The St. Mary's Way
St. Mary's College of Maryland lies in a setting of natural beauty and historic meaning which enhances our ability to reflect on our lives in an increasingly complex, technological, and interdependent world. As a member of St. Mary's College of Maryland, I accept the St. Mary's Way and agree to join in working with others to develop this College as a community:
- Where people respect the natural environment and the tradition of tolerance which is the heritage of this place
- Where people cultivate a life-long quest for disciplined learning and creativity
- Where people take individual responsibility for their work and actions
- Where people foster relationships based upon mutual respect, honesty, integrity, and trust
- Where people are engaged in an ongoing dialogue that values differences and the unique contributions of others' talents, backgrounds, customs, and world views
- Where people are committed to examining and shaping the functional, ethical values of our changing world
- Where people contribute to a spirit of caring and an ethic of service.
By choosing to join this community, I accept the responsibility of helping to build on its past heritage, of living its ideals, and contributing to its future.
Welcome to St. Mary's!
Frequently Asked Questions
How does choosing a roommate work?
After your housing contract has been submitted, select the Roommate Matching tab in Residence. Here you can search for roommate in a "match.com" style of search. Once you have found a roommate, form a group by entering their passcode in the groups tab. Only one person needs to form a group. Once paired your group will be housed together.
Are 1st years all assigned to one housing building?
Most of our first- and second-year students are housed in the traditional residence halls (Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Prince George, and Queen Anne). First-year students that are accepted into one of our Living Learning Centers (Women in Science House; Women, Gender, and Sexuality House) may be assigned to a suite in Waring Commons with sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students interested in Affinity Housing (Substance- and Alcohol-Free Environment) or our Open Housing (Gender Neutral housing) may be assigned to live in areas with returning students.
What are the residence halls like?
We have a variety of housing styles on campus. Most of the first- and second-year students (and some upperclass students) live in the traditional residence halls. Most of the rooms in our traditional residence halls are doubles. We have a limited number of singles (which are assigned based on medical/ADA/psychological needs first then by credit), triples, and quads. Common bathrooms are shared by the residents on the wings or floors. Each residence hall has a staff office, recreation room, laundry room, and shared kitchen. Prince George and Caroline Halls are air conditioned from May through September.
We promote and facilitate safe, supportive, and civil living-and-learning communities that are conducive to sleeping, studying, and socializing (in that order). Student staff (Residence Hall Coordinators and Resident Assistants) live in the residences in order to be available for peer advising, assist with mediations/conflict resolution, engage students in programs and activities, enforce college policies, ensure the safety of the students, and help manage the facilities.
Is housing guaranteed for the admitted students?
Housing is guaranteed to all students that were admitted with housing and paid the deposit.
What is the visitor policy for the residents?
We expect our students to behave maturely and responsibly. As noted in the Residence Life mission, we support civil and caring living-learning environments that are conducive to sleeping, studying, and socializing in that order. Roommates are encouraged to discuss use of the room regarding socializing when they work on their Roommate Agreements at the beginning of the academic year. Roommates are not to be displaced due to friends/significant others visiting. If this becomes a problem, the student should first discuss their concerns with their roommate and if that is unsuccessful, speak with their Resident Assistant (RA), Residence Hall Coordinator (RHC), or with a member of the Residence Life professional staff.
How is housing divided by gender?
Calvert: the second floor is male, the third floor is female.
Caroline: the first floor is male, one wing on the second floor is male and one wing is female, and the third floor is female.
Dorchester: all male.
Prince George: one wing on the first floor is male and one wing is co-ed (Open Housing), one wing on the second floor is male and one wing is female, and the third floor is female.
Queen Anne: all female.
Lewis Quad, Townhouses, Waring Commons: units can be co-ed or single-sex.
What are the alcohol regulations?
We abide by and enforce the State law: students must be 21 or older to possess or consume alcohol on campus. Students are expected to imbibe in moderation and behind closed doors and not in public spaces (hallway, lobby, bathroom, stairwell, recreation room, kitchen, outdoors). Students found in violation of the College policy will go through the Conduct system for adjudication.
Do all residence halls have AC?
Currently, two of the traditional halls (Caroline and Prince George) and all of the North Campus housing (Lewis Quad, Townhouses, and Waring Commons) are air conditioned. Students needing air conditioning due to medical issues should contact Health Services by June 1.
How did the Cruise Ship work out?
It worked out great! It allowed us to bring our students back to campus (from three hotels in town) so they could remain engaged with their peers, academics, and life on-campus.
COUNSELING AND HEALTH SERVICES
What after hours and weekend medical coverage is available for students?
Though the Health center is closed there are several options for dealing with medical concerns on campus. Resident Assistants are the first source of information if a non-emergency illness occurs. There is an on-call Resident Assistant who can provide transportation to and from the local hospital or urgent care facility if the student is unable to drive himself. If a student chooses not to bring a vehicle to school, they are likely to have a friend who does have a vehicle and would be willing to provide a ride. In the event of an emergency Public Safety will contact EMS to summon an ambulance for transport.
Where is the closest hospital?
There are 2 facilities in the area that provide urgent care or emergency care. St Mary’s Hospital is about 16 miles from campus and is available 24/7. The urgent care is SuperCare/Breton Medical Group and is located in Lexington Park about 10 miles away and is open 10 am-5 pm on weekends and 5-10 pm Monday through Friday .
Is there a fee for health services?
No, visits with the nurse or providers are covered by student fees paid on admission. This includes in-house lab tests, prescription and some over the counter medications. We do charge students if vaccinations are needed and must occasionally write prescriptions that will need to be filled off campus. We provide student insurance information to labs for services that must be provided off campus. We very strongly encourage health insurance to cover these expenses and any visit to urgent care/ER.
How do ongoing daily prescriptions get filled?
Refills for ongoing prescriptions from home must be arranged by the student as we do not have a pharmacy on campus. Most insurance companies have mail order service and students can receive their medications through their on-campus mail. This does take some pre-emptive planning on the students’ part, since our package room is not open 24/7, and waiting until the current medication has run out to pick up the new one from the package room can create issues. Alternately, a prescriber may order prescriptions through any of our local pharmacies including Target, Walmart and several grocery stores.
Is there counseling on campus?
Yes. Counseling Services is located in Chance Hall and is available to students M-F, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. In the event of an emergency after hours, a therapist can be contacted through the On-call Professional or Public Safety. Students are encouraged to schedule a counseling appointment by calling (240-895-4289) or stopping by the front desk. Students can also use walk-in hours, which are available on Wednesdays from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. In the event of an emergency during regular business hours, students are encouraged to walk-in to Counseling Services and request a meeting with the next available therapist. The staff at Counseling Services consists of two full-time therapists, a part-time therapist, a contractual 6 hour/week psychiatrist, and the Sexual Assault/Wellness Advocate.
Is there a fee for counseling?
No. The cost for Counseling Services is covered in your student fees. Additionally, there are no session limits, so students are welcome to use the services as frequently as needed.
How do you help 1st year athletes balance academics and athletics during the transition?
Most coaches will do one of two things, or will do both: Mandatory study hall during the week or will have individual academic meetings at least once a week to go over course work for that week.
Do you typically room same-sport athletes together?
It will depend on each sport. Some coaches will suggest that incoming first year's room together, while other coaches will encourage rooming with an athlete from a different sport or room with a non-athlete in order to meet more people on campus.
What is the tryout process for sports?
Most sports will have a tryout during the first week of the season. At that point, the coach may decide to outright cut someone from the team or in most cases, the coach will talk with the player and explain their role on the team for the upcoming season.
Where do fall athletes go when they move in early?
The fall athletes are allowed to move into their on-campus room when they arrive for pre-season. From that point until New Student Orientation, they will be practicing, eating or sleeping for the most part.
How can students get involved with Sailing, on all different levels?
Any student can talk with the Sailing coaches about getting involved with varsity sailing. The school offers sailing classes during the school year that will teach students how to sail. Also, there is a sailing club, crew club, and a windsurfing club. Also, students are allowed to check out sail boats in the afternoon once they have passed the swim test and have demonstrated an ability to sail.
Are there trainers at the gym to help you work out?
Unfortunately, there are no personal trainers in our gym. There are weight lifting classes that are taught over the course of the school year by our staff. Also, there is a Wellness Mentoring Program through the Health Center that students can get referred to a coach that will help them with a lifting and fitness program.
What options are there for non-varsity athletics? What club sports are there?
The school has an extensive intramural program over the course of the year that has both competitive and non-competitive divisions. Sports such as floor hockey, volleyball, badminton, basketball, indoor soccer, dodge ball, and badminton all have men's, women's and co-ed leagues.
The following is a list of athletic clubs sponsored through the SGA:
Rock Climbing Club
Seahawk Rec Shooting & Competitive Marksmanship Club
Ski & Snowboarding Club
St. Mary's Appreciation of Capoeira Club
Men's SMUT (St. Mary's Ultimate Frisbee Team)
Water Polo Club
Women’s SMUT (St. Mary's Ultimate Frisbee Team)
This list, however, is not necessarily exhaustive. There are clubs that are active as student interest increases. Furthermore, if a student wants to start a club, they can easily do this by working with their fellow students and Student Activities.
Are there support services for the students, and what are they?
We have a number of support services on campus:
For academic support: the Office of Academic Services,
advisers, professors, departmental tutors, Writing Center
For counseling/mental health support: Counseling Services,
located in Chance Hall.
● For medical support: Health Services, located in Chance Hall
For general support: Residence Life, Office of the Dean of
How many clubs are on campus?
There are on average 80 - 90 clubs each year. They are listed on the Student Government Website under the current student tabs.
How do you find out about campus activities?
On the first Friday of each semester we host a Club and Activities fair. Each club is represented at the event and students have the opportunity to speak with club leaders and sign up for things those that they are interested in joining.
Do we have a black-box theatre?
Yes, we have a black-box theater, located in Montgomery Hall.
What music clubs do we have, both vocal and instrumental?
We have two female a capella clubs, one male a capella club, and one co-ed a capella club. We also have a Drum Corps club.
What religiously affiliated clubs are there?
Newman Society (Catholic Student Club), Hillel (Jewish Student Club), Augsbury-Cantebury Club (Episcopal Student Club), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.
Is there a parent association?
We do not currently have a parent association.
Do first years get to have a car on campus? Is there a cost to having a car on campus?
First year students can have a car. They are assigned to park in Lot T (a.k.a. “Guam”). A parking decal costs $100 per year and is ordered online during the summer.
Is there a work study program?
Yes, there is a Federal Work Study program and it is administered by our Financial Aid office.
How can the Career Center help students?
The Career Center offers a wide range of services, programs, and resources for students throughout their education. We can assist in the first year with exploration of different majors and careers and with developing a plan to make the most of their time at SMCM. Through workshops and individual appointments, we support students’ pursuit of internships and jobs, entry into graduate school, and networking with employers and alumni.
How do students get a job on campus?
The Career Center will send an e-mail to all students during the first day of classes that lists all of the on campus jobs for the year. These jobs go quickly, so it is important that you apply as soon as possible. The Career Center also coordinates the Professional Fellowship Program (PFP). PFPs are high level on campus jobs. They pay $10 per hour and offer more substantial responsibilities. We highly recommend that you consider applying for PFPs as you continue your education at St. Mary’s.
How can students connect with employers?
The Career Center supports students' connection with employers in a number of ways. Many employers offer information/recruitment sessions on campus and participate in campus programming such as our annual Bookbag to Briefcase professional transition conference. Employers (and alumni) also post hundreds of jobs/internship per year on our internal job board, and network with students "virtually" and at events on and off campus. Recent employer contacts include Deloitte Consulting, Booz Allen Hamilton, New York Life, Urban Teacher Center, Geico, Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corps, FDIC, Environment Maryland, and the Department of the Navy. The Career Center also coordinates transportation to metro area job fairs.
How do students find internships and how does the Career Center help?
There are many methods students use to identify internships. The most effective way to identify an internship (or job) opportunity is by reaching out to members of your network. Everyone has a network of contacts and the Career Center can help students expand this existing network with alumni and other professionals. Employers advertise internship opportunities through the Career Center as well. These opportunities are highly publicized to all students. Employers may post opportunities to OpNet, an internal job and internship database. We also suggest several national and local internship sites. For a full list please visit the Career Center site.
Can students receive academic credit for an internship?
Yes, students may receive academic credit for an internship if it is approved through the Career Center. Students work collaboratively with the Career Center and a faculty sponsor. They complete a series of reflective essays and an academic project of their choosing. Generally, internships range from 4-12 credits per experience depending on the number of hours completed and the intensity of the academic project. For more information please visit the Career Center site.
What is available for international education/study abroad and what is the participation?
SMCM sends over 350 students abroad a year on both semester and short-term study abroad programs a year. We send approximately 55% of those graduating abroad on some sort of study abroad program during their time at SMCM. Students go abroad on a variety of programs including semester, short-term, international internships, SMCM programs, and non-SMCM programs.
Can you tell us more about the Study Abroad program?
SMCM has approximately 17 of its own semester-long programs as well as a variety of short-term (2-8 week) programs. Students can also choose to go on non-SMCM programs and there are hundreds of those to choose from. SMCM does affiliate with several program programs and all non-SMCM programs must be approved by the Office of International Education Office prior to applying to the program.
How is the St. Mary’s Study Abroad program different from non-affiliated programs?
SMCM programs are programs either run by SMCM wholly or partly or can also be exchanges or partner programs with selective programs that meet the academic needs of our students. Non-SMCM programs are not affiliated with SMCM. The main difference between SMCM and non-SMCM relates to the way payments are handled, financial aid is transferred, support, and credits are transferred. For SMCM programs, payments for tuition and sometimes room and board (depending on the program) are paid directly to SMCM. Additionally, all of a students’ financial aid transfers with them and a student receives quite a bit of support in terms of paperwork from the College from SMCM. For Non-SMCM programs all fees are paid directly to the program provider and only federal aid can be used for non-SMCM programs. Additionally, there is a limited amount of support the IE Office can provide for non-SMCM programs since we don’t have a relationship with all of the non-SMCM programs out there. Credit transfer works almost exactly the same for both sets of programs but for SMCM programs the process is a little easier since we have a database of courses students have taken in the past and we do not have that for non-SMCM programs.
How does tuition transfer in Study Abroad programs?
Tuition does not transfer for non-SMCM programs and students are responsible for paying all fees directly to the program provider plus a placeholder fee to SMCM. For SMCM programs, students pay their tuition and fees directly to SMCM and non the program.
How is Study Abroad funded?
For non-SMCM programs students can use their federal student loans and program specific or national study abroad scholarship programs. For SMCM programs students can use all of their current aid (federal, state, SMCM, etc.) as well as apply for SMCM study abroad scholarships, national scholarships, and more.
How does a student qualify for Study Abroad?
Students must have a minimum of 2.5 GPA but some programs have a higher GPA program so please check the specific program for the exact program for the specific GPA requirement. Additionally, students must have a clean judicial record. Some programs also require a certain number of semesters of a particular language. All of this is detailed on each of our program pages.
Do you have to get sponsored into study abroad programs?
You do need to get academic recommendations to study abroad from faculty you work with or have worked with but you don’t necessarily have to be sponsored to study abroad.
Do Study Abroad credits transfer to St. Mary’s?
Study Abroad credits can transfer back but it is dependent on a couple of factors. One, the student must earn at least a C- for the course to transfer back at all. Two, the course must be evaluated through our Registrar’s Office, prior to the student departing, to determine if the course meets our academic standards for SMCM courses. If both of these hold true then the credits will transfer back.
What are study tours? Do we have a winter session?
Study tours are short-term (2-8) week study abroad experiences led by SMCM faculty members on specific topics. The topics and locations vary each year. We generally only have 1-2 winter session study tours each year and most of our study tours happen during the summer session.
How does room and board work for Study Abroad? What if you don’t live on campus?
Room and Board differ by country and program. For some programs students pay room and board directly to SMCM while for other programs students pay room and board directly to the host institution. It will depend on the program. All of this is outlined on each of our program pages under the budget sheets where it will explain what the students are responsible for paying directly and what they will be charged for by SMCM.
Some programs also do not offer on-campus housing and students are responsible for finding their own off-campus housing. The host institution does provide listings or databases to aid students in finding this housing but the responsible is mainly on the students to find this off-campus housing in most cases.
What are the non-SMCM-affiliated Study Abroad options?
Non-SMCM affiliated programs are third party providers that SMCM sends students with on a regular basis. This means that we have a deeper relationship with these set of non-SMCM providers than most other non-SMCM programs and this makes it a little easier to work with them. Please visit the Office of International Education for more information on this topic.
Is there a Study Abroad option in the Middle East?
We do not currently have a SMCM program in the Middle East but students do have the option of going on a non-SMCM program through one of our affiliate providers and transferring credit back. Please visit the Office of International Education for more information on these programs.
Can I have a brief overview of campus security?
St. Mary’s College of Maryland takes the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors seriously. We intentionally plan for predictable and unpredictable incidents and emergencies. An Emergency Response Team (ERT) is formed and deployed whenever there is significant incident or emergency on campus. The ERT cannot respond to the emergency alone. While Public Safety is charged with protecting and serving the members of the St. Mary’s Community, each and every person on campus is seen as a stakeholder in making St. Mary’s College as secure as it can be. The Office of Public Safety is an integral part of the emergency response and management plan of campus life. Officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day year round on foot and by Marked and Un-Marked Patrol Vehicles responding to emergencies and requests for assistance. Public Safety Officers have full authority, granted by St. Mary’s College of Maryland and its Board of Trustees, to enforce the policies as outlined in the Student Handbook, the Parking and Motor Vehicle Policies and the Employee Handbook.
How many public safety officers are there, and how many are on duty at any one time?
There are 12 Public Safety Officers including the Director. They patrol 24/7 and there are a minimum of two officers on each shift.
Is there an emergency alert system? Does it include text messages?
There is an emergency siren system on campus with voice inter-phase. That can also be linked through the WEB page and close circuit TV. The College is currently working on adding text messaging service.
What is evening/nighttime safety like on campus?
All of the campus walkways are lit and have emergency phones. The parking lots on campus are also equipped with phones and the Public Safety Officers patrol inside and around the residence halls making sure the doors and windows are not propped open. St. Mary’s College of Maryland is located in Historic St. Mary’s City, a quiet community located in St. Mary’s County in Southern Maryland with a very low crime rate. Because of our environment, we are not subject to most of the problems of a large city campus; however, we are not insulated from crime. Safety alerts are posted as necessary and we encourage the students not to walk alone; to be cognizant of the surroundings and report any suspicious activity to Public Safety
Is there a 24/7 crisis response?
Representatives from Public Safety work with the Office of Residence Life, Physical Plant, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, local fire and rescue squads and many other stakeholders to ensure the safety of the entire St. Mary’s Community during any type of crisis
Does St. Mary’s have an escort service?
Yes. Escorts are provided, 24/7, anywhere on campus by contacting Public Safety.
Is there any consideration of Public Safety being armed?