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 access UpSwing for Peer tutoring and Brainfuse for profession tutoring (both located within MySMU). Additional assistance please contact the Academic Support Department


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 information about how to schedule academic coaching sessions, please contact Academic Support.


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 (SBA) and various class groups 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.


Communities are built on connection. At SMU, we strive to engage our community of esteemed graduates through alumni events, meaningful University news and stories, and impactful giving opportunities. Our alumni work in all aspects of healthcare and share a passion for advocating for and collaborating with community members to address and overcome health inequities. SMU provides opportunities for professional networking, reconnecting with classmates, and partnering with, promoting, and supporting the University in a variety of ways. 

Our SMU alumni network is growing rapidly, now boasting well over 20,000+! We look forward to counting you among our community. 

Visit our Alumni and Friends webpage to learn more and to explore alumni benefits. 


Located on the Oakland campus in Peralta Pavilion, Room 2710, the Samuel Merritt University Bookstore is open Monday to Thursday, 9:00am until 4:00pm, 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 or visit the bookstore website at


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, 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:

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. 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  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 Dean of Students, 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 Academic/Student Affairs 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 (scroll down each page to “Technical Standards”).


Service Animals and Pets Guidelines

The University has a general “no pets” policy in all of its buildings. Pets are allowed on the grounds when leashed and under control.

Service dogs have been specially trained to aid people with disabilities, therefore they are not considered “pets” and are generally allowed to accompany their handlers in any building or public space where their handlers are permitted, without advanced approval.

With advanced approval, the “no pets” policy may be waived in certain campus spaces for some emotional support animals as a disability accommodation. To obtain this approval at Samuel Merritt University, contact the relevant office:

  • Students: Disability Resource Center,, 510-879-9233.
  • Employees: Office of People and Culture,

The “no pets” policy is also waived for certain visiting therapy dogs, with pre-approval.

All types of assistance animals on campus must be house broken and under their handler’s control. If they are disruptive, the handler may be asked to either correct the animal’s behavior or remove it from the environment.

For questions, please contact the Disability Resource Center.

3100 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1000

Oakland, California 94609

Phone 510.879.9233

Fax 510.457.2628


Unresolved Disagreements and Complaints About Discrimination

If there is an unresolved disagreement over a particular accommodation or a complaint of discrimination, first contact the Director of the Disability Resource Center. If the complaint is about the Director, or the problem is not satisfactorily resolved, appeals can be made to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, who makes a final determination in the matter following the dispute resolution procedures outlined on the Disability Resource Center website.

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) 879-3335 or create a Service Ticket via TeamDynamix on mySMU.



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.

Public Transportation

Public Transportation options are available for students.  Please refer to the public transportation system website for each respective city where a campus is located for most up to date information.


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 of allied health literature and supporting specialties.  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.  the Student Body Association (SBA) and various class groups plan activities including seminars, socials, educational programs, dinners, barbecues, films, and athletic 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, and Veteran's Support.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion under the Office of People and Culture organizes and provides 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

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 Financial Aid Office 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

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 Student Affairs Office.

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 Student Affairs Office 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.

This Grievance Procedure may be used by any student who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by Samuel Merritt University. Employment-related complaints of disability discrimination should be submitted to the Office of People and Culture

The grievance should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative means of filing grievances, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.

The complaint should be submitted by the student as soon as possible, but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation, to the DRC Director or the Assistant Dean of Students (if the complaint is about the DRC Director) at or 3100 Telegraph Ave, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94609.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the DRC Director or their designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. If the complaint is about the DRC Director, the Assistant Dean of Students will review the complaint. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the DRC Director, Assistant Dean of Students, or designee will respond in writing, and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain the position of the University and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

If the response by the DRC Director, Assistant Dean of Students, or designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant may appeal the decision within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the Assistant Dean of Students (if the complaint was initially reviewed by the DRC Director) or the Vice President for Student Affairs (if the complaint was initially reviewed by the Assistant Dean of Students).

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the Assistant Dean of Students or Vice President will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, the Assistant Dean of Students or Vice President of Student Affairs will respond in writing, and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, with a final resolution of the complaint.

All written complaints received by Student Affairs and responses will be retained by the University for at least three years.