Chris Garcia is a 13th generation New Mexican and fourth generation Albuquerquean. Needless to say, he is a true son of New Mexico. He went to high school at Valley High School in New Mexico and went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degree, the first in his family to do so.
In 1972, he obtained his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Davis. He went back to his home state and began teaching political science at the University of New Mexico. He was a distinguished member of the academic staff and taught at UNM for over 40 years.
As of 2011 he holds the title Distinguished Professor Emeritus (F. Chris Garcia) at the University of New Mexico. He is now retired and enjoying his time with his family.