Saint Mary’s follows a 4-1-4 calendar. This includes a fall term of 14 weeks, during which students normally take four courses, ending before Christmas vacation; a January Term of one month, during which students take only one course; and a spring term, again of 14 weeks, during which students normally take four courses.
Courses for the fall and spring terms are described in this catalog. Courses for the January Term vary from year to year and are described in a special catalog available in the fall term. Besides providing an opportunity for students to focus all their energy on a single subject during one month, the January Term provides the opportunity for various experimental courses, off-campus field study, travel courses in foreign countries, and special independent study projects.
One January Term course is required for each year of full-time attendance. Students in the part-time enrollment program are encouraged to take January Term courses. Any part-time student who wishes to be excused from this requirement must petition the Vice Provost for Student Academics to do so.
Following the general custom of 4-1-4 colleges, Saint Mary’s College awards undergraduate degree credit in terms of “course credits” or more simply, “courses” (as opposed to semester or quarter units). Since 36 course credits are required for the bachelor’s degree, the regular full-time student will enroll in nine courses per year, four each in the fall and spring terms and one in the January Term. Regular courses in the fall and spring terms are designed to require approximately one-fourth of the academic work expected of a full-time student during the term; January Term courses are designed to require all of the academic work of a full-time student during the term. Courses listed under departments are worth one full course credit (1.00) unless specifically indicated otherwise; multi-part courses (e.g., COMM 132 -COMM 133 ) are worth one full course credit for each part. Fractional course credits are specified as .50 after the course number if they are one-half course credit, or .25 if they are one-quarter course credit. Each 1.0 course credit is equivalent to 3.5 semester units. January Term courses are equivalent to 3.5 semester units. Fractional courses are credited as follows: .25 equals 1.0 semester unit and .50 equals 2.0 semester units.
Requirements for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
In order to qualify for the bachelor’s degree, a student must satisfactorily complete 36 course credits, 17 of which must be upper-division level. A minimum of nine courses must be completed at Saint Mary’s College. Fractional course credit courses (e.g., .25, .50), may not cumulatively account for more than three course credits toward the degree. No student may apply more than three courses in independent studies toward graduation requirements without the permission of the Registrar. This regulation does not apply to independent study courses taken during January Term.
Credit Hour Definition
Saint Mary’s College follows the federal government’s definition for credit hours, as follows: “As an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutional established equivalence that reasonably approximates no less than:
In order to receive one hour of credit for one semester or trimester course, students will engage in approximately 750 minutes of contact time with the instructor of record and approximately 1,500 non-contact minutes.
In order to receive one hour of credit for a quarter term course, students engage in approximately 550 minutes of contact time with the instructor of record and approximately 1,100 non-contact minutes.
At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of a credit hour.”
Upper Division and Lower Division
First-years are expected to concentrate on lower-division courses but may sometimes be admitted to upper-division courses if they have the appropriate preparation. Sophomores normally concentrate on lower-division courses, but may begin to take upper-division courses in their major field, especially in the second semester of their sophomore year. Juniors and seniors normally concentrate on upper-division courses in their major field, and frequently include lower-division courses as electives in their program of study.
Lower-division courses, numbered 1- 99, are frequently introductory or survey courses. Upper-division courses, numbered 100-199, are characterized by at least two of the following:
- They have college-level prerequisites.
- They focus on a particular topic or require an in-depth study of a subject rather than a survey or introduction, and require that the necessary introductory study has been completed.
- They demand a readiness and maturity characteristic of students with successful prior college experience, with skills in reading, writing, and discussion of demonstrable rigor, and complexity.
- They include course objectives, which entail high levels of cognitive, affective, or psychomotor achievement.
Full-time students at Saint Mary’s normally take nine full credit courses each academic year, one of which must be a January Term course.
Full-time students carry 3.00 to 4.00 full course credits in the fall and spring terms, and one course credit during the January Term. Full-time enrollment may range from 7.00 to 9.00 full course credits per year. Full tuition covers from 7.00 to 9.00 full course credits per year.
The availability of full and fractional course credit (.25 or .5 courses) allows students a wide variety of enrollment combinations in completing their full-time schedule. For example, instead of four regular course credit classes, a full-time student might enroll in three full credit (1.00) classes, in one half-course-credit (.5) class, and in two quarter-course-credit (.25) classes, while still completing the same amount of degree credit. Students may elect to take a number of quarter-course credit (.25) courses each year, with approval of their academic advisor. Fractional credit may not cumulatively account for more than 3.00 course credits toward the degree.
Part-time students carry fewer than 3.00 course credits in the fall and spring terms, and less than 1.00 course credit during the January Term. See Part-Time Enrollment.
Matriculated students are those who meet all entrance requirements, declare their intention of working for a degree, and follow the prescribed curriculum. Generally, full-time and part-time students are classified as being matriculated students.
Special students are normally part-time students enrolled in regular coursework without the intention of pursuing a degree. Such students are not required to meet the normal admissions requirements.
First-years = fewer than 9 courses completed
Sophomores = 9 courses completed
Juniors = 18 courses completed
Seniors = 27 courses completed
Matriculated part-time and full-time students with a B average may audit one course each term in addition to the regular class load, with permission of the instructor. However, not all courses or all subject matter fields lend themselves equally to being audited. Students may audit only those courses that have adequate space and facilities to accommodate them. An auditor may not participate actively in coursework or take finals, and therefore does not receive credit. Students may have an audited course included on the permanent record with the mark “Z” for audit by paying an audit fee. Students enrolled in the Open Enrollment Program (part-time enrollment) must pay an audit fee.
Open Enrollment is a program that offers part-time study on a space-available basis to the general public. Students currently admitted to the College are not eligible to participate in the Open Enrollment program. Open Enrollment students may enroll in a maximum of 2 courses per term. Open Enrollment students may only register during the Drop/Add period, which is the first week of the term. Students may enroll in a total of 4 courses maximum per year and 8 courses maximum for the program. Extended studies beyond the 8 course limit may be granted in special circumstances by approval of the Registrar. For additional information, contact the Registrar’s Office.
Returning students register for courses for the next term late in every fall and spring term. They can register online with their advisor’s approval. If departments impose size limits on certain classes, those classes are closed to further enrollment immediately upon reaching the specified maximum. New students admitted for the fall term are advised during the summer, and registered at that time. Approved changes in student registration can be made until the day prior to the start of term. Some courses appearing on the schedule may not be offered in that term because of low enrollments.
Summer Session is an additional term for students who wish to pursue summer study. Registration occurs in late spring. See the Registrar’s webpage for specific annual information.
The Drop-Add Period (Course Enrollment Changes)
The drop-add period begins on the first day of class. Students wishing to drop or add courses do so by going to the appropriate classes and obtaining the instructors’ signatures, and then the signature of their academic advisor. Instructors may refuse to add students to courses that have already reached maximum size. Some academic departments may impose additional procedures for course changes within their departments. The drop-add period is the first week of the term. Students are financially and academically responsible for all courses in which they are enrolled at the end of this period.
Withdrawal from a Course
A student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty through the 10th week of instruction. The student files a petition in the Registrar’s Office, in which the instructor verifies the last date of attendance and the advisor acknowledges the withdrawal. The course remains on the student’s record with a W grade. Refer to the College Refund Policy for information on possible refund. If a student decides to repeat a course from which the student withdrew, the student must pay tuition for the course again.
Independent Study Courses
The College offers students three kinds of independent study courses: A 199 course (Honors Study) is ordinarily taken by an upper-division student with a 3.0 (B average) in the field of his/her major; a 197 course (Independent Study) is ordinarily taken by a student whose educational needs cannot be met by courses available in the regular curriculum; a 195 course (Internship) is ordinarily taken by an upper-division student who wishes to complement his/her education with related work experience. The 195 Internship may be repeated at most once for credit, if content varies.
Enrollment in 195 or 197 courses requires good academic standing (2.0). First-years are precluded from taking an independent study during their first term at SMC, unless they have previously completed college coursework elsewhere for a letter grade (i.e., not including AP or IB courses). 1.0-credit January Term independent study courses are limited to sophomore, junior, and senior students with a 2.5 or better overall grade point average. No student may apply more than three cumulative credits in independent studies toward graduation requirements without the permission of the Registrar. The three-credit maximum may be reached with three 1.0 credit courses or any number of 0.25, 0.50, and/or 1.0 courses that add to 3.0 credits total. This regulation does not apply to independent study courses taken during January Term.
Undergraduate students may arrange with individual instructors to undertake independent study courses during the summer. As during any other term, an independent study petition must be completed and approved. Students should register for summer credit at the Registrar’s Office by early June. At that time the approved petition must be filed, and tuition arrangements settled with the Business Office. Work should be completed and grades reported to the Registrar by early August.
Courses from Other Colleges
Some students may choose to enroll in coursework at other accredited local colleges while they are attending Saint Mary’s during the regular academic year, or they may take summer work elsewhere. Prior to any such enrollment for transfer credit, students should secure the approval of the Registrar’s Office to have that credit accepted toward the degree at Saint Mary’s. At the end of each term at the transfer college, the student should immediately have office transcripts sent to the Registrar’s Office at Saint Mary’s so that the transfer credit can be recorded. All transfer credit accepted by Saint Mary’s College is included on the student’s Saint Mary’s transcript and is computed into the student’s total college grade point average.
Students must secure the written approval of an appropriate department chair for using upper-division courses taken at other colleges to fulfill their major requirements at Saint Mary’s. Students must take the majority of their major courses at Saint Mary’s College. Some departments have particular requirements, and they are listed under the individual departments in this catalog. Only course grades of C- or above are acceptable toward meeting graduation requirements.
In order to graduate from this College, students must have both a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C average), computed on all courses taken or accepted for credit at Saint Mary’s College, and a grade point average of 2.0 (C average) in courses required for their program or their major (or minor). The College reserves the right to withhold or rescind a degree.
In Residence Requirement, Senior Year
The “in residence” requirement for the degree is ordinarily four academic years at Saint Mary’s College or equivalent transfer credit from some other college or university. However, the “in residence” requirement for the senior year is seven regular courses. Students who transfer to the College in their senior year will be required to take a full load of nine courses, of which at least seven courses must be upper division, in order to receive the degree from Saint Mary’s. At least two courses in the minor must be taken at Saint Mary’s.
At the beginning of the senior year, each student must complete an Application for Commencement by March 1. These forms are available online using GaelXpress. The Registrar’s Office reviews all such petitions, checks the prospective graduate’s record of completed coursework, and notifies students of their eligibility to participate in the commencement ceremony. Seniors who will not have completed all degree work by commencement may participate in commencement exercises provided they have no more than two courses or course credits remaining to complete, and are in good standing. All seniors are assessed a graduation fee, whether or not they plan to participate in commencement exercises.
Exchange Course Program
At present, Saint Mary’s College participates in an exchange enrollment program with members of the Regional Association of East Bay Colleges and Universities. Among others in the association are UC Berkeley, and California State University, East Bay, as well as Holy Names University, and Mills College in Oakland. The program enables a full-time student enrolled at any one of the participant colleges to take up to one course per term at any of the institutions during the fall or spring semesters only. The program is designed to broaden the range of classes available to students of these colleges and should normally be used only to take courses that are not offered at their home institutions. In order to participate, a student can enroll in only three courses at Saint Mary’s College.
Exchange enrollment is on a tuition-free basis, with full tuition paid to the student’s home school; however, special course fees (laboratory, studio, etc.) are payable directly by the student to the exchange institution. Information and exchange enrollment forms are available from the Registrar’s Office.
Students who are interested in participating in the ROTC at other Bay Area institutions should contact the Registrar at Saint Mary’s College for information
Study Abroad Programs
In today’s global environment, study abroad can be a defining element for every student’s undergraduate degree. Many companies and organizations increasingly desire leaders with the ability to live successfully in a variety of countries, and work with people of various cultural backgrounds. Students have a unique opportunity during undergraduate study to explore the world through Saint Mary’s College Study Abroad Exchange programs or non-Saint Mary’s programs. Saint Mary’s offers opportunities to study for a semester in college-sponsored programs in Australia, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, and Spain. These programs provide students an opportunity to study and live in another culture while maintaining a close affiliation with the home campus. Individual study options can include both Saint Mary’s coursework and courses from the affiliated host institution. Participants in College-sponsored programs are able to apply their Saint Mary’s financial aid toward the cost of their study abroad program as well as Pell and Cal grant aid. Students are considered to be “in residence” even though they are overseas. Students are also able to participate in an out-of-network program, and can apply their government financial aid. For further information on international study options, please contact the Center for International Programs or refer to their services in this Catalog.
Students applying for all semester or year-length programs (whether sponsored by Saint Mary’s or another institution) must submit a completed Application for Study Abroad to the CIP by March 1st for fall semester programs or by October 1st for spring semester programs. All students must submit an online application to determine whether they are eligible to study abroad. Study Abroad approval is necessary to receive direct academic credit from Saint Mary’s and the ability to retain certain kinds of financial aid.
General requirements for semester/ year-length programs are:
- A 2.8 minimum grade point average (both in major and cumulative GPA), although some programs have a higher specific GPA requirement.
- Foreign language proficiency: Some programs call for a minimum of two semesters of college-level study in the language of the host country. While abroad, students are encouraged to study the language of the host country if they do not have proficiency in the language.
- Two letters of recommendation from faculty.
- An essay outlining reasons for study abroad, and how the proposed program of study will further the student’s educational and personal goals.
The application and required supplemental forms to complete are listed on the study abroad website (stmarys-ca.edu/study-abroad). All applications are reviewed and approved by the Center for International Programs and faculty committee. The Center for International Programs staff advise and guide students through the pre- and post-travel period.
For summer study abroad, the Center for International Programs provides advisement and has a number of SMC approved options in Europe. Summer travel programs may also be available through Summer Session. Locations vary each year.
The January Term also offers domestic and international travel courses. Domestic travel courses are open to all students, and international travel courses are open to all sophomores and above who are in good academic standing.
Credit by Examination
In order to encourage superior students to develop the capacity to direct their own studies, and to work independently, the College provides an opportunity to pass by examination up to nine regular courses, either by passing the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations administered by the College Entrance Examination Board or by challenging Saint Mary’s courses.
Saint Mary’s will grant a maximum of 30 units (nine courses) of College credit to students passing CLEP examinations at the median level or above as compared to regular college students. Credit will be given only for the subject examinations that correspond to particular College courses, and not for the general examinations.
A student who receives a maximum of nine course credits for passing the CLEP examinations is not eligible to challenge by examination any courses offered by Saint Mary’s. However, students who receive less than nine course credits for passing the CLEP examinations may challenge by examination as many Saint Mary’s courses as will equal a maximum of nine courses passed by any kind of examination, whether the CLEP examinations or Saint Mary’s examinations.
A matriculated part-time or full-time student with a B average may take by examination current catalog courses in which they feel adequately prepared on account of private study, personal experience, on-the-job training, or work at a non-accredited college. It is to be understood, of course, that not all courses-for example, laboratory courses, seminars and seminar-type courses-can be suitably passed by examination.
In order to take a course by examination a student must make a formal application that is approved by the instructor of the course being challenged, the department chair of the department concerned, and the Registrar, and pay the scheduled fee of $50.
Students will not be allowed to challenge a course by examination if they had been enrolled in it for all or part of a term, if they had the requirement waived, or if they audited it during the previous term.
Courses passed by examination cannot be counted toward the fulfillment of residency requirements; however, they may be included in the total number of courses required for graduation.
Grading for a challenged course shall be the same as for a regular course; however, the student’s transcript will indicate that the former course was “passed by examination.”
During a one-week pre-announced period near the middle of the fall and spring terms, faculty who wish to do so administer midterm examinations, which are held at the usual class hours. The assignment of midterm grades is mandatory for all faculty. The only grades used at midterm are S (satisfactory progress), D and F (deficiency grades), where appropriate. The grades of Z (audit) and W (withdrawn from course) also appear as midterm grades. Midterm grades are available online for students.
Final Grades and Grade Changes
Fall and spring terms conclude with a week of specially scheduled examinations. Faculty report final grades to the Registrar’s Office. Final grades are available online for students. Grades are released directly only to the students themselves.
Saint Mary’s College employs the following final grades: A, excellent; B, very good; C, satisfactory; D, barely passing; and F, failing. All final grades affect grade point average computation (on an A = 4 points scale), and P (passed), Z (audit), I (incomplete), and W (withdrew) do not affect grade point average computation. Plus/minus grading is permitted. A plus or minus changes the point value of a grade by 0.3 grade point upward or downward respectively (e.g., B+ carries 3.3 points; B-, 2.7); there is no A+.
Final grades are considered permanent and not to be changed except in case of an error in computing, recording, and evaluating a student’s work, subject to the approval of the Registrar. When necessary, faculty may secure grade change petitions from the Registrar’s Office. Students wishing to appeal a specific grade assigned by an instructor may do so under the Academic Appeals Process. Information on this process may be obtained from the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Academics. Grade changes for prior terms may not occur more than one year from the initial posting of the grades.
Satisfactory / Pass / Fail Grading
Satisfactory/pass/fail (S/D/F) grading is offered as an option to the undergraduate student for certain elective courses. Courses required for a student’s major, minor, and courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the Core Curriculum in the areas of Habits of Mind, Pathways to Knowledge, Engaging the World and language proficiency (see Program of Study) may not be taken on an S/D/F basis. In courses taken on this basis, the satisfactory grade (the equivalent of C- or higher on the regular grading scale) will not affect the student’s grade point average. THE D AND F GRADES WILL AFFECT THE GPA IN THE USUAL MANNER. Students may not take more than three courses during their four years on the S/D/F basis; in any one term they may not take more than one such course. Petitions for S/D/F grading, which require the instructor’s permission, are available from the Registrar’s Office and must be filed by the end of the 10th week of instruction.
Students must meet with the instructor in order to request an incomplete grade, on grounds of unavoidable circumstances. Requests must be approved by the course instructor, prior to the deadline for the submission of term grades, and the instructor must verify that the student had reasonable attendance throughout the withdrawal period (through the 10th week in instruction), and was passing the course when the circumstances prompting the petition arose. An instructor may originate an I (incomplete) grade only if the student is incapable of appearance on campus, and has specifically requested an I (incomplete) grade from the instructor. The student must satisfactorily complete the coursework, and the instructor’s change of grade (if any) must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the end of the midterm examination period (the 7th week of instruction) during the next long term. An I (incomplete) grade not changed by the due date will be changed by the Registrar to F (failure). An extension of the due date, not to exceed one long term, may be requested for extraordinary grounds. Students may not re-enroll in a course in which they have an uncleared I (incomplete) grade.
Repeating a Course
A course may be repeated at this College or at another college for credit. Only the most recently earned grade and grade points shall be used in computing the grade point averages; the course will not be counted a second time toward graduation. If a student repeats a course, the student must pay tuition for the course again. There is no limit on the number of times a course can be repeated.
Transcripts of credit earned at Saint Mary’s College (including exchange credit) should be requested at the Registrar’s Office. Although transfer credit accepted toward the degree at Saint Mary’s is shown on the transcript, it should not be regarded as a complete or official record of that credit. Exam scores (SAT I, ACT, GRE) and high school records are not included in the Saint Mary’s transcript; they must be requested separately from the original school or test firm.
The transcript fee is $5 per copy for regular service (3-5 business days), $15 for next day service and $25 for same day service. Transcript requests must be submitted online at stmarys-ca.edu/registrar. A maximum of 3-5 working days is allowed for processing.
Students must submit requests for final transcripts of any work in progress at the end of the term. There is no “work in progress” transcript available.
The Dean’s List
Each term, the names of those full-time students attaining a scholastic average of 3.50 or better for that term are inscribed on the Dean’s List.
The Saint Mary’s Honors Program
To participate in and receive recognition for completing the Honors Program, a student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 and must have earned at least 150 Honors points (see the Program’s website for details about earning points: stmarys-ca.edu/honors-program). A student may complete the Honors Program “with High Honors” by earning 175 points, and may earn the Honors Medallion, the Program’s top award, by earning 200 points.
Honors at Graduation
Summa Cum Laude
A student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 for all college work.
Magna Cum Laude
A student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 for all college work.
A student must have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 for all college work.
To qualify for graduation with honors, transfer students must complete at least nine courses at Saint Mary’s with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50.
Awards at Graduation
Eligibility for candidacy for all commencement awards (Valedictorian, De La Salle, school or departmental awards, etc.) is determined by the cumulative and major grade point averages of all college work completed (both at Saint Mary’s College and at other institutions through transfer credit) on March 1 of the year in which the student is scheduled to participate in the commencement exercises. The student must submit an Application for Commencement form no later than March 1.
De La Salle Award
An award named in honor of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, awarded annually by the College, in memory of J. A. Graves of the class of 1872, to the student in the senior class holding the highest record for scholarship and general excellence. This is the highest honor award at Saint Mary’s College.
Other Graduation Awards
James L. Hagerty Award (School of Liberal Arts)
Arthur S. Campbell Award (School of Science)
Brother U. Jerome Griffin Award (School of Economics and Business Administration)
Henry Rand Hatfield Award (Department of Accounting)
Julie A. Pryde Award (Allied Health Science Program)
Brother Kyran Aviani Award (Department of Art)
Margaret Mead Award (Department of Anthropology)
Carlos Freitas Award (Department of Biology)
Linus Pauling Award (Department of Biochemistry)
Earl W. Smith Award (Department of Business Administration)
Joseph P. McKenna Award (Department of Chemistry)
Saint Augustine Award (Department of Classical Languages)
Byron Bryant Award (Department of Communication)
Adam Smith Award (Department of Economics)
Brother Leo Meehan Award (Department of English and Drama)
John Muir Award (Environmental and Earth Science Programs)
Sin Fronteras (Ethnic Studies Program)
Dag Hammarskjöld (Global and Regional Studies Program)
John Dennis Award (High Potential Program)
Professor Ben Frankel (Department of History)
Saint Thomas Aquinas Award (Integral Program)
bell hooks Award (Justice, Community and Leadership Program)
Mens Sana in Corpore Sano Award (Department of Kinesiology)
Brother Alfred Brousseau Award (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science)
Louis LeFevre Award (Department of Performing Arts)
St. Albertus Magnus Award (Department of Philosophy)
Galileo Galilei Award (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
Thurgood Marshall Award (Department of Politics)
Frederick Whelan Award (Department of Psychology)
Jane Addams Award (Department of Sociology)
John XXIII Award (Department of Theology and Religious Studies)
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Award (Women’s and Gender Studies Program)
Dante Award (Department of World Languages and Cultures)
George R. McKeon Scholar-Athlete Awards (Athletics; awarded to one male and one female student, distinguished as both outstanding athletes and scholars.)
George Robert Milliken Award (for student service)
Leave of Absence
Any matriculated student not in probationary status may request a leave of absence from the College. The leave may be for a minimum of one fall or spring term, or up to a full academic year. The student must submit a request to go on a leave of absence to the Registrar’s Office no later than the fourth week of the term in which the leave takes effect. Students on leave will be kept informed of pertinent College activities and deadlines, especially registration information for the next term. Any enrollments at other post-secondary institutions should be reviewed for transferability and applicability of the credit. Readmission is guaranteed assuming the student resumes enrollment at the College within the specified time. Students who do not return from leave within one academic year will be withdrawn from the College, and required to apply for readmission.
Withdrawal from the College and Readmission
Any non-graduating student who terminates his/her enrollment at Saint Mary’s during or at the end of any term must complete a withdrawal form in the Registrar’s Office; notice of clearance with several other College offices is to be secured on this form. Final transcripts can be released only after the completed form is on file. Students who do not attend classes for the term that follows the last term of enrollment will be administratively withdrawn from the College. All financial obligations to the College must still be met.
A student who has withdrawn from the College may request readmission by communicating with the Registrar’s Office (the Admissions Office processes only new student admissions). Readmission for fall should be settled by early August; for January or spring, by early December. When requesting readmission from the Registrar, the student should present transcripts of all transfer work taken since leaving Saint Mary’s.
Saint Mary’s College recognizes two regular categories of academic standing: Satisfactory Academic Progress and Probationary Status.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
A student who maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C average) in all courses taken or accepted for credit at Saint Mary’s College and, after the initial year for first-years, a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C average) in all courses required or accepted for credit in his/her major field maintains satisfactory academic progress.
For the purpose of establishing satisfactory academic progress, only courses taken at Saint Mary’s College will be considered during a transfer student’s first two semesters in residence.
A student who, at the end of fall or spring, fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress is considered to have probationary status. The Student Success Office will notify students in probationary status and their academic advisors and success coaches, in writing, that failure to achieve satisfactory academic progress no later than the close of the next long (i.e., fall or spring) term will subject students in probationary status to academic disqualification from further study at Saint Mary’s College.
Subject to Academic Disqualification
A student is subject to academic disqualification from further study at Saint Mary’s if:
- A student is already in probationary status and fails to resume satisfactory academic progress by the end of the semester of probation.
A student who is not in probationary status may be subject to disqualification if:
- The student’s cumulative GPA falls below 1.55 for all courses taken or accepted for credit.
Students subject to disqualification will be notified promptly, in writing, by the Student Success Office. Students are responsible for knowing their academic standing after grades are posted. Failure to respond may lead to a student’s being disqualified automatically.
Students subject to disqualification will be disqualified from further study at Saint Mary’s College unless, within one week from the date of notification, they file an appeal against disqualification with the Academic Probation Review Board and are granted Special Academic Probation by that board.
Special Academic Probation
Special Academic Probation may be granted at the discretion of the Academic Probation Review Board, whose members include the Registrar, faculty representatives, the Dean of Students, and Student Success Office representatives. In addition to the information contained in the student’s petition, the board may seek the advice of the student’s instructors, academic advisor, school dean, and others when appropriate. Special Academic Probation is granted pursuant to the following conditions:
- Filing of a timely appeal against disqualification for cause (e.g., existence of serious personal or health factors, or other special circumstances, which have substantially impaired the student’s ability to successfully meet the demands of the College’s academic programs);
- Demonstration in the appeal of the reasonable expectation that the student can achieve satisfactory academic progress by the close of the next long (i.e., fall or spring) term;
- Acceptance by the student of the conditions specified by the Academic Probation Review Board, which will lead to the resumption of satisfactory academic progress by the close of the next long term.
Students who fail to meet the conditions of the Special Academic Probation by the end of the next long term will be immediately disqualified.
The Academic Probation Review Board exercises sole authority in cases of Special Academic Probation.
In extraordinary circumstances, a student may appeal a disqualification or other decision by the Review Board. This appeal must be made within 90 calendar days of notification of disqualification, and will be considered only if there is strong and compelling evidence of incorrect procedure, error, or new information. The Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success will determine whether such appeal will be heard by the Review Board.
Students disqualified from this College may apply to the Academic Probation Review Board for readmission if they present work from another college or university that is acceptable for transfer credit, and that is sufficient to signify satisfactory academic progress, and a grade point average (major and cumulative) of 2.0 or higher.
Regular class attendance is an important obligation and an essential condition for successful academic progress. Excessive absence may seriously jeopardize the satisfactory completion of a course. Flagrant absence can be a cause for dismissal from the College. Instructors are responsible for establishing and communicating the attendance policy for a given course. Students are responsible for all assignments in each of their courses, whether or not the assignments were announced during an absence. Penalties for absences depend upon the nature and the amount of work missed, of which the instructor is the sole judge. It is not permissible to miss regularly scheduled classes for the purpose of intercollegiate athletic practice. Students who miss the first session of a course, even if they are preregistered, may have their place in that course given away, and be denied further attendance in that course.
Attendance at Religious Functions
Attendance at Chapel is not required of any student at the College. Students, including those who are not members of the Roman Catholic Church, are invited to attend collegiate religious functions (e.g., Mass of the Holy Spirit, Founder’s Day Mass, Baccalaureate Mass). Such functions are understood not to be merely sectarian exercises but ecumenical expressions of the values on which the College is founded.
Saint Mary’s College expects all members of its academic community to abide by ethical standards both in conduct and in exercise of responsibility toward other members of that community. Absolute honesty must be adhered to at all times if the integrity of scholarship is to be maintained. Conduct that violates the principle of academic honesty is subject to College disciplinary action. To help students, staff, and faculty understand more fully their responsibilities, and to support their commitment to principles of academic honesty, Saint Mary’s College has instituted an Academic Honor Code.
Any work that a student undertakes as part of the progress toward a degree or certification must be the student’s own, unless the relevant instructor specifies otherwise. That work may include examinations, whether oral or written, oral presentations, laboratory exercises, papers, reports, and other written assignments. Whenever possible, an instructor should specify the rules that students are to follow in completing these assignments. In written work other than examinations, students must clearly indicate the sources of information, ideas, opinions, and quotations that are not their own. Under the Academic Honor Code, a student takes responsibility for the correctness and authenticity of all work submitted by that student.
A basic requirement of academic integrity is consultation between students and instructors about ethical conduct. Instructors should explain the principles of academic honesty to their students whenever it is appropriate to do so, and students should consult with instructors when they are uncertain about the rules for an examination, proper attribution of written material or any other aspect of the academic process. The practices of academic dishonesty are to be sharply distinguished from the free discussion and interchange of ideas among students and faculty-one of the most important benefits of academic life. The College wishes to encourage such discussions and interchanges in every possible way, and to protect the quality and integrity of the work that its faculty and students perform, and the reputation upon which the College depends.
Detailed regulations concerning the Academic Honor Code and the penalties for breach of academic honesty, which may include dismissal from the College, are published in full in the Student Handbook. Each student is held responsible for being acquainted with these regulations.
Adherence to Regulations
The student will be held responsible for adherence to all regulations issued by the College administration, and published in the 2019-2020 Catalog of Courses and the Student Handbook. Students are also urged to observe notices published in the student newspaper or posted on bulletin boards around campus.