Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
The 4-1-4 Calendar
The St. Olaf College academic year
consists of a 4-1-4 curriculum and calendar plan (two 14-week semesters
of four courses each separated by a one-month Interim of one course
in January). The 4-1-4 curriculum is augmented by two summer sessions
during which as many as four courses may be taken.
This schedule improves the quality
of instruction by concentrating student effort on fewer courses at one
time; by providing an opportunity for independent study for students
at some time during the four years; by providing opportunities for students
with special abilities through programs of departmental and interdepartmental
distinction; by providing integration of intellectual experiences and
philosophy of life through interdisciplinary and capstone courses; and
by allowing for students to complete more than one major.
Study in the January Interim, and
in seminar and independent study courses, is aimed at helping the student
develop greater insight, initiative, creativity and responsibility.
St. Olaf College confers the degrees
of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music upon students who have completed
requirements leading to those degrees. (Consult the Index for more information
about Graduation Requirements.) Historically 70-75 percent of all St.
Olaf students who enter directly after high school graduate after four
years of study, one of the highest graduation rates in the country among
four-year, private liberal arts colleges.
The January Interim is a four-week period of intensive
study in one area. The Interim provides an opportunity for instructors
and students to focus their entire attention on one course for a full
month and offers a time for single-minded study in depth. It is a time
when unique teaching and learning styles may be utilized in traditional
courses or when unique subjects may be studied in international or domestic
off-campus locations. Faculty often develop creative on-campus course
work dealing with contemporary topics in their discipline.
Students may pursue, with guidance of a faculty
member, independent study projects or internships on or off campus during
the Interim. A group of students may design an experimental course with
approval by the college curriculum committee. Thus, the Interim provides
the student with an opportunity to choose from a wide variety of independent
or group learning activities. St. Olaf upperclass students may also
attend an Interim at one of approximately 25 other 4-1-4 colleges on
an Interim exchange basis.
Students are expected to devote a minimum of 40
hours of study per week directly related to the Interim course, including
class time, outside reading and other course-related work. In general,
faculty and student contact hours for the Interim approximate the contact
hours per course during the regular semester: 35-40 hours for the entire
Interim or 8-10 hours per week. Class attendance is required on the
last day of the Interim for examination or evaluation purposes. Grades
are based on evaluation procedures similar to the regular semester.
Special Programs and Independent Study
Students can customize their educations at St. Olaf
- thanks to an exciting array of international and domestic off-campus
study programs, innovative offerings such as a Foreign Languages Across
the Curriculum course, the Great Conversation, Asian Conversations and
American Conversations and opportunities for independent study and research,
internships, pre-professional studies or the creation of an individualized
major through the Center for Integrative Studies. For more information
on these offerings, see the section on Special Programs in this catalog
or consult the Index.