2018-19 Academic Calendar

Academic Regulations

Philosophy behind Academic Regulations

Academic regulations exist to assist the students in academic matters; to delineate the terms of students’ contract with the University; and to maintain the integrity of the University’s academic programs. While regulations enable the system to operate smoothly and effectively, they also facilitate growth, development, and responsibility in students. Saint Mary’s makes every effort to ensure that advice on academic matters is available to its students, but in the final analysis it is the students’ responsibility to seek such advice.  

The information, regulations, and guidelines contained in this section apply to all students at the University.

Additional regulations pertaining to degree programs are in the Section 3 of the Calendar, while regulations pertaining to majors, honours, concentrations, and minors are found in Section 4.  

Note: The University continuously reviews all of its academic regulations and hereby serves notice that significant revision(s) thereto may occur from time to time and will be duly promulgated officially.


This glossary explains some terms which are used frequently throughout this Calendar. It is intended as a quick-reference guide and may not necessarily offer the complete, official definitions and explanations which apply to the University’s programs and the administration of its regulations.

Academic Audit
Also called Degree Evaluation or CAPP - a computerized checking of courses completed against the requirements for a student’s academic program – available through Banner Self Service.

Academic Standing
A student is in Good Standing if their CGPA is 1.70 or above. Students who have attempted at least 24 credit hours with a CGPA below 1.70 will be placed on Academic Probation and those with a CGPA below 1.00 may be on Academic Dismissal for 12 months or longer. See Academic Regulation 7.

Academic Year
The period immediately following Labour Day in September up to and including Convocation Day in May of the following year. It is comprised of two academic terms or semesters.

Add and Drop Period
A timeframe during which students can add or drop courses for the current academic term without those dropped showing on their permanent academic record; sometimes referred to as a “change of registration period”. www.smu.ca/servicecentre/dates.html See Academic Regulation 13.

Acceptance of an applicant as a student.

Advanced Standing
Credit hours granted for work completed at a post-secondary institution before admission to Saint Mary’s University. See Academic Regulation 20.

Area of Concentration
The main subject area of study (used in the 3 year B.A. and B.Sc. programs).

Attendance Status 
A student officially registered for at least nine (9) credit hours in a term is considered to be “full-time”, whereas a part-time student is registered for less than nine (9) credit hours in a term. The exception is Engineering. See Academic Regulation 1.

Formal registration for a course(s) for which academic credit hours are not sought or granted. See Academic Regulation 2.

Bachelor Degree 
Refers to a three or four year undergraduate degree awarded by the University. Also referred to as a Baccalaureate degree.

A monetary grant based on financial need. 

Faculty member responsible for an academic department and affiliated area(s) of study.

See “Area of Concentration” above.

Cooperative Education (Co- op)
A method of learning in which students alternate study terms on campus and work terms during which they are employed full-time by companies or institutions related to their academic field.

A course which must be taken concurrently with another course (e.g., CHEM 1211 requires MATH 1210 to be taken before or concurrently).

A unit of study in a particular subject identified by a course title and a unique course number.

Credit Hours
A unit of academic value. Six (6) credit hours are granted for each successfully completed full-year course three (3) credit hours are granted for a successfully completed one-term course 

Credit hour values are used in the calculation of averages for academic standing and in the determination of the student’s year of study or level within a specific academic program.

Cross-Listed Courses 
Courses which are listed under two different numbers in two different departments or academic units. Cross-listed courses may be taken through either department/ academic unit, but credit hours may be earned for only one of the courses.

Cumulative Grade Point Average 
Each letter grade awarded has an associated numeric grade point value. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is an average calculated based upon all courses taken subsequent to admission to the University. The CGPA is used to determine academic standing and distinctions. See Academic regulations 5 and 6.

Also called Dean of the Faculty; the chief academic administrator of a Faculty.

Degree Grade Point Average 
A degree grade point average (DGPA) is calculated based upon the courses presented in fulfillment of the degree requirements.

Directed Reading/Study 
An approved course in which an individual student studies, discusses and writes about a selected set of readings under the direction of an individual faculty member.

Within an academic program, some courses are explicitly required and some courses may be selected from a specified set. These latter courses are called “electives”.

When spelled with a capital F, refers to an academic unit offering its own degree, diploma, and certificate program(s); when spelled with a small f, refers to instructors in a Faculty.

See “Attendance Status” above.

The letter indicating an instructor’s evaluation of a student’s work in a course. See Academic Regulation 5 (undergraduate) and Graduate Regulation 6 (graduate).

Grade Point Average 
Each letter grade awarded has an associated numeric grade point value. A grade point average (GPA) is an average of these grade points. Commonly used GPA’s are Cumulative GPA, Degree GPA and Term GPA.

Honours is the most intense level of study in a discipline within an undergraduate degree program.

A member of faculty.

Letter of Permission 
An official document issued by Saint Mary’s to enable its own students to register for a course(s) at another post- secondary institution and to guarantee transfer of the credit hours for that course(s), if successfully completed, to the student’s academic program. See Academic Regulation 21.

A formal, specific subject area of study within an academic unit as defined by its degree program. It has more depth than a Concentration, but not as much as Honours.

Open Studies Status 
An admission status permitting a student to take a course although that individual has not been accepted in an academic program at Saint Mary’s University. See Admission Regulation 4a.

See “Attendance Status” above.

An academic offence. Plagiarism means presenting words, ideas or techniques of another as one’s own. Please see Academic Integrity and Student Responsibility in Section 2 of the Academic Calendar and A Student’s Guide to avoiding plagiarism and cheating.  

Preparatory Course 
Nova Scotia Grade 12 equivalent course designed to prepare students for entry level course work and hence not counted toward any degree, diploma, or certificate. A preparatory course’s number begins with zero (0).

A course for which credit hours must have been earned prior to registration in another course, lab, or recitation which lists it as a prerequisite.

A conditional status assigned to a student who has shown evidence of academic weakness. See Academic Regulation 7.

An approved combination of courses in a subject area(s) which fulfills the requirements for a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Program Grade Point Average 
A program (major, honours, minor, concentration) grade point average (PGPA) is calculated based upon the courses presented in fulfillment of the program requirements.

The process of officially selecting courses, labs, and recitations.

Satisfactory Academic Standing 
See Academic Standing above.

A monetary award based on academic achievement.

Same as “term” below.

Special Topics 
Approved courses dealing with specialized subject-matter that is announced from time to time by Departments; they involve classes at regularly scheduled times and are included in the normal timetable. 

Also called a discipline; a specific field of study, e.g., Accounting, Chemistry, History.

Summer Sessions 
Terms of study during the summer. See “term” below.

An academic document issued by the Office of the Registrar which records all aspects of a student’s registrations and grades obtained at the University. An “official” transcript is one which bears the official seal of the University. See Academic Regulation 32.

Transfer Credit 
Credit granted for work completed at another post-secondary academic institution after admission and initial registration at Saint Mary’s University. Students must obtain an approved Letter of Permission before enrolling in courses for which transfer credit will be sought. See Academic Regulation 21.

Upgrading Student 
A student who already holds an undergraduate degree or professional certificate and who wishes to take an additional credit course(s) at Saint Mary’s University. See Admission Regulation 4c.

Visiting Student 
A student from another post-secondary academic institution who has a Letter of Permission to register for a course(s) at Saint Mary’s University.

A formal procedure set out within the regulations of the University for withdrawing from an individual course(s), or from the University entirely. See Academic Regulation 16.

Year of Study 
Attaining a degree, diploma, or certificate depends in part on earning credit hours for individual courses required in that academic program. However, progress
may be measured in years or levels. Advancement from one year (or level) to the next signifies students having earned credit hours in the number of courses normally specified on an annual basis for their academic program. The following are the credit hour totals required for each year of study.
Year 1: 0 to 30 credit hours
Year 2: 33 to 60 credit hours
Year 3: 63 to 90 credit hours 
Year 4: 93 or more credit hours 

Discipline Abbreviations
ACCT Accounting
ACST Atlantic Canada Studies
ANTH Anthropology
ARBC Arabic
ASNT Asian Studies
ASTR Astronomy
BIOL Biology
BUSI Business Administration
CHEM Chemistry
CHNS Chinese
CISY Computing and Information Systems
CLAS Classics
CMLW Commercial Law
COMM Communication
CRIM Criminology
CSCI Computing Science
ECON Economics
EDUC Education
EGNE Engineering
EGSL English as a Second Language
EGYP Egyptian
EMBA Executive Master of Business Administration
ENGL English
ENVS Environmental Science
FILM Film Studies
FINA Finance
FREN French
FRSC Forensic Sciences
GEOG Geography
GEOL Geology
GREK Greek
GRMN German
GSCI General Science
GWST Women and Gender Studies (graduate)
HEBW Hebrew
HIST History
IDST International Development Studies
IRST Irish Studies
JPNS Japanese
LATN Latin
LING Linguistics

MAE Master of Applied Economics

MATH Mathematics

MCDA Master of Science in Computing and Data Analytics
MFIN Master of Finance
MGMT Management
MGSC Management Science
MKTG Marketing
MMCCU Master of Management - Cooperatives & Credit Unions
PHIL Philosophy
PHYS Physics
POLI Political Science
PSYC Psychology
RELS Religious Studies
SMBA Master of Business Administration
SOCI Sociology
SPAN Spanish
WMST Women and Gender Studies (undergraduate)