Academic Calendar

Regulations

Students, members of faculty, and administrative officers concerned with academic matters are all expected to be familiar with the rules, regulations, and procedures of the University as published in this Academic Calendar.

The University reserves the right to approve academic programs and timetables, and to control access to courses and individual classes. It is the particular responsibility of students to ensure that the courses which they take are appropriate for their academic program, involve no timetable conflicts, and collectively satisfy all the requirements of that program.

Note: Academic administrators may appoint designates to carry out functions and responsibilities delineated in these academic regulations.

  1. Number of Courses in an Academic Session
  2. Auditing Courses
  3. Academic Advising
  4. Grading System
  5. 5. Undergraduate Rating, Grades and Grade Points
  6. Grade Point Average
  7. Standing Required
  8. Examinations
  9. Evaluations
  10. Special Examinations
  11. Academic Appeals
  12. Credit Hours without Final Examination
  13. Course Changes
  14. Declaration or Change of Major, Area of Concentration, Honours, or Minor
  15. Procedure for Changing Faculty
  16. Withdrawing from a Course
  17. Retaking a Course
  18. Withdrawal for Academic Reasons
  19. Academic Integrity
  20. Advanced Standing
  21. Transfer Credit Hours
  22. Advanced Standing Credit by Examination for Undergraduate Degree Programs
  23. Students Whose First Language Is Not English
  24. Requirements of Two Academic Programs (Dual Program)
  25. Second Undergraduate Degree
  26. Certificate of Honours Equivalency
  27. Convocation Dates, Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates
  28. Degree, Diploma, or Certificate in Absentia
  29. Distinctions
  30. University Medals
  31. Dean’s Lists for Undergraduate Programs
  32. Students’ Academic Records and Transcripts
  33. Safety and Responsibility in Officially-Sanctioned University Activities
  34. University Research Ethics Board (REB)

1.  Number of Courses in an Academic Session

  • Students must formally register for all courses. In the Faculties of Arts, Commerce and Science (excluding Engineering), the normal load in an academic session for a full-time undergraduate is fifteen (15) credit hours per semester; while in the Division of Engineering, eighteen (18) credit hours per semester constitute a normal full-time load.

    Undergraduate students registered for at least nine (9) credit hours in a semester are considered to be full- time, while students registered for fewer than nine (9) credit hours per semester are part-time. During the same academic year it is possible for students to be full- time in one semester and part-time in the other.

  • Students who have earned at least thirty (30) credit hours at Saint Mary’s may elect to take up to an additional six (6) credit hours in the regular academic year. Permission is not required for such an overload.

  • Students may take up to nine (9) credit hours during any one summer term, i.e., May to June or July to August at Saint Mary’s, on Letter(s) of Permission, or a combination of these.

2.  Auditing Courses

Students may audit courses but they must formally register as auditors in these courses. Auditors participate in all regular class activities, but are not expected to prepare formal assignments, write papers, or take quizzes, tests, or examinations. With the permission of the instructor, however, they may perform these activities and receive an informal evaluation of their work. Audited courses are not given credit hours or regular grades but the notation of AU is included on the students’ official record. Within the normal time limits for changing courses (see 13b), students may request permission to change from regular registration status in a course to auditing status or vice versa.


3. Academic Advising

a. Although students are responsible for ensuring that they meet the requirements of their academic programs, the University makes every effort to provide assistance in the selection of courses and programs. Students who have already declared their major, area of concentration, honours, or minor will be advised by the Chairperson of the

appropriate departments or their appointees. All other students should seek advice from the Dean, Associate Dean or Undergraduate Program Advisor for their Faculty.
Students are strongly urged to familiarize themselves with the academic audit program in Banner.

b. Academic counseling is particularly recommended for the following students:

  • all students who are on academic probation as defined in Regulation 7d;
  • all students who do not attain a grade point average of at least 1.70 in any given semester;

4. Grading System

a. The final grade for a course will be based on the quality of a student’s work including, where appropriate, essays and exercises, class tests, end of semester examinations, final examinations, reports, class participation, laboratory work, tutorial sessions, projects and field work.

b. On the first day of class for a course, instructors must provide students with a written copy of the course outline. The outline must conform to the Senate Policy on Course Outlines. In accordance with the Policy, the outline must include the grading system to be used in the course. The grading system includes the relative weight which will be given to class and/or laboratory participation, examinations, tests, written assignments and other means of evaluation. The statement must also show how these evaluations will be used to determine final letter grades. Subsequent changes to this system must also be made available to students in writing. A copy of the course outline and any subsequent changes to it must be placed on file in the office of the Department Chairperson and Dean of the Faculty at the time when they are distributed to the students.

c. Instructors must also inform students in writing on the first day of class of any “in-class” test which will be scheduled outside of the regular instructional hours of the course. Students who cannot write the test outside of class time must be offered reasonable accommodation. Students must give the instructor a minimum of a two-week notice.

d. Instructors must also provide feedback to students regarding their progress in the course prior to the final date by which a student may cancel the course without academic penalty (see Academic Regulation 16 a). Normally, for undergraduate courses, this feedback must equal a minimum of 15% of the final grade.


5. Undergraduate Rating, Grades and Grade Points *

a. The rating of undergraduate students’ performance is given as shown below in equivalent grades, grade points, and percentages.

Grades Grade Points Percentage Points Rating
A+ 4.30* 90-100  
A 4.00 85-89 Excellent
A- 3.70 80-84  
B+ 3.30 77-79  
B 3.00 73-76 Good
B- 2.70 70-72  
C+ 2.30 67-69  
C 2.00 63-66 Satisfactory
C- 1.70 60-62  
D 1.00 50-59 Marginal
F .00 0-49 Failure or withdrawal after deadline (see 16 below)
In Progress (Applicable ONLY for undergraduate honours courses.)

*In November 1997, the Senate of Saint Mary’s University voted to have the A+ grade carry 4.30 grade points, retroactive to I Summer Session, 1988. All past decisions on academic matters, such as academic probation/requirement to withdraw, placement on the Dean’s List, qualifications for graduation, academic distinctions, and scholarships, shall not be affected.

b.  The following grades shall be given when appropriate but will not be calculated in the grade point average:

  Aegrotat standing (see No. 12) AE
  Authorized withdrawal from course
(see 16a below)
W

 

c.  The minimum passing grade is D (or its equivalent). Students should be aware, however, that a grade of D (or the equivalent) is regarded as a marginal pass and therefore carries negative connotations. For example, many programs require a grade higher than “D” in an introductory course in order to declare a major.

d.  In cases where students have not be able to complete the work of the course due to exceptional circumstances the instructor may, with the prior written authorization of the Dean of the Faculty, give the grade IC (incomplete). The IC grade will not be included in the calculation of any grade point average. The IC will be automatically converted to a failing grade, F, if the instructor does not submit a final grade as follows: for first term by Jan 31, for the second term by May 31, for summer session one by July 31 and for summer session two by Sept 30.

e.  A temporary grade of IP (in progress) may be assigned by the instructor with the Dean’s official concurrence in those instances where students do not complete on time the work in honours courses and theses. The IP grade will not attract any grade points and therefore will not be calculated into any grade point averages. If an IP grade has not been changed into a real grade six months from the last day of classes in the semester in which the course was taught it will automatically be converted to a failing grade of “F”. The change from IP being a permanent grade with no impact on calculations of grade point averages to a temporary grade became effective on 1 September 2001 and is not retroactive.

f.  The maximum time limit permitted for a change of final grade is six months from the last day of classes in the semester. Except for the changing of an already approved “incomplete” to a real grade, a grade change must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty in which the course is offered.

g. In cases where through no fault of the student, grades have not been received and processed by the deadline stipulated by Senate, a temporary grade of AI (“administrative incomplete”) will be assigned but will not be included in the calculations of grade point and cumulative grade point averages. This temporary grade of AI is assigned by the Registrar.

h.  Once a final grade has been submitted to the Registrar, supplementary examinations or any additional assignments for the purpose of changing that grade are not permitted.

* The course outline may stipulate how the final grade is determined. While the total of all elements of a course may exceed 50%, a pass in certain components may be mandatory in order to pass the course.


6. Grade Point Average

a.  Each letter grade is given a grade point equivalent as described in 5a above. A grade point average (GPA) is calculated by multiplying each grade by the number of credit hours, totaling the grade points and dividing by the total number of credit hours attempted. Grade point averages may be calculated for a semester, year, degree, program or cumulatively. Common grade point averages are described below.

b.  The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is based upon all courses taken for credit hours in any Faculty at Saint Mary’s other than those for which grades of AE have been given. Courses for which grades of F have been given are included in the calculation of the grade point average. In the case of a repeated course, only the most recent grade is included. All past decisions on academic matters, such as academic probation/requirement to withdraw, placement on the Dean’s List, qualifications for graduation, academic distinctions, and scholarships, shall not be affected by CGPA changes due to repeated courses.

In the case of a Saint Mary’s graduate completing a second undergraduate degree, the final transcript shall include an additional GPA with a notation stating the GPA is based solely on all undergraduate courses taken since the completion of the first degree.

c.  A degree grade point average (DGPA) is calculated based upon the courses presented in fulfillment of the degree requirements. Since courses without passing grades (W, F, IC, IP) are not used to fulfill degree requirements, they are not included in the DGPA. In the case of a repeated course, the most recent grade is included. Grades for courses in excess of degree requirements are not included.

d.  A program (major, honours, minor, concentration) grade point average (PGPA) is calculated based upon the courses presented in fulfillment of the program requirements. Since courses without passing grades (W, F, IC, IP) are not used to fulfill program requirements, they are not included in the program GPA. In the case of a repeated course, the most recent grade is included. Grades for courses in excess of program requirements are not included.

e.  Grades for courses taken at other institutions for which advanced standing is given are not included in calculations for a grade point average, a cumulative grade point average, or in calculations for determining awards and distinctions. Grades for courses taken at other institutions covered by the Pan Canadian Agreement for which transfer credit is given are included in these calculations.


7.  Standing Required

a.  There are multiple regulations governing a student’s program of study. These include the overall regulations for the credential (degree, certificate or diploma) as well as those for the area(s) of specialization (concentration, major, honours, minor). For each set of regulations, the ones that apply are those in effect at the time the student first registers in the credential or declares the specialization. For example, a student admitted to a B.A. in 2004 who then declares an English major in 2006 is governed by the B.A. requirements in effect in 2004 and the English major requirements in effect in 2006. If it is advantageous for a student to follow the new regulations in meeting the requirements for the credential or specialization, the new regulations will apply.

b.  In the case of students readmitted after an absence of five or more years, or after having been required to withdraw for academic weakness, or in the case of students transferring to a different academic program, the regulations in force at the time of readmission or transfer apply. In addition, the Dean may attach specific and binding conditions to the students’ performance to ensure that the normal standards of the degree requirements are met.

c.  Good Standing

  • Student are deemed to be in “Good Standing” if they have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 1.70.
  • To qualify for a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Science, or Commerce a student must achieve a minimum degree grade point average (DGPA) of 2.00. Note: A higher DGPA may be required for some programs (e.g., honours).
  • To qualify for a Diploma in Engineering or a Certificate students are required to achieve a program grade point average (PGPA) of at least 2.00. Note: Individual programs may require a higher PGPA.

d.  Academic Probationary Status

Academic Probationary status is incurred:

  • if, at the end of any academic year (i.e., on or about 1 May), a student has attempted a minimum of 24 credit hours with a CGPA of at least 1.00 but less than 1.70;
  • if on readmission after being suspended or dismissed because of academic weakness [see (i) below];
  • if students are required to confer with their academic advisor and fail to do so or fail to make appropriate efforts to resolve problems which are affecting their academic performance.

e.  Eligibility to Continue

Students in Good Standing are eligible to continue. Students on academic probation are eligible to continue if at the end of any academic year (i.e., on or about 1 May) their annual GPA is at least 1.70

Notes:

  • Transfer to a different Faculty does not remove probationary status.
  • Unless the permission of the Dean of the Faculty has been obtained in advance, courses taken at another educational institution cannot be used to remove probationary status. This is normally not granted.
  • All academic probationary notations are retained permanently on students’ academic records.

f.  Required Academic Counseling

Students on academic probation are required to confer with the Faculty's academic advising office at least once each term while on probation.  The advisor may stipulate additional meetings with the student.  Failure to confer with an advisor when requested may result in placing holds on any future course registration.

g.  Suspension

At the end of each academic year (i.e., on or about 1 May), students will be suspended for 12 months if:

  • they have attempted at least 24 credit hours with a CGPA below 1.00;
  • they are on probation and do not satisfy the requirements for continuance;
  • they are on probation and fail to comply with any formal conditions governing their probation.

While on suspension, students may not enroll in credit courses at the University.  After completing their suspension, students may resume their studies on probation (see d. above).

h. Dismissal

At the end of each academic year (i.e., on or about 1 May), students will be dismissed for 12 months if they have been previously suspended and:

  • they have a CGPA below 1.00;
  • they are on probation and do not satisfy the requirements for continuance;
  • they are on probation and fail to comply with any formal conditions governing their probation.

Students who are dismissed from the University for both academic and non-academic reasns may be denied the right to return to the University.

i.  Admission after Dismissal

  1. Students who are not eligible for readmission to their former institution are normally not admissible to Saint Mary’s University.
  2. Students who have been dismissed from Saint Mary’s, and who wish subsequently to be readmitted, must apply to the Admissions Office.
  3. If readmitted, students will be placed on academic probation and must fulfill those terms delineated by the Dean of the Faculty in which the student is enrolled and outlined in their letter of readmission. In agreeing to readmit a student, the Dean has the discretionary authority to set specific terms of special probation unique to each student. Students failing to satisfy all the terms of readmission may be denied the right to further registration. [See also Regulation 7b.]

Note:  Students are advised that all communications concerning academic probationary status and dismissal are sent to the permanent address on file in the Service Centre. Therefore students are urged to ensure that this address is both accurate and complete.


8. Examinations

also see Senate Policy on Final Examinations www.smu.ca/webfiles/8-1016_SenateRescheduleExams.pdf

a.  At the end of a Fall or Winter semester, at the discretion of the Department concerned, a final test or examination may be held during the special periods set aside for this purpose in December and in April.

b.  All final tests and examinations held during the above periods are scheduled by the Registrar. The maximum time allowed for each examination is three hours.

c.

  1. In a six (6) credit hour course, no single test given in a regularly scheduled class period (50 minutes or 75 minutes) shall contribute more than 20% of the overall evaluation for that course.
  2. In a three (3) credit hour course, no single test given in a regularly scheduled class period (50 minutes or 75 minutes) or laboratory/recitation session (up to 3 hours) shall contribute more than 35% of the overall evaluation for that course.
  3. In the fall and winter terms, test and examinations individually or collectively contributing more than 10% of the overall evaluation of the course are not permitted to be held during the last fourteen calendar days preceding the end of classes, except as noted in (iv) below. End of term tests and examinations are to be held during the final assessment period as specified in sections, 8a. and b.
  4. rior to the first class date, the Dean of the Faculty may authorize a lab examination worth more than 10% of the final grade within the last 14 days preceding the end of classes. A lab examination requires the use of lab resources.

 d.  To be eligible to write any type of test or examination in any course, students must be properly registered in that course. Students must write all such tests or examinations at the designated times and in the designated places.

e.  Students are responsible for knowing the date, time and location for writing each of their formal examinations. Students are responsible for ensuring they have up-to-date schedules. This information is posted on Banner Self Service with the student’s schedule. While this is accurate when viewed/printed, it is subject to revision without any prior notice; hence students are responsible for ensuring they have up-to-date schedules. Missing an examination for reasons of misreading or misunderstanding the date, time, and location does not constitute grounds for a “special test or examination” or for rescheduling the test or examination.

f.  Students are required to present their valid Saint Mary’s University student identification cards at all tests and examinations for possible verification of their photographs or signatures.

g.  The University acknowledges that due to the pluralistic nature of its community, some students may, on religious grounds, require alternative times to write tests and examinations. Accordingly, a student who requires an alternative test or examination time on these religious grounds should consult with the Dean of the Faculty in which the course is offered regarding alternative arrangements. Such a request must be made in writing within one week of the announcement of the test or examination date.

h.  Participation in university sanctioned activities and events may occasionally conflict with exam schedules. Students experiencing such conflicts should follow the instructions in g. (above)

i.  In the case of courses delivered at extension centres, midterms and final examinations will take place at the extension centre. If the location is within the Halifax Regional Municipality, the final examination may be held on the Saint Mary’s University campus, with the approval of
the Dean of the Faculty.

j.  In the case of distance education courses taught via the internet or other means, the course outline will specify if midterms and final examinations will be either held online or at locations in reasonable proximity to the students. Remotely offered examinations must be invigilated by an invigilator (proctor) that is approved by the course instructor. The Division of Continuing Education will be responsible for working with the student to make arrangements for the test location and invigilation.

k.  Supplementary examinations are not offered.


9. Evaluations

a.  At the end of each semester, instructors must submit to the Registrar, through Self-Service Banner, their evaluations of all students registered in their courses. For six credit hour courses taught over two terms, interim grades will be submitted at the end of the first term and final grades at the end of the academic year. The time frames for the submission of mid-year and final grades to the Registrar are:

  • in the case of courses in which no formal examination was scheduled by the Registrar within the period designated by Senate for formal examinations, one week from the beginning of the examination period;
  • in the case of courses in which formal examinations were scheduled by the Registrar within the period designated by Senate for such examinations, one week from the day on which the examination was written; and
  • in the cases of courses taught in Summer Sessions, grades are due in the Service Centre no later than one week from the last day of instruction in the course.

Students have the right to expect their grades to be submitted by these deadlines in conformity with the faculty members’ terms of appointment.

At the start of each term, any blank grades from the previous term will be assigned a grade of F.

b.  Final grades are available on Self-Service one day after submission by the instructor. Grade reports are not produced.
c.  Final grades are withheld from students who have money owing to the University or who have either money or books owing the University Library system.

d.  Grades given at the end of a semester shall not be made known to students except by the Registrar. Under the FOI- POP legislation, it is not legal for members of faculty to publicly post grades without the written permission of the student.

e.  Grade changes must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty in which the course is offered before they can be accepted for processing by the Registrar. Reason(s) for the change(s) is required at the time of submission.


10. Special Examinations

A student who, due to a serious illness or emergency, was detained or rendered unfit to write a required final examination, may appeal for a special examination. Elective arrangements (such as travel plans) are not considered acceptable grounds for granting an alternative examination time. A student who wishes to have such an appeal considered must:

a.  Within 48 hours after the end of the final examination, report, or have a representative report (in writing if possible), to the Instructor and the Dean of the Faculty in which the course is offered, intention to appeal for a special examination and

b.  Within one week after the end of the examination submit to the Dean a written request for a special examination. This request must be accompanied by an explanation of the circumstances which made it impossible for the student to write the regular examination and a medical doctor’s report, or other document, which supports the appeal.

c.  The Dean’s decision will be communicated to the student and the instructor within one week of receipt of the request.

d.  If the Dean approves the special examination, the responsibility for setting and conducting special examinations will lie with the instructor and the department. Special examinations should be completed as soon as possible and normally (i.e. wherever possible) as follows: for first term by Jan 31, for the second term by May 31, for summer session one by July 31 and for summer session two by Sept 30.


11. Academic Appeals

Students who have good reason to believe they have been subject to mistaken, improper or unjust treatment with respect to their academic work have the right to appeal to the Committee on Academic Appeals. An appeal must be based on solid evidence and not merely on injured feelings. This Committee’s jurisdiction extends only to individuals currently enrolled at the University or enrolled during the previous academic year and required to withdraw, (i.e., the Committee’s jurisdiction does not apply to individuals
whose application for admission to a program at the University has not been accepted). Appeals shall be governed by the following procedures:

a.  Appealing of Final Grades

The only grades that may be appealed are official final grades. Students should be aware that when a grade appeal is launched, the grade can be raised, lowered, or remain unchanged.

  • (i) Students who wish to appeal a grade must first consult the instructor concerned within one month of receiving the grade and, if unsatisfied, should then consult the appropriate Chairperson and Dean. If the problem is still unresolved, students may forward the appeal to the Committee on Academic Appeals. This must be done in writing, through the Registrar, within three months from the last day of the semester in which the course is taken. This appeal statement must contain specifics as to when the instructor, the Chairperson, and the Dean were consulted, together with any other information the student considers relevant. A form to launch an appeal is available from the Registrar and students are strongly encouraged to use this.
  • (ii) It is the responsibility of students and instructors to provide the Committee with all relevant available material on which the grade was based. A student’s course documentation should include grade history and copies of any retained graded materials on which the student’s grades were based (i.e. exercises, reports, papers, tests, examinations). This documentation shall be retained on-campus for a minimum of twelve months from the deadline of submission of grades.
  • (iii) The Committee will normally appoint two qualified examiners to review the evidence presented and reconsider the grade. The examiners will submit their report and the evidence reviewed to the Chairperson of the Committee.
  • (iv) On the appeal for a change of grade, the decision of the Committee shall be final.

b. Other Appeals

On appeals other than those for a change of grade, the procedures shall be as follows:

  • (i) Normally within one month of the event or the decision being received by the student, the student shall submit the appeal in writing and direct it to the Committee on Academic Appeals through the Registrar.
  • (ii) The Chairperson of the Committee on Academic Appeals shall forward a copy of the appeal to the Dean of the appropriate Faculty, and, if relevant, to the Chairperson of the Department and the instructor.
  • (iii) On 5 May 1993, the Academic Senate of the University passed an Enabling Motion which reads in part “...that the Executive Committee of Senate [be] empowered to deal with all appeals concerning graduation which may be made prior to Convocation.” Procedurally, these appeals are made to the Registrar.

c. Decision

If possible, within one month of receiving any appeal under (a) or (b) above, the Committee shall render and communicate its decision through the Registrar to all parties concerned. Pending possible further appeal, the Committee will retain the evidence presented to it for a period of six weeks after rendering its decision.

d. Appeal of Committee’s Decision

Except in the case of an appeal for a change of grade, students shall have the right to appeal an adverse decision to the Executive Committee of Senate. Such an appeal shall be governed by the following procedures.

  • (i) Within one month of receiving the decision of the Committee, students shall submit their appeal in writing to the Secretary of Senate who shall forward the appeal together with all previously considered evidence to the Executive Committee of Senate for its consideration.
  • (ii) Within one month of receiving the appeal, the Executive Committee shall render and communicate its decision through the Secretary of Senate to the Registrar, who in turn shall communicate the decision to the student and to the Committee on Academic Appeals and take any further required action.
  • (iii) The decision of the Executive Committee shall be final.

e. Fee

All appeals to the Committee on Academic Appeals must be accompanied by a payment of a $30.00 fee. Further appeal under (d) above requires an additional payment of $30.00. In the event of a decision favourable to the appellant, all payments will be refunded.

Notes:

(a) The appellants and instructors will be invited to appear before the committee(s) hearing the appeal.

(b) Members of a committee cannot participate in the hearing of an appeal arising from an action to which they were a party.


12. Credit Hours without Final Examination

Students who, for medical or compassionate reasons, have been unable to finish a course but who have satisfactorily completed the other requirements, may apply to the Dean of the Faculty for credit hours in that course without examination. They must support their request with adequate evidence. If the Dean permits the request to go forward, instructors involved will be asked to assign an estimated final grade. If the instructors judge that the student should be given credit hours for the course but are unable to determine a precise grade point grade, then they will assign the grade of AE (aegrotat). This grade will not be included in computing the grade point average. Students may apply for aegrotat standing for a maximum thirty (30) credit hours during their undergraduate program. This grade of AE is available only as a final grade and therefore cannot be awarded at mid-year for six (6) credit hour courses.


13. Course Changes

a.  At the beginning of each academic session, a period of time is provided for students to alter their registration without the change being noted on their permanent records. During these periods, and subject to availability, a course (or section of a course), lab, or recitation may be added, dropped or exchanged for another.

b.  For all these changes the period of time required from the first official day of classes is eight working days (excluding Saturdays) during the academic year; five days in a summer session.

c.  Changes can be effected only through Banner Self- Service. Consult the Calendar of Events for specific dates.

d.  Only in extraordinary cases will a Dean or Associate Dean authorize any course changes after the time deadlines. Special forms for this purpose are available only from those with this signing authority.

Warning: Students are responsible for all required work in the course regardless of the date of their entry into the course. Students can expect reasonable accommodation if they are impacted negatively by late registration and/or course changes. Also, tuition fees are charged from the first day of classes, even when a student registers late.

e.  Students cannot be registered in a course, lab, or recitation which has reached its maximum enrolment and therefore is regarded as being full. In exceptional circumstances, the course instructor or heads of academic units (i.e., chairperson, subject area representatives, directors of divisions, or area coordinators) may authorize a student to register in a closed course, lab, or recitation. This must be done through an over-ride on the student information system. The student may then register in the course. Permission to register does not mean that the student is registered.


14. Declaration or Change of Major, Area of Concentration, Honours, or Minor

a. In order to declare or change a major, area of concentration, honours, or minor, students must file a Declaration of Major form with the Registrar. This form must have been signed by the Chairperson of the Department in which the student has been authorized to pursue a major, area of concentration, honours, or minor. Students are strongly urged to declare their major, area of concentration, honours, or minor before registering for their final sixty (60) credit hours and before 1 June.

b. The regulations governing the major, area of concentration, honours, or minor program will be those in effect at the time of declaration or change.

c.  Students are advised that general regulations governing majors, areas of concentration, honours, or minors are found below in subsection (d) of this regulation, and also in Academic Regulations 20 and 21; specific Faculty regulations are found in Section 3 of this Calendar; and specific departmental and subject area regulations are found in the relevant parts of Section 4. Students should check carefully because minors are not available in all subject areas.

d. Students must file a Change of Registration form indicating the dropping of their major, area of concentration, honours, or minor if they no longer intend to pursue it. Otherwise it will be assumed to be valid and the student will be expected to complete the requirements in order to qualify for graduation.

Note: Students are advised that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee admission to a particular academic program. Limits to the number of students who can be in a particular program at any one time exist and depend very much on the number of faculty members available in a particular academic unit.


15. Procedure for Changing Faculty

In order to register an official Change of Faculty, students must file with the Registrar, a Change of Registration form which has been signed by the Dean of the Faculty into which the students intend to transfer. Students should be aware that a change of Faculty is not automatic. Students on academic probation at the time of authorized transfer of Faculty or academic program automatically remain on academic probation.

Note: Students are advised that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee admission to a particular academic program. Limits to the number of students who can be in a particular program at any one time exist and depend very much on the number of faculty members available in a particular academic unit.


16. Withdrawing from a Course

a.  In the case of any course, after the time limits indicated in 13b above have expired, and provided the course still has one quarter of the instruction time remaining, students may withdraw from the course. In such cases a grade of W will automatically be awarded. Students withdrawing from a course after these time limits automatically receive a grade of F. Students should refer to Regulation 4 d regarding feedback that must be provided prior to the last day to withdraw without academic penalty to allow for an informed decision to be made to withdraw from a course.

b.  A student who registers for a course and does not withdraw is considered to be taking the course, and if no grade is assigned by the instructor, a grade of F will be recorded automatically. Non-attendance at class or non- payment of tuition fees does not constitute an official withdrawal from a course, lab, or recitation for which the student initiated registration procedures.

c.  For purposes of registration, sections of courses, labs, and recitations are considered the same as individual courses; hence academic regulations, procedures, and deadlines apply to all types of changes.

d.  Students are advised that if they completely withdraw from all their courses prior to the end of the add/drop period, a $50.00 processing/administrative fee will be levied.

e.  Students who are granted a complete retroactive withdrawal (regardless of the number of courses involved) will be charged a $50.00 processing/administrative fee

Notes:

  • (i) Students must withdraw through Banner Self-Service. Alternatively, a letter of withdrawal can be forwarded to the Registrar which must include the student’s name, address, Saint Mary’s I.D. number, and the courses (with section numbers if applicable), labs, and recitations involved in the withdrawal. Students must initiate the withdrawal from all courses, labs, and recitations. The automatic withdrawal from courses because of the withdrawal from another course which is a stated prerequisite does not occur. This same principle applies when students fail a course which is a prerequisite for another for which they have already registered. In these instances, students must initiate the withdrawal from the course(s) for which they lack the stated prerequisite.
  • (ii) Students should note that the deadlines for academic withdrawal differ from those for financial adjustment and possible refund of tuition and related fees.

17. Retaking a Course

a.  Students may retake any course. Each course counts only once as credit hours in the academic program. In accordance with regulation 6b above, only the most recent grade is included in the cumulative GPA, even if this is a lower grade.

b.  In the cases where courses have been renumbered, changed in level, or where a six (6) credit hour course (formerly referred to as a “full course”) has been split into two three (3) credit hour courses (formerly termed “half courses”) or vice versa, a student who received credit hour recognition for the original course is not entitled to repeat the course in its new format or on its new level for additional credit hour recognition.

c.  Students will not ordinarily be given credit hours for a course taken at another educational institution which they have already taken and failed at Saint Mary’s.


18. Withdrawal for Academic Reasons

Students whose participation, work or progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory may have their registration terminated and be denied the right to continue at the University by the Dean of their Faculty.


19. Academic Integrity

See the section preceding Academic Regulations, entitled Academic Integrity and Student Responsibility.


20. Advanced Standing

a. University and Other Post-Secondary Institutions

After an official transcript has been received by the Registrar, and providing the students have identified the subject area(s) in which they intend to major or declare an area of concentration, students transferring from other recognized universities or post-secondary institutions to an academic program at Saint Mary’s may be given advanced standing credit hours, if appropriate, in consultation with the Dean of the Faculty. To obtain a first baccalaureate degree or a diploma, the student must successfully complete a minimum of 50% of the credit hours required for their degree, diploma or certificate program at Saint Mary’s.

Among these credit hours, students must complete a minimum of 50% of the credit hours required for the major, honours or concentration at Saint Mary’s. Note that the equivalency of courses conducted at other institutions is at the discretion of the Dean of the Faculty.

Notes:

(a) A request for advanced standing will not be considered after one year from the date of the student’s first registration in an academic program at Saint Mary’s.

(b) Advanced standing will be given only for courses with satisfactory grades as required by the relevant Saint Mary’s program. In accordance with the Pan Canadian Protocol on Transfer Credits, all first and second year courses taken and passed at Canadian universities will be recognized for credit. Deans have the discretion to stipulate a minimum grade which must be attained to receive credit for a specific Saint Mary’s course, otherwise elective credit may be granted. Advanced standing for third and fourth year courses is at the discretion of the Dean.

(c) Credit will not automatically be recognized for university courses completed more than ten (10) years prior to the students’ return to University study. The Dean’s assessment of the number of credit hours that students must complete to satisfy their academic program is final.

(d) Normally, for courses completed at universities outside Canada, a minimum grade of C (65%) is required for advanced standing.

(e) Advanced standing for courses taken at community or private colleges is granted on a case by case basis, except where formal articulation agreements exist.

b. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

PLAR recognizes learning acquired outside post-secondary institutional settings when that learning is comparable in scope and extent to University courses. Persons applying for PLAR for advanced standing are required to document that learning to the satisfaction of the academic unit in which the credit is sought and have it approved by the Dean of the Faculty in which the unit is housed.


21. Transfer Credit Hours

a.  While registered at Saint Mary’s University, students may be authorized by the appropriate Dean to take  a course(s) at another academic institution for transfer credit hours to an academic program at Saint Mary’s. Students seeking such permission must apply to the Dean using the Letter of Permission form, available from the Service Centre. The letter of application should state why the student wishes to take the course at another institution, how the requested course fits into the student’s academic program, and whether it has been determined that no equivalent or other suitable course is available at Saint Mary's University. A full description of the course(s) for

which transfer credit hours are requested must be included. The description from an academic calendar will suffice.
Students are responsible for completing the proper application and registration procedures at the designated institution. These same procedures apply to summer session courses.

b.  Students who are permitted to take a course(s) at an institution other than Saint Mary’s by means of a Letter of Permission are responsible for paying all appropriate fees to the institution at which they are taking the course(s). The only exception is a few formal exchange programs, details of which are available from Financial Services.

c.  Before transfer credit hours can be considered, students must have the institution concerned send to the Registrar an official transcript of the work undertaken.

d.  Normally, for courses completed at universities outside Canada, a minimum grade of C (65%) is required for transfer credit.

e.  All courses at Canadian Universities for which a student receives a passing grade [D (or equivalent) or higher] on Letter of Permission will be accepted for transfer credit hours. However, the Deans have the authority to stipulate a minimum grade which must be attained to transfer a particular course for fulfillment of a particular degree or program requirement.

f.  Students should also note that in some departments a grade of C or higher is required if the course is to be considered as part of the students’ major, area of concentration, honours, or minor program.

g.  In accordance with regulation 6e Grades for courses taken at other institutions covered by the Pan Canadian Agreement for which transfer credit is given are included in GPA calculations.

h.  Letters of Permission will not be authorized on a retroactive basis.

Note: Students should note that at least 50% of all credit hours for any academic program (degree, diploma, or certificate) must be taken at Saint Mary’s. The only exceptions to this are exchange programs with which Saint Mary’s University has entered into formal agreements, and formal joint programs.


22. Advanced Standing Credit by Examination for Undergraduate Degree Programs

Such credits are not available.


23. Students Whose First Language Is Not English

In the majority of cases the primary language of instruction at Saint Mary’s University is English. Therefore, students for whom English is not their first language and who do not have the facility to communicate well, both verbally and in writing, are strongly encouraged to register for English language training prior to registering in their academic program at the University.


24. Requirements of Two Academic Programs (Dual Program)

a.  If students are endeavouring to satisfy the requirements of two academic programs at the University, it may not be possible to satisfy the requirements of both of these within the minimum number of credit hours stipulated for either or both of them. The two programs include, but are not limited to: dual degree programs; double major/concentration; major in one subject and honours in another; and degree and certificate programs. Students are advised that they must meet the specific requirements of each portion of their academic program or programs in order to qualify for graduation.

b.  It is possible to satisfy simultaneously the requirements for two baccalaureate degrees in the Faculties of Arts, Business or Science. To formally declare their status as dual degree, students must complete the appropriate form in the Service Centre and have it signed by each appropriate Dean. Prior to signing this form, each Dean will assess the students’ university course work to date and inform the Registrar in writing of other general requirements that must be completed in order to earn a degree within that Faculty. The Registrar, in turn, will officially notify the student. Specific program requirements should be discussed with the Chairperson of the Department of the students’ major or area of concentration. Students in a dual degree program are advised that in order to receive the two degrees at the same Convocation, they must meet the specific requirements of each portion of their academic program(s). Students must complete the requirements of both degree programs for a minimum of 150 credit hours in order to qualify for graduation. Dual degree students will receive both of their degrees at the same Convocation. Students who complete the requirement for only one degree and who graduate are considered to have discontinued the second degree program. Should they subsequently wish to resume their studies in the second faculty, they must reapply for admission and, if admitted, are considered to be pursuing a second undergraduate degree and hence required to follow the appropriate regulations and guidelines. 


25. Second Undergraduate Degree

a.  Students who hold a first baccalaureate degree may obtain a second baccalaureate degree in the same Faculty, but with a different major, or in a different Faculty and with a different major, by completing all requirements for that degree as specified by the Dean of that Faculty. Advanced standing may be granted for courses completed in the first degree. The student must successfully complete a minimum of 50% of the credit hours required for the second degree program at Saint Mary’s. Among these credit hours, students must complete a minimum of 50% of the credit hours required for the major, honours or concentration at Saint Mary’s. If the first degree was earned at Saint Mary’s, a minimum of 30 additional credit hours must be earned at Saint Mary’s.

b.  All students who wish to register in a program leading to a second baccalaureate degree must complete the appropriate application form available from the Office of

Admissions. Their application must include the subject(s) of their major(s).

c.  Undergraduate Certificates and Diplomas as Second Credentials

  • (i) Students who already hold a Saint Mary’s University degree and subsequently wish to obtain a Saint Mary’s University undergraduate certificate or undergraduate diploma are required to apply officially to the Admissions Office. The academic administrator of that specific program will automatically evaluate the student’s previous academic work and advise the Registrar officially of the precise courses remaining to qualify for this second credential. This evaluation is an integral part of the admission process and, hence, an acceptance cannot be confirmed nor can a student register until this process has been completed.
  • (ii) Students who hold a degree from a recognized post- secondary institution other than Saint Mary’s University are required to follow the admission procedures delineated above in (i). If admitted, the student must complete a minimum of 50% of the courses required for that academic program at Saint Mary’s University, including all additional courses specified in individual program requirements.
  • (iii) In addition to regular degree programs, the undergraduate certificate programs to which this regulation applies are:
    • Certificate in Atlantic Canada Studies
    • Certificate of Chinese Studies
    • Certificate of Proficiency in French
    • Certificate in German Studies
    • Certificate of Linguistics
    • Certificate of Japanese Studies
    • Certificate in Spanish Language and Hispanic Culture
    • Certificate of Human Resource Management
    • Certificate in Financial Instrument Analysis
    • Certificate in Mathematical Science for Education

The undergraduate diploma programs to which this regulation applies are:

  • Diploma in Engineering
  • Diploma in Forensic Sciences

  • (iv) Students are advised to check carefully the grade point average requirements for the specific certificate or diploma program in which they plan to enroll.

26. Certificate of Honours Equivalency

a.  The Certificate of Honours Equivalency was established by the University Senate to provide a means of granting appropriate recognition to those Saint Mary’s graduates who did not follow the regular honours program of the University but have subsequently completed all requirements for graduation in such a program, and having already received a degree, cannot have a second undergraduate degree in the same Faculty conferred upon them. To earn the Certificate of Honours Equivalency, students must complete all the requirements (or their equivalents) for the appropriate honours program.

b.  Students who have earned a first undergraduate degree from another post-secondary institution may be admitted to the Certificate if they have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above. Admission requires the approval of the appropriate department chairperson and the Dean. Advanced standing will be granted in accordance with regulation 20 above. Students must complete at least 30 additional credit hours at Saint Mary’s and satisfy all course and grade requirements for the honours program.


27. Convocation Dates, Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates

a.  Students MUST file an Application for Graduation from a specific academic program, accompanied by a degree audit (manual or computer generated), with the Registrar by the dates stipulated in the University Calendar of Events. If during the course of the student’s final academic year at the University, a change is made in the Faculty or in the type of program in which the student is enrolled (i.e., from honours to major), it will be necessary for the student to officially withdraw their original application and reapply for graduation.

b.  There are three convocations annually, May, October and January, with ceremonies held at each. Once all requirements are completed, students must graduate at the next Convocation. Students are permitted to receive two parchments at one Convocation only in the following instances, namely, registered in a dual degree program (see Academic Regulation 24b above) or a degree and diploma/certificate program.

c.  Students are required to obtain the academic regalia appropriate to their academic program at the times, dates and locations indicated in the Graduation Booklet which is mailed to all students who have filed an application for graduation and who qualify as potential graduates. This mailing occurs approximately six weeks prior to graduation. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that they have received a copy of the publication.

Students will not be permitted to convocate if they are not attired appropriately and in the academic regalia designed for their particular academic program at Saint Mary’s University.

d.  The parchment shows the academic designation (i.e., degree, diploma, or certificate) as well as any academic distinction (as defined in Academic Regulation 29) which has been conferred but not the major, area of concentration, or minor. This, however, is noted in the students’ official academic record and hence appears on any transcript issued, whether official or unofficial. The subject of honours is shown on the parchment.

e.  The University grants the following degrees:

Bachelor of Arts: B.A.
Bachelor of Commerce: B.Comm.
Bachelor of Environmental Studies: B.E.S.
Bachelor of Science: B.Sc.
Master of Applied Economics: M.A.E.
Master of Arts: M.A.
Master of Business Administration: M.B.A.
Master of Finance: M.Fin.
Master of Management - Cooperatives & Credit Unions: M.Mgt.
Master of Science: M.Sc.
Master of Science in Computing & Data Analytics: M.Sc. CDA
Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation: M.TEI
Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy: Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration - Management: Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy in International Development Studies: Ph.D.
Doctor of Civil Law, Honoris Causa: D.C.L.
Doctor of Commerce, Honoris Causa: D.Comm.
Doctor of Education, Honoris Causa: D.Ed.
Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa: D.F.A.
Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa: LL.D.
Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa: D.Litt.
Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa: D.Sc.
The University grants the following diplomas and certificates:
Certificate in Atlantic Canada Studies: Cert. A.C.S.
Certificate of Chinese Studies: Cert. C.S.
Certificate of Proficiency in French: Cert. Fren.
Certificate of German Language and Culture: Cert.G.L.C..
Certificate of Human Resource Management: Cert. H.R.M.
Certificate in Financial Instrument Analysis: Cert. F.I.A.
Certificate of Honours Equivalency: Cert. Hons.
Certificate of Linguistics: Cert. Ling.
Certificate of Japanese Studies: Cert. J.S.
Certificate of Spanish and Hispanic Culture: Cert. S.H.C.
Certificate in Mathematical Sciences for Education: Cert. M.S.E
Cooperative Education Certificate: Co-op.
Diploma in Engineering: Dip.Egne.
Diploma in Forensic Sciences: Dip.F.Sc.
Graduate Diploma in Co-operative Management: G. Dip Mgt

 

f.  Details of the University’s policies on the reissuing of parchments are available from the Registrar.

g.  Students whose accounts with either or both of Financial Services or the Library Systems are in arrears may be denied the right to graduate until the debt is cleared.


28. Degree, Diploma, or Certificate in Absentia

Provided that candidates have officially notified the Registrar in writing at least ten days in advance that they will not be present at Convocation, they may receive their parchment in absentia.


29. Distinctions

a.  In the undergraduate degree and diploma program, distinctions are awarded to successful candidates on the basis of overall performance as measured by the cumulative grade point average as specified below:

Distinction:
Cumulative Grade Point Average B.A.,B.Sc.,&
B.Comm.
Diplomain Engineering
4.00 - 4.30 summa cum laude With greatest distinction
3.85 - 3.99 magna cum laude With great distinction
3.70 - 3.84 cum laude With distinction

b.  No distinctions are awarded in graduate and certificate programs.


30. University Medals

At each Spring Convocation the following are presented:

a.  Governor General’s Silver Academic Medal

This medal is awarded annually to the undergraduate deemed to be the top candidate.

b.  Faculty and Division Medals

In the Faculties of Arts, Business and Science; and in the Division of Engineering, medals are awarded to the undergraduate students with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Notes:

(a) In the case of undergraduate degrees and diplomas, the cumulative grade point averages will be calculated on the same basis as that for determining distinctions (see Academic Regulation 29). In the case of a tie, Senate will determine the recipient of the medal. In the case of graduate degrees, students’ entire graduate academic records will be considered.

(b) Students who graduate in the Fall or January Convocation will be considered for medals at the next Spring Convocation.


31. Dean’s Lists for Undergraduate Programs

Saint Mary’s University recognizes students of high academic standing by placing them on the Dean’s List. Students enrolled in Bachelor degree programs or the Diploma in Engineering are eligible for placement on the Dean’s List. Evaluation for placement on the Dean’s List occurs at the end of the academic year (i.e., shortly after May 1st). Placement on the Dean’s List is recorded on the student’s academic transcript.

a.  New students, admitted in the previous September, will be automatically placed on the Dean’s List if they have completed at least 24 credit hours in the academic year with a GPA of 3.67 out of 4.3 or above.

b.  Returning students will be automatically placed on the Dean’s List if they have completed at least 30 credit hours in the previous 12 months with a GPA of at least 3.67 out of 4.3.

Students who do not fall into the above two categories may officially apply for placement on the Dean’s List. Placement will be based upon achievement of a GPA of at least 3.67 out of 4.3 on at least 30 credit hours completed between the start of a term in a previous year and the end of the current academic year. After having been placed on the Dean’s List, these students must take at least 30 additional credit hours to qualify again for placement on the Dean’s List.


32. Students’ Academic Records and Transcripts

a.  Students’ academic records, including their official University files, are the property of the University. Access to those records and release of information from them will be governed by the University’s policies and by the laws of the Province (Nova Scotia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, S.N.S. 1993, chapter 5) and the country (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). As the University is committed to the integrity of its student records, students are required to provide, on their Application for Admission, their complete legal name. Any requests to change that name, by means of alteration, deletion, substitution or addition, must be made in writing to the Registrar and accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. The University’s official policy on this subject is contained in the pamphlet entitled, “Policy Regarding the Release of Information about Students”. Copies are available from the Registrar.

In addition to the internal policies, procedures, and practices of the University and the requirements of the provincial FOI- POP legislation and the national PIPEDA legislation, as a public institution the University is mandated to collect and report annually to Statistics Canada through the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC). The types of information collected in this P.S.I.S. project; the uses to which this data is put; and the opting-out mechanism for those students who do not wish this material about them to be used in any fashion are available on request from Statistics’ Canada’s web site: www.statcan.ca or by writing to the Institutional Surveys Section, Centre for Education Statistics, Statistics Canada, 150 Tunney’s Pasture
Driveway, Main Building 2100-K,, Ottawa, ON K1A 0T6.

b.  Students’ transcripts of records are privileged information and to that end will not be released by the Registrar to any individual outside the University without the prior written permission of the students. As required by their appointment, academic administrators within the

University have access to students’ complete academic records.

c.  Details on ordering transcripts can be found at http://www.smu.ca/academics/ar-transcripts.html

Transcripts include the following information:

  • (i) Faculty, program, major, area of concentration, minor, and/or honours;
  • (ii) advanced standing and/or transfer credit hours;
  • (iii) grades (failing as well as passing) in respect of all academic work attempted while registered at Saint Mary’s.

d.  Where appropriate, reference is also made to:

  • (i) placement and continuance on, and removal of, academic probation;
  • (ii) requirement to withdraw for academic weakness, or for non-academic (i.e., disciplinary) reasons;
  • (iii) distinctions and scholarships, including placement on the Dean’s List.

NOTE: All transcripts carry only the student’s birth month and day, not the birth year.

e.  While the University takes every reasonable precaution to ensure the confidentiality of student records, students should be aware that the University is connected to a number of external electronic systems, and a number of academic and administrative offices have access, at least on a display basis, to the Student Information System. Copies of the “Policy Regarding the Release of Information about Students”, as approved by Senate in April 1994, are available from the Registrar. Effective 23 November 2000, all post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia are also governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation (FOIPOP).


33. Safety and Responsibility in Officially-Sanctioned University Activities

Saint Mary’s University has policies on the safety and responsibility of students in laboratories, on field courses/trips, in exchange programs/courses, and involved in other university-sanctioned activities. Copies of those policies are available through the Offices of the Deans of the Faculties, the Office of the Safety Coordinator, and the Office of the Director of International Activities. In courses where a safety policy is particularly relevant because of the special nature of the course, or because of the place of study, instructors will make it known to students in writing at the first class, or in the case of study programs outside Nova Scotia, before the program begins.


34. University Research Ethics Board (REB)

It is the responsibility of all members of the University community - students, faculty, administrators, and staff - carrying out research involving human subjects to seek approval from the University Research Ethics Board (REB) for their research. Student submissions to the REB should be made through the thesis supervisor. For further information, please consult the REB website: http://www.smu.ca/research/research-ethics-board.html.