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 a total of 2.5 credits each session 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, in seminars
and in independent study courses is aimed at helping the student
develop greater insight, initiative, creativity and responsibility.
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
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.