Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Curricular Regulations and Advice
- A final exam is required for all courses and a special
time is reserved in exam week for every course's exam. Teachers may
plan an in-class exam for that period or arrange other means of evaluation
brought to the final meeting of the class (i.e., a take-home exam,
a final paper, etc.). In any case, students must attend the scheduled
final exam meeting, whether it is a traditional exam or a special,
final meeting of the class. Absence will be reported to the appropriate
student dean by the instructor and results in failure of the final
exam or the course at the discretion of the instructor.
- Except for courses in performance studies, physical
activity and dance activity, an instructor may not use the last day
of class for either a written or oral final exam. Take-home exams
and papers substituting for final exams must be due at the scheduled
the final exam period.
- Students are required to take final exams at the scheduled
time unless the instructor, with the written approval of the department
chair or program director, has given the student permission to re-schedule
to another time during finals week. Student requests for an exam change
must be made in writing. The decision rests with the chair or director.
Chairs and directors will exclude from consideration rescheduling
requests involving rides home, early family vacations, early summer
employment, pre-purchased airline tickets and the like. The Student
Honor Council welcomes policy that restricts the number of schedule
exceptions during finals week.
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS (BACHELOR OF ARTS)
Graduation requirements for students are reported
in this catalog and the Catalog Supplement.
Graduation requirements are defined only in this catalog
and should be reviewed frequently. Students alone have the responsibility
of seeing that their academic program includes all requirements for
A student must meet the graduation requirements in place
at the time he/she first enters St. Olaf as a degree candidate.
All graduation requirements must be completed before a
degree is conferred and a diploma issued. While some requirements may
be fulfilled in different ways, graduation requirements themselves cannot
be waived. They are not subject to petition or appeal.
Listed below are frequently misunderstood or overlooked
requirements, or regulations affecting requirements.
- An independent study or an independent research credit
does not fulfill a General Education requirement for the degree (except
as a course in writing [WRI]).
- Eighteen of the 35 credits required for graduation
must be taken at Level II and/or III.
- Performance studies courses (lessons) are always Level
I courses for Bachelor of Arts students.
- At least 50% of the minimal major must be taken through
- Twenty-one of the 35 credits required for graduation
must be outside of the department or program certifying the major.
- A minimum of six full courses in the major must have
earned grades above C- (C or higher).
- Two-thirds of all St. Olaf courses must be graded.
- After having successfully completed two Interims, senior
participators may satisfy the third Interim requirement by means of
an on-campus course taken during a St. Olaf summer session after graduation.
- The senior residency requirement consists of
registration through St. Olaf either (a) during the last two semesters
and Interim preceding the conferring of the degree, or (b) for at
least nine of the last 12 full courses. For instance, seniors may
spend one of their last terms at another institution only if a maximum
of three courses are applied to the St. Olaf degree. A senior may
spend the final semester on a St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus program.
Residency is a graduation requirement with two parts:
- Seventeen of the 35 full credit courses required for
graduation must be taken through St. Olaf College. This may include
St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus programs.
- The senior residency requirement consists of registration
through St. Olaf either (a) during the last two semesters and Interim
preceding the conferring of the degree, or (b) for at least nine of
the last 12 full courses. For instance, seniors may spend one of their
last terms at another institution only if a maximum of three courses
are applied to the St. Olaf degree. A senior may spend the final semester
on a St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus program.
Note the special residency requirement for those pursuing
both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree in the "Second
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
General Education requirements constitute the "core"
degree requirements of the curriculum. Consult this catalog for a full
description of General Education requirements.
Courses are described in this catalog and in the
Catalog Supplement; courses fulfilling a given General Education requirement
are indicated in this catalog, the Catalog Supplement and the Class
and Lab Schedule. Note that St. Olaf's General Education curriculum
does not work by a distribution system (so many courses in certain disciplines);
rather, it identifies an area of learning for General Education and
sets out a series of guidelines which inform the construction of courses.
Departments and programs submit their course proposals to a General
Education committee which judges whether a course fulfills a requirement.
Because the college's expectations for General Education are distinctive
and characteristic of this college alone, students must be particularly
careful as they plan off-campus and transfer work. The Registrar's Office
can help determine how transfer work can apply to St. Olaf's General
Education requirements; advisers of off-campus programs determine whether
a non-St. Olaf course applies to the General Education requirements.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT
The foreign language requirement is described only
in this catalog under "Graduation Requirements."
All St. Olaf students must satisfy the foreign language
requirement. This may be done either by completing the fourth semester
of French, German, or Spanish, or the third semester of Chinese, Japanese,
Russian, Norwegian, Greek, or Latin, or by demonstrating equivalent
proficiency. For students with learning disabilities specific to foreign
language, there is an alternate way to satisfy the foreign language
requirement, as approved by the St. Olaf faculty on October 16, 1974:
"After completion of the work in a foreign language
course at St. Olaf College, the student who receives a D or F or no
credit may petition to satisfy all (in the case of an F or no credit
in a Language 111 course) or any remaining portion of the requirement
by taking Foreign Culture and Civilization or Literature in English
Alternatives to this requirement are rarely considered.
In most cases, they can be initiated by the student only upon completion
of a course as explained above. Criteria for granting permission for
an alternative include, but are not limited to, strict adherence to
language course requirements and class attendance, plus evidence of
having worked with a tutor assigned by the Academic Support Center.
In a limited number of cases involving students with specific learning
disabilities as detailed in Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All
Handicapped Children Act of 1975), Section 5(b)(4), a faculty member
or a student may initiate the procedure to request an alternative to
the foreign language requirement before the student completes the course,
as detailed in guidelines approved by the faculty on May 10, 1988. A
student experiencing foreign language difficulty should first consult
the instructor of the foreign language course and also his/her academic
adviser; these faculty may also refer the student to the Academic Support
Students planning to fulfill the foreign language requirement
with transfer courses from other institutions should be aware of St.
Olaf's requirement of intermediate proficiency in one foreign language.
Proficiency reports from persons not known to St. Olaf
must be based on documented exposure or training by the student in a
foreign language equivalent in length to three or four college semesters,
or demonstration of a sufficient length of time in a non-English speaking
culture to give credence to a proficiency report. As a rule, proficiency
reports from persons outside of St. Olaf are not acted upon until the
student arranges for a final proficiency exam by persons and methods
agreed to by members of the foreign language faculty, the registrar
and, if deemed necessary, the dean of the college. Such exams may involve
an expense charged to the student.
Questions concerning the transfer of foreign language
courses to St. Olaf should be directed in advance to the registrar.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COURSES (PHA)
Two one-quarter physical activity courses in different
physical subjects or one .50 credit course in Physical Education are
required for graduation. It is strongly recommended that both of these
courses be completed before the senior year. The following regulations
are often misunderstood:
- Students not appearing on the first class day of a
physical activity course are normally dropped from the course by the
instructor. In this event, the student must still drop the course
at the Registrar's Office by the posted drop deadline. The instructor
does not assume this responsibility.
- Only one physical activity course credit may be earned
by students as a result of participation in an approved intercollegiate
sport. This credit must be entered as Physical Education 171-194 at
the registration preceding the sport/participation term. Credit cannot
be claimed after the term in which participation took place. An intercollegiate
physical education (.25) credit can only be used within the two quarter-credit
physical education graduation requirement. An intercollegiate physical
education (.25) credit cannot be used as an elective for the purpose
of earning a credit toward the 35 full-credit course requirement for
graduation. It can only be used once as one-half of the two-course
- Dance 101 and 104 are .50 credit courses, but each
earns only one PHA credit and cannot be counted for both (.25) PHA
- Students may register initially for only one physical
activity. On a space-available basis a second physical activity may
be added with a signed drop/add slip within the drop/add dates published
in this catalog.
- After the Physical Activity (PHA) requirement has been
completed, students may repeat Physical Activities (all those coded
department 59) under the following conditions:
- The PHA requirement is completed with two different PE activities.
- Students repeating a PE must wait until the first day of classes
to register the repeated activity to allow all current students
to register for the PHA requirement.
- Students may only register on a "space available"
(open courses) basis.
- PE activities may only be repeated 4 times.
Minimum of eight courses in the major
One completed major is required for graduation. Students
must declare a major no later than the time of registration for interim
and semester II of their junior year by filling out a form available
at the registrar's office. Students are allowed to change this declaration
or add a second major at a later date. Only this catalog defines the
specific requirements for each departmental or interdisciplinary major.
Depending on the department or interdisciplinary program, the number
of courses required for a major ranges from eight to 12 courses, with
some departments recommending course work in other departments.
Departments and interdisciplinary programs may require
comprehensive examinations or special research projects.
While the maximum course credits in any one department allowed toward
the 35.00 course graduation requirement may vary, 21 credits must be
completed outside of the department or program certifying the major.
If a student has a double major, courses taken in the second major count
toward the 21 credits outside of the first major. In order for a student
to be certified in a second or third major, 21 credits also must be
taken outside of those majors as well.
Other regulations are:
- A minimum of six full-credit courses above C- (C or
higher) must be completed in the major field.
- Only one full-course equivalent taken S/U may count
toward the minimum requirements for a major.
- At least 50 percent of the minimum major must be taken
through St. Olaf. Students should consult the appropriate department
chair or program director about counting toward a major courses taken
at other colleges. The chairs should sign the student's transfer of
credit form (available from the Registrar's Office) if work from other
institutions is accepted in advance. Likewise, courses taken through
St. Olaf off-campus programs should be approved by the chairs/directors
and the off-campus program adviser in advance if credit toward a major
- Certification of the completed major is done by the
department chairs and interdisciplinary directors.
- A graduated senior may add a second major to the St.
Olaf record if not more than two courses from another institution
are subsequently applied.
- Graduation requirements for majors within the Bachelor
of Music degree may vary widely. Students should consult this catalog
and the Music Department chair.
Attaining two or three majors within the confines
of 35 courses often is difficult. The student should consult frequently
with his/her adviser and the chairs or directors of the majoring departments
and programs. Three regulations are important:
- Twenty-one credits outside of the department certifying
the major are required for graduation. Courses applied to a second
major, as well as Education Department courses attending a major,
count toward the 21 "outside" credits. Twenty-one credits
outside of each of the second or third majors are required in order
to certify those majors as complete and recorded on the student's
- A graduate may add a second major to the St. Olaf record
if no more than two courses from another institution are subsequently
applied to the second major.
- Certification of a completed major is the responsibility/prerogative
of the department chairs or program directors, not the registrar.
Should a student desire to earn both the Bachelor
of Arts degree and the Bachelor of Music degree at St. Olaf, he/she
must complete a minimum of 43 courses, with the last 17 earned through
St. Olaf. In addition, both the junior and the senior year must be spent
in residence or a fifth year of residence must be added to the senior
Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Music major
and the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Music are defined only
in this catalog. Students should also consult the Music Handbook. Bachelor
of Arts Music and Music Education majors should be careful to complete
21 credits outside of the major.
Student participation in campus musical organizations
(choirs, orchestras, bands, ensembles, etc.) is not awarded course credit.
PERFORMANCE STUDIES COURSES
Performance studies courses (music lessons) are
always Level I courses for Bachelor of Arts students.
Performance studies courses (lessons) are Upper Level courses for Bachelor
of Music students only in their principal performing medium and only
during the junior and senior years.
Generally, performance studies courses are fractional
(.25) courses, not full credit courses. Registration for performance
studies courses must be approved by the Music Department. Registration
instructions are published in the Class and Lab Schedule. Lessons may
be added to or dropped from a student's registration only with a music
lesson drop/add slip available from the Music Office. This drop/add
slip must be processed by the Music Department secretary before it will
be accepted in the Registrar's Office.
Registration for performance studies lessons may result
in an additional fee; see the Music Office for details. If a student
drops a performance studies course (lessons) after the first day of
class, no refund of music lesson fees is made.