborne, there's hang gliding, paragliding and hot-air ballooning. And if you want to get wet, try whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing or even scuba diving in the famous 'Blue Hole' of Santa Rosa. It's a natural pool in the earth over 80 feet deep that maintains a constant temperature of 64 degrees. (So don't forget to pack your Free-Range floaties.)


    In addition to eating and entertainment, students get a great chance to experience a blend of peoples, cultures and art unlike that of any place else.


    For those looking to catch a show, there are some great venues here for live performances. On UNM's campus there is Popejoy Hall. It hosts everything from Broadway shows to symphony concerts to modern dance groups. Then there is Albuquerque Little Theater, home to outstanding local theater groups, and the KiMo Theater. Located Downtown, the KiMo is an architectural landmark from the 1940's that hosts some of the city's best live music and film. And speaking of live music, you can't beat a show at the Launchpad, which features great local and up-and-coming bands.


    If you prefer stationary works of art, check out the outstanding museums and galleries here. On campus you have the University Art Museum, the Jonson Gallery featuring the definitive works of Raymond Jonson, and the John Sommers Gallery, which exhibits student work. In Old Town you'll find the Museum of Art and History, featuring works from all native traditions as well as cutting-edge modern installations. And the city's many galleries also offer great works of contemporary art.


    Both UNM and the city of Albuquerque showcase a fusion of cultures unlike any other you've encountered. The school has students from over 47 different countries, and features over 70 foreign exchange programs. The city itself is a unique mixture of Spanish, Native American, and cowboy influences. These can be seen in the buildings of Old Town, ancient Indian cliff dwellings outside the city and cultural centers celebrating the area's history and customs.


    A Free-Range brain needs nourishment, as well as some entertainment. Fortunately Albuquerque features all sorts of great places to eat, fun things to do and interesting things to see.


    Breakfast Burritos & Chile: There is one food here you won’t find anywhere else: the breakfast burrito. It’s so good, it’s almost mind-altering. The burritos here come in many forms, each full of eggs, meat, cheese, potatoes and – most importantly – chile. As in New Mexico chile peppers. There are two kinds, red and green. Both pack heat and flavor, and grow only in New Mexico. They're used in burritos, enchiladas, burgers, pizza, –anything really. Eat enough, and you'll put chile on everything too.


    To have a great meal, you need a great place to eat it. And some of the best dining is in the Nob Hill neighborhood near the University. There you’ll find delicious New Mexican dishes, awesome sandwiches, great Italian food, Vietnamese, French, Greek and much more. And after your meal, why not do some shopping? You can tour Nob Hill’s eclectic boutiques and funky shops, or visit the upscale stores of ABQ Uptown. Either way, there's something for every Free-Range shopaholic.


    In addition to Nob Hill, Downtown Albuquerque offers lots of entertainment options. A few minutes from UNM, it has an active nightlife with restaurants, shops, local hangouts and the KiMo Theater, a local landmark that hosts great live performances. Then there is Old Town Plaza. The original heart of the city, it dates back to the early 1700's. Old Town has seven museums and over 100 shops, restaurants and galleries. It's the perfect place to let your Free-Range mind wander.


    Lots of great festivals take place in and around Albuquerque. The city's biggest is the Balloon Fiesta. It draws hundreds of thousands of visitors and over 700 hot-air balloons from around the globe. If extraterrestrials are your thing, check out the UFO Festival in Roswell. You'll see all sorts of strange life forms, both alien and human. Other great events include the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, the Downtown Arts Festival and the New Mexico Jazz Festival.