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Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Learn what certificate programs Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute offers. Read about its academics, admission requirements and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) is a National Indian Community College, serving the needs of Native American and Native Alaskan students. Founded in 1971 as a Native American training center, SIPI attained community college status in 1993. Additionally, SIPI is a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, SIPI has access to a large collection of Bureau of Indian Affairs field support offices. SIPI's algae bio-fuel project won the 2011 Renewable Energy Challenge Competition. This school has 12 student clubs and organizations.


SIPI houses four academic divisions that offer about 20 associate's and certificate programs. The college also has online courses, adult development courses and GED preparation courses. Developmental courses can prepare students for college-level academic coursework. In 2009, SIPI had 17 full-time and 52 part-time faculty members. Of the 17 full-time faculty members, two held PhDs and 10 had master's degrees. Of the 52 part-time faculty members, 18 held PhDs and 29 held master's degrees. The average age of full-time faculty members was 54 years old.

Associate's degrees are offered in electronics technology, engineering, culinary arts, optometry and business. Tribal emphasis courses are designed specifically to transfer to New Mexico State University. It is recommended that students research bachelor's degree transfer requirements for program compliance. The Early Childhood Education Program is provided at four off-site locations via video teleconference. SIPI also offers courses in liberal arts and certificate programs in natural resources studies, geospatial information systems and other areas of focus.


SIPI only accepts descendants of American Indian and Alaskan Native federally recognized tribes. Students can meet this requirement by having a minimum blood quantum amount of at least 25% or being a verified member of a recognized U.S. Federal tribe. Students must submit an application with official transcripts, immunization records, proof of tribal affiliation and a recent medical physical evaluation. SIPI accepts students who are 17 years of age. However, students must be at least 18 years old to live in the student housing lodges.

Of the 480 students enrolled in 2011, 85% were full-time and 53% were female.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Cost of tuition as of 2012 was $225 per trimester for full-time commuters and $150 per trimester for part-time commuters. Students enrolled in 12 or more credits at SIPI are considered full-time. Full-time students housed in the student lodges were charged $280 per trimester.

Students must pay tuition and fees prior to registering for classes. SIPI offers deferred payment plans. Financial aid may be available through various grants, work-study programs and scholarships.

School Type Two-year, public**
Degrees Offered Associate's, certificate programs**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Trimesters*
School Setting Suburban**
Student Body 480 students in 2011 (all undergraduates)**
Student Housing One all-women's and one all-men's dormitory*
Schools and Programs Four divisions; around 20 degree and certificate programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 17 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Associate's: Early childhood education and teaching (14)
Certificate (between one and two years): CAD/CADD drafting and/or design technology/technician (11)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates For students who began in 2007:
Five percent within normal time
11% within 150% normal time
19% within 200% normal time**
Admission Rate Open admission policy**
Entering Class Size 119 in 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 43% of full-time and 40% of part-time students**
Application Due Date Applications were due July 31 in 2011***
Tuition (2012) $280 per trimester for full-time students living in the lodge, $225 per trimester for full-time commuter students, $150 per trimester for part-time commuter students*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) For full-time beginning undergraduates in 2010-2011: Federal grants (74%), state and local grants/scholarships (14%), institutional scholarships (0%), federal loans (0%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid For full-time beginning students: 80% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, **National Center for Education Statistics, ***College Board.

Contact Information

  • Address: Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Admissions and Records, 9169 Coors Boulevard NW, Albuquerque, NM, 87120
  • Phone: (505) 346-2372
  • Website:

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