First-Year Students

First-Year Students

For currently enrolled first-year students, please see below for additional information.

First Year Experience

Welcome New Gaels! The first year of college is a crucial transition period. It's when you'll lay the foundation for academic and personal success, and we'll support you every step of the way.

First Year Experience
First Year First Six
Community Time
Campus Map

Your Academic Advisor

An Academic Advisor is a faculty member who helps students create an academic plan of study, ensures progress towards graduation, and approves students for registration. They are the individuals who sign-off on adding, dropping, and/or withdrawing from classes and are available to help students explore majors, minors, withdrawing from courses, taking a leave of absence from the college, etc.

Your Academic Advisor is listed at the top of your academic evaluation. Your academic advisor for your first-year will be your FYAC instructor. After you complete your first-year, you will be assigned an advisor from the academic department of your major. 

Peer Mentors

Each advising cohort, whether first-year or transfer, will have an assigned peer mentor. Peer mentors are current students in your area of interest who are a resource to help as you transition into and learn to navigate Saint Mary's. They are available to answer any questions you may have about your time at SMC.

Class Schedule

Before orientation, you will share your academic interests and preferences with us in a Pre-Enrollment Questionnaire. The pre-registration professors at The Advising Office (TAO) will refer to this information while enrolling you in your first semester of classes at SMC. Your schedule will then be shared with you prior to the start of your first term.

Four-Year Plans

During your first-year, you will draft a four-year plan with your Academic Advisor. In order to graduate from Saint Mary's, you must complete 36 credits. This means that to graduate in four years you need to complete at least 9 credits each year (9x4=36). You will take 4 credits in the Fall, 1 credit during JanTerm, and 4 credits in the Spring. Every term that you register, you will revisit your four-year plan so that you and your advisor can confrm that you are completing all of the core curriculum requirments, those required for your major(s)/minor(s), and are on the path towards graduation.

Explore Your Interests

Visit the course catalog to discover majors and courses at Saint Mary's College. The course catalog also houses all academic regulations and information. Depending on your start term, that is the course catalog that applies to you. For example, if you began in Fall 2021 or Spring 2022, the 2021-2022 academic catalog would be your catalog year.

Registering for Classes

You will register for classes for the first time in September when you register for JanTerm. You will review how-to register for courses with your FYAC course. You can also reach out to your peer mentor, the Registrar's Office, or the Advising Office for assistance. 

Visit this page to learn how to register for classes. 
How to Register for courses via GXP 2.0 - Google Doc
Add/Drop Process (first week of the term, every term except JanTerm)
Core Curriculum FAQs
Holds & Approvals
Waitlist Process
Collegiate Seminar

Declare your Major/Minor

Through your FYAC course, you will attend major exploration workshops and learn about the various majors and minors offered at SMC. In the Spring, you will be able to declare your major(s)/minor(s). If you have additional questions about career options and majors, feel free to email us at: or schedule an appointment with the Career Center

You can use this video to learn how to declare your major/minor.

Split and Individualized Majors

Split major: create a major out of two existing majors. 
Individualized major: create a major that does not exist.

In order to move forward with either of the above options, you will need to meet with your academic advisor and submit a special action petition to the registrar's office. 

Discover the Core Curriculum

Saint Mary's Core Curriculum is the foundation of student learning at Saint Mary’s College.  It is an intentional, developmental, and integrated program of study designed to educate students in three broad intellectual areas: Habits of Mind, Pathways to Knowledge, and Engaging the World. The SMC Core is student-centered and focuses on the skills, knowledge, and values that our students will learn in their time at Saint Mary’s.

January Term

January Term is one of Saint Mary's most unique and appealing programs. During a month-long course held every Januar, undergraduate students explore a single topic in great depth at an accelerated pace. It features a unique blend of opportunities both on-campus and around the world.

Please note that you must take 1 full credit JanTerm for each year that you are enrolled. You may enroll in a 0.25 credit JanTerm in addition to a full credit JanTerm.

Study Abroad

Why study abroad? The benefits of studying abroad are endless and will only enrich your experience at Saint Mary's. As an SMC student, you have the opportunity to learn a new language, gain work experience, and/or be immersed in a new country all while earning academic credit. The Center for International Programs offers SMC students semester, academic year, and short terms programs all over the world. Whether you want to spend a month volunteering in the Brazilian Amazon or an academic year interning abroad in Spain, we have the program for you!

Quick Links

Student Success Services
Business Office
Career Center
Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC)
Center for Women & Gender Equity
Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS)
Financial Aid
Office of the Registrar
STEM Center
Academic Success Office
Student Disability Services (SDS)
Tutorial and Academic Skills Center (TASC)

Academic Calendars
Final Exam Schedule
How-To Videos
Order Transcripts from SMC
Summer Session
Transferable Courses
Veterans/Dependents Benefits

Course Catalog
Forms and Petitions
Jan Term
Language Placement Exam
Majors and Minors
Study Abroad