Academic Regulations

Academic Standing

The academic progress of students is reviewed by the Registrar and the Vice-President Academic & Dean at the conclusion of the Fall and Winter terms.

Students who are registered in 24 credit hours or more for the Fall and Winter terms of an academic year and achieve a combined GPA of 3.5 or higher in those two terms are included on the Dean’s List. The Dean’s List is published and posted on the main floor of the Administration Building. A notation will be made on the students’ official transcripts.
Students with a GPA of 2.0 or higher are considered to be in Good Standing. Students in Good Standing are eligible to continue in their program of study and to graduate from an undergraduate degree program.
Students who have completed nine credit hours or more of study and have a GPA of less than 2.0 will be placed on Academic Warning. Students will remain on Academic Warning for two consecutive terms after which they will be placed on Academic Probation if their grades have not improved. Students on Academic Warning will not be eligible to participate in St. Mary’s activities such as Lightning Athletics, Student Legislative Council, etc. Midterm grades from full-year courses will be included in the Fall term GPA calculation.
Students who have been on Academic Warning for two consecutive terms and do not have a GPA equal to or greater than 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation. Students will remain on Academic Probation, where they will be limited to three courses, for one term. After one term of Academic Probation students will be placed on Academic Suspension unless their GPA rises to 2.0 or greater. The student’s official transcript will indicate the academic term in which the student was on Academic Probation.
Students who remain on Academic Probation for one term and have not improved their GPA to 2.0 or greater will be suspended from St. Mary’s and a notation will be made on their official transcript. Students who have been placed on Academic Suspension and required to withdraw from St. Mary’s may apply for re-admission after a period of one year. Transfer credit may be granted for work completed elsewhere if the grades are at the minimum standard required for transfer of courses to St. Mary’s University.

Examination policies

Examinations will be written during the examination periods as listed in the Academic Schedule or at times specified in the course outline. Students are expected to be available to the last day of the examination period in each term. Under no circumstances will travel or other absences from the University be accepted as sufficient justification for being excused from examinations.

The end-of-term examination schedule will be available by the first day of the mid-term examination period each term. It will be posted in the Classroom Building, in the Administration Building and on the website. Students are advised to look up both the course number and lecture section to ensure they have the correct day, time and location of their examinations. This is important because courses with several sections may have examinations on different days.

Students are allowed to bring writing implements and only those aids explicitly permitted by the professor (e.g., calculator or periodic table) into the examination room. Instructors will inform students which items, if any, will be allowed. Cell phones, electronic devices and headsets are prohibited.

Students will not be allowed to leave the examination room during the first 30 minutes of the examination. Students are not allowed to speak or communicate in any way with other students under any circumstances whatsoever, or to expose written papers to the view of other students.

If a student is scheduled to write two examinations at the same time or three examinations beginning and ending within a 24-hour period, the student must submit an Examination Conflict form at least four weeks prior to the scheduled examination period. The Enrolment Services Office will reschedule one of the conflicting examinations after consultation with the instructor(s). The student will then be informed of the details of the rescheduled examination.
An examination may be deferred on account of illness or severe personal difficulty. Students must apply to the Enrolment Services Office for a deferred examination no later than 24 hours after the scheduled examination. Applications for a deferred examination must be made with an Application for Deferred Examination form and must be accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation, such as a physician’s note.

A deferred examination will differ from the set examination and may not necessarily follow the same format. Deferred examinations will be scheduled at reasonable times by the Registrar after consultation with the instructor(s), normally within one week of the originally scheduled examination. Students who miss a deferred examination are denied further consideration and are assigned a grade of zero for the examination.

A student may be denied permission to write the final examination on the recommendation of the instructor and approval of the Vice-President Academic & Dean. Grounds for such debarment are failure to complete a substantial part of the written assignments for a course; frequent absence from class; or failure to complete a sufficient amount of the required practical or lab work in a course.
Students who have acquired skills or knowledge through experience and/or related courses may be granted credit for certain courses by requesting and passing a challenge examination. Application to write a challenge exam is initiated by the student through the Enrolment Services Office by submitting a Challenge Examination Application, available at the Enrolment Services Office and on the website. Approval of the challenge request is given by the course instructor, the Area Chair and the Registrar. The fee for the challenge examination is $150.

The grade recorded for a successful exam is “CR.” While the challenge credit may be used to meet the prerequisite requirement for another course or a degree requirement, the course will not be included in the student’s cumulative earned credit total or GPA. It is the student’s responsibility to determine whether another institution will accept the challenge examination for transfer purposes.

Grading policies

St. Mary’s University uses the 4-point alpha-numeric grading system for all courses. The following table sets out the grading system:

Grade Grade Point Description
A+ 4.0 Excellent
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3 Good
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3  Satistfactory
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3 Minimal Pass
D 1.0
F 0  Fail
PF 0  Practicum Fail

NOTE: A “C-” grade is the minimum grade required for a course to qualify as a prerequisite. A “C” grade is the minimum grade required to pass a course in the Bachelor of Education program.

The following grades may also appear in a student’s academic record or on the transcript. These grades are not used to calculate the GPA.

Symbol Term Description
AU Audited Course Assigned when the student is registered as an auditor
CR Credit Received Assigned when the student successfully passes a challenge exam
DF Deferred Exam Assigned when the student has deferred the exam
I Incomplete Assigned with permission of the VP Academic & Dean
IP In Progress Assigned when the student is in the process of completing a course
MT Multi-term Course Assigned when a course is full-year and not yet completed
P Pass Assigned when a student meets the requirements to complete a course on the basis of Pass or Fail
[ ] Repeated Course When “[ ]” appears around a grade, it means the student repeated the course and the lowest grade is not calculated in earned credits or GPA
RW Required to Withdraw Assigned when the student is asked to withdraw from a course by the instructor or VP Academic & Dean
T Transfer Assigned when the course is transferred from another institution
W Withdrawal Assigned when the student withdrew from a course by his or her own choice
WC Withdrawal with cause Assigned when the student was granted a late withdrawal from a course
Normally, course work (excluding the final examination) that is not completed by the last day of lectures is given a grade of zero. In extenuating circumstances, a student may petition the instructor on or before the day of the last lecture for a grade of incomplete (“I”) for the course. The student and the course instructor must complete and sign an Incomplete Grade Contract and submit it to the Vice-President Academic & Dean with appropriate supporting documentation. The contract must include a completion date, normally within four weeks after the last scheduled examination of the term.

If the Vice-President Academic & Dean approves the application for an incomplete grade, the student must submit the completed work to the instructor on or before the date designated on the contract. A student who does not complete the required work before the deadline will be assigned a grade of zero for the incomplete work. The instructor will submit a Change of Grade form upon completion of the work. Should no grade change be submitted, the “I” grade will revert to an “F” grade for the course.

All grades with a grade point value are used in the calculation of a yearly GPA, both for purposes of the official transcript of record and for the cumulative GPA used for determination of student progress through the academic program.
The GPA is determined by dividing the total grade points earned by the number of credit hours attempted, as follows:

Course Grade Points Credits Points
ENGL 201 A 4 x3 =12.0
HIST 200 B 3 x6 =18.0
PHIL 200 C 2 x6 =12.0
GEOG 203 D 1 x3 =3.0
BIOL 231 F 0 x3 =0.0
PSYC 201 A 4 x3 =12.0
CPSC 205 B- 2.7 x3 =8.1
Total 27 65.1

Total Grade Points= 65.1
Total Credits= 27
Grade Point Average= 2.41

Final grades will normally be available to students via their secure access to my.StMU within two weeks after the final examination for an individual course.
Transcripts are the permanent record of all matters relating to a student’s academic standing, including courses (attempted and earned), credits, grades, academic standing and probation.
Transcripts, official and unofficial, are issued upon the written request of the student. A Request for Transcript of Academic Record form is available at the Enrolment Services Office, from our website, or students can request transcripts from my.StMU. There is a nominal charge for each transcript issued by the Enrolment Services Office, both official and unofficial. Students are able to print a copy of their unofficial transcript at no cost from my.StMU.

Official transcripts are signed by the Registrar, stamped with the official institution seal, placed in a sealed envelope and normally mailed directly to an institution. Transcripts can be given directly to the student to forward as long as the envelope containing the transcript remains unopened. Other institutions may require the transcript to be mailed directly to them in order for it to be considered official.

Transcript requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Transcripts will not be released if money is owed to St. Mary’s University.

Informal Appeal
A student who is dissatisfied with a grade should first discuss the grade with the course instructor within 15 days of receiving the grade. If this does not resolve the matter to the student’s satisfaction, the student may wish to discuss the matter with the Area Chair. The Chair will require a copy of the instructions given to the student and the assignment or test in dispute.

Formal Appeal
If the student is not satisfied with the appeal to the instructor and Area Chair, and still believes that an error has been made, feels an injustice has been done, or has substantial new evidence, the student may make a formal grade appeal.

All formal grade appeals must be made in writing to the Enrolment Services Office within 30 days of receiving the grade. The letter must include the decision being appealed, the grounds for appeal and the remedy sought by the appellant. The student will pay a $25 fee for each grade appealed. This fee will be credited back to the student’s account only if the appeal results in an increase in the grade.

The Registrar will notify the Vice-President Academic & Dean, who will form a Grade Appeal Committee comprising the Vice-President Academic & Dean, the Area Chair and a subject specialist to hear the appeal. The final grade may be raised or lowered as a result of the reappraisal. The Enrolment Services Office will notify the student of the result in writing. All decisions of the Grade Appeal Committee are final.

Graduation Policies

All students who expect to receive a parchment from St. Mary’s University must satisfy the degree, diploma or certificate requirements as outlined in the Program section of the Academic Calendar. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with an academic advisor to ensure the completion of their program.

All students are responsible for notifying the Enrolment Services Office of their intention to graduate. They must submit an Application to Graduate by October 1 of the year they intend to graduate. If St. Mary’s University does not receive a student’s Application to Graduate by October 1, he or she will be ineligible to graduate that year. The student will have to wait until the next convocation before receiving the degree, diploma or certificate.

Students will be notified in writing if they are eligible to graduate and will be asked to submit a Convocation Response Card accompanied by a $100 graduation fee. The graduation fee is mandatory for all graduating students regardless of the student’s attendance at convocation. Students with outstanding fees, fines or other charges on their account will not be permitted to graduate or participate in convocation.

Students’ names will appear on the parchments as they are recorded in their academic records. Students are encouraged to verify the accuracy and spelling of their names when they submit their Application to Graduate. Any name changes must be supported by legal documentation.
Baccalaureate honours are awarded upon graduation from a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree based upon a student’s cumulative GPA calculated at the end of the Winter term of his or her graduating year. Undergraduate students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.74 with no failed courses will graduate “Cum Laude,” students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.75 to 3.89 with no failed courses will graduate “Magna Cum Laude” and students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher with no failed courses will graduate “Summa Cum Laude.”

Cum Laude is defined as “with praise,” Magna Cum Laude is defined as “with great praise,” and Summa Cum Laude is defined as “with highest praise.” Students who qualify to graduate with honours will receive the designation on their parchment and it will be recorded on their academic transcripts.

Valedictorian is an academic honour granted to an undergraduate student graduating from a first degree program at St. Mary’s University. The recipient of the honour will have a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade point average calculated at the end of the winter term of their graduating year, have normally been a full-time student and have proven involvement in campus life at St. Mary’s University. The valedictorian will be chosen from a short list of academically qualified prospective graduates by committee.
Convocation, for the conferring of degrees, diplomas and certificates, will be held annually in June. Please refer to the academic schedule for the date. A convocation package will be sent to all students who submit an Application to Graduate and who meet the graduation requirements. Upon receipt of this package, all graduands must notify the Enrolment Services Office at least six weeks prior to the ceremony as to whether or not they will attend.
Graduands who do not attend the convocation ceremony will have their degrees conferred “in absentia.” Parchments will be available at the Enrolment Services Office for pickup after convocation. Parchments not picked up after 30 days will be mailed.
With the approval of Academic Council, a degree, diploma or certificate may be awarded posthumously to a deceased student who had completed or was in the final term of his or her program. Posthumous awards will be noted on the transcript.
St. Mary’s University reissues parchments that are lost, stolen or damaged. Graduates must submit a reprint request in writing to the Enrolment Services Office. A fee will be charged.

Transfer policies

Advanced credit may be given for some Advanced Placement courses with grades of 4 or 5 and for some International Baccalaureate courses with grades of 6 or 7.

Normally a student may transfer credit to St. Mary’s University for courses completed at another accredited institution. The student must:

  • provide an official transcript from the original institution if it is not a member of ApplyAlberta
  • obtain a grade of C- or better
  • be working towards a degree at St. Mary’s University

Transfer credit is limited by the residency requirement, which stipulates the number of credit hours that students must complete at St. Mary’s in order to earn a St. Mary’s University degree. Courses from other institutions in Alberta for which there is an equivalency in the Alberta Transfer Guide are generally accepted. If the course is not part of the Alberta Transfer Guide or if the institution is outside Alberta, the student may be asked to submit a copy of the course outline and details of the qualifications of the course instructor or other indicators of course content and quality. While transfer courses do appear on the student’s transcript, the grade is not included in the student’s term or cumulative GPA. Students who wish to transfer to another institution should refer to the Alberta Transfer Guide, which lists all courses and program transfer agreements between post-secondary institutions in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. See the Alberta Transfer Guide for full transfer information.

In most cases, courses will be considered for transfer credit regardless of when they were completed. However, in some cases, the University may not approve transfer credit for management, computer science, psychology or natural science courses that were completed more than ten years ago.
In order to be granted a degree, a student must complete at least half of the required credit hours at St. Mary’s University. In addition, some degree programs may require specific courses to be completed at St. Mary’s University. Please refer to the Programs section of the Academic Calendar for more details.
A student enrolled in a St. Mary’s University degree program who wishes to take a course at another institution for transfer to St. Mary’s University must have permission from an academic advisor and the Registrar. Student must complete a Request for Letter of Permission form and meet with an academic advisor. Final approval rests with the Registrar. The student must submit the letter of permission to the visiting institution. Upon completion of the course, the student must request that an official transcript be forwarded from the visiting institution to St. Mary’s University if the institution is not a participating member of ApplyAlberta.
Students wishing to transfer to other Alberta institutions should refer to the Alberta Transfer Guide, which lists all course and program transfer agreements. The guide and other transfer information are available online at www.transferalberta.ca. St. Mary’s University academic advisors are available to help students interpret the guide and make course selections. An appointment with an academic advisor can be made through the Enrolment Services Office. Students wishing to transfer to institutions outside Alberta are advised to contact the institution they plan to attend regarding transfer policies and required courses.
Alberta’s Block Transfer Agreement for Biological Sciences allows St. Mary’s students to complete two years of full-time study before transferring directly into a biological sciences degree program at any institution in Alberta. Students must successfully complete the block of courses along with appropriate options at St. Mary’s University.
Students may complete up to half of required credits at St. Mary’s before transferring into the University of Lethbridge’s Bachelor of Management program, the University of Calgary’s Bachelor of Commerce program or Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Business Administration Program. Please consult with an academic advisor to discuss transfer requirements if you are considering completing a degree at another post-secondary institution.