Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) trains college students to become commissioned officers in the Armed Forces while supporting their undergraduate education. ROTC focuses on preparing students for a career in the U.S. Military, emphasizing leadership, basic military education, and officer training.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 4,298 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States as of the 2017-2018 school year, and a similarity amongst many colleges is the presence of ROTC.  ROTC was founded with the passage of the National Defense Act in 1916 designed to provide an avenue for college students to work towards a commission as an officer in the armed forces and is now offered at more than 1,100 colleges across the country.  Whereas there are more than 1,200 colleges across the country with an ROTC presence, only slightly more than 50 have all three branches, and the University of New Mexico is the only higher education institution in New Mexico to have all three programs. 

UNM ROTC provides over $4.5 Million in federal funds for UNM students with graduation rates as high as 95% and produces the highest number of Hispanic officers in the nation.   Presently, UNM ROTC recruits and serves approximately 200 UNM students annually.