NMSU created its first-ever degree program in social welfare in 1970 through the Continuing Education Office and then launched a two-year nursing program in 1972 after a yearlong study found broad support for having a nursing curriculum at NMSU.

In 1979, New Mexico State University formally established the College of Health and Social Services (CHSS), the University’s centralized home for the only accredited programs in southern New Mexico for nursing, social work, and public health students. Lowery Davis served as the College’s first dean.

In the decades since its founding, CHSS has experienced steady growth in student enrollment and now has over 1000 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students. CHSS is New Mexico’s leading producer of healthcare professionals, social workers, and public health professionals through its four baccalaureate programs, three master’s degree programs, and one Ph.D. program. The student body and faculty population are diverse, and CHSS’s online graduate programs have students throughout the nation.

Each school within CHSS- The School of Nursing, The School of Social Work, and The Department of Public Health Sciences- works with the community and produces high-level research.

Since its founding, CHSS has dedicated itself to fulfilling its mission to serve the needs of New Mexico’s diverse population through education, research, and service in the areas of health and social well-being.

The School of Nursing: The dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs provide a wide variety of options for the beginning and advanced nursing students. Over the past ten years, programs have expanded to offer degree plans at undergraduate and graduate levels. Also, many courses are now entirely online.

The geographical location along the United States Mexico Border and the school’s diverse student population provides all students with outstanding clinical experiences-acute care and community-based.

Now, the School of Nursing works with other universities and community colleges to form the New Mexico Nursing Education Consortium.

School of Social Work:  Since 1975, the School of Social Work has equipped students with the tools necessary to work in behavioral services, child welfare, elderly care services, and more.  The school began offering baccalaureate courses in social welfare in 1969 in response to growing national, regional, and state needs.  With the support of Dr. Corinne Wolfe and a Section 707 grant, the University developed a baccalaureate social work program within the Sociology and Anthropology Department.  By 1980, the School of Social Work was its own department.

In 1991, the School of Social Work’s Masters in Social Work became accredited, offering advanced generalist curriculum both in Las Cruces and Albuquerque.   In 2008, the School of Social Work changed its second-year concentration from Family-Centered Practice in Multi-Cultural Settings to Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice.  This change has sparked a new curriculum and an emphasis on competency-based social work education.  The School of Social Work is the third-largest producer of master level graduates at NMSU.

Department of Public Health Sciences: CHSS is home to the only program in the state that is preparing public health educators at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Department of Public Health Sciences offers a nationally approved undergraduate degree in community health education and an accredited Master in Public Health Degree with a specialization in Community Health Education or Health Management and Policy. Both programs offer students the opportunity to take courses online or through the traditional face-to-face format.

Faculty are nationally recognized as outstanding scholars, teachers, and mentors. Many of the educators receive national awards, participate in national organizations, and are known nationally and internationally in their field of study.