Early Start Program

The Early Start program (ESP) provides students with a highly supportive initial college experience designed to create academic momentum, a less stressful transition to the college environment, and academic success. Any new freshman admitted to UNM may choose to participate in the ESP program. Freshmen admitted with an ACT composite score of 16, or 790 SAT (Critical Reading and Math combined) or below, must participate in the ESP program and fulfill the following conditions in order to enroll at UNM in freshman status:


  • Enroll in one English or math course at a regionally accredited college in the summer term immediately following graduation from high school.  ESP participants enrolled in the summer term will have continuing enrollment for fall.
    • Freshmen participating in the ESP program from the Albuquerque area (including Bernalillo and Rio Rancho) may enroll at a UNM campus or Central New Mexico Community College (CNM).
    • Freshmen from outside the Albuquerque area may complete ESP requirements by enrolling in one English or math course at a regionally accredited college, including online courses. 
  • Evidence of enrollment in one course (a copy of the student's course schedule as an example), followed by an official college transcript when courses are complete, must be provided to the UNM Admissions Office in order to enroll in fall courses.

Spring 2022 Information Sessions: Coming Soon...  

If you are participating in the Early Start Program this is what your process will look like:ESP pathway


  • Build community with classmates/make new friends
  • Smaller classes
  • Become familiar with campus and the academic and student support resources
  • Learn about college academic expectations
  • Strong start at UNM



Campus housing is available during the summer. Contact UNM Residence Life & Student Housing for more information about summer housing options.


There are a variety of academic and support resources available for students.  You will have the opportunity to take advantage of many resources on campus including, but not limited to the following:

Financial Aid

ESP participants who select to take their courses at the UNM Albuquerque campus are encouraged to submit the 2021/2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for summer 2022 financial assistance. The 2021/2022 FAFSA became available October 1, 2020.


New Student Orientation

You will be registered for NSO once you have confirmed your place as an ESP participant.
  • For students starting classes on June 6, the recommended NSO will take place May 31- June 1, 2022.
  • If you need any special accommodations please contact Trinidad Mendoza - tmendoz1@unm.edu



I want to participate in ESP, what do I need to do?

Please submit the ESP Acceptance Form that you received to the Office of Admissions.

When does the Early Start Program begin?

ESP at UNM for the Summer 2022 session begins on June 6, 2022. If you're attending CNM or another institution you will need to enroll in the summer term.

When will I attend the New Student Orientation?

The ESP Program will reserve your spot!  You will receive more information regarding sessions and dates at the Information Session.

Contact ESP

  • For questions regarding courses, contact Corine Gonzalez at corineg@unm.edu.
  • Students identified as ESP participants who experience extenuating circumstances or substantially improve their score may petition for fall enrollment by submitting a written request to the Admissions Office explaining their circumstances.  Requests may be emailed to Deborah Kieltyka at deborahk@unm.edu.