Academic Affairs & First Year Studies

Welcome to Academic Affairs and First Year Studies at Saint Mary's College!

To prepare for your advising conversation and help in choosing classes for fall semester, visit first year advising resources for helpful videos.

Academic Affairs and First Year Studies is the central advising office at Saint Mary's College. The advising records of all students are maintained in this office. In addition to administering academic policies, advisors in the office work closely with faculty advisors and professors to promote the academic life of all students.

Advise for Course Selection 

First Year Students are assigned a faculty advisor during their first summer. The faculty advisor helps First Year Students plan their schedules during the first year. When students decide on a major they will be assigned a departmental advisor in their major. Advisors in Academic Affairs are available to all students to answer general questions on requirements and curricular issues. 

Monitor Academic Progress

Advisors in Academic Affairs and First Year Studies, in collaboration with faculty advisors, the Director of Student Success, career counselors, and various tutors, offer assistance and information to promote student success.

Administer Academic Policies

A number of academic policies directly affect students from the beginning of their college experience. Students should come to Academic Affairs for help with any of the following policies: withdrawing from a course; change of status; co-exchange with Notre Dame; excused absence; final exam change; declaration of major and minor; grade policy; grade appeal; and transfer credit.

Goals of Academic Affairs and First Year Studies

  • To provide students with complete information about the College's Sophia Program, general education program and about academic policies and procedures
  • To maintain students' advising records and assist students in the evaluation of their academic progress
  • To help students make informed academic decisions and encourage further intellectual pursuit of courses appropriate to individual interests and abilities
  • To empower students by recognizing their role in fostering their own education
  • To help students make a successful transition from high school to college

Academic Guide for First Year Students

The First Year Studies Office publishes the Academic Guide for First Year Students (pdf). The guide includes an outline of the Sophia Program, course descriptions and academic policies. For a printed copy of the Academic Guide or for answers to questions about First Year Studies, please contact us at (574) 284-4594.