Guidelines for Advising and Registration

Summer Advisor

In your registration packet you received a flier with the name of your summer advisor. Your advisor will contact you in early June to give you guidance and help you plan the rest of your fall schedule.

Registration

You will be able to register online after speaking with your advisor. Instructions for registering on PRISM are in your packet. See your course selection form for your registration time. Please note: You may register at your assigned time or any time after that until July 1.

Choosing Courses

We want you to explore what interests you with a freedom that you probably didn’t have in high school. Choose courses you will like for the first semester. If you are interested in a particular major, take a course in that subject.

If you are undecided but considering a major in business administration, fine arts, or a science, you should follow the first-semester program for these intended majors as they are explained in the next section (see page 6). Students do not officially declare a major until the end of their sophomore year.

So if you do not have a major in mind, please do not worry — you have time to explore. Nevertheless, if you are considering a major, it is important to take any prerequisite courses so you will know if the major suits you.

Students should complete a Critical Thinking Seminar, a modern language, a writing proficiency course(W), and mathematics by the end of their first year. Except for the modern language requirement, these courses are all one-semester courses and they can be taken in the fall or the spring semester.

The usual course load for a first-semester student is five courses (15–18 credit hours). If you want a lighter course load, discuss that with your advisor. You must have at least 12 credit hours to be considered full-time, and 128 credit hours are required for graduation.

All first-year students are enrolled in the following course with their First-Year Faculty Advisor and Peer Mentor for the first half of fall semester:

SPLL 101  First-Year Common Course  (1)  

This one-credit course offers you a basic introduction to many facets of your academic experience at Saint Mary’s College. In it, we will discuss a variety of topics: practical tips such as course selection, registration, time management, and learning strategies; techniques for finding a major; information about unique opportunities and important resources on campus; and, of course, deeper questions about the value of the liberal arts, integrative learning, and higher education. Many of these conversations will build on ideas generated from our course readings.

Students who are pursuing STEM degrees can elect to take the following course for the second half of fall semester:

SPLL 190  Special Topics  (1-3)  

Major Course Recommendations for First Semester

Undecided but Not Considering Any of the Majors Below

Register for five courses. There are no specific courses required in the first semester, so please choose your courses from the Sophia Program choices (see pages 18–31 for descriptions). We recommend the following:

  • Critical Thinking Seminar
  • Modern Language
  • Three additional Sophia Program courses

If you are interested in a specific major, take a course in that subject. Choose courses you will like. Do not take a class that you suspect will be very difficult for you.

Art, Concentration in Studio Art

ART 101Drawing I (see page 27)3
ART 103Design Lab (see page 27)3
Choose three additional courses from the Sophia Program (see pages 18–31 for descriptions).

Art, Concentration in Art History

ART 101Drawing I (see page 27)3
ART 241Art History Survey I (see page 23)3
Choose three additional courses from the Sophia Program (see pages 18–31 for descriptions).

Business Administration, Accounting, or Economics1

ECON 252Principles of Microeconomics (see page 26)3
Choose four additional courses from the Sophia Program (see pages 18–31 for descriptions).

Biology

BIO 155Foundations of Molecular Biology (see page 25)2
BIO 156Foundations of Ecology and Evolution (see page 25)2
CHEM 121Principles of Chemistry I (see page 25)4
If you are not calculus ready, take all three of the following:
MATH 103Precalculus (in the fall (see page 29))3
One W class in the fall or spring
CHEM 121Principles of Chemistry I (next year)4
If your math background is strong or you are also considering a chemistry major, take the following:
MATH 131Calculus I (see page 30)4
Choose one to three additional courses (one should be your modern language) from the Sophia Program (see pages 18–31 for descriptions).

Chemistry (Includes Biochemistry)

Fall (First) Semester
CHEM 121Principles of Chemistry I (see page 25)4
Select one of the following by placement:4
Calculus I (see page 30)
Calculus II (see page 30)
Theory and Application of Calculus (see page 30)
Calculus III (see page 30)
Modern Language (see pages 19–21)4
Select a Sophia course (preferably W course) or for the biochemistry or pre- health professional (e.g. medical school) track select:
BIO 155
BIO 156
Foundations of Molecular Biology
and Foundations of Ecology and Evolution (see page 25)
4
Spring (Second) Semester
CHEM 122Principles of Chemistry II4
PHYS 121General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves (see page 25)4
Select one of the following by sequence:4
Calculus II (see page 30)
Calculus III (see page 30)
Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (see page 30)
Modern Language (see pages 19-21)4
If you are not calculus ready, then take all three of the following:
MATH 103Precalculus (in the fall (see page 29))3
MATH 131Calculus I (take later)4
CHEM 121Principles of Chemistry I (take later )4

Mathematics, Statistical and Actuarial Mathematics, Computing and Applied Mathematics, Physics and Applied Mathematics

Select one of the following:4
Calculus I (see page 29)
Calculus II (see page 29)
Theory and Application of Calculus (see page 29)
Calculus III (see page 29)
If you are not calculus ready take the following:
MATH 103Precalculus (this fall or summer (see page 29))3
Choose three to four additional courses from the Sophia Program (see pages 18–31 for descriptions)
Physics and Applied Mathematics majors should take the following:
PHYS 121General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves (in the spring semester of their first year.)4

Music Education, Music 

MUS 181Theory I: Fundamentals of Music (see page 28)3
MUS 102Class Piano - Proficiency1
MUS 100Recital Forum0
Select one to two hours of applied music lessons, indicate the instrument or voice in which you intend to major (see page 28)1-2
Select one hour of choir or instrumental ensemble (see page 28)1
Select three additional courses from the Sophia Program (see pages 18–31 for descriptions)

Nursing Science1

BIO 141Human Anatomy and Physiology I (see page 24, required for first semester to be on track for completion of major in four years))4
Modern Language (see pages 19–21)4
Critical Thinking Seminar (see page 15)3
Select one of the following or a Sophia course:3
Problem-Solving Strategies in Mathematics (must take first semester (see page 29))
Liberal Arts Mathematics (must take first semester (see page 29))
Finite Mathematics (see page 29)
CHEM 118Integrated General, Organic and Bio-Chemistry (taken spring semester)5
BIO 142Human Anatomy and Physiology II (taken spring semester)4

At the end of the first year, you should have completed the two-semester modern language requirement, critical thinking seminar, writing proficiency requirement, and MATH 104 Finite Mathematics or higher.

Physics

CHEM 121Principles of Chemistry I (see page 25)4
Select one of the following by placement:4
Calculus I (see page 30)
Calculus II (see page 30)
Theory and Application of Calculus (see page 30)
Calculus III (see page 30)
Modern Language (see pages 19-21)4
Sophia course 14
PHYS 121General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves (take during spring)4

Dual Degree Program in Engineering with the University of Notre Dame1

Engineering majors must also have a Saint Mary’s major, which is typically chemistry (CHEM), mathematics (CAM, MATH, PAM), or physics (PHYS).

Fall (First) Semester
CHEM 121Principles of Chemistry I (see page 25)4
Select one of the following by placement:4
Calculus I (see page 30)
Calculus II (see page 30)
Theory and Application of Calculus (see page 30)
Calculus III (see page 30)
Modern Language (see pages 19-21)4
Select one of the following:4
Language and Literature (see page 18 )
PHIL 110W Introduction to Philosophy
Spring (Second) Semester
CHEM 122Principles of Chemistry II4
PHYS 121General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves (see page 25)4
Select one of the following by sequence:4
Calculus II (see page 30)
Calculus III (see page 30)
Linear Algebra and Differential Equations (see page 30)
Modern Language Sophia Course (see pages 19-21)4

Information for Accounting, Business Administration, Communicative Sciences & Disorders, Education, Global Studies and Nursing majors; Dual Degree Program in Engineering; Pre-Health Professions

Accounting and Business Administration

To be officially accepted into the BBA programs at the end of sophomore year, a student must maintain a 2.5 grade point average in the following courses:

BUAD 201Principles of Financial Accounting3
BUAD 202Principles of Managerial Accounting3
BUAD 221Principles of Management3
BUAD 231Principles of Marketing3
ECON 251Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON 252Principles of Microeconomics3

Speech Language Pathology

Criteria for acceptance into the speech language pathology (SLP) major include a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the end of the sophomore year. Additionally, the student must earn a minimum prerequisite SLP GPA of 3.25. For additional information, please see the College Bulletin for 2019–20.

Education

Education majors must have a 2.75 cumulative grade point average to be admitted to the major. For additional information, please see the College Bulletin for 2019–20.

Global Studies

Students must have an average grade of C+ (2.33/4.0) or better in Sophia modern language courses at the intermediate level for French, German, Italian, or Spanish and at the introductory level for Arabic or Chinese, or equivalent to be accepted into the global studies major.

Nursing Science

Admission to the Nursing Science Major

To be officially accepted into the nursing science major at the end of sophomore year, a student must achieve a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and a 2.8 cumulative grade point average in the science and nursing prerequisites. In order to maintain the quality of the nursing science program and provide the necessary clinical experiences for each nursing student, the size of the class or cohort admitted to the major is limited to 56 students. In the event that there are more qualified students than can be accommodated, students will be admitted based on who has earned the highest science and prerequisite GPA.

Dual Degree in Engineering Program

Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame offer a Five- Year Dual Degree Program in Engineering, leading to a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s at the end of the fourth year, and a second bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame in one of the engineering programs at the end of the fifth year. To be eligible for the five-year program, the student must be calculus ready as a first-year student.

Saint Mary’s students who participate in this program work with the program director. They take pre-engineering courses (e.g., calculus, physics, chemistry) at Saint Mary’s and engineering courses at Notre Dame, in addition to the courses required to satisfy degree requirements of a major at Saint Mary’s College. At the end of her fourth year, the student applies for transfer to the College of Engineering at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame courses are used as electives to satisfy Saint Mary’s degree requirements, and Saint Mary’s courses are used as electives to satisfy Notre Dame’s degree requirements. Some related options include: a chemistry major at Saint Mary’s and a chemical engineering major at Notre Dame, a computer and applied mathematics major at Saint Mary’s and a computer science engineering major at Notre Dame, a physics and applied mathematics major at Saint Mary’s and an electrical engineering major at Notre Dame, and a physics major at Saint Mary’s and a mechanical engineering major at Notre Dame.

A Saint Mary’s student must have completed at least 96 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher (technical and overall) for acceptance to Notre Dame at the end of her fourth year. For this reason, to be “accepted” into the engineering program at the end of the sophomore year a student must have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above (technical and overall) and must maintain a 2.8 cumulative GPA to remain in the program. This strenuous program will demand the best effort of well-prepared and well-motivated students. Consultation with the program director and careful scheduling of courses on both campuses must be conducted each semester. For additional information, please see the College Bulletin for 2019–20.

Pre-Health Professions

Students can enter a health professions graduate program from a completed major in any discipline at Saint Mary’s College as long as they do well. Students should strive for a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better to be competitive. All graduate health professions programs require an admission test in spring of the junior year or fall of the senior year. These include but are not limited to the MCAT for medical school, DAT for dental school, VCAT or GRE for vet school, OAT for optometry, PCAT for pharmacy, and GRE for most of the others.

Once students have established themselves academically (typically after the first full year of course work), they should begin to get involved in on or off-campus activities where they are truly contributing. Leadership and service are important. This includes demonstrating an ability to work with all kinds of people. Most of the health professions programs do want some hours of shadowing or volunteering in a medical setting similar to their interests. Students should be aware of any such requirements.

A basic core of courses is required for health professions programs, all of which can be taken at Saint Mary’s College. Following are the ones most commonly found among the list of prerequisite courses for most schools/programs. It is very important that students be responsible for their own research regarding classes required for admission to the graduate health professions program they desire as some programs have unique requirements.

Biology
BIO 155
BIO 156
Foundations of Molecular Biology
and Foundations of Ecology and Evolution
4
BIO 157
BIO 158
Foundations of Cellular Biology
and Foundations of Form and Function
4
Chemistry 1
CHEM 121
CHEM 122
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry II
8
CHEM 221
CHEM 222
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
6
Math 2
Select one of the following:7
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Theory and Application of Calculus
and Foundations of Higher Mathematics
Theory and Application of Calculus
and Introduction to Statistics
Physics 3
PHYS 121
PHYS 122
General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves
and General Physics II: Temperature, Electricity, and Light
8
English
Select one year of English (some schools, not all); demonstrated proficiency in writing
Psychology and Sociology 4
Select six to nine hours, including from the following recommended courses:6-9
PSYC 156Introduction to Psychology: Culture and Systems3
or PSYC 157 Introduction to Psychology: Science for the Citizen
SOC 153Sociological Imaginations3
Biochemistry 5

The MCAT now requires at least one course in psychology and one in sociology (dealing with human behavior) as well as biochemistry (CHEM 324 Biochemistry). Other programs require anatomy (BIO 213 Introductory Human Anatomy) and physiology (BIO 214 Human Physiology if nonmajor; BIO 328 General Physiology if biology major). Students can get all these courses at Saint Mary’s, but some may have prerequisites, so students should plan ahead. Some programs also want a course or demonstrated proficiency in communications. Students should research the programs they like keeping in mind that becoming familiar with the prerequisites is the student’s job.

Once students have completed at least two years of sciences and are in their junior year, they should contact the pre-health professions advisor at Saint Mary’s College to discuss completion of prerequisite courses, taking that program’s entrance exam, and beginning the application process. Most applications for graduate or professional programs in the health professions are submitted between June and September of the year prior to your desired matriculation into the program. Thus, most students apply for programs with six semesters of grades and an entrance exam score at the end of the junior year/beginning of the senior year.

An important part of student preparation for entrance into a health professions graduate program is finding activities that will help mature them into a unique candidate with something to offer the profession they desire to enter. These college years are extremely important to this process. Grades, personal attributes (such as dependability, cooperation, and the ability to think creatively and problem solve), entrance exam scores, contributions to clubs and extracurricular activities, and service are all part of the portfolio a student develops as she completes her degree at Saint Mary’s.