Good Academic Standing
Students are in good academic standing if their cumulative grade point average (GPA) remains at or above 2.00. Students not in good academic standing will be placed on probation, continued probation, or restrictive probation based on the conditions listed below. Registration holds may be placed on a student’s account by the Student Success and First Generation Initiative (FGI) Center if the student does not abide by the terms of probation listed below. If a student does not progress towards good academic standing after receiving notice, they are at risk for academic dismissal.
If overall academic performance warrants action, the College Academic Review Committee may assign academic standing on an individual basis.
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 during the semester of CD, D, F, NC or I. Upon completion of any Incomplete (I) course, the Dean’s List may be retroactively awarded if all the 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 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 and First Generation Initiative Office.
A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.00, or who has accumulated two consecutive semester GPAs below 2.00, will be placed on academic probation. Students on probation must participate in and complete the Academic Success Program, hosted by the Student Success and FGI Center.
As a part of the Academic Success Program, students must complete a contract for academic improvement and may not register for more than 15 semester credits without prior approval from the Student Success and FGI Center during the probationary term.
Students on probation may not withdraw from any courses without consulting their academic adviser.
A student who has failed to achieve good academic standing (2.00 GPA) after a semester on probation is considered to have continued probationary status. A student may also be placed on continued probation if good academic standing for semester GPA was achieved after a previous probationary period, but cumulative GPA remains below 2.00.
In addition to the restrictions outlined for probation, students on continued probation are not eligible to compete in varsity athletics and may be restricted from participating in co-curricular activities (such as student senate, clubs, etc.). Students on continued probation must participate in and complete the Academic Success Program, hosted by the Student Success and FGI Center.
A student who has failed to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better after a term on continued probation is placed on restrictive probation. Additionally, a student may be placed on restrictive probation if their semester or cumulative GPA falls below 1.00, or they have failing grades in courses worth at least two credits within one semester.
In addition to the restrictions outlined above for probation or continued probation, students on restrictive probation are not allowed to hold any office or representative position, participate in varsity athletic practices or competitions, or receive an incomplete grade in any of the courses in which they are enrolled. They may also be prevented from undertaking a role in a theatrical or music production. The College Academic Review Committee may elect to academically dismiss a student rather than place them on restrictive probation.
Academic dismissal is the end result of a pattern of poor performance academically, reflected in failing grades and a GPA falling below the standard for good academic standing (2.00). Students who are academically dismissed may not attend Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota for at least one semester, or a period of time determined by the College Academic Dismissal Review committee.
A full time student may be academically dismissed if:
- They do not earn 6 credits by the end of the semester.
- They do not achieve a semester or cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better after a term on restrictive probation.
- They have five or more failing grades in courses worth at least two credits within one academic year.
- They have a semester or cumulative GPA less than 1.00.
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.
Students may appeal for reinstatement after being academically dismissed. Appeals must be made in writing to the office of advising (email@example.com). If the appeal is approved, the student may return to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota immediately and will return with restrictive probationary status, following all restrictions outlined above. If the appeal is denied, students can follow the readmission process outlined below. Subsequent dismissals cannot be appealed.
Readmission after Academic Dismissal
Students must apply in writing to the Student Success and FGI Center for readmission to the University. To be readmitted, the student must show evidence that they will succeed in an academic program. The readmission decision made by the Academic Review Committee is final. If readmitted, the director of academic advising and the student will develop a new contract for academic improvement. Students are placed on continued probation status the term they return from academic dismissal.
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. Expectations for students taking online or blended courses can be found at the following link https://wincelt.smumn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Online-Learning-Netiquette.docx
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.
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, Saint Mary’s depends on the personal responsibility and integrity of its members. Academic integrity should not be understood as mere rule following but as a way of acting based on shared values. 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. Academic integrity fosters creativity and critical thinking. It allows students to develop the self-confidence that comes from acquiring academic skills, provides correct information to instructors so that they can give appropriate feedback, and ultimately ensures the integrity of the Saint Mary’s degree.
Students at Saint Mary’s University are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will subject the student to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal. Academic dishonesty takes various forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, fabrication, abuse of internet sources, cheating, lying, collusion, and academic misconduct.
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s words, ideas, or data as one’s own. When a student submits work that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific citation as well as quotation marks if verbatim statements are included. By placing one’s name on work submitted, a student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgments. Examples of plagiarism include copying someone else’s previously prepared material, such as lab reports, class papers, etc., or copying a paragraph or sentences from other works.
Self-plagiarism, also referred to as text recycling or double dipping, is a form of academic dishonesty. Self-plagiarism is defined as using an assignment (either in part or in full) submitted for one class to fulfill the requirements of another assignment, in the same class or a different class, without program approval. The same written work should never be submitted twice without the program’s permission. Self-plagiarism prevents students from engaging with the course material and does not demonstrate new learning. Exceptions to this policy, e.g., allowing reuse of previous work for a thesis or dissertation, are at the program’s discretion. If a student must copy exact language from a previous assignment, one should cite oneself as one would for any other direct quotation.
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 student’s own work prepared by another, 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 one has mastered information on an academic exercise that one has not mastered. Examples include copying from another student’s test or assignment; allowing another student to copy from a test or assignment; taking a test or completing an assignment for someone else; collaborating during a test or assignment with another student without the instructor’s permission; or using notes when disallowed.
Lying is giving false or misleading information to gain an academic advantage.
Collusion is working with others but presenting the assignment as individual work.
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 permission; duplicating computer software that has been copyrighted; and forging another person’s signature.
The University uses third party review software to ensure academic integrity and to support student learning regarding the appropriate use of source material. Each program, in consultation with its dean, determines their implementation of anti-plagiarism third party tools. Student papers may also be submitted for review by the University at any time.
When an instructor suspects a student of academic dishonesty, the instructor will meet first with the student to discuss the matter and to gain a better understanding of what transpired. If, following this conversation, the instructor believes an incidence of academic dishonesty has taken place, the instructor will write and submit an incident report to the appropriate chair or program director. The chair or program director will review the report and meet with the instructor (and student if necessary) to discuss. The chair or program director will add any pertinent or supporting information to the report, then sign and submit it to the academic integrity committee for review. The chair or program director should submit this report within seven (7) days of the instructor’s contacting them about the incident. The committee will meet to determine if the student(s) violated the University’s academic integrity policy and, if so, the level of infraction and subsequent sanctions.
Levels of Infraction
Minor infractions occur when the text is not a part of a culminating project (e.g., not a capstone, thesis, or dissertation) and the student has paraphrased carelessly. For example, one or two sections of the source material may be patched together without quotation marks, or a few words are changed, but the style and structure remain too close to the source.. The student has not acknowledged the source.
Moderate infractions occur when the text is not a part of a culminating project (e.g., not a capstone, thesis, or dissertation) and the student has copied multiple passages from a source or sources with no apparent attempt at paraphrasing. The student has not acknowledged the source. This copying may include self-plagiarism or collusion.
Major infractions occur when the text is a part of a culminating project (e.g., capstone, thesis, or dissertation) or the majority of the submission consists of work, either published or unpublished, that was created by someone else.
In addition to level of infraction, the subsequent sanctions for academic dishonesty will be determined based on number of infractions. This number is calculated across versus within individual courses. For example, a student’s second instance may occur in a different course than the first.
For a first instance of a minor infraction, the student will be given the opportunity to resubmit the assignment or complete another assignment for a minimum passing grade (a D for undergraduate courses and a C for graduate courses). If the infraction occurs on a discussion board, the student may complete another assignment for a minimum passing grade. The due date of the makeup assignment is determined by the instructor in consultation with the chair or program director. For a second instance of a minor infraction, the student will receive a zero for the assignment. For a third instance of a minor infraction, the student will fail the course. For a fourth instance of a minor infraction, the student will fail the course, and the committee will refer the case to the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs (VPFAA) for additional sanctions, including potential dismissal from the University.
For a first instance of moderate plagiarism, the student will receive a zero for the assignment. For a second instance of moderate plagiarism, the student will fail the course. For a third instance of moderate plagiarism, the student will fail the course, and the committee will refer the case to the VPFAA for additional sanctions, including potential dismissal from the University.
If the committee determines that the instance of plagiarism is major – and the infraction was not a culminating project for the student’s program – the student will fail the course. If the major infraction was on a culminating project, or this is the second major infraction on a non-culminating project, the student will fail the course, and the committee will refer the case to the VPFAA for additional sanctions, including potential dismissal from the University.
After meeting to discuss the level and number of infractions, the committee will write a Student Outcome Letter, explaining the decision and subsequent sanction, which will be sent to the student, instructor, chair or program director, appropriate dean, and VPFAA. The Outcome Letter, with the instructor and chair or program director’s report, will be kept in the student’s file.
The student may appeal the committee’s judgment. To do so, the student must write a letter, refuting the judgment, and submit it to the academic integrity committee and VPFAA within seven (7) days of the date printed on the Student Outcome Letter. The VPFAA will review the committee’s decision, instructor and chair or program director’s report, and student’s appeal and will respond in writing to the student, instructor, chair or program director, committee, and appropriate dean within seven (7) days. As the VPFAA reviews materials, they may also consult the student, instructor, chair or program director, and/or committee to help inform their decision. The VPFAA’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
The University reserves the right to revoke a degree if it discovers academic dishonesty that may have impacted the award of the degree initially.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled class sessions. Absence from any class session weakens the learning experience. The instructor’s policy on absences must be stated in the course syllabus. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor, in advance if possible, about any absence, and to complete whatever work is necessary to “make up” for the absence. False representation of circumstances related to an absence constitutes academic dishonesty.
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.
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 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.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
The IRB is charged with ensuring the protection of the rights and welfare of human research subjects. In order to provide for the adequate discharge of the institutional responsibility, any research activity involving human subjects that will be publicly disseminated and undertaken by any faculty, staff, employee or student, or any external entities who seek to recruit or collaborate with faculty, staff, or students of the University must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to commencing the research activity. For more information visit https://irb.smumn.edu/ to consult the Institutional Review Board Standard Operating Procedures and send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 elective 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 (minimum 18 credits) 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 4 upper division credits, taken within 2 courses, must be completed at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Applying Credits to More than One Program (“Double-Dipping”)
The use of courses to satisfy more than one requirement in the student’s degree program (e.g., fulfilling both a major and a minor requirement; fulfilling both a General Education and a major requirement, applying the same course to two different majors, etc.) is generally not prohibited. Check with your advisors for clarification on the double use of any courses within your primary and secondary degree program and the double use of any courses between two degree programs.
Accelerated Bachelors/Masters (4 + 1) Pathway
The 4+1 accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degrees are designed to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to combine advanced undergraduate coursework with graduate coursework to accelerate graduate degree completion.
Only the accelerated 4 + 1 program pathways listed in the catalog are available. No more than 50% of the required graduate coursework can count to meet undergraduate degree requirements.
Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application through admission. Please see admissions for program-specific admission policies.
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:
- To have an academic degree awarded and receive a diploma, a student must be in good standing under all applicable university policies, student conduct codes, and student life policies. A student is not in good standing if a conduct case is pending.
- 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.
*Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota does not guarantee the award of a degree or academic credit for satisfactory completion of any course of study or program to students enrolled in them. The award of degrees and academic credit is conditioned upon satisfaction of all applicable requirements at the time of such award, including compliance with all applicable university policies, student conduct codes, and student life policies.
Revocation of Withholding of Degree
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota reserves the right to revoke or withhold the award of academic degrees. If the violation is found to have occurred before graduation and during the time the student has applied to, or was enrolled at the University, but a complaint was not filed prior to graduation, the degree may be revoked. If the violation occurred prior to a student graduating and is under investigation, the university may postpone the awarding of a degree pending the outcome of the investigation and imposition of appropriate disciplinary sanctions (for students only).
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.
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.
Use of Email
Students are required to maintain and use a Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota email account at no charge. This account can be accessed via http://mail.google.com. New students will receive their email address in the admission packet once they are accepted for admission. Students are responsible to check their Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota email regularly.
When logging in on Google’s page, the student’s username is the full email address (email@example.com) and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota password. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota email accounts for students are discontinued six months after graduation or withdrawal from the university. Students should plan accordingly.