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!

The Saint Mary's community seeks to help you make a successful transition to college by offering a comprehensive curriculum and support services to engage you in active learning and growth, living among and valuing all members of our diverse community, and making vital and meaningful connections both within and beyond the College. In doing so, Saint Mary's seeks to assist each first-year student in establishing effective strategies to explore, connect, and engage through the completion of their programs of study. 

Signature FYE Programs

  • Weekend of Welcome

  • New Student Orientation 

  • First Year | First Six

  • First Year Fair

  • First Year Olympics

  • First Year Life Skills Course: First year students have the opportunity to take our First Year Life Skills course. This course is specifically designed to help students transition to Saint Mary's College and to prepare them for successful lives post-graduation. The course curriculum includes topics such as financial responsibility, learning styles and living in community. 

Common First Year Experiences

  • First Year Residential Experience; All first year students are required to live on campus the entirety of their first year. 

  • First Year Advising Cohort; Faculty academic advisors are a critical resource for helping students make this transition.  At Saint Mary's, first year students are assigned an academic advisor by enrolling in a First Year Academic Cohort (FYAC).

Helpful First Year Resources

  • Student Success Office

  • Getting Involved 

  • Mission and Ministry Center

  • Financial Aid FAQ's

  • Campus Recreation