The mission of the SMU-IN-TAOS Program is to develop and enhance a strong academic program in Southwest Studies and relevant areas of the arts and sciences by providing distinctive and challenging courses to both the SMU and Taos communities. While we remain focused on the undergraduate and graduate mission of Southern Methodist University, it is also our goal to provide a facility that can be used by professional groups, SMU Alumni and for other educational retreats. Our beautiful campus, situated on the outskirts of Taos, New Mexico--in the heart of the Carson National Forest--is an ideal location for educational, recreational and cultural activities of all kinds and particularly lends itself to cultural and natural studies of Northern New Mexico. Beyond the bounds of campus,the area in and around Taos and Santa Fe provides ample space in which to explore and learn.
Partners: SMU and Taos
Since 1973, Fort Burgwin has been an educational center of Southern Methodist University. Its beautiful setting in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains - -surrounded by the Carson National Forest - -provides a unique backdrop for the enrichment of body, mind and spirit.
Our program is dedicated to offering courses that will be enhanced by the bountiful cultural and natural resources of Northern New Mexico. Courses in anthropology explore local Native American cultures and the archaeology of the Southwest, focusing on the continuing excavation and examination of Pot Creek Pueblo and historic Fort Burgwin. Native flora, fauna and ecology, as well as global environmental issues, are the scope and focus of each biology course taught at Fort Burgwin. Geologically, the region provides a diverse landscape, allowing for the investigation of a variety of formations. The crisp, clear mountain skies allow astronomy students to view the Milky Way and a vast array of celestial phenomena. Courses in music, painting, sculpture, theatre, and dance benefit from the natural surroundings - - far removed from the distractions of the city. Additionally, the program offers a variety of wellness activities, including a course in Mountain Sports, which provides students an aerobic outlet. Hiking, biking, river rafting, rock climbing, horseback riding, and fly fishing are also available.
Fort Burgwin is a respectful neighbor in historic northern New Mexico. Tuesday evenings, free public lectures are given in our Dining Hall or Auditorium. Followed by a reception, the lectures focus on current topics of research applicable to both the courses of study underway and he southwestern orientation of our academic program. Student art is exhibited throughout the summer, ranging in genre from painting and sculpture to photography and mixed media. A popular concert series occurs each summer, with additional concerts presented by music students and faculty. Dance and theatre, when in residence, give performances. All events are advertised locally and are free to the Taos community.
Fort Burgwin is an advocate for the care of the earth and its resources. Students have the opportunity to learn more about the environment and develop a respect for nature as they study the natural history of the area, the fossil record, the plant life, or the rugged but surprisingly fragile landscape. Sometimes this leads to preserving what is important from the past, as in the excavations at Pot Creek and their cooperative preservation of artifacts with local pueblos. At other times such advocacy can lead to exploration of new and innovative ways to handle old problems.
The SMU-in-Taos experience offers a range of programs and opportunities. To best prepare for your time in Taos, make sure that you bring the necessary equipment for your exciting stay here in the mountains of New Mexico.
The Fort Burgwin campus is an important educational facet of Southern Methodist University. Its unique environment, programs, and research opportunities contribute to its popularity and enduring success. We invite you to learn more about our community in the pages that follow. Should you find yourself in our neighborhood, please join us for a lecture or concert and discover SMU-IN-TAOS.