2019-2020 Student Life & Student Services


SMU’s Peer Tutoring program offers subject-specific peer tutoring as well as writing and non-content support (eg stress and time management) to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students can also access outsourced tutoring support for writing as well as key content areas. The University believes that tutoring is a shared process of teaching and learning, where the learner participates in their own academic growth. The program’s focus is to provide all students with a supportive environment where they can improve their study skills, develop their professional practice skills, and master course content. Peer tutors are provided with an hourly stipend. Faculty may refer a student for tutoring or a student can seek the service on their own.

Enrolled students who would like tutoring support should complete the Tutor Request Form and then they will receive further instructions: https://www.samuelmerritt.edu/academic_support/request_tutorial. For more information, contact the Assistant Director of Academic Support at 510.879.9200, x7302. 


Students can schedule a coaching session to improve their learning strategies including test-taking techniques and time management as well as stress reduction and mindfulness tips. Small group workshops can also be arranged. For Academic Support on the Oakland and San Francisco-Peninsula campuses, contact the Assistant Director of Academic Support (510.879.9200, x7302); on the Sacramento campus, contact the Academic Support Coordinator, at 916.678.3167.


Co-curricular learning at Samuel Merritt University encompasses learning that occurs alongside the academic curriculum and aligns with the Institutional Learning Outcomes. The guiding philosophy behind the University’s co-curricular learning opportunities is to foster holistic learning that empowers students to grow and develop as leaders committed to serving their communities. Through innovative thinking and best practices, Student Services, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Ethnic Health Institute provide learning experiences that engage the community, build empowerment in students, and encourage activism. Core values of trust, respect, and integrity drive our work as we promote inclusion and social justice in active partnership with students, faculty, staff, and community for learning and success. The programs and services offered foster the integration of student learning with personal development, personal responsibility, and the advancement of a healthy campus community in order to maximize students’ success.

The Student Body Association and various class groups, advised by the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, also plan co-curricular activities throughout the year. These social, athletic, and recreational activities are an integral part of student life and include seminars, socials, educational programs, dinners, barbecues, films, and softball games.


The Alumni Society exists to strengthen ties between its members and the University, to aid in the University’s future goals, and to promote the University in desirable and practical ways.  From an earlier organization, the Samuel Merritt Nurses Alumni Association, the Alumni Society was formed in 1996 to include graduates of all Samuel Merritt University programs.  All graduates of Samuel Merritt University, Providence College of Nursing, as well as graduates of the California College of Podiatric Medicine, are members of the Alumni Society.  Members receive invitations to regular social, educational, and professional development activities, a subscription to the alumni newsletter, the Reporter; and borrower privileges at the John A. Graziano Memorial Library.  Members are encouraged to keep in regular contact with the University, and to assist the University in its fundraising and recruitment goals.


Located on the Oakland campus in Peralta Pavilion, Room 2710, the Samuel Merritt University Bookstore is open Monday to Thursday, 9:00am until 5:00pm, and Friday, 9:00am until 3:00pm, and is operated by The Follett Higher Education Group.

A full range of services are available, including textbooks, special book orders, school supplies, Samuel Merritt University gear and clothing, drinks and snacks, as well as other healthcare student needs. 

Contact the bookstore via telephone at (510) 879-9287; visit the bookstore through the University website, or at www.efollett.com and select “school.”


The University and its departments sponsor annual ceremonies and events to recognize achievement, celebrate progress, communicate information, and to build a stronger sense of community among the University’s varied constituencies.  Commencement is coordinated in the Office of Academic Affairs.  Department-sponsored ceremonies and events are coordinated by the department’s faculty and staff. Significant events include:

Closure Ceremonies

Special “end of program” activities for each program which are sponsored by an academic department.  These may include graduation dinners, award ceremonies, professional honor society events, and professional “pinning” or white coat ceremonies.

Nursing Program Pinning

Held during the academic year by the School of Nursing for undergraduate nursing and entry-level master of science in nursing students who complete pre-licensure or undergraduate degree requirements.  Pinning is a ceremony of special historic and symbolic significance in which students receive the insignia of the nursing program in the form of a pin to be worn with their professional attire.  

Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement events include ceremonies for the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Commencement is held in May and December.


Samuel Merritt University values information from students, faculty, staff, and the public that assists in assuring that policies and procedures are applied appropriately and continuing improvement of the institution takes place.

The University has a complaint process to be used by students, faculty and staff as described below.  Complaints are received, monitored, evaluated, and wherever possible within existing policy and resources, resolved.  The process is managed by the Office of the President.

Definition of Complaint

A complaint is a concern or issue identified by a Samuel Merritt University student, faculty, staff member or external party with respect to the operations, services, conditions or facilities of the University.  Issues concerning academic or behavioral matters involving students and faculty are governed by the dispute resolution and grievance procedures outlined in the SMU Catalog(page X), and are not governed by the complaint process. Complaints concerning the personal lives of individuals connected to the University are not considered. 

Process and Procedure

Complaints are reviewed by the Office of the President, and if determined to fall within the definition provided in the complaint policy, will be forwarded to the appropriate University office for response.  The person submitting a complaint will receive a written acknowledgment that the complaint was received within three (3) business days, and whether further review and response will be forthcoming, or that it does not fall within policy.  In cases where the complaint is not clear, further clarification or information will be requested. 

If the complaint is considered, the complainant will receive a response from a University office or representative within thirty (30) business days, or should additional time be required, the complainant will be so notified.  The response to the complainant will indicate the University's understanding of the complaint, provide an explanation or other information that would inform the complainant, and describe a resolution if feasible.  The response will indicate that the complaint is closed or pending further review.  

How to Submit a Complaint

Any complaint to the University must be submitted electronically on the University website.  The link can be found on the SMU homepage under “Complaints” at the bottom of the page.  Alternatively, the direct link to the complaint process and form is:  https://www.samuelmerritt.edu/complaints.

An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint.  The bureau may be contacted at 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 94633. http://www.bppe.ca.gov. or (916) 431-6924.

For students in Texas enrolled in online programs: If after going through the University's procedures, a student still wants to file a complaint with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), they should go to http://www.thecb.state.tx.us.  Forms and a description of the student complaint process can be found there.


Note: There are other complaint processes for Title IX, Sexual Violence, Disability Concerns, and Bias Incidents. Please refer to those pages for the processes.


Samuel Merritt University recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to the campus community. It is the policy and practice of Samuel Merritt University to create inclusive learning environments. The role of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) is to be a resource to the entire campus – and even beyond the campus community – to encourage the creation of educational environments that are accessible to everyone, regardless of disability. When this is accomplished, access for students with disabilities is seamless. The onus to create access for students with disabilities is on the entire campus community, with the ongoing support of the Disability Resource Center. When necessary, the DRC works with students and faculty to create accommodations to provide equal access to University services and facilities.


The Director of the Disability Resource Center oversees the creation and

implementation of accommodations for students with disabilities. The DRC Director, in collaboration with the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, is responsible for investigation and handling student complaints of discrimination and overseeing compliance with various disability laws and policies, in cooperation with Samuel Merritt University’s Human Resources Office. If there is an unresolved disagreement over the appropriateness of a particular academic accommodation or complaints of discrimination, the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services makes a final determination in the matter following grievance procedures outlined in the University Catalog.


Technical Standards

The University maintains a list of the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills deemed essential to the completion of each entry-level professional program and to perform as a competent generalist practitioner. These guidelines are available on the Samuel Merritt University website for each specific program at www.samuelmerritt.edu (scroll down each page to “Technical Standards”).


Service Animals and Pets Guidelines

Pets are not allowed in campus buildings. See contact information below for inquiries, procedures, and/or guidelines regarding disability-related animals, such as service animals and emotional support animals.

Please contact or visit the Disability Resource Center.


3100 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1000

Oakland, California 94609

Phone 510.879.9233

Fax 510.457.2628


The mailing address for each campus is listed below.

Students may leave written messages or documents for faculty or staff at the Campus Service Center or the with the administrative staff at each campuses.

Oakland Campus

3100 Telegraph Ave

Oakland, California 94609

Sacramento Campus

2710 N. Gateway Oaks Dr., Suite 360

Sacramento, California 95833

San Francisco Peninsula Campus

1720 South Amphlett Boulevard, Suite 300

San Mateo, California 94402

Fresno Campus

1791 E. Fir Avenue

Fresno, California 93720


The Samuel Merritt University Media Services Department provides audio-visual (A/V) support to Samuel Merritt University and its Health Education Center, and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.  Media Services provides on-site support of A/V technology installed in all SMU campus classrooms, conference rooms, video conferencing facilities, health science simulation suites, and other A/V equipped rooms.  

Video recording services are available for academic events during normal business hours. Requests by faculty, staff, and students for recording of on-campus events will be honored based on the availability of a Media Services technician.  Faculty, staff, and students may request duplication of audio or video media for academic use. All media duplication activities are completed in accordance to federal copyright and intellectual property governance laws.

Media Services provides portable A/V equipment for academic use in locations where integrated systems are not available. To reserve A/V equipment, or to inquire about services and availability, please contact the Media Services Department at (510) 907-2555.


Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from classes and clinical experiences. Nearby garages offer parking, patrolled by security officers, on a daily or semester fee basis. Students are encouraged to travel in carpools whenever possible.

Parking Information and Applications

  • Parking at Sacramento, San Francisco Peninsula, and Fresno is free for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Parking is Oakland is subject to application and payment of a semester fee. More information can be found here.


Each computer lab offers students access to laser printing and self-service photocopy machines.  Students are allocated a quota of complementary printing and copying each academic term.  Individuals whose printing and copying exceeds quota will be charged at the end of the term.  Please see the website for more details, including pricing.  The University observes copyright regulations.

It is advisable for students leaving the campus after dark to call for a guard to escort them to their cars. Arrangements for escort service can be made through the Summit operator or security office at the campuses.  

Any threats to safety should be immediately reported to Security or 911 as well as University officials.


The John. A Graziano Memorial Library houses the largest and most complete collection of nursing journals, monographs, and audiovisual materials in the East Bay, and one of the best collections in this specialty area in California.  The Library also has holdings in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and podiatric medicine resources.  In addition, the Library supports a core medical collection of textbooks and reference materials, and subscribes to more than 11,000 print and electronic journals. The Library currently contains a collection of 46,000 volumes.  The Library maintains online access to 36 databases and a web-based catalog and student handbook.  In addition, there are laptop computers with network access available for in-library usage.  The Library is the information center for Samuel Merritt University.  As such, it serves the students, faculty, and staff with a full range of reference and circulation services and full access to electronic information technology.  Members of the University community may be asked to present their photo identification card to assure access to library collections and services.

Library Facilities and Services at the Campuses

Students and faculty at the campuses have the services of a librarian who is based on site.  The librarian provides orientations to library services and teaches students how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the needed information.  The librarian also works with faculty in order to build core text collections that support the curriculum.  Students may set up appointments to work with the librarian one on one or in small groups.

All Library licensed databases, including more than 11,000 full-text electronic journals and 200 e-books are available at the campuses.  Proxy mediated access to databases is also available from off-campus.

Social, athletic, and recreational activities are an integral part of student life. Advised by the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services, the student body association and various class groups plan activities including seminars, socials, educational programs, dinners, barbecues, films, and softball games throughout the year.  Recreational facilities are provided for the enjoyment of students, faculty, and staff. 


The Office of Student Services, located at 3100 Telegraph Ave, provides services and support for students in the following areas: Student Activities, Community Outreach, Student Governance, Career Support, New Student Orientation, Student Health and Counseling, Academic Resource Center, Disability Resource Center, Student Conduct, Veteran’s Support, Equity and Inclusion Training and Programming. Staff in the Office of Student Services can assist students in situations in which advocacy, support and guidance are needed or desired.

Students who need advocacy, support, or guidance should contact the Assistant Director of Student Services at 510-879-9200, x7303.

Student employment offers students the opportunity to help meet University expenses and gain valuable job experience.  A list of current student employment opportunities is posted at the Samuel Merritt University Employment webpage.  A variety of student positions are available at the University.  There are a limited number of off-campus community service positions that are work study eligible.  Students must speak with the Director of Financial Aid for requirements, eligibility, and openings prior to considering any off campus work-study job. Students may work a maximum of 20 hours/week and 8 hours/day while attending classes.  If a student is not enrolled in classes for a semester as part of the normal progression (summer vacation), additional hours may be worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours/week and 8 hours/day. 

There are many clubs and organizations that students can participate in. Students can review all of them and sign up for the ones they are interested in via SMU Pulse.

The clubs and organizations are overseen by the student government, called the Student Body Association (SBA). The SBA also provides funding and support for all of the clubs and organizations.

Students can also work with the SBA to add new clubs and organizations. The process to do so is below:

Process of Obtaining an Organization/Club Charter

  1. Any group of students wishing to start an organization/club may do so. There must be an initial start of 10 students petitioning interest for the proposed organization/club. 

  2. The organization/club charter and list of students must be completed and given to SBA two weeks prior to first proposal of organization/club to SBA. 

  3. It shall take a 2/3 majority vote of the SBA leadership to approve an organization/club.

  4. Membership shall be open to all SBA members (SMU students) who express a desire to be part of the organization/club.

  5. The organization/club shall elect an advisor to attend events and activities when available to do so.

  6. After the organization/club charter has been approved, the organization/club is granted $500 seed money from SBA funds. This money is allotted one time only. There is no replenishing of organization/club funds by SBA means.  No funds shall be approved for any organization/club that does not conform to the bylaws.

  7. An organization shall be a group which functions to enhance the professional attitudes, skills, and knowledge of students.

  8. A club shall be a group organized to carry out specialized extracurricular activities.

  9. Any club or organization that does not perform according to the standards and expectations set forth by University, SBA and/or the approved charter may have its charter, approval, and access to any funding revoked.

  10. The President of the organization/club shall attend or send an alternate to all Student Body Association meetings or communicate with SBA via email to sba@samuelmerritt.edu

Any student or group of students may submit for approval a proposed policy to the appropriate student government committee.

The committee may:

1. Recommend approval of the policy and forward it to the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services.

2. Return it to the originator for revisions and modifications.

3. Reject the proposed policy outright. If the policy is rejected, an explanation must be provided to the originator.


The Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services may:

1. Approve the policy outright or send it forward to the appropriate University committee or administrator.

2. Return it to the originator for revisions and modifications.

3. Reject the proposed policy outright. If the policy is rejected, an explanation must be provided to the originator and to the approving student body committee(s).


SMU is a "100% Bring Your Own Device" University. Students are expected to have a device that meets or exceeds the minimum technology standards, and to have the ability to use it effectively for their learning.

Desktop computers are available for student use in designated computer labs at each SMU campus.  All lab computers have Internet access, Microsoft Office Enterprise Edition, and a variety of computer-assisted instructional programs. The Oakland campus has one additional computer lab located in Peralta Pavilion Level-L, which is frequently used for computer training or online testing activities. Wireless network access is available to students in all classroom, library, and group study areas.