Success Maps

Irish Studies Success Map


All Pillars | All Years
1st Year (0-30 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Explore the Academic Calendar to view course offerings while completing the Basic Arts Requirements.

Aim to achieve a B or higher in IRST 1201 and 1202.

Develop fundamental knowledge in the history and culture of Ireland as your foundation of further work in Irish Studies.

Consider taking two other IRST courses at the 1000-level from IRST 1203, IRST 1215, and IRST 1216.

Check the Irish Studies Student Review Form for requirements for majors and suggested pathways for minors.

Explore your options for majors and minors by attending the Programs Day across faculties in February.

Register for classes as soon as registration opens. Classes fill early!

Visit your Academic Advisor or Program Advisor to be sure you have the right courses.

Gather information on Co-operative Education opportunities.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Visit the Patrick Power Library to view its large collection of Irish books, including history, fiction, and culture, and explore the complex factors involved with the present state of Ireland.

Irish language students, make sure to book your weekly conversation sessions with your instructor(s).

Begin to develop your analytical, research, and critical abilities to support you throughout your degree and career.

Improve your writing and thinking skills at the Writing Centre. Get expert feedback and incorporate it into your work.

Develop research skills by navigating online databases and the stacks at the Library. Take a virtual tour.

Build a résumé at a Résumé Seminar, to prepare for internships, scholarships, and summer jobs.

Start your Co-Curricular Record. Document your acquired skills from on- and off-campus activities and volunteer work.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Attend Welcome Week. Make friends. Meet classmates, faculty, and advisors at academic orientation. Attend a session about a culture of safety and respect at Saint Mary's.

Introduce yourself to your professors after class or during office hours.

Join Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University on Facebook for up-to-date information on related activities.

Attend Irish Studies-sponsored events, such as the annual Cyril Byrne Lecture and the D’Arcy McGee Lecture.

Visit the Societies Fair. Explore student societies, including those culturally-based, before deciding which to join. Join the SMU Conflict Resolution Society and learn about SMU’s Northern Ireland Peaceful Schools initiative.

Try Speak Up!, a program where international students practice speaking English.

Stay Active. Explore SMUfit, campus sports, exercise, and recreation opportunities.

Apply for a scholarship. There are more than 260 available!

Need help with time management, organizational, or presentation skills? Book an Academic & Life Skills Coaching session.

Learn to budget your money. Attend a Financial Literacy workshop or get advice from Financial Aid and Awards.

Check-in with Career Services to start discussing your career goals, related to your program. Experiment with different classes to see what you like.

When facing a personal crisis, get help from the Counselling Centre.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Consider courses with global themes for your electives.

Join the Charitable Irish Society. Take in Halifax Irish community events, play Gaelic games with the Halifax Gaels GAA club and learn Irish step dancing.

Need a job? Create a HireSMU account to find available jobs.

Not from Halifax? Explore and discover all our cultural opportunities and have fun.

Keep current with local events. Read Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood newsletter.

Travel while studying. Investigate travel options beyond Canada (2nd or 3rd year) at International Activities. Apply for ICUF Irish-language Summer School scholarships to study in Ireland.

Obtain or update your passport in preparation for possible international travel.

Not from Canada? Browse Services for International Students for available support.

Attend International Night—an annual banquet showcasing SMU’s many cultures.

2nd Year (30-60 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete the required courses: IRST 2325 and IRST 2326.

An IRST Major requires at least 42 credit hours. Take six additional credits from IRST courses at the 2000-level from IRST 2327, IRST 2328, IRST 2346, IRST 2350, IRST 2391, or IRST 2520.

Thinking of changing majors or minors? Attend Programs Day for help.

 Meet with the Coordinator of IRST to review and obtain approval for all courses counted toward the IRST Major.

Visit your Academic Advisor or Program Advisor to be sure you have the right courses and to declare your major in this year.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Irish-language students, book weekly language sessions with your language instructor!

Upgrade your writing with one-on-one tutorials at the Writing Centre or through online resources.

Learn advanced researching techniques at the Library.

Update your Co-Curricular Record to keep track of your accomplishments and set new goals.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life


Apply your classroom learning and improve soft skills by joining some student societies.

Participate in intramurals. Demonstrate your team skills and character to future employers and admissions officers.

Browse the Scholarship List and modify your cover letter to match the criteria. Apply between February and May.

Need more academic support? Contact Personal Counselling or Academic & Life Skills Coaching.

Seek Career Counselling. Explore the core competencies of your major, and career possibilities related to your strengths, interests, and values.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Discover ways to give back to your community, from local to global. Come to the Volunteer Fair held every September, or speak to a Career and Employment Coach at Career Services.

Get involved with activities outside of your major and minor. Employers like well-rounded candidates.

Attend a LinkedIn photo shoot and a LinkedIn Seminar with Career Services. Put your best (and most professional) face forward!

Keep your HireSMU Account updated with accurate contact information and most recent résumés.

Consider applying for the Co-op Program at the beginning of 2nd year (30+ credits). Gain work experience over three terms.

Visit the International Activities office for a study-abroad program or an international field study course in 3rd year.

Explore options for international internships in your area of study.

3rd Year (60-90 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete one of the two 3000-level required courses, IRST 3460 and IRST 3470, as you focus on your chosen program.

Register for another 12 credit hours at the 3000-level. Choose two IRST electives from IRST 3325, IRST 3333, IRST 3443, IRST 3453, IRST 3500, IRST 3534, IRST 3535, IRST 3787, or IRST 3788.

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you’re on the right track to meet graduation requirements.

Meet your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair for help with course selection, career advice, certifications, or selecting a thesis supervisor for the Honours Program.

Thinking about graduate school? Contact Career Services for options and admission procedures, and begin planning for applications with your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Improve your information literacy and grades by making an appointment for one-on-one research tutorial at the Library.

The Writing Centre offers workshops on Exam Writing & Preparation.

Update your Co-Curricular Record.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Get to know your professors. They are excellent contacts for reference letters. Chat about your future plans for 4th year and beyond.

Attend the Research Expo. Learn from the research and critical analysis of peers and professors. Also, showcase your own research project.

Join campus societies in your field. These provide opportunities to network with the industry and professionals.

Run for a leadership position in a campus group.

Apply for over 200 returning awards.

Focus on summer or internship jobs within your major or career field of interest to gain specific experience and build credentials.

Visit the Career Development Centre for help with tactical job searches, including using social media, information interview, fine-tuning your résumé and cover letter, and practicing interview skills.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations.

Let your networks know your major. Seek out potential employers for information and interviews.

Explore new internships designed to help international graduates gain experience in Nova Scotia.

If you didn’t apply before, consider applying for the ICUF Summer School Scholarship to study in Ireland.

4th Year (90-120 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Take one of the two 3000-level required courses, IRST 3460 and IRST 3470, while transitioning to work or graduate school.

To complete your requirements, choose two IRST electives from IRST 3325, IRST 3333, IRST 3443, IRST 3453, IRST 3500, IRST 3534, IRST 3535, IRST 3787, or IRST 3788.

Is it too late to do an Honours degree? Speak to the Department Chair about your idea.

Complete a CAPP Degree Evaluation in Banner.

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Discuss SMU graduate opportunities.

Contact your Academic Advisor and Faculty Mentor/Department Chair to ensure you are on track for graduation requirements and post-graduation plan.

Apply to graduate. Fill out an application for graduation form and submit it to the Service Centre. Get your picture taken for the yearbook.

Consider graduate schools or professional programs. Start early, and use your professors and the Writing Centre to review your personal statement, cover letter, and applications.

Request transcripts, if required.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Hone your writing skills so you can use them in a broad range of professions.

Apply analytical skills to complex regional problems using a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, including socio-scientific, ecological, and cultural-historical.

Before you graduate, do a final update of your Co-Curricular Record, and request an official copy.

Visit Career Services to prepare to clearly and persuasively articulate all you have learned at Saint Mary’s (in and out of class) to an employer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Serve as Department Student Rep. Speak to your Department Chair.

Present a paper at an undergraduate student conference.

Enter your best research paper for the Academic Writing Awards.

Get recognized for your involvement in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community. Apply for the Student Leadership Award.

Apply for other awards, including the SMUFU scholarship.

Brush up on your Financial Literacy. Receive guidance for a successful and healthy financial future, including student-loan repayment.

Your degree can open the door to many types of careers. Use the Career Counselling to discover where you want to go and how best to get there.

Plan to attend Career Services’ 4-week Job Search Seminar Series before or after graduation.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Join the Canadian Association for Irish Studies and attend its annual conference.

Apply to work as a research assistant for faculty, or a tutor for first and second year students.

Be prepared to apply, interview, and network when school begins, to maximize your chance of receiving some job offers by May.

In addition to the Halifax Career Fair, attend some career fairs specific to your program. Bring your résumé. Prepare in advance to speak with recruiters and potential employers.

Apply for the Halifax Connector program. Meet with a Halifax professional in a field of interest.

If you are a co-op student, arrange for your final work term placement early.

Are you an international student interested in staying in Canada and receiving permanent resident status? Contact the International Centre.

Get in contact with the SMU Young Alumni Association to begin your next phase as a Santamarian.

Remember, you have access to Career Services for three years post-graduation. Use these services to help you continue to get the most out of your degree.