Guidelines for Advising and Registration

Summer Advisor

Your registration email includes 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.


You will be able to register online after speaking with your advisor. Your registration time and instructions for registering on PRISM are included in your email. 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 section entitled Major Course Recommendations. Students do not officially declare a major until the end of their sophomore year.

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: Dialogue and Discovery (1)
This one-credit course helps you develop skills to dialogue with others and provides opportunities to discover your place in the Saint Mary’s community. In this course, you will learn about many resources available to help you on your academic journey at Saint Mary’s, as we engage together in important conversations with members of the campus community. You will have the opportunity to grow the skills necessary for good dialogue and strong community while you cultivate tools for academic and emotional resilience alongside all members of the class of 2025.   

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)
Highly recommended for students intending to pursue studies in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or the dual-degree engineering program.  This course aims to help students integrate into the STEM community at Saint Mary's College.  Students are introduced to faculty and mentors and given practical information about expectations, scheduling, research, internships, and other opportunities.