New Student Checklist

New Student Checklist

The first few weeks as a university student can be very busy, especially if you’re not prepared. Use this checklist to get organized and stay ahead. Check the links for more information.

Before beginning your studies

  • Learn about Saint Mary’s COVID-19 and vaccination requirements protocolsStudents are required upload proof of full vaccination by January 7, 2022 to take on-campus courses or visit campus, unless they have been granted an exemption. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination for the Winter Term.
  • Get in the system! Set up your SMU account by obtaining an “s number” and gain access to SMUport and Brightspace.
  • Connect with your Peer Coach by looking for details in your email. If you are not able to locate the email with details, contact
  • Complete your New to SMU Student Readiness Survey as soon as possible. The survey has been emailed to you and will provide vital information for all first-year students. You'll have a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Campus Store just by completing the survey!
  • Discover tips for online students developed by the Studio for Teaching & Learning
  • Be in the know about University ID cards. Due to COVID-19, the Patrick Power Library is unable to produce University ID cards for students currently living outside of the Halifax Regional Municipality. Students living within the Halifax Regional Municipality needing a University ID card for the Halifax Transit UPass can fill out the ID Card Application to request a card and pick it up on campus once contacted.
  • Join a society based on your interests by checking out the list of active groups.
  • Contact your Academic Advisor to discuss your course options.
  • Apply or confirm your place in residence if you plan to live on-campus.
  • Get the low down on money – connect with the Service Centre for student loan and other financial information.
  • Students with a documented disability should contact the Fred Smithers Centre to arrange for necessary accommodations.
  • International students should contact the International Centre to complete additional tasks before your studies begin.
  • Visit the Bookstore website to order great SMU clothing!
  • Read through Transitions, a resource to help students adjust to life in university.
  • Check the expiration date on your provincial health card and renew it if needed.
  • Follow Saint Mary’s University Halifax on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association (SMUSA) on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for all the details you need from now until the end of Welcome Weeks!

Your first week of studies

  • Explore resources for students studying online.
  • Get organized – review your class details using Self-Service Banner.
  • Order your books and supplies at the campus Bookstore.
  • Make your decision about the automatic health plan coverage.
    • Don’t need the automatic health plan coverage because you already have comparable coverage?  Domestic students may “Opt out” by filling out the SMUSA Health Plan waiver through SMUport, or email for assistance. International students must opt out by contacting the Health Plan email at

    • Keeping the coverage? Learn about the health plan coverage at

  • Make your decision about the automatic Halifax Transit UPass
    • If you are not going to be in the Halifax area and unable to access this service, you have the option to opt-out of the U-Pass fee. If you wish to opt-out, please send an email to Karla Hodge at Please provide your student ID number and indicate that you wish to opt-out. 
    • To get your UPass, visit this site for the details.
  • Know the location of Student Health Services (in SC-403) and read this welcome document to become familiar with the clinic's services.
  • Be a part of your classes! Chat with your professors and TAs, and introduce yourself to a few classmates.
  • Pay your tuition fees through the Service Centre.

 Don’t forget!

  • Visit The Counselling Centre website if you want to book a counselling session for mental health concerns. Stay up to date by visiting the Student Events page for workshop and event information. Check out the Healthy Minds NS suite of services by visiting
  • Review the Saint Mary’s emergency management and Safe and Respectful Saint Mary's videos online – it always pays to be prepared.
  • Explore info about Halifax! This city is so rich in culture, and has so much to see and do that you’ll never get bored.
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