The undergraduate College academic calendar is divided into three semesters: the fall semester extends from late August to mid-December, the spring semester extends from mid-January to mid-May, and the summer semester extends from mid-May to mid-August.
Credit is recorded in semester hours. One 50-minute class period per week throughout the semester is the equivalent of one semester hour. Therefore, a three-credit course will meet for 50 minutes three times a week, or 75 minutes two times a week or 150 minutes once a week. For every credit hour, a minimum of two hours outside of class time preparation is expected. There are also blended courses where the contact hours may be reduced, but additional online and/or mobile components are required. In blended courses where the contact hours are decreased, the outside of class time expectations will increase to be the equivalent of a face-to-face contact credit hour.
Classification of Students
|0-23 earned credits
|24-55 earned credits
|56-86 earned credits
|87+ earned credits
Transfer students will be based on the number of accepted transferable credits and designated as one of the four classifications indicated.
The usual student load is 15 to 16 credits per semester. A student who wishes to carry more than 18 credits in any given semester must have approval from the dean of student success and the dean of the school in which the student’s major is housed. Tuition is charged for all courses carried for credit, for all courses repeated, and for all courses audited. The 2013-14 tuition rate per credit is $960. The tuition rate is per credit. Candidates for graduation in the normal eight-semester time period must earn an average of at least 15.25 credits per semester. Exchange courses (SMU/WSU Cooperative Program) are included in the student course load when determining full-time or part-time status.
|12+ credits per semester
|9-11 credits per semester
|part-time status 3/4 time
|6-8 credits per semester
|part-time status 1/2 time
|5 or fewer credits per semester
Courses numbered from 100 to 299 are lower division courses; those numbered from 300 to 499 are upper division. Graduate courses are numbered 500 and above. Courses numbered below 100 do not apply toward any graduation requirement.
Upper division courses at SMU are intended for advanced study in an area or discipline and are not generally available to first-year students. The guidelines for coding upper division courses at SMU are listed below:
- Upper division courses generally require a higher level of cognitive performance in the area or discipline involved. That is, these courses require students to analyze, synthesize and evaluate information (i.e., the higher levels in Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive ability). Lower division classes (i.e., courses numbered from 100-299) require students to remember and understand concepts. The application of knowledge could belong to upper or lower division classes depending on the discipline.
- Upper division courses are generally not introductory and often require prerequisites.
- Upper division courses often require students to read, comprehend and analyze primary sources of knowledge in a discipline; lower division courses typically rely on secondary or tertiary sources.
- Upper division courses may involve a significant amount of self-evaluation on the part of the student in self-monitoring of progress toward course goals.
- Upper division courses may involve self-directed learning in scholarship, research and performance activities in the discipline.
Department-specific guidelines are maintained in the office of the vice president for academic affairs.
Initial registration and subsequent changes must be completed online or filed in the registrar’s office. Under normal conditions, the registrar will accept registration changes only from the student. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her class schedule throughout the semester. A student is allowed one calendar week after the beginning of the semester in which to add and drop courses. Registration for short courses which begin later in the semester is open until the end of the add/drop deadline for that short session; please see the add/drop/withdrawal schedule in the registrar’s office for those dates. Students will be charged a late registration fee for each course registered after the approved registration period. In order to preserve the integrity of the university transcript, students must be registered for a course in the semester in which they take it.
Intended Use of Tegrity
Students enrolled in a course are expected to physically attend class meetings for that course. Tegrity recording technology is not meant to be used as a substitute for regular class attendance. It is a resource to be utilized for review, preparation for class, and/or the delivery of supplementary material.
Overlapping Courses Policy and Approval Procedure
In extraordinary circumstances, it may be possible for students to register for two courses that are offered at the same time. For this request to be considered, a student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 and the signatures and comments from both course instructors, his or her advisor, and department chair. The student must submit the completed Overlapping Course Approval Form to the office of the academic deans in which the courses are housed for final approval. Forms can be obtained from the Registrar’s office and must be completed before the end of the add/drop period of the semester in which the student wishes to take the courses.
SMU/WSU Cooperative Program
Saint Mary’s University (SMU) and Winona State University (WSU) have a history of inter-institutional cooperation. This history includes the sharing of courses and library services. The primary objectives of the SMU/WSU Cooperative Program are to provide expanded educational programs and services, to increase opportunities for students, staff and faculty through the sharing of these programs and services, and to achieve a more efficient use of existing resources.
- The cooperative program is designed for undergraduate students only.
- A Saint Mary’s student must be registered full-time at Saint Mary’s University to enroll in the cooperative program at Winona State University.
- No more than half of the academic load may be taken at Winona State University.
- A Saint Mary’s student may only major in a field available at Saint Mary’s University.
- Course substitutions in a major field require the permission of the Saint Mary’s University department chair at the home institution. Courses in a student’s major that are taken at Winona State University will count toward the total required for graduation. A course substitution form must be completed if courses will fulfill major or general education requirements.
- Most courses at WSU are open to SMU students provided prerequisites are met and space is available.
- Requests for exceptions to the above guidelines must be secured from the student’s major academic dean.
Courses taken at WSU are not included in the student’s GPA. Tuition is paid only to SMU. The student will be required to pay for special course or lab fees at WSU. To register in the program, a student must fill out an intercollegiate registration form, available from the registrar’s office. Upon receipt of the registration permit, an eligible student then presents it to the WSU registrar during its regular registration period. An SMU student may obtain library privileges at the WSU library by presenting his/her SMU barcoded identification card.
Graduate Students and College Courses
Graduate students may enroll in undergraduate courses at the College with approval of their program director. Graduate students may not take courses for zero credit. Graduate students pay the graduate tuition rate and are responsible for any course fees.
The number of credits attempted is the total number of credits in which grades of A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D or F are recorded. Incomplete (I) credits are not calculated into credits attempted until the incomplete grade has been replaced by a passing or failing grade. Credits from a given course are recorded as attempted only once. All repeated courses remain on the transcript, however, the highest grade received is the course grade used when the cumulative GPA is calculated.
The number of credits earned is the total number of credits for non-repeated courses in which a grade of A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D or P is recorded. Credit may be earned for a repeated course only when the original grade was an F or NC.
A course may be repeated, but credit for a given course can be earned only once. The original grade is not removed when the course is repeated. Only the higher grade is computed in the GPA. Courses repeated under the pass/no credit grade option do not affect a student’s GPA. Students who wish to improve their GPA by repeating a course must do so under the traditional A-F grade system. A grade(s) from courses repeated at other institutions will not replace grade(s) for courses taken at Saint Mary’s University.
After the change of registration period (refer to the Calendar), a student may withdraw from a semester-length course(s) by submitting the approved course withdrawal form to the registrar’s office. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a course for which the student is registered but does not plan to attend. When a student withdraws from a course, the student will receive a grade of W. Failure to withdraw from a course a student is not attending will result in a grade of F. Appropriate consideration should be given prior to a course withdrawal since it may affect student enrollment status, financial aid status or other considerations.
Saint Mary’s policy in regard to course withdrawals follows. A student may withdraw from a semester-length course up to the 12th week of the semester. In this case the permanent record will show a notation of W after the course. Specific dates for course withdrawal deadlines may be obtained from the registrar’s office. Withdrawal dates for short courses may also be obtained in the registrar’s office.
Course Incompletion for Active Military Duty
Students called to active military duty prior to the completion of a semester have the following options. They must indicate in writing to the registrar, before departure, which option they choose.
The student may request to withdraw from the course(s); the student will receive a full tuition refund.
If the student is close to completion of the semester, he/she should consult with staff in the student success center. The staff will assist the student in arranging for the completion of his/her course work with his/her instructors. The student would then be required to complete the remaining required course work upon his/her return to the university. The student’s transcript would reflect a grade of incomplete.
Withdrawal from the University
Students intending to withdraw from the university must complete a withdrawal form and have an exit interview with staff in the student success center. The following are policies regarding withdrawal from Saint Mary’s.
Students may withdraw from the university any time before the start of the final exam period with the following stipulations:
- Students who withdraw within the last 10 class days before the start of the final exam period will not be allowed to return to Saint Mary’s the following semester. Students wishing to return to the university may apply for readmission after one semester has elapsed. Appeals may be considered when there are extenuating circumstances.
- The permanent records of students who withdraw from the university before the start of the final exam period will show grades of W for all courses in progress. Final grades for courses completed prior to withdrawal will remain on the student’s record. Once final exams start students may not withdraw.
- Students who withdraw from the university within the last 10 class days but before the start of the final exam period in two consecutive semesters of attendance must appear before the academic standing committee before being readmitted for subsequent semesters.
An audited course is one in which a student is allowed to sit in class and participate; the student is not expected to complete papers or exams. A grade of AU on a transcript indicates an audited course and no credit is earned. A student who wishes to audit a course instead of taking it for credit must obtain permission from the instructor of the course and must complete a signed add card. A student may not change a course registration from credit to audit or from audit to credit after the designated deadline as indicated by the registrar. Audited courses are charged at the rate of half of the per-credit fee charged for the academic year in which the course is audited.
Pass/No Credit Option
Students may elect to take courses normally offered for a letter grade under the P/NC credit grading option. In such courses, the student receives either the grade of P for pass or NC for no credit. A grade of P is equivalent to a grade of C or higher. A grade of NC is equivalent to a grade of CD or lower. The following restrictions govern the use of this option:
- A student may take no more than two such courses in any one semester and no more than eight courses in the total academic program.
- General education courses or major/minor courses, with the exception of AP, IB, CLEP, field explorations or internships, cannot be taken for P/NC without the approval of the office of the academic dean from the student’s declared major or the dean of student success if no major has been declared.
- The option is not available to first-semester first-year students or transfer students in their first semester at Saint Mary’s.
- The option is not available to students whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.000.
Credits earned under this option are counted toward the total number of credits required for graduation but are not used in determining a student’s GPA. Before registering for a course under the P/NC option, the student must indicate the grading option on the add/drop card signed by the instructor and turned in to the registrar’s office. Students intending to take a course as a P/NC option may change from P/NC to a letter grade by submitting the add/drop card by the end of the second week of the semester. For short session courses see the dates listed on the bulletin board by the registrar’s office for specific dates each term.
Mid-term and final grades are available to students online through their WebTools account.
The incomplete “I” may be given by an instructor only when the student is passing the course and an event occurs that is beyond the student’s control (i.e., hospitalization, death in the immediate family, etc.) that precludes the student from completing the required work. A student or care giver must request an “I” grade. The assignment of an incomplete grade must be approved by the office of the academic dean from the school of the student’s declared major or from the dean of student success if no major has been declared. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the instructor to determine a plan for completing the required work for the course. This work must be completed and the “I” grade replaced by a letter grade within four weeks after the beginning of the next regular semester (fall and spring semesters). If this is not done, the “I” grade will be changed to an F grade. If this failing grade results in a GPA which is below the academic standards of the university, the academic warnings and penalties will apply, even though a new semester has already begun. Requests for an extension must be made to the office of the academic dean from the school of the student’s declared major or from the dean of student success if no major has been declared, within the first three weeks of the semester. Incompletes are never granted to allow a student further time to improve a grade after the semester has ended. The way to improve an undesirable grade is to repeat the course at Saint Mary’s University.
Change of Grade
If an instructor discovers an error in a student’s final grade, an amended grade report is filed in the registrar’s office. The change of grade must be filed within one semester of the date of the original grade submission. Changes of grades cannot be made on the basis of work done after the end of the semester. The way to improve a grade of F or NC is to repeat the course at Saint Mary’s University. In most cases, only the instructor concerned may change a grade. Grades may be lowered after the end of the semester in cases of cheating or plagiarism.
Any grade change that results in a change of a student’s placement on an academic penalty, dean’s list, or honors at graduation will be handled by the registrar and appropriate designations will be made to the student’s record.
Grade Appeal Process
If a student believes that an incorrect grade has been given, the student should consult with the instructor. If the instructor refuses to change the grade, the student may consult the department chair of the course. The chair will attempt to mediate the matter with the student and the instructor. If the matter is not resolved through the intervention of the chair, the student may appeal to the dean where the course is housed.
Grade Points and Achievement Levels
In order to evaluate the overall quality of course work, a system of grade points is used. The number of grade points earned in a given course is the number of credits for that course multiplied by the grade point corresponding to the grade earned in that course, as follows:
|Pass (A, AB, B, BC, C)
|No Credit (CD, D, F)
Grade Point Average
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted.
Saint Mary’s University will accept the following in transfer:
- Credits completed and indicated on official transcripts from other regionally accredited institutions.
- Credits completed from U.S. nationally accredited institutions only after individual evaluation by the transfer committee, composed of the dean of student success and the registrar. Students may be required to have their work validated by credit by examination or by showing competence to carry advanced work successfully. Award of credit may be delayed for one or more semesters awaiting such evaluation.
- Credits from an international institution recognized by the Ministry of Education or another appropriate government body from that country; students must submit official transcripts from that institution and the credits must be in subject matter that is applicable to an SMU degree program. In addition, the student must provide a transcript in the native language, along with a transcript that has been evaluated by a recognized evaluation service from the United States. The international student is responsible for any fees related to this service.
- Original AP, CLEP and IB scores must be submitted to SMU directly from the organization awarding such credits; see the catalog sections on AP, CLEP and IB for specific credits and course equivalencies.
- Original DSST score reports must be submitted to SMU directly from Prometric. A determination will be made once the transcript has been evaluated.
- Internships and practicum experiences that are included on a transcript from a regionally accredited institution will be accepted for transfer to SMU.
- Credits earned at regionally accredited vocational or technical institutions will transfer in only if there are comparable academic courses at SMU.
- Credits earned with grades of C or better are accepted in transfer. Honor points are not transferred. The GPA and class rank of the student are determined only by coursework taken at Saint Mary’s University.
Saint Mary’s University will not accept the following in transfer:
- Credit by exam or credit for experiential learning from another institution.
- Credits earned with grades of C-, CD, or lower.
- Credits from developmental courses (generally courses numbered less than 100). Developmental courses generally would not apply as credits toward a degree at the transfer institution.
- Clinical experiences will not be accepted for transfer to SMU.
- Retroactive language credits earned at another institution are not transferable to SMU.
- Credits for duplicate courses where credit has been earned at Saint Mary’s.
- Credits from non-accredited U.S. institutions.
Other credit transfer information:
- Saint Mary’s University will accept the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum for students who have earned at least a C or higher in each course within that curriculum and completed the required credits for that program. In addition, students must complete the following requirements of the Saint Mary’s general education program: two Faith Traditions courses to fulfill the content areas, and the junior/senior sequence of the Lasallian Core Traditions Program.
- SMU has articulation agreements with some higher education institutions. For current articulation agreements, please go to www.smumn.edu/undergraduate-home/admission/transfer-students to review how courses will transfer. In order for these courses to transfer, a grade of C or higher must be achieved. Students who have 24 or more transferable credits are responsible for completing three Lasallian Core Traditions courses (LCT225, LCT375, and LCT475). Please note that in the case where a high school student took college level courses (PSEO, AP, IB, etc.) that student is required to take all LCT and general education courses, i.e., all Lasallian Core Traditions or Lasallian Honors courses.
- It is strongly recommended that currently enrolled Saint Mary’s students get written pre-approval from the department chair for transfer courses within the major or minor area of study. Courses without pre-approval may not be accepted into the major or minor. The department may limit the number of major or minor transfer courses accepted.
- Physical education courses taken for credit at the transfer institution will fulfill SMU PE requirements; however the course(s) will transfer in at 0 credit.
- Quarter hour credits transfer in at the following rate: a quarter hour is equivalent to 2/3 of a semester hour.
- Students are required to complete 60 semester credits at Saint Mary’s. Transferring in more than 62 credits may increase the total number of credits a student will need for graduation.
- Courses taken as upper division at the transfer institution will count as upper division credits at Saint Mary’s even if a comparable Saint Mary’s course is lower division. Courses taken as lower division at the transfer institution will count as lower division credits at Saint Mary’s even if a comparable Saint Mary’s course is upper division.
- The Saint Mary’s registrar’s office must receive an official transcript from the issuing institution. An official transcript is one that has been authenticated by the issuing institution and is mailed directly from the issuing institution to:
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #37
Winona MN 55987
Saint Mary’s University cannot control the acceptance of transfer credit by another college or university and not all credits are transferable. If a student intends to transfer Saint Mary’s credit to another institution, the student should contact that institution prior to beginning the course.
Credit by Examination
A student, through experience and/or personal study, may possess competencies/knowledge of academic subject matter normally obtained through class participation in a given course. The student may demonstrate this knowledge and earn credit, if appropriate, by taking a comprehensive exam covering the materials in a given course. Academic departments determine which courses are eligible for credit by examination and administer the exam. Such exams are graded strictly on a pass/no credit basis. A maximum of 15 credits may be earned in this manner. See the registrar for credit by examination policies and procedures.
Credit for Experiential Learning Credits (CEL)
Students who have earned some college credit and are a minimum of 25 years old may earn Credit for Experiential Learning (CEL) credits. Application is through the student success center. CEL credits will be billed at the rate of 1/3 the per-credit charge.
Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC)
Saint Mary’s University has developed alliances with many private high schools in the tri-state area of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. The Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC) offers dual enrollment college credit to qualified secondary students in their participating high schools. These courses follow university-approved syllabi and are taught by approved instructors in collaboration with SMU content area faculty members. For more specific information regarding PACC, including lists of participating high schools, available courses and instructions for registration, please visit the website at www.smumn.edu/pacc.
Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO)
Minnesota law allows high school juniors and seniors (whether currently in public, nonpublic or home schools) to take courses at eligible post-secondary institutions without paying for tuition or books. Students who enroll in courses with a course fee will be billed at the beginning of the semester and are responsible to pay for those course fees. These courses fulfill high school degree requirements and may transfer into colleges/universities the student may choose to attend. Saint Mary’s University participates with Minnesota high schools in this program.
Students who participate in the PSEO program must have initial placement in either E120 English Composition or E220 Argumentative and Research Writing in order to enroll in any English writing or literature course at SMU. Students who plan to enroll in a mathematics course must have previously satisfied M100 Elementary Mathematical Ideas/M102 Intermediate Algebra either by scoring a 21 on the math section of the ACT, 500 on the math section of the SAT, or by scoring 70% on the Saint Mary’s University Intermediate Algebra Placement Exam. Students who participate in the PSEO program are not eligible to enroll in any ESL or independent study courses. PSEO students must maintain a 3.000 cumulative GPA at Saint Mary’s University to be eligible to return for subsequent semesters.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit
Students with advanced placement (AP) test scores of 3, 4 or 5 may request credit and advanced placement by submitting the scores to the registrar.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Credit is granted for appropriate CLEP subject examinations; credit is not granted for CLEP general examinations. Saint Mary’s University follows the guidelines of the American Council on Education (ACE): scores of a minimum of 50 are required for all subjects with the exception of Level 2 French, German and Spanish. Students taking the Level 2 language CLEP exams must score 63 in the French, German or Spanish language to earn credit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit
Students with International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores of 4 through 7 may request credit and advanced placement by submitting the scores to the registrar. Saint Mary’s University accepts IB scores only on the Higher Level exams.
|IB Course Equivalency
|# of credits
|B110 Botany and Zoology I/B111 Botany and Zoology I Laboratory
|Business & Management
|AC222 Accounting Concepts
|Determined by chemistry department
|3 or 4
|Determined by computer science department
|One PE requirement
|Determined by business department
|History of Africa
|History of the Americas
|History of Asia & the NE
|History of Europe
|History of the Islamic World
|Info Tech in Global Society
|Language A English A1
|E120 English Composition
|SP101 Beginning Conversational Spanish I
|3 or 4
|Determined by mathematics department
|MU130 Music Fundamentals I/MU131 Music Fundamentals II
|P155 Foundations of Physics
|PY111 General Psychology
|Determined by social science department
|TA160 Theatre Appreciation
|Theory of Knowledge
|Determined by art department
Saint Mary’s University Placement Examinations
Incoming first-year students who choose not to participate in any of the above-mentioned advance placement programs may apply directly to the appropriate department at Saint Mary’s University for credit through examination; students may receive up to a maximum of 8 semester credits. The student should apply for advance credit at the time of matriculation and no later than the end of the first semester of attendance at SMU. A fee is charged for some examinations.
Students who complete one semester of study in Spanish with a final grade of at least B will earn 2 credits for each class bypassed in the language sequence (courses numbered 101, 102, 201 or 202). A maximum of 8 credits may be earned that count toward a minor and as elective credit that count toward graduation. If the student earned a 3 or higher through the AP program, she/he may receive 4 100-level credits. A maximum of 8 credits may be earned through the AP program and/or SMU AP program.
A transcript of credits will be issued by the registrar’s office at the written request of a student. Transcripts may be held if the student’s account is not current or there are holds restricting the release of transcripts.
Official notices are sent via e-mail and/or distributed to student mailboxes in the Toner Student Center. When a notice is communicated to students in either of these ways, it has been officially communicated. Students should check their SMU e-mail accounts and their campus mail boxes often so they do not miss official notices.
Confidentiality of Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records.
- A student has the right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. The records that are viewable include only the documents that were created at SMU. The student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official a written request that identifies the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The registrar will arrange for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official will advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- A student has the right to request that the university amend his/her records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. The student must request the amendment in writing, clearly identifying the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides to not amend the record as requested by the student, the university must notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his/her rights to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when the student is notified of the right to a hearing. Any request for grade changes must follow the procedure as outlined elsewhere in this catalog.
- The student has the right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in his/her records, except where FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. School officials with a legitimate educational interest may have access without the student’s consent. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, professional, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position; a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee (such as a disciplinary committee) or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility to the university. Upon request, the university may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which the student seeks to enroll or is already enrolled.
- The university designates the following information as directory information, which may be released without student consent and is not subject to the above regulations: student name; state of residence; gender; major field of study; classification as a first-year student, sophomore, junior, senior dates of attendance; graduation and degree(s) earned; the most recent educational institution attended; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; honors and awards received; and photographic, video or electronic images of students taken and maintained by the university.
- A student may prevent the release of any or all of the categories of directory information outlined above by notifying the registrar, in writing, of the categories of information the student does not want disclosed. Notification must occur within 10 calendar days of the first scheduled day of classes for the fall, spring, or summer terms. The university will honor all written requests for nondisclosure for one academic year; therefore, students must request nondisclosure annually.
- A student may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20202-4605.
In order for a parent or guardian to receive information about their student’s progress, the student must complete the online Consent to Disclose.