St. Olaf CollegeAcademic CatalogSt. Olaf College

Table of Contents

An Education for the 21st Century: Academic Life
» The Mission
» The St. Olaf Curriculum
» Majors and More
» The 4-1-4 Calendar
» Academic Advising
» Academic Support
» Academic Resources
» Grad. Requirements
» The Campus

Graduation Requirements and Curricular Advice
Academic Regulations and Procedures
International and Off-Campus Studies
Special Programs
Admissions and Financial Aid
Life Outside the Classroom
Facts and Figures
College Calendar

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Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Majors and More

The General Education provisions of St. Olaf’s liberal arts curriculum are designed to encourage in students a breadth of knowledge. The requirement that a student complete a major in order to graduate fosters the development of knowledge in depth and prepares students for lives of worth and service.

Students at St. Olaf have 42 Bachelor of Arts graduation majors from which to select, as well as a number of teaching majors and teaching certification programs. Many students choose to major in one of the traditional liberal arts disciplines, such as art, biology, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, or a world language. Others choose an interdisciplinary program that brings the perspectives of several disciplines to bear on a specialized area of concern, such as Asian studies, medieval studies or women’s studies. Many students choose to double major or to pursue a concentration or certification program in addition to a disciplinary major or to develop an area of emphasis within a major.

While a student needs one major for graduation, some students opt to pursue two majors and others add an area of emphasis (a program of three or more related courses within or beyond the basic major) or a concentration (an approved program of four or more courses that cuts across departmental boundaries). Students may also propose an individual major for approval by a faculty committee. Students interested in a professional music degree can pursue one of the four different majors available within a Bachelor of Music degree.

Majors (with areas of emphasis) and concentrations are officially listed on the student’s permanent record. Students interested in a department teaching major or teaching certification must first be admitted to the Teacher Education Program.

Bachelor of Arts Graduation Majors

  • American Racial and Multicultural Studies
  • American Studies
  • Ancient Studies
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Asian Studies
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Exercise Science
  • Family Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Fine Arts
  • Latin
  • Mathematics
  • Medieval Studies
  • Music
  • Norwegian
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Russian
  • Russian Area Studies
  • Social Studies Education
  • Social Work
  • Sociology/Anthropology
  • Spanish
  • Theatre
  • Women's Studies

* For information on individual majors, see Integrative Studies in the Academic Programs
portion of this catalog.

Bachelor of Arts Teaching Certifications

  • Communication Arts and Literature: English
  • Dance and Theater: Dance, Theatre
  • Mathematics
  • Music: Vocal; Instrumental, Classroom
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • World Languages: French, German, Latin, Spanish

Areas of Emphasis

Areas of emphasis (three or more related courses within or beyond the basic major) at St. Olaf are:

  • Economics: Finance, Management, Policy Analysis, International Economic Analysis
  • B.A. Music: History-Literature, Theory-Composition
  • B.M. Music: Collaborative Keyboard Performance

Bachelor of Arts Concentrations

A concentration is an approved interdisciplinary program consisting of a minimum of four courses. Bachelor of Arts concentrations are not available to Bachelor of Music candidates. Concentrations are listed below:

  • Africa and the Americas
  • American Racial and Multicultural Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Biomedical Studies
  • Biomolecular Science
  • China Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Financial Management
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Japan Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Latin American/Latino Studies
  • Management
  • Media Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nordic Studies
  • Statistics
  • Women's Studies

Bachelor of Music Graduation Majors

  • Church Music Performance
  • Music Education Theory-Composition

Special Programs

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.