Academics

Academic Advising FAQs

How do I make the most of my first year at University?

  • Consider your first year a transition year. You are learning in a new way, making personal contacts, getting used to a new home and exploring new fields of study. Give yourself time to adjust.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plans
  • Get to know your professors.
  • Keep an eye on Important dates and important information with the help of SMUPort, orientation programs, the Academic Calendar, bulletin boards and the student newspaper.
  • Monitor midterm and final results.
  • Learn from study skill and program workshops, information sessions and handouts.
  • Use resources provided by the University and fellow students.
  • Ask for help. There are many resources available to help you stay on track; seek out the assistance you need.      

How do I make sure that my degree program is on track?

  • Consult the Academic Calendar for the regulations, pre-requisites, and to find out what coursesyou’ll need for a major or minor.
  • Make contact with your Academic Advisor and meet with that person at least once a year.  
  • After your first-year grades are in the system and you have declared a major, you can track your progress on line through the CAPP program (on Banner Self-Service).

What can an Academic Advisor do for me?

  • choose your program or major
  • sequence your courses for best use of your time
  • understand degree requirements and academic regulations
  • plan strategies to achieve your educational and career goals
  • understand the impact of poor grades (probation and withdrawals)
  • take the right steps to cope with unexpected situations (illness or family circumstances) which affect your studies
  • fulfill requirements to take courses at other universities (letters of permission)
  • fit study-abroad programs into your degree

The Advisors can also help in tricky situations to:

  • liaise with other university departments
  • informally resolve concerns and questions
  • help you to understand how to make an appeal
  • recommend a skills service such as a workshop, tutoring, or library resource
  • recommend other specialized services such as family care, accessibility services, or career resources
  • refer students to confidential services such as health, psychological and crisis-response services

Who is my Academic Advisor?


What are my responsibilities as a Saint Mary’s student?

  • You are responsible for ensuring that you meet the requirements of your academic program.
  • It is up to you to take advantage of support services, including academic advising, and to ask for help when you need it.
  • Be honest with your advisors, professors, and yourself regarding your program, your progress, and your interactions with the university community.
  • To participate in the free exchange of ideas and to respect a wide a range of opinions and ideas.

What if my situation is different from other students?

By contacting Student Services, staff offering these specialized services would be glad to help you:

  • Aboriginal Student, Advisor
  • Black Student Advisor
  • Chaplain Services
  • Cooperative Education
  • Access and Support for Students with Disabilities
  • ESL Support Services
  • International Student Services
  • Study-Abroad/International Learning
  • Student Success Coordinator

Who else can help?

Still need help to find a service, a person, or a location on campus? You’ll find helpful staff to point you in the right direction:

In the McNally Building:

  • The Information Desk, Mcnally Main lobby 
  • The Service Centre, McNally Main 108
  • Security Desk, McNally Main basement 

In the Student Centre:

  • The Info Desk, Main Floor
  • Student Services, 4th Floor
  • SMUSA, 5th Floor

In the Loyola Building:

  • ITSS Help Desk, 2nd Floor
  • Residence Security Desk, Main Floor

In the Burke Building:

  • The Writing Centre, Main Floor