St. Mary's College of Maryland

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT: ACADEMICS

As an honors college, SMCM upholds rigorous academic standards. Our students are challenged to think critically and creatively, in both their major areas of study and their core curriculum classes. Even those students who excelled in a high school curriculum may find that it takes some adjustment to be successful in an honors college setting. With this in mind, we provide various academic services to help students adjust and excel here at St. Mary's.

The Office of the Core Curriculum

Dr. Elizabeth Nutt Williams, Dean of the Core Curriculum and First Year Experience
Glendening Hall 220, 240-895-2185

Dr. Libby Nutt Williams oversees the core curriculum of the College, coordinates the First Year Seminars, coordinates the summer reading program and pre-matriculation planning, and oversees Academic Services. The Core Curriculum emphasizes four fundamental liberal arts skills: critical thinking, information literacy, written expression and oral expression. Students begin practicing these skills in their first semester and continue to hone the skills throughout their time at the College. The skills are first introduced in the First Year Seminar, an academically rigorous course with a variety of sections on a wide range of topics. Each year in March, the topics for the following fall are posted on the First Year Experience website: here. First-year students are required to take a Seminar in their first Fall semester on campus. Registration for the First Year Seminars begins online at the beginning of June each year.

In addition to the Seminar requirement and completing a major, students are expected to fulfill an international language requirement and complete six courses in the Liberal Arts Approaches to Understanding the World (Arts, Cultural Perspectives, Humanistic Foundations, Mathematics, Natural Science with Laboratory, and Social Sciences) prior to graduation. Finally, students must complete the Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World requirement, which can be fulfilled in a number of ways including study abroad, internships and service-learning courses. Any questions about the core curriculum can be directed to Dr. Williams or to the Registrar's Office (240-895-4336).

The Office of Academic Services

Dr. Ruth Feingold, Interim Assistant Vice President for Academic Services
Glendening Hall 230, 240-895-4388

Dr. Feingold, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, assists students struggling academically who may be at risk for academic probation or dismissal. Students can visit the Office of Academic Services regarding academic problems and concerns, as well as to obtain information about postgraduate and non-institutionally affiliated undergraduate scholarships, Students who wish to receive assistance with an academic problem, or simply need someone from whom to get an additional point of view on an academic matter should also consult the Office of Academic Services.

Academic Advising

Dr. Feingold manages the academic advising process and the student-designed major. Each student is assigned an academic adviser at the start of the academic year. The adviser helps the student plan a course of study that suits his or her individual goals. The adviser can do the following:

  • Assist in selecting courses, deciding on a major, and planning for an internship or a study-abroad program;
  • Help monitor academic progress;
  • Serve as a general source of academic information;

The best student-adviser relationship is one that has regular and open communication and a good match of interests and values between the individuals. As students change, define, and refine their goals, and especially when they declare a major, it is customary for them to change advisers.

Students With Disabilities

The Assistant Vice President for Academic Services, Dr. Feingold, works with ADA/Section 504 students individually to develop the most helpful academic accommodations. Students with disabilities who seek accommodations in academic courses or in their housing assignments must submit their most recent documentation to the Office of Academic Services before receiving accommodations. Documentation should be a written report by a professional who is knowledgeable about the disability; it should include a statement of the current status of the disability, its relevance to the college setting, and recommendations for academic, housing, or other accommodations. Information about a student with a disability is confidential and will be shared only with appropriate personnel and only after the student completes a consent form. Please visit here for more specific information regarding students with disabilities and acceptable documentation.

Students are admitted to St. Mary's because of their potential for academic success, irrespective of physical or learning disabilities. Administrative staff and faculty work cooperatively to assist students with disabilities in their educational plans and in their adjustments to the College community. The Office of Academic Services works to ensure that all educational programs are equally accessible to qualified students. Students with physical, learning, and other disabilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Academic Services for specific information and assistance about potential special needs.

Tutoring Services

The College's Writing Center provides free tutoring to all students. Peer tutors are trained to work with students on writing assignments in any discipline. Visit here for center hours and more information.

Students in need of tutoring services for a specific course are encouraged to talk to the professor of that course and the department chair of that area of study. Tutoring is arranged by each discipline individually.

Study Abroad and National Student Exchange

Mandy Reinig, Adviser/Director of International Education
Glendening Hall 230, 240-895-4202

There are many opportunities for spending academic time abroad. The following are among the options available for SMCM students:

Semester and Year-Long Programs Study Tour and Summer Programs
St. Mary's in .... Programs: Berlin Study Tour
Alba, Italy Music Performance Study Tour to Italy
University of The Gambia (Banjul, The Gambia) The Gambia, West Africa Field Study Program
Buenos Aires, Argentina Greece Summer Study Tour
Payap University (Chiang Mai, Thailand) Northern India Himalayan Study Tour
Poetry in England Summer Study Tour
Study Abroad Partner Programs: Shakespearean Studies in Britain Summer Program
Akita International University (Akita, Japan) Student Teaching Spring Internships
Fudan University (Shanghai, China) Tropical Marine Biology Course and Study Tour to Belize
Institute for Central American Dev Studies (Costa Rica) Music Performance Study Tour to Italy
Lingnan University (Hong Kong, China) Theater in London, England January Program
Bordeaux III (Bordeaux, France)
Sciences Po (Paris, France)
University College Dublin (Ireland)
University of Heidelberg (Germany)
Center for Renaissance and Medieval Studies (Oxford, England)
James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
Pondicherry University (Pondicherry, India)
National Student Exchange (various colleges and universities in the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico)

*New programs are developed on an ongoing basis and some programs are offered in rotating years.

Scholarships for participation in study-abroad programs are awarded each semester. To be considered, students need to complete an application form with recommendations and transcript and submit it to the Office of International Education by March 1 for summer or fall study abroad and October 1 for spring study abroad.

Students may gain approval for a credit transfer to SMCM from many non-SMCM sponsored study-abroad programs. Students interested in non-SMCM programs should make an appointment to meet with someone from the Office of International Education to discuss their options.

Career Development Center

Dana Van Abbema, Director
Glendening Hall 211, 240-895-4203

Preparation for life after college should begin soon after setting foot on campus. Those students who have not yet established goals for college and beyond will find Career Development staff eager to guide them through the process of discovery and exploration. Those students who do have a career path in mind will find individualized facilitation of their continued planning, as well as assistance with searching and preparing for experiential learning opportunities (e.g., internships, part-time jobs on and off campus), graduate/professional school programs, and post-graduate employment. The design of the Career Development Center in Glendening Hall enables students to work alongside their peers and consult with professional staff as they explore extensive print and online resources and develop and refine resumes, applications, and other materials. Programs, workshops, and individual appointments are offered throughout the year.