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 Welcome Weeks programs, the Academic Calendar, the Community Bulletin and university social media channels.
- 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 course you'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 using Degree Works (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?
- Consult the Academic Advising page for a list of advisors by faculty.
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 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:
- Indigenous 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