Each degree-seeking student is assigned an academic adviser. The student is expected to meet with the academic adviser, who assists him or her in becoming familiar with the academic programs of the College, including requirements, electives, and suggested areas of study. The adviser also helps the student plan a curriculum to meet the educational goals of the College while fulfilling the student’s aspirations. Before each semester, the student must consult with this adviser, who assists in planning a course schedule and who also gives clearance for registration. Supplemental advising is available through the Office of Academic Services. Although advisers’ counsel can have great value to the student, it is the student who bears the ultimate responsibility for completing the requirements for graduation.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to the ideals of honesty, personal integrity, and mutual trust. Academic integrity is a responsibility of all students, members of the faculty, and administrative officers. All students are expected to uphold the highest ideals of academic integrity throughout their career at St. Mary’s. The following policy has been adopted for fair judgment in cases of suspected academic misconduct. Students who commit acts of academic misconduct (see “Definitions of Academic Misconduct” below) are subject to in-class penalties imposed by the instructor and to a hearing before the Academic Judicial Board with possibilities of additional penalties. See the “Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities” included in this student handbook, To the Point, distributed each year to every St. Mary’s student through the Office of Student Development.) The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is also located on the College website.
Definitions of Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct may include, but is not limited to, the following acts:
Cheating involves dishonest conduct on work submitted for assessment. Specific instances of cheating include, but are not limited to, the following:
Assisting another student or receiving assistance from anyone to complete quizzes, tests, examinations, or other assignments without the consent of the instructor.
- Using aids unauthorized by the instructor to complete quizzes, tests, examinations, or other assignments. Students are advised to consult individual course syllabi to determine whether Artificial Intelligence software/tools are explicitly prohibited at any point in the course.
Plagiarism is the act of appropriating and using the words, ideas, symbols, images, or other works of original expression of others as one’s own without giving credit to the person who created the work. If students have any questions regarding the definition of plagiarism, they should consult their instructor for general principles regarding the use of others’ work. Among sources commonly used for documenting use of others’ work are the style manuals published by the American Psychological Association, the Council of Biology Editors, the Modern Language Association, and Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Term Papers. The final authority concerning methods of documentation is the course instructor. Specific instances of plagiarism include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Word-for-word copying of sentences or paragraphs from one or more sources that are the work or data of other persons (e.g., professional or peers; including books, articles, theses, unpublished works, working papers, seminar and conference papers, lecture notes or tapes, graphs, images, charts, data, electronically based materials, etc.), without clearly identifying their origin by appropriate referencing.
- Closely paraphrasing ideas or information (in whatever form) without appropriate acknowledgement by reference to the original work or works.Presenting material obtained from the Internet as if it were the student’s own work;
- Presenting material obtained from the Internet as if it were the student’s own work.
- Minor alterations, such as adding, subtracting, or rearranging words, or paraphrasing sections of a source without appropriate acknowledgement of the original work or works.
Falsification involves misrepresentation in an academic exercise. Misrepresentation includes, but is not limited to:
- Falsely attributing data or judgments to scholarly sources;
- Falsely reporting the results of calculations or the output of computer programs, or materials from other electronic sources;
- Presenting copied, falsified, or improperly obtained data as if it were the result of laboratory work, field trips, or other investigatory work.
- Resubmission of work
No student may turn in work for evaluation in more than one course without the permission of the instructors of both courses. No student may turn in previously-graded work as all or part of a separate assignment without the explicit permission of the instructors who assigned both works. This does not apply to graded components of a larger project or drafts of a final paper.
A student is placed on academic probation if his or her cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.00. When a student is placed on academic probation, the Office of the Registrar will send the student (and his or her advisers) a letter defining the terms of the probation and indicating what constitutes satisfactory progress toward removal of the probationary status. Satisfactory progress includes achieving a minimum 2.00 semester grade-point average and meeting the other requirements in the letter. A student remains on probation until the cumulative grade point average reaches 2.00. Academic Notice status is indicated on the permanent record as well as on the grade report. A student on academic probation may not register for more than 16 credit hours for any regular semester during the term of the probation. In addition, the following extracurricular programs are available only to students in good academic standing: varsity sports, campus media, student government offices, student club offices, drama productions and music ensembles. (Music ensembles and drama productions are not prohibited to those students on academic probation who are taking them for credit as part of their academic load of 16 or fewer credit hours.)
At the end of each semester and summer session, the Office of the Registrar evaluates every student’s record to determine his or her academic standing.
- A student whose cumulative grade-point average is 2.00 or higher is in good academic standing.
- A student who earns a grade-point average of less than 2.00 in any single semester is given an academic warning.
- A student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 2.00 is either placed on academic probation or is dismissed from the College.
Advanced Placement and Credit by Examination
Students desiring either advanced placement in a subject or degree credit for work done outside a baccalaureate program may submit the results of tests recognized by the College. Certification of having passed such tests must be in the form of an official report sent directly by the issuing agency to the Office of the Registrar. Credit by examination may be counted only as lower-division credit and may not total more than 45 credit hours. (For more detailed information concerning the transfer of credits from another university or college, see the Transfer of Credit section.) Regulations governing the use of specific types of examinations include the following:
- Advanced Placement Examinations: Credit will be given in the appropriate subject if a score of 3, 4, or 5 is achieved.
- CLEP Examinations: Credit is given to students earning scaled scores of at least 50 on the exam. Because some CLEP examinations may not be appropriate for fulfilling certain College requirements, a student must secure written approval of a particular test from the Office of the Registrar prior to taking the exam. If a student does not secure such approval, the College may not grant credit toward fulfilling a given College requirement. Note: Credits earned by successful completion of an appropriate CEEB Advanced Placement Examination or CLEP subject examination may be used to satisfy the corresponding four-credit-hour Core Curriculum requirement.
- International Baccalaureate Program: St. Mary’s College of Maryland recognizes the International Baccalaureate Program. College credit will be awarded for IB courses taken at a standard or higher level. A minimum grade of 5 is required. Please consult with the Office of the Registrar for course-by-course equivalencies. No credit shall be awarded for standard-level examinations. Four credits will be awarded for an IB diploma in recognition of an extended essay and participation in Theory of Knowledge with a grade of at least C-.
- St. Mary’s College of Maryland accepts credits for advanced-level exams taken through Cambridge International Examinations when scores meet SMCM standards. SMCM may accept grades of A-E for level A and AS exams. SMCM may grant 3 or 6 credits for A- and AS-level non-lab science exams, or 8 credits for A- and AS-level lab science exams.
- In some cases, students may be able to satisfy the prerequisites for upper-level courses by taking an examination on the course content of the lower-division course. To do so, a student must obtain the permission of the appropriate department chair by the second day of the semester and take the examination before the last day of the schedule adjustment period (the end of the first two weeks of classes). If the department chair, in consultation with the appropriate instructor(s), waives the prerequisite based on the student’s exam performance, no credits will be awarded for that prerequisite course, but the student may enroll in the upper-level class.
Regular attendance at classes is expected; all students are responsible for any classwork done or assigned during any absence. In each course, two absences shall be accepted by the instructor during the semester. However, when any absence results in a student missing an examination or an assignment deadline, the instructor’s policy covering missed examinations or late work shall apply. Beyond two absences the instructor’s policies shall be in effect.
Aid is disbursed ten days prior to the beginning of classes. Students must begin attendance (academic activity) in at least one class to maintain their eligibility for Federal Direct Loans.
Students must begin attendance in all the classes that correspond to the enrollment status used to calculate their Pell Grant (full-time, ¾ time, ½ time, less than ½ time). If non-attendance is shown, the Pell Grant will be recalculated to the updated enrollment (full-time, ¾ time, ½ time, less than ½ time). Attendance verification will be done once per semester during the fourth week of classes.
The catalog year determines the set of general academic requirements the student must fulfill for graduation. All students follow the policies not connected with their major and minor that are in the current catalog regardless of their catalog year. Students are held to the academic requirements of the catalog year in which they enter St. Mary’s College of Maryland as a degree-seeking student. Students may request change of catalog year status through the Office of the Registrar under the following conditions:
- Transfer students from a Maryland State public institution of higher education have the option of satisfying St. Mary’s College of Maryland graduation requirements that were in effect at the time the student first enrolled at the original institution. These conditions are applicable to a student who has maintained continuous enrollment at a State of Maryland institution of higher education. Continuous enrollment shall be defined as registration for and completion of at least one course per semester in each academic year.
- Students may not move back to any catalog published before their initial enrollment as a degree student. They do have the option of moving to any catalog published after their initial enrollment as a degree-seeking student, but may not move back after having moved forward. Students should be aware that being granted such permission means they are held accountable for the academic requirements in that new catalog. The exception is that if a new minor is introduced in a catalog(s) after their admission to St. Mary’s, students follow the requirements for minors in the new catalog, but complete all other graduation requirements of their original catalog, unless they officially move up to the new catalog year. If a student has declared a minor, and the requirements of that minor change, they are required to follow the catalog requirements for the minor of the catalog year in which they were initially enrolled.
Students are reminded that they should check all graduation requirements (major, minor, Core Curriculum, upper division and overall credits) before they decide to elect a change of catalog.
Change of Schedule
The first week of each semester is designated as a “schedule-adjustment period.” During this time, students may change their class schedule free of charge by presenting completed “add-drop” forms to the Glendening Hall student service desk. After the first week and before the end of the second week of classes, students may continue to add and drop courses by this method, but each course change will be charged a $25 schedule-adjustment fee.
The fact that students are permitted by the college to add courses does not guarantee their ability to do so: it is up to the discretion of each professor whether or not to allow the student to add their course once the semester has begun. The course “drops” made during the first two weeks of the semester will not be reflected on the student’s permanent record. The only courses that may be added after the second week of classes are private music lessons and theater practicum. The absolute deadline for adding private music lessons is the same as the last day to withdraw from a course, that is, the end of the 10th week of classes. Adding theater practicum is accomplished only through submission of official rosters by the faculty member.
After the second week and before the end of the 10th week of classes, students may withdraw from courses. A grade of W for any course from which a student withdraws will be placed on the student’s permanent record. If a student does not attend any of the class meetings during the first week of classes, the student may be dropped from the class at the discretion of the instructor; however, instructors typically place responsibility on the student for completing the requisite paperwork. Also, if a student has not met the minimum grade requirement for a course prerequisite, the student may be dropped from the course. The Office of the Registrar will attempt to notify students by e-mail if they are dropped by an instructor. Without this notification, students must assume they are enrolled in the course. It is the responsibility of the student to check his/her schedule in the Portal to be sure it accurately reflects the courses they are taking.
Classification of Students (Senior, Junior, Sophomore, First-Year)
A student is classified according to the number of credit hours earned:
- 0-24 credit hours: first-year student
- 25-55 credit hours: sophomore
- 56-89 credit hours: junior
- 90 or more credit hours: senior
Some departments at St. Mary’s offer courses in classroom assistantships. Students work with a faculty member in conjunction with a course offered by that faculty member. Credits received in a classroom assistant course cannot be used to satisfy the Core Curriculum requirements. Students should contact individual departments to register for a classroom assistantship. Departments should follow the policies listed below:
- Instructors for classroom assistantships must have full-time faculty status.
- Students may earn a total maximum of eight credit hours for a classroom assistantship. If a student wants to continue working as a classroom assistant after completing eight credit hours, the student may receive pay, but not credit.
- To be eligible for a classroom assistantship, students must be junior or senior or must have completed two courses of 200 level or above in the discipline of the course in which the student is the classroom assistant.
- Students may not take more than four credits of a classroom assistantship during any semester.
- Students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5.
- Students registered in a classroom assistantship must abide by all the course policies set by the instructor.
- While students registered in a classroom assistantship may review class assignments and make preliminary marks, the professor holds the ultimate authority and responsibility in assigning grades for all assignments.
- While students registered in a classroom assistantship may lead review sessions, the faculty instructor must be present if the classroom assistant is assuming the role of teacher.
- All other details related to a classroom assistantship are negotiable between the faculty member and the student.
Computation of Grade-Point Average
A grade-point average (GPA) is calculated on the basis of the following quality points: A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- = 2.7, C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0, C- = 1.7, D+ = 1.3, D = 1, F = 0. The grades of CR, NC, I, W, and AU do not enter into the computation of the grade-point average. The GPA is computed on the basis of all courses taken at St. Mary’s College for which a letter grade has been received. The grade-point average is computed on both a semester-by-semester basis and on a cumulative basis. Transfer credits are excluded from the GPA computation.
A semester hour is the same as a credit hour. While 12 credit hours are considered a full-time course load, a typical course load consists of 16 to 19 credit hours during a regular semester. A student may enroll for more than 19 credit hours only during the schedule-adjustment and drop/add period. The student’s adviser must approve, by signature on the add-drop form, course enrollments of more than 19 credit hours. Students will be charged the part time per credit hour tuition fee for over 19 credit hours. A student may not enroll in more than 24 credit hours. To be eligible to live in College housing facilities, a student must enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. A student on academic probation may not enroll in more than 16 credit hours. For the summer session a typical course load consists of 4 credit hours in a three week period or 8 credit hours in a six week period. Students cannot normally enroll in both a three week course and a six week course if the offering periods overlap. Students may enroll for additional hours if enrolled in independent study, internship, or St. Mary’s Project course; but the maximum course load for the summer is 12 credit hours. A student may enroll for more than 4 credits in a three week period or more than 12 credits for the summer, but the student’s adviser must approve this in writing prior to registration. If a student does obtain permission to enroll in more than 12 credits for the summer, the student will be charged full-time tuition and fees. Students are limited to taking one course or 4 credits of independent study during the Winterim term.
If a probationary student fails to make satisfactory progress, that student may be dismissed. Students will be evaluated for dismissal after each semester. Students who are dismissed will not be permitted to register for credit courses either as a degree or a non-degree-seeking student. Appeal for exemption from dismissal may be granted by the associate dean for academic services in unusual circumstances and following consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. Students whose appeals are granted will be re-admitted to the College for a period not to exceed two semesters on a provisional basis. If students fail to attain the minimum GPA for retention and they fail to comply with the conditions specified in the letter allowing them to return to the College, they will be dismissed at the end of the provisional period. If they fail to make reasonable progress towards improving their GPA, they may be dismissed after one semester. Students receiving financial aid and/or scholarships from the College must meet the minimum required academic performance and enroll in the minimum number of credit-hours required for retaining their aid and/or scholarships.Students who have been academically dismissed from St. Mary’s may apply for re-admission after one year by writing to the associate dean for academic services no sooner than the end of the second semester after their dismissal. The application for re-admission should include the following information: educational goals; past academic difficulties and steps taken to address these difficulties; plans for ensuring future academic success; and transcripts of academic work taken at other institutions during the period following dismissal. Academically dismissed students who wish to continue their education at St. Mary’s should take courses elsewhere both in order to demonstrate their ability to succeed in college level work and to, when possible, remove deficient grades from their St. Mary’s GPA.(See Computation of Grade-point Average.)In evaluating an application for re-admission, the associate dean will consider evidence of the student’s growth and maturity that will indicate the student now has an increased probability of being academically successful. Re-admission of dismissed students is not automatic and will be granted by the associate dean in consultation with the Academic Policy Committee only in cases where the student is clearly capable of fulfilling the rigorous requirements of the honors college curriculum. Students who are re-admitted to the College will be permitted to attend as degree-seeking students or to register as non-degree-seeking students. A student re-admitted after being academically dismissed will be placed on a status of provisional admission for two semesters after re-admission. Re-admitted students must meet with the associate dean to discuss their academic plans, and must meet all of the conditions specified in their letter of re-admission, or face dismissal at the end of the provisional two semesters if they have not attained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. Any student who has been re-admitted and whose record following re-admission leads to a second dismissal will be ineligible for further re-admission.
Evaluations are made in accordance with the following system:A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, F, CR (credit for the course), AU (audit), NC (no credit for the course), I (incomplete), IP (in progress), W (withdrawal). All grades will appear on the permanent record.
- Change of Grade
A change of the final grade in a course may occasionally be justified for extraordinary reasons, such as computational error. Such a change may be initiated by either the instructor or the student. A request initiated by a student must be a formal one, submitted in writing with justification to the instructor by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. Any changes initiated or approved by the instructor must be approved by the department chair and submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the sixth week of the subsequent semester. The registrar will record the grade change on the student’s permanent record.
- Grade Grievance
Under the following conditions, a student may decide to grieve a grade either on a specific assignment or for a course as a whole:
- The grade assigned may reflect discrimination of some sort on the part of the professor.
- The grade assigned reflects a computational error.
- The grade assigned is related to an allegation of academic misconduct which is proceeding through the Academic Judicial Board system. (If an instance of alleged academic misconduct has been handled informally, and the student wants to appeal, that appeal must proceed through the Academic Judicial Board system.)
The procedure for filing a grade grievance or other related academic complaint is as follows:
- A student with a complaint should, where appropriate, first try to reach agreement with the faculty member. Informal conversation about the assignment and grade in question between the student and the professor is the first step in the grade grievance process.
- If the student is not satisfied with the result of the conversation, or if the faculty member does not respond to requests for such an informal conversation. The student then submits a written statement expressing concern about the grade to the chair of the faculty member’s department, with a copy to the professor. In the case of individual assignments, such statements must be made within 10 business days of receipt of the grade in the case of individual assignment. In the case of overall course grades, such statements must be made by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. The department chair will attempt to mediate the complaint as outlined in C below. ** (See note.)
- Within 10 business days of receipt of the student’s letter, the chair will solicit the faculty member’s point of view, in writing, about the grade and the criteria on which it was based. The chair may decide to render a decision based on the written communications or may call the student and faculty member together for a meeting to discuss the issues, after which the chair will render a decision to both the student and faculty member in writing. **Note: In the event that the faculty member in question is the department chair, the associate dean of academic services will substitute for the chair.
- If either the student or faculty member is dissatisfied with the chair’s decision, the dissatisfied party can make a request, in writing, within 10 days of receipt of the chair’s decision, with a copy to the other party, and to the associate dean of academic services, who will seek counsel from the Academic Policy Committee. The Academic Policy Committee members will consult all parties concerned and then vote either for or against the recommendation of the department chair and will inform the associate dean of academic services, in writing, of their advice and the reasons for it, after which the associate dean of academic services will render a decision to the parties in question.
- Final authority rests with the dean of faculty in the event that either the student or faculty member is not satisfied with the response given by associate dean of academic services in consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. A written appeal to the dean of faculty, which must be copied to the other parties involved, must be made within 10 business days following receipt of the associate dean of academic services’ decision, and the dean of faculty will render final judgment within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal, in writing, to all concerned individuals.
- Parents, family members and attorneys are not permitted to attend any grade appeal conferences.
- If a grade appeal involves alleged academic misconduct, the grade appeal should be heard after the Academic Judicial Board has reached a decision about the alleged infraction.
- Mid-semester Reports
If a student’s work in a course is unsatisfactory at mid-semester, the instructor submits a mid-semester deficiency grade through the Portal.
- Credit/no credit grading
There are two situations in which a student may receive a credit/no credit evaluation in lieu of a letter grade. These situations are specified separately in (a) and (b) below:
- Courses in which letter grades are normally assigned:
A student in good academic standing may elect to take, on a credit/no credit basis, a course in which letter grades are normally assigned. In order to do so, the student must file the appropriate form with the Office of the Registrar by the date indicated on the Academic Calendar. When the student has completed the course, the faculty member will assign a letter grade for that student that will be recorded officially as CR if the letter grade is D or higher, or NC if the grade is F. These courses may not include any that are required in a student’s major program, minor program, or those used to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements. A maximum of 16 credit hours elected on the credit/no credit basis can be applied to graduation. For students transferring into St. Mary’s College with 64 credit hours or more, a maximum of eight credit hours elected on the credit/no credit basis can be applied to the degree.
- Courses in which letter grades are not assigned:
In certain courses the assignment of a letter grade is not feasible. These courses are offered only for credit/no credit evaluation by the instructor. Such courses are approved by the dean of faculty on recommendation of the appropriate department and the Curriculum Review Committee and are identified in the course descriptions in this catalog. There is no limit on the number of such courses that a student may take; however, these courses may not be used to satisfy a Core Curriculum requirement, major, or minor requirements unless otherwise noted by a department or program, with the exception of credit internships approved by the appropriate department or cross disciplinary study area.
- Auditing a course
A student who wishes to show that he or she has attended a course regularly but who does not wish to earn credit for the course may register as an auditor with the consent of the instructor. Although no credit will be earned, the credit count will be included in the attempted credits and the student will be charged the overload fee if the total attempted credits (including audited courses) result in more than 19 credits. The following policies govern such registrations:
- If attendance has been regular, the instructor will assign AU as a grade, but no credit is earned and no quality points are calculated.
- If the instructor deems that attendance has not been adequate, the instructor will notify the office of the registrar and the student will be dropped from the course.
- A change from credit to audit or audit to credit may be made only with the consent of the instructor and no later than the last day of the fourth week of classes.
- Part-time students must pay for audited courses at the same rate charged for credit courses.
- Regular attendance at class is expected of the auditor, but he or she is not required to write papers or take quizzes, tests, or examinations.
Intent to Walk at Commencement Students who have not completed the necessary coursework but are within four credits of the total requirements for graduation and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 may participate in the commencement ceremony including walking across the stage to receive a diploma case. Those students so participating will be footnoted in the Commencement program. They will receive their diploma and official transcript recording their degree completion when all degree requirements have been satisfied.
Such students will be eligible to receive their degree in the following Summer, Fall or Spring semester as long as they complete the required coursework and submit the appropriate documentation to the Office of the Registrar.
A student’s degree will be determined based on what the student has chosen for their primary major (Major 1). Example: The student is a biology major and has a second major in English. The student would receive a Bachelor of Science in Biology and English. If the student elects to change their primary major to English, then they will receive a Bachelor of Arts in English and Biology.
MAT Commencement Ceremony Participation
- Students who have completed all MAT course requirements, but who may be missing one or more Maryland certification requirements (Praxis, edTPA, etc.) may participate in MAT hooding and college commencement activities, but will not receive their diploma until all certification requirements are satisfied. Their graduation date will be the August or December after all requirements have been satisfied.
- Students who have delayed the completion of their internship time but will complete their internship requirements by the end of the SMCPS academic year in which they started may participate in MAT hooding and college commencement activities, but will not receive their diploma until all internship requirements are satisfied. Their graduation date will be the August or December after all requirements have been satisfied.
- Students who have not completed all course requirements, who need to retake part or all of a course, or who have deferred the completion of their internship until the following fall semester may not participate in MAT hooding or college commencement activities.
- Students who meet the criteria in points 1) or 2) and wish to defer graduation but still participate in hooding and commencement activities will provide the EDST department chair with a written plan/timeline for how they intend to complete the requirements.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings. In accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), disclosure of student information, including financial and academic, is restricted. Release of information other than “directory information” to anyone other than the student requires a written consent from the student. Students may grant consent for disclosure to specific offices by completing, in the presence of a college official or Notary Public, a waiver form. These forms are available from the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Academic Services, as well as on The Portal. The College may release “directory information” without prior written consent from the student. St. Mary’s College considers the following to be directory information: student’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, photographs, year in college, parents’ names and addresses, prior educational institutions attended, dates of college attendance, degrees, scholarships, awards received, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. The federal regulations can be found online. The “Notification of Rights” appears in To the Point, the student handbook.
An Incomplete may be given by the instructor only at the request of the student when extraordinary circumstances, such as extended illness or other serious emergency beyond the control of the student, prevent the student from completing a course within the academic semester. To qualify for an Incomplete, the extraordinary circumstances must have occurred near the end of the semester and the student must have been attending the course regularly throughout the semester up until that point. To assign an Incomplete, the instructor must discuss with the student the work that must be completed and the deadline for submission of that work. In addition, the instructor will indicate the reason for the Incomplete by checking the appropriate box on the “Incomplete Request Form” submitted to the registrar at the time grades are due for that semester. The instructor will also indicate the grade the student should receive if the conditions for completion of the course work are not met by the appropriate deadline. If no grade is specified on the incomplete request form or if the reason for the Incomplete is not checked on the form, a grade of F will be recorded on the student’s transcript. The student must submit all designated work to the faculty member by the end of the fourth week of the following regular semester of the academic year (fall or spring, whichever comes first). The deadline for submitting the grade change to the registrar is the end of the sixth week of that semester. Any Incomplete that is not removed prior to that date will revert to the grade specified by the contract granting the Incomplete. The instructor may extend the deadline for submission of work until later in the semester if the student requests such an extension in writing. However, the Incomplete must be removed by the last day of classes of that semester, or the grade reverts to the grade specified by the contract granting the Incomplete. No Incomplete may remain on a graduating senior’s transcript, and graduating seniors are ineligible for Incompletes in the semester that the degree is conferred.
- Independent studies provide a means for students to pursue subjects in greater depth than otherwise provided by the curriculum. Independent studies cannot be used to satisfy LEAD Curriculum requirements.
- To register for an independent study, a student must complete a learning contract. An official form for such contracts is available in each administrative office found in the academic buildings, at the student services desk of Glendening Hall, or online in the Portal. The level of study (that is, 100, 200, 300, or 400) is determined by the faculty mentor. The learning contract must be approved by the appropriate department chair and filed with the Office of the Registrar, by the last day of the schedule-adjustment period.
- Independent studies may not be substituted in place of courses offered on a regular basis in the College curriculum. In cases of unusual need, exception may be granted by the appropriate department chair.
- A maximum of eight credit hours of such work may be applied toward fulfillment of the student’s major requirements. Independent study taken to fulfill major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.
- Inasmuch as first-year students are encouraged to pursue basic courses, only sophomores, juniors, and seniors are normally allowed to register for independent study. First-year students wanting to take an independent study should petition the appropriate department chair, offering evidence of sufficient academic preparation.
- A student may not take more than eight credit hours of independent study or field study during any semester, and the student is limited to a maximum of four credit hours of independent study during a summer session.
- To be eligible to enroll for independent study, a student must be in good academic standing.
- As a condition for independent study, the student and the faculty mentor must contract to meet no less than twice during the session (in addition to the first and final meetings) to discuss and assess the progress of the project.
- The details of the independent study are determined by the faculty mentor who works within the guidelines of departmental requirements for independent studies. The underlying requirement is that the academic work must be of the same quality and quantity as a regular course of the same number of credits and level (200, 300, 400).
- An independent study project is contracted for a specific period of time and is assessed at its contracted date of completion. The grade category “Incomplete” is assigned to a student carrying independent study only when extenuating circumstances have made substantial completion of the project impossible.
International Education Programs
St. Mary’s College of Maryland encourages its students to study abroad. Study abroad makes available to the College’s students unique educational and cultural opportunities not offered at St. Mary’s. The College offers a variety of different types of programs including exchanges, direct enrolls, and faculty-led study tours. Students are also able to participate in non-SMCM programs through our proposal process mentioned below. These international education programs are governed by the following academic policies:
- Students must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 in order to be eligible for SMCM faculty-led study tours and a minimum grade-point average of 2.5 in order to be eligible for other study abroad programs. Students may petition the Academic Policy Committee for a waiver to this requirement before the application deadline of their chosen program supplementing their petition with current information from professors about their academic progress at that point in time.
- Students who wish to study (for credit) on other institution’s or organization’s study abroad program must secure written permission of the IE Faculty Advisory Committee by completing the Non-SMCM Program Proposal Form available through the Office of International Education.
- For any study-abroad program, students must complete a course equivalency form through the Office of International Education for any course that does not already have a course equivalency found on the course database on the IE website. The course must then be evaluated and approved by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the chair of the department most closely related to the content of the course. The student is responsible for filling out the course equivalency, by the deadline, prior to their departure abroad. The forms for this process are found in the student’s study abroad application.
- If a student does not follow the procedures outlined in items 2 and 3 above, the College may refuse to grant credit for study-abroad courses taken by the student, regardless of the program in which they were taken.
- Credits earned in study-abroad courses and programs offered by another institution and approved by St. Mary’s College will be transferred to the student’s transcript when an official transcript is received from the other institution. Credits transferred from NSE and institutions abroad follow the policies as outlined in the section, Transfer of Credits from Other Institutions.
- Any full-time, degree-seeking student who will have sophomore status and be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher) at the start of the internship is eligible to apply for academic credit for the internship.
- A maximum of 16 credit hours of internship credit may be applied toward a degree at St. Mary’s. All 16 credit hours need not be taken in a single semester.
- The number of internship credits (if any) that may be applied toward fulfillment of a student’s major requirement is determined by the appropriate academic department.
- If the contractual agreement has been only partially fulfilled, the student may receive only part of the contracted number of credits, as determined by the student’s faculty sponsor and the career development staff.
- The evaluation of the internship will be based on the specifics of the student’s unique learning agreement.
- The mode of evaluation will be credit/no credit and is representative of the academic and professional work completed by the student. Credit for the internship will be assigned by the faculty sponsor after consultation with all appropriate parties, including the career development staff. The faculty sponsor may choose to assign a letter grade based on the academic component of the internship to appear parenthetically on the student’s academic record. This parenthetical grade will not be included in the calculation of the student’s GPA.
- Students may accept a stipend, wage, or other compensation for a credit internship
- Students interested in registering for internships credit should meet with the career development staff to discuss the internship learning agreement, professional assignments, and expectations.
- The “Internship Learning Agreement” will be prepared by the student, in consultation with the site supervisor, faculty sponsor, and career development staff. The site supervisor may not simultaneously act as a faculty sponsor for a credit internship.
- The Internship Learning Agreement must be approved by all parties prior to the start of the internship.
Leave of Absence
A student may take a leave of absence from the College at any time during the semester on or before the last day of classes, provided the student is not under temporary suspension. Any degree-seeking student may be granted leaves of absence up to a total of three semesters during his or her College career, including the semester in which the leave is initially taken. In cases of unusual need, degree-seeking students may be granted additional leaves of absence by the associate dean of academic services following consultation with the Academic Policy Committee. If a student submits his or her leave of absence paperwork after the tenth week of classes, he or she must remain on leave for at least the following semester as well. If a student is academically dismissed or expelled from the College during the semester preceding the semester for which a leave of absence is conditionally granted, the approval of the leave is canceled automatically. When a student on leave of absence returns to the College, he or she is reinstated as a degree-seeking student and retains the rights to the provisions of his or her prior catalog. Applications for leaves of absence are available in the Offices of Student Support Services, Residence Life, Counseling and Health Services (for mental health or medical leaves of absence), or the Dean of Students and must be filed by the student no later than the last day of classes in the semester in which the leave of absence is to begin. Students must also complete an exit interview with an approved college official. To return from a leave of absence, a student must notify the Offices of Student Support Services in writing by February 15 for a fall semester return or October 15 for a spring semester return. If a student contacts Offices of Student Support Services after these dates, he or she may be able to return the following semester, but may not be able to register for classes until the schedule adjustment period. If a student is returning from a medical leave of absence, the student must seek permission from the dean of students to return prior to contacting the Offices of Student Support Services. If a student wishes to live on-campus upon returning from a leave of absence, the student must submit a written request to the Office of Residence Life by February 15 for fall semester housing or October 15 for spring semester housing. If a student submits a housing request after these dates, the student will be placed on the housing wait list and will be housed if space is available after the new students are housing in June (for the fall semester) or January (for the spring semester).Credit earned at another institution during a leave of absence will be transferable to St. Mary’s College under the same provisions as other transfer credit. A student who does not return at the conclusion of the leave of absence-or within three semesters after his or her last enrollment-but who subsequently wishes to return, must reapply to the College through the Office of Admissions. See Re-Admission below.
Majors & Minors
At St. Mary’s College, depth of knowledge is gained through intensive study in a major field. By assuming a major, the student goes beyond the introductory level in a chosen field, develops a coherent view of the subject, and attains competence in the use of skills appropriate to the discipline. This aspect of the curriculum allows students to experience the challenge and pleasure of pursuing a subject in depth. It also helps them refine their abilities of acquiring, analyzing, and synthesizing information, abilities needed to respond to the increasing complexity of the modern world. For a complete listing of the majors offered by the College, go to the Majors, Minors Course Descriptions.
Declaring a Major
By the end of the sophomore year, each student must declare a major by using the SMCM web Portal. In most cases there is no need for a student to designate a major until the end of the second year. However, if a student anticipates majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, natural science, or music, or plans to pursue the MAT, a faculty adviser in the field should be consulted early in the first year, preferably before the student enrolls in the first semester.
Changing a Major and/or Adding a Major
Except in the case of student-designed majors, students wishing to change their major must do so by the end of the schedule adjustment period of their last semester at the College prior to graduation. While there is no absolute deadline for declaring a second major, students who attempt to do so past the schedule adjustment period may not have the major recorded on their diploma, due to the administrative requirements of certification.
Recognizing that many students may want to take a concentration of courses under a specific discipline but not with the intention of majoring in the subject matter, St. Mary’s College allows students to pursue approved minors. Minors require students to take 18-24 credit hours in prescribed course work. For a complete listing of the minors offered by the College, go to the Majors, Minors Course Descriptions.
The Minor in Cross-Disciplinary Studies
Cross-disciplinary studies can increase intellectual community across disciplines, encourage cohesion in the choice of electives, and promote combinations of methods and materials that challenge the boundaries of knowledge. They involve at least three academic disciplines and require 18 to 24 credit hours, at least eight (8) of which must be at the upper-level level. Cross-disciplinary studies include an integrative component such as a common course or requirement. At the discretion of the specific cross-disciplinary studies committee, students may complete the St. Mary’s Project in the study area, provided they secure the approval of the department in which they are majoring. Completion of the course work in a cross-disciplinary study area is noted as a specific minor on a student’s transcript.
Declaring a Minor
To declare a minor, each student uses the SMCM web Portal. There is no absolute deadline for the declaration of a minor, but departments offering minors must certify graduates prior to graduation. Therefore, it is highly advisable to declare a minor by the end of the fourth week of the first semester of the student’s senior year.
Students who have previously attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland as degree-seeking students, and who have not been academically dismissed, may apply for re-admission. Students who have not enrolled in classes for up to three semesters may apply for re-admission by contacting the Office of Academic Services prior to the end of their third semester away. Students who have not attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland for more than three semesters must apply for admission through the Office of Admissions. If the student returns within five years, he/she will remain under the catalog year at the time of original admission to St. Mary’s. If the student is absent for more than five years he/she must graduate under the catalog requirements of the year of re-admission. If the student previously completed the General Education or Core Curriculum requirements under the catalog of their original admission, the General Education or Core Curriculum requirements of the new catalog year would be considered complete. Although degree requirements may change under the new catalog year, the student would retain the previous number of credits earned at St. Mary’s. However, courses taken more than 10 years ago might not fulfill major and/or minor requirements. The determination of which requirement(s) such a course might fulfill shall be made by the chair of the department in which the course is normally offered. If a degree-seeking student who was previously enrolled left on probation and is granted re-admittance to St. Mary’s College of Maryland, he/she would remain on probation for the re-entry semester and be expected to meet the requirements of any student on probation. Students who have been academically dismissed from St. Mary’s may also apply for re-admission after one year by writing to the Office of Academic Services no sooner than the end of the second semester after their dismissal (see Academic Dismissal). Students whose application for re-admission is approved will be given the same status as transfer students regarding housing. Any student who has been re-admitted after an academic dismissal and whose record following re-admission leads to a second dismissal will be ineligible for further re-admission.
Student registration takes place once each semester for the next semester. Prior to registration, the Business Office must clear the student’s financial account. A registration time is assigned to each student, based on the number of earned credit hours accumulated. Students must meet with their academic adviser before registration to be cleared for registration. During their assigned registration time students will register online through their SMCM web Portal. A late fee is charged if initial registration is completed during the schedule-adjustment period. No initial registration will be accepted after the end of the schedule-adjustment period (the first two weeks of classes).
A student may elect to repeat any course in which he or she wishes to improve the grade. (If a course is designated “May be repeated for credit,” then it may be repeated for a better grade only if the topic is the same as the topic of the original course.) If the course is repeated at St. Mary’s College, the grade earned on the latest attempt, not the original grade, will be used in the computation of the grade-point average. The original grade remains on the permanent record. Furthermore, if the original grade was a passing grade, and the grade received on the latest attempt is a failing grade, then credit for that course will be rescinded. A student may elect to repeat a course at another institution. To do so, the student must file a pre-approval of transfer credit form with the Office of the Registrar. If the grade received at the other institution is C- or better (or a D or better from a Maryland public institution), the student will be awarded transfer credits for pre-approved courses. Although the original grade will be removed from the computation of the grade-point average, it will remain on the transcript. The transfer grade is not calculated into the grade-point average. A student may not repeat a course after earning a degree from the College.
Second Bachelor’s Degree Program
The Second Bachelor’s Degree Program is intended to fulfill the needs of college and university graduates who wish to achieve competency in a field of academic study different from the one in which they attained their first degree. Students seeking entrance into the program must have previously received a baccalaureate degree from St. Mary’s or from another accredited institution. To be considered for the program, there must be no extensive duplication among the major field requirements for the two degrees. Prospective students apply to the Office of Admissions for entrance into the program. The Office of the Registrar will assess the transferability of credits earned elsewhere. Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree are subject to all academic policies that normally pertain to St. Mary’s degree-seeking students. To earn a second bachelor’s degree, a student must complete a) requirements “1” and “4” of the general college requirements and b) a minimum of 32 credit-hours at St. Mary’s beyond those earned for the first degree. Interested students are urged to make a pre-application appointment with the Office of Admissions to receive advice regarding admissions procedures and transfer credit policies.
Students are required to participate in assessment and testing programs arranged for the purpose of institutional research and development. These testing programs enable students to measure their own academic progress against that of classmates and national samples, while furnishing group data needed for institutional research at the College.
Transfer of Credits from Other Institutions
A student enrolled at St. Mary’s College may take courses from another institution and subsequently transfer the credits to St. Mary’s College. If a student does not secure the SMCM equivalency in writing before taking courses at another institution, the College reserves the right to refuse to grant credit for such courses. The student should secure this prior equivalency report on a “Pre-Approval of Transfer Credit” form available on the SMCM Portal, or the student services desk of Glendening Hall. The Office of the Registrar will indicate on the form the transfer equivalency at St. Mary’s College. The student is responsible for filing the pre-approval request with the transfer evaluation coordinator and making sure you have received the completed equivalency report. This policy includes courses taken during the summer, while on leave of absence, or while concurrently enrolled as a student at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Transfer students who are admitted to the College will receive an official evaluation of their transfer credits after the College has received official transcripts for all college work attempted and the student has been admitted to the college. Any course taken more than 10 years ago, although possibly acceptable as transfer credit, might not fulfill LEAD Curriculum and major or minor requirements. The determination of which requirement(s) such a course fulfills shall be made by the chair of the department in which the course is normally offered.
Students must submit an official transcript of all coursework, AP, IB, CLEP, and Military experience in order to transfer approved credits. Students may be asked to provide further information on any coursework, including a syllabus.
Transfer of Credit Policies
Credit earned from other institutions is acceptable for transfer to St. Mary’s under the following policies:
- The college accepts transfer credit from U.S. colleges and universities that are regionally accredited. Coursework completed at institutions that are not regionally accredited but have national or specialized accreditation that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) may be considered for transfer credit on a case-by-case basis.
- In order for a course from an international institution to be considered for transfer, the institution must be officially recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education or other official government agency.
- Students who attended a college or university outside the United States must submit both a copy of their official transcript and a course-by-course credentials evaluation through an accepted foreign credentials evaluation service such as AACRAO or WES.
- To be approved for transfer, a course must be congruent with the college’s liberal arts program and should be similar in scope, content, and level to courses offered at the college. The decision of whether or not a course is transferrable is made by the transfer evaluation coordinator in the Registrar’s Office in conjunction with the appropriate department chair, program coordinator, or college Dean. Developmental/remedial, technical/occupational and other similar courses do not transfer.
- Credit for non-traditional Learning:
a. Credit by Examination: Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge, and general CLEP credit may be awarded. For AP, a minimum score of 3 is required; for IB, a minimum score of 5 for Higher Level (HL) exams and Standard Level (SL) exams; for CLEP a minimum score of 50; Cambridge A-Level and AS-Level exams with a grade of A*, A, B, or C.
b. Military Credit: the college accepts some credit from the ACE recommendations on the Joint Services transcript. Other sources of military credit will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
c. The college does not accept credit for portfolio assessment.
- A minimum grade of C- for courses taken at an out-of-state college or Maryland private college, or D for courses taken at a Maryland public college is required for transfer credit. A course in which credit has been earned but no letter grade given will be accepted for transfer only if the student was not allowed to take the course for a letter grade, or if the student can verify that the letter grade equivalent was C- or better. Although the student may receive transfer credit for a course with a grade of D, the course may not be used toward the student’s major or minor. Please check with the department’s minimum grade requirements.
- The college will convert quarter system transfer credits into semester hours. A semester hour is equivalent to 0.67 of a quarter hour. European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits will be converted by the following formula. 2 ECTS = 1 US credit.
- Internship and independent study credits from other colleges will transfer to SMCM equivalent to the level taken at the sending institution.
- The maximum number of credits that can be transferred from a two-year institution is 70 credit hours, and 90 credit hours from a four-year institution. The combination of all credits transferred (including, for example, AP/CLEP/IB) may not exceed 90 credits.
- Credits that are transferred will be excluded from the computation of the grade-point average at St. Mary’s College.
- The number of credits earned at the sending institution is the number of credits that will be transferred to St. Mary’s College.
- For transfer students, at least half of the credits applied toward the student’s major must be completed at the College. For a minor, all 300-and 400-level courses must be completed at the College, and no more than half of the courses applied towards the minor at the 100-and 200-level can be transferred to the College from another institution. For St. Mary’s students, exceptions to this policy could be made on a departmental basis.
- Students transferring with an AA, AS, AAT, AFA, or ASE degree from a Maryland community college fulfill the Core Curriculum foreign language requirement as well as each of the six areas of the Core Exploration requirement. However, these students will still be required to complete CORE 301 (please see the Core Exploration Requirements section for the complete requirements).
- Students transferring from Maryland public colleges are entitled to the rights set forth in the Student Transfer Policies of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (Title 13B. Subtitle 06). St. Mary’s College complies with these policies. Consult the appendix for the full text of these policies. Regardless of the number of credits transferred, every student must conform to all degree requirements at St. Mary’s in order to obtain a degree.
Transfer Credit Appeal Process: Students may appeal transfer credit evaluations by contacting the Transfer Evaluation Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar: 240-895-4336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All SMCM transcripts, official as well as unofficial*, are ordered through the National Student Clearinghouse, an online service that allows current students and alumni to order transcripts and track their orders via the Web at any time. The College charges a fee per transcript and the National Student Clearinghouse charges a fee per address. See the Registrar’s website for the current fees. The National Student Clearinghouse will collect all fees and accepts any major credit card and most debit cards. The National Student Clearinghouse can be accessed through:
*Current SMCM students may access their unofficial transcript through the Portal at no charge.
Please visit the registrar’s site for complete information.
Withdrawal from a Course
A student who formally withdraws from a course after the last day of the schedule-adjustment period but before the end of the 10th week of regularly scheduled classes receives a grade of W for that course. A student may not withdraw from a course after the 10th week of classes unless the student is withdrawing from the College. The associate dean of academic services may grant exceptions to this latter provision in unusual circumstances and following consultation with the instructor and the Academic Policy Committee. The schedule-adjustment period and final date of withdrawal for courses that do not follow the regular academic schedule will be published in the academic calendar. For half-semester courses, this date is usually at the end of the fifth week of regularly scheduled classes.
Withdrawal from the College
A student may withdraw from the College at any time during the semester on or before the last day of classes, provided the student is not under temporary suspension. To withdraw from the College, the student must submit a withdrawal form, which is available in the Offices of Student Support Services, Residence Life, Counseling and Health Services (medical withdrawals), or the Dean of Students. Students must also complete an exit interview with an approved college official. A student suspended on an interim basis or against whom a temporary suspension or expulsion may be initiated may not withdraw from the College before the conclusion of his/her judicial case. A student who withdraws from the College or is suspended or expelled will be assigned a grade of W in each course for which he or she is currently registered. It is assumed that students who withdraw from the College do not plan to return.