Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Winona Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Winona Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies & Procedures

Good Academic Standing

A non-transfer student in their first two semesters at Saint Mary’s University is in good academic standing when the cumulative GPA is at or above a 1.8. A student in their second year and beyond is in good academic standing when their cumulative GPA is at or above a 2.0. Transfer students entering Saint Mary’s University with more than 23 credits must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Dean’s List

Superior scholastic performance is recognized each semester by the publication of the Dean’s List. Students qualify for the Dean’s List by earning a semester grade point average of 3.600 or above with a minimum of 12 credits, at least 9 of which are on the A–F grading system, with no grade of CD, D, F, NC or I.  Upon completion of any Incomplete (I) course, the Dean’s List may be retroactively awarded if the all qualifications are met.

Latin Honors at Graduation

The Bachelor of Arts degree is conferred with honors upon students who have maintained a high level of academic excellence. To be eligible for honors, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.600 (cum laude), 3.750 (magna cum laude), or 3.900 (summa cum laude) for all for all courses in the major, and for all courses taken at Saint Mary’s University. Provided both of the categories mentioned above are at an acceptable honors level, the category having the lowest GPA determines the level of honors at graduation. Honors are awarded with the degree. Students must complete at least 60 credits in residence at Saint Mary’s University and must complete all requirements for graduation to be eligible for honors.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The valedictorian of the graduating class is the student(s) with the highest GPA and the salutatorian of the graduating class is the student(s) with the second-highest GPA. If there is a tie for valedictorian, there will not be a salutatorian. The GPA used is the cumulative GPA for all Saint Mary’s University courses.   Students must complete at least 90 credits in academic residence at Saint Mary’s University and complete their degree by the May commencement ceremony to be eligible for these honors.

Department Honors at Graduation

Some academic departments provide graduating seniors the opportunity to qualify for departmental distinction or honors. Departmental honors are reserved for students who perform academically at the top level of all graduates from the department. Each department establishes criteria for department honors; minimum standards are a 3.700 major GPA and a 3.300 cumulative GPA. For information about a specific department’s honors, consult that department’s section of the catalog.

Academic Warnings and Penalties

The academic warnings and penalties are academic jeopardy, academic probation, extended probation and academic dismissal.  In order to support student success, all students with warnings will be monitored by staff in the Student Success Center.

Academic Jeopardy

A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000, but is above the probation/dismissal standards listed below will be placed on academic jeopardy. A student on academic jeopardy must make an appointment with Student Success Center staff to implement an academic improvement plan. Students on academic jeopardy are considered in good standing, but are warned.

Academic Probation

Academic probation indicates that a student’s cumulative GPA is below 1.8 for non-transfer first-year students and 2.0 each term thereafter. A student on academic probation must demonstrate progress toward a cumulative GPA of 2.0. If a student shows improvement, but does not return to good standing, they may be placed on extended probation for an additional semester. Students not demonstrating improvement will be dismissed.  A student on academic probation must make an appointment with Student Success Center staff to implement an academic improvement plan.

Extended Probation

A student who is on academic probation may be placed on extended probation for one semester. If she or he has demonstrated improvement, but has not returned to good standing, a student on extended probation must make an appointment with Student Success Center staff to implement her or his academic improvement plan or face dismissal.

Academic Dismissal

A student enrolled full-time at the beginning of the semester may be dismissed if:

  • They fail to earn 6 credits by the end of the semester;
  • Their GPA (semester or cumulative) is less than 1.000; or
  • Cumulative GPA is at a probationary level for a second consecutive semester.

A student enrolled part-time at the beginning of the semester is dismissed if the semester GPA is less than 1.000 in any given semester and the cumulative GPA is less than 2.000.

Dismissed students who are allowed to remain or be re-admitted to the College shall be placed on extended probation.

Appeal for Academic Reinstatement

A student who has been dismissed for academic reasons may appeal for reinstatement in writing to the vice president for academic affairs (VPAA). If the VPAA approves the student’s appeal, she/he may return to Saint Mary’s University immediately and must meet with the Student Success Center staff to implement her/his academic improvement plan. If the appeal is denied, the student has the opportunity to reapply after one or more semesters have elapsed, and be considered for readmission through the readmission committee.

Standards of Classroom Behavior

Classrooms and laboratories are important venues where Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota carries out its mission of teaching and learning; every participant in the learning community contributes to this. Faculty maintain a safe and professional classroom environment that facilitates study, clarity of thought, focused attention, and fruitful dialogue in an atmosphere free from distraction and disorder. Students are expected to have high standards of behavior in the classroom and rules of reasonable behavior must be observed.

When an instructor judges that a student’s behavior is interfering with the learning of others or compromising the instructor’s ability to conduct class in an orderly and respectful manner, the instructor should warn the student either verbally or by email within 24 hours, making specific reference to the behavior and the expected correction. Students whose behavior is egregious may be dismissed from a particular session and asked to leave the classroom immediately; if the student refuses to leave, the instructor should contact campus safety. Prior to returning to class the student must meet with the instructor. Repeated incidents from the same student may result in dismissal from the course (see below).

More Serious Offenses

Disruptive behaviors which will trigger more severe sanctions include (but again, are not limited to) objectionable language; coming to class or lab impaired by the use of alcohol or other substances; theft or sabotage of instructional equipment; harassment; verbal, physical or emotional abuse; and acts or threats of physical violence directed toward oneself or another. These behaviors will result in the student’s immediate dismissal from the classroom for the duration of the class session, and may result in dismissal from the course. The department chair and the dean of the school in which the course is housed are to be immediately apprised of these cases; where appropriate (particularly in cases of violent behavior or destruction of property), the instructor should call campus safety immediately, then the dean of students, and contact the dean of his/her school.

Conditions attributable to physical or psychological disabilities are not considered as a legitimate excuse for disruptive behavior.

Sanctions and Appeals

An instructor who judges a student’s behavior to be intentionally, persistently or seriously disruptive of the classroom learning environment, or to threaten the well- being of the instructor or another student, should report the incident(s) to the dean of the respective school where the course is housed, together with a description of the incident(s) and any intermediate warnings given to the student. The dean will work with the student and instructor to resolve the issue. Sanctions may include a grade penalty for the course reflecting missed work, dismissal from the course with a grade of F, up to dismissal from the university. If the issue is not resolved, the dean will refer the matter to the vice president for academic affairs. 

Academic Integrity

When one comes to Saint Mary’s, one joins an academic community whose core values are fairness, mutual respect, trust, and honesty. To accomplish its mission to awaken, nurture and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership, the Saint Mary’s community depends on the personal responsibility and integrity of all its members. Academic integrity should not be understood as merely following certain rules; rather, it is a way of acting based on shared values that lies at the heart of any academic endeavor. A commitment to academic integrity facilitates the pursuit of knowledge and understanding by providing a framework for the open, honest and respectful exchange of ideas and information. It fosters creativity and critical thinking; it allows students to develop the self-confidence that comes from acquiring academic skills; it provides correct information to instructors so that they can give appropriate feedback in the essential relationship between students and teachers; and, ultimately, it ensures the integrity of the Saint Mary’s degree.

Academic Dishonesty

Students at Saint Mary’s University are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty, in any form, will not be tolerated and will subject the student to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal. Academic dishonesty comes in a variety of forms. The most common forms are plagiarism, fabrication, abuse of internet sources, cheating, lying and academic misconduct.

  • Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s words, ideas or data as one’s own. When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific references, as well as quotation marks if verbatim statements are included. By placing his/her name on work submitted for credit, the student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgments. Examples of plagiarism include: copying someone elses previously prepared material such as lab reports, class papers, etc.; copying a paragraph or even sentences from other works; and self-plagiarism (turning in for new credit your own work from a previous class without authorization).
  • Fabrication is the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other findings with the intent to deceive. Examples include: the citation of information not taken from the source indicated; submission in a lab report of falsified, invented or fictitious data; submitting as the students own work prepared by anothe, including purchasing or downloading from the Internet; and falsely representing hours or experience in a field experience or internship.
  • Abuse of Internet sources is the acquisition or presentation of information obtained by purchase or downloaded for free from the Internet without explicit written acknowledgment of the source.
  • Examples include: submission of a paper prepared by other persons or agencies, including commercial organizations; and the combination of passages from various sources presented as one’s own thoughts or analysis.
  • Cheating is an act or attempted act of deception by which a student seeks to misrepresent that he/she has mastered information on an academic exercise that he/she has not mastered. Examples include: copying from another students test; allowing another student to copy from a test paper; taking a test for someone else; collaborating during a test or assignment with another student by giving or receiving information without the instructos permission; or using notes when disallowed.
  • Lying is giving false or misleading information to gain an academic advantage such as requesting an extension on a quiz/exam, paper or other assignment or for missing a class.
  • Academic misconduct is the intentional violation of university policies by tampering with grades or taking part in obtaining or distributing any part of an administered test. Examples include: accessing academic files without appropriate permission; duplicating computer software that has been copyrighted; and forging another persons signature.

If an instructor has reason to believe a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, an instructor should investigate the situation. As part of the investigation, the instructor should meet with the student to provide a fair opportunity for response to the allegation. If an instructor determines that there has been an instance of academic dishonesty, she/he must file an incident report with the dean of the respective school in which the alleged offense occurred. The incident report may include a suggested sanction: a failing grade for the assignment or the course; or in egregious circumstances, dismissal from the university.

Upon referral, the dean of the respective school will also investigate the charge of academic dishonesty. The student will be provided the opportunity to respond to the allegation. The dean will render judgment and impose sanctions. In cases where academic dishonesty has been established, and a failing grade has been assigned, the student may withdraw from the course but will be given a final grade of WF. A final appeal may be made to the vice president for academic affairs. No further appeal is possible.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled class sessions. Absence from any class session weakens the learning experience.  The student should be aware that excessive absence for any reason may affect his or her course grade, course enrollment, eligibility for financial aid, and continued enrollment at Saint Mary’s.

If a student must miss class for any reason, he or she must communicate with the instructor, in advance if possible.

Consistent with federal financial aid requirements, instructors track attendance and refer to the Student Success Center (SSC) any student who does not attend a course within the first week of classes or who is absent for more than one full week without contact at any point during the term.

In cases of excessive absence in a class, the instructor may notify the SSC.

False representation of circumstances related to an absence constitutes academic dishonesty and will be addressed accordingly.

The instructor’s policy on absences and how they are to be handled must be stated in the course syllabus and referred to during the first week of class.

The student is expected to adhere to the following procedures in case of an absence.

  • Absences related to university-sponsored events, such as the following:
    • NCAA athletic competitions;
    • Artistic productions;
    • Professional meetings for student senators;
    • Events which promote specific programs at the university;
    • Events involving Immaculate Heart of Mary seminarians who have responsibilities in their dioceses;
    • Dean-approved activities required by one class that may result in an absence in a different class.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor at least one class period prior to absence.
    • Exception:  When the event necessitating the absence is rescheduled due to weather, students and sponsoring offices will notify instructors as soon as a rescheduled date is set, with a goal of providing information at least 18 hours prior to affected classes
  • The student is responsible for submitting before the absence any graded work due the day of the absence, unless otherwise arranged with the instructor.
  • The student will not lose participation points that are based solely on attendance.
  • The student will have the opportunity to make up work missed during the absence when it can be done by authentic, fair, and practical means.
  • An appropriate university office or official will notify any affected instructors of students who will be missing class for university-sponsored events.
  • For other reasonable absences, such as those due to the following:
    • Health;
    • Family emergency;
    • Funeral or memorial services for immediate family members;
    • Unavoidable duties (e.g., military service, emergency responder duty, resident assistant emergencies);
    • Faith observances beyond those noted on the academic calendar.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor, prior to the absence if possible.
  • If contact with the instructor is not possible, the student may request that the SSC generate a notice of absence to his or her professors.  For such a notice to be generated, the student will need to provide documentation to the SSC as required by the SSC.
  • The faculty member has the final decision on how to handle the absence and is encouraged to reach that final decision in consultation with the student. 
  • If the absence is due to health, and the student will be missing more than one day of the same class or will be missing a test or quiz or will be late turning in a major paper or project, the student should call the Wellness Center and arrange for an appointment in order to discuss his or her concerns.  This should occur at the time of the illness/health concern. The health professionals in the Wellness Center will then provide verification that this is a health related absence. 
  • In the event the student is unable to be seen during the illness, seeks care off campus, or is hospitalized, the student should be in contact with professional staff in the Wellness Center regarding the health concern.  Verification of a medical need for the absence will then be provided if appropriate. The student will be expected to provide documentation to the Wellness Center as required by the Center.

Course Substitutions and Waivers

Students may appeal to the department chair for a course substitution or a course waiver for a required course in a major or minor. The department chair (if the substitution or waiver is being allowed) should obtain the Substitution/Waiver form from the registrar’s office, fill it out, obtain the signature of the chair and the appropriate dean, and return it to the registrar’s office. Students may not handle these forms at any stage of the process.

Independent Study Projects

Independent study projects offered at the university are available for credit only to Saint Mary’s University students. Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) students are not eligible for independent study courses. Independent study projects may be individually designed projects or they may be catalog courses pursued as independent study projects. However, no catalog course may be pursued as an independent study project in the same semester in which that course is offered in the regular schedule of classes. Independent study projects may, with approval, be used to fulfill general education requirements, major requirements, or elective credit requirements. Students may take up to four independent study projects (for a total of no more than 12 credits) during their undergraduate career. Students are limited to one such project (for a total of no more than 6 credits) in any given semester. Independent study courses are not available to students whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.000. Procedures and necessary forms for approval of independent study projects may be obtained in the registrar’s office. The independent study form must be submitted for approval to the dean of the school in which the student’s major is housed before the end of the add/drop period.

Final Examinations

At the end of each semester, there is a period devoted to final examinations. Instructors must hold an exam or educational experience during the examination period. No student may be required to take more than two examinations on any one day in the final examination period. If none of the instructors scheduling an examination in such an instance is willing to adjust the examination time for the student, the instructor giving the middle examination(s) on that day must give the examination to the student on another day. Instructors are not required to give the examination prior to the scheduled date in such instances.

Copyright Law

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other works. Protection is available to both published and unpublished works, but the work must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression.

The owner of the copyright is given the exclusive right to make copies, to create derivative works based upon the original work, to distribute the work to the public, to perform or display the work publicly, and, for sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of digital or audio transmission.

All employees and students of Saint Mary’s University must conduct their activities, including, but not limited to, any research or writing activities, in such a fashion as to meet and comply with all the requirements of U.S. copyright laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject a student or employee to civil and criminal penalties as well as disciplinary action under university policies.

Review of Research Using Human Participants

Saint Mary’s University, in support of its mission encourages research conducted by students, faculty, and staff. The College’s Human Participants Review Board examines research that makes use of students, faculty or staff to ensure that projects are designed in an ethical and technically competent manner. The Board provides information for the proper development of research protocol, procedures to submit a proposal and criteria used for review.  Projects subject to the Board’s review may not begin until approval is granted by the Board. All research proposals originating from outside the College must be reviewed by Board. 

For more information, please consult your department chair or contact the Human Participants Review Board.

Declaring a Major

A major is a sequence of courses clustered within a particular discipline or set of disciplines, which includes both lower- and upper-division courses and which is offered by a department.

A student should declare their major by the end of their first semester and students must declare their major by the end of their first year.  Any change in the major during subsequent semesters or the addition of a major must be approved by the department chair of the new major. Students may declare additional majors (a maximum of three majors may be declared) prior to their graduation; however, a course may not be counted toward more than one major unless both majors specifically require that course. When students have an option in selecting courses to complete a given major, they cannot utilize courses which comprise part of another major. If a course appears in two majors as one of several courses that may be selected, that course can be applied only to one major. The only exception is a research project, which may be allowed as an elective or requirement in two majors. This policy applies also for courses used in a major and a minor or more than one minor.

Students must achieve a major GPA of 2.000 or higher at Saint Mary’s University.  A minimum of 12 upper division credits must be completed at Saint Mary’s University.  Courses “taken” is defined as all courses attempted, including those in which the student received grades of F.  


A minor is a sequence of courses clustered within a particular discipline, sub-discipline, or limited set of disciplines, which includes both lower- and upper-division courses and which is offered by a department, program or institute. A minor is more limited in scope than a major, and may have a somewhat different focus and objective that make it appropriate for students whose principal concentration is in another discipline. Students may not create individualized minors.

The undergraduate College also recognizes multidisciplinary minors created from related courses located in a number of departments, programs or institutes. These multidisciplinary minors combine content and skills from several fields, enhancing the understanding of those fields and how they intersect. In so doing, the multidisciplinary minor promotes the kind of synthetic learning important for graduates who will work, study or serve within increasingly diverse and interconnected communities.

Students may declare up to three minors, although students are not required to complete a minor. Students must achieve a minor GPA of 2.000 or higher.  A minimum of 6 upper division hours must be completed at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Application for Graduation and Commencement

Degrees are awarded in May, August and December; there is one commencement ceremony in May. An application for graduation and commencement must be filed with the registrar prior to completion of all degree requirements. The following is the College policy for participation in the commencement ceremony:

  • Students who will complete all graduation requirements by the May commencement are eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony.
  • Students who have 9 or fewer credits remaining and who will complete all graduation requirements by the following August must seek approval from the vice president for academic affairs to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Approval to participate will be granted if it is apparent that the student will complete all graduation requirements by the following August.
  • Education students who have completed all other graduation requirements by either May or August and who will be student teaching (certification requirement) during the following fall semester must seek approval from the vice president for academic affairs to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Approval to participate will be granted if it is apparent that the student will complete all graduation requirements by the following August except student teaching which will be completed by the following December.

Second Bachelor’s Degree

A student who wishes to attain a second undergraduate degree after receiving a baccalaureate degree must apply to and be accepted by the office of admission. Transcripts will be evaluated at the time of admission to determine any course deficiencies. Applicants must complete a program of study in the undergraduate College that includes:

  • A minimum of 32 credits;
  • A major program in a distinctly different field from the initial degree;
  • A minimum of 12 credits in the major field;
  • A minimum 2.000 cumulative GPA and a minimum 2.000 major GPA in courses taken for the second degree; and
  • The completion of an additional course that fulfills the outcomes of the Lasallian Core Traditions program.

There is no upper-division course credit requirement. A student who has completed the necessary degree requirements must complete the application for graduation and commencement available from the registrar’s office. After a final audit of requirements by the registrar, the second degree will be awarded to the student at the end of the semester.

Additional Major or Minor after Completing Degree

B.A. graduates of Saint Mary’s University who wish to complete a minor or an additional major may do so by submitting a plan of study to the dean of student success and receiving approval from the department chair. When the requirements are satisfied, the student completes the appropriate form available from the registrar’s office. The student’s transcript is updated to indicate the additional major or minor; an additional degree is not granted.