The Institutional Review Board (IRB) evaluates research using human participants that is conducted by members of the St. Mary's College of Maryland community. The IRB operates under the guidelines enacted by the Office of Human Research Protection, a branch of the U.S. government's Food and Drug Administration.

The IRB reviews all human subject research including proposed changes in previously approved human subject research. The IRB has the authority to approve, require modification in, or disapprove all human subject research.

The IRB also has the authority to suspend or terminate the approval of previously approved human subject research that is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB's requirements or that has been associated with unexpected, serious harm to subjects.