St. Olaf CollegeAcademic CatalogSt. Olaf College

Table of Contents
An Education for the 21st Century: Academic Life
Graduation Requirements and Curricular Advice
Academic Regulations
» Entering St. Olaf
» Transferring to St. Olaf
» Registering for Courses
» Special Registrations
» Counting Courses & Credits
» Academic Status
» Records/Policies
» Leaving St. Olaf

» Graduating
International and Off-Campus Studies
Special Programs
Admissions and Financial Aid
Life Outside the Classroom
Facts and Figures
College Calendar

Registrar's Office
Admin 224
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057



Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.



During Fall Semester, members of the senior class apply for candidacy for the degree to which their courses apply. Application is made through the Registrar’s Office. Only such members of the senior class as have been accepted as candidates for a degree will participate in Commencement events. Seniors not filing this application risk being overlooked for a diploma and inclusion in the Commencement program.

Seniors who will complete all requirements and graduate after Fall Semester or Interim will be contacted individually and asked to apply for candidacy in late October.

senior audit

During Fall Semester, the Registrar’s Office conducts a review for each senior who has applied to graduate. A senior who will not meet the requirements stated for participation in Commencement will be notified that he/she has been removed from the list of graduating seniors. Seniors should be cautious about changing registration in the last semester of the senior year. Any change that brings a senior below the stated requirements for participation will result in the student being dropped from the graduating class.
Past experience leads the college to believe that seniors should be cautious about taking courses S/U. A U designation does not carry credit and will not be changed to another type of grade for graduation credit at a later date. An S grade will not fulfill a General Education requirement.

Participation in COMMENCEMENT

Commencement exercises are held each May for graduating seniors who are members of that class and who have successfully completed 35 credits and all other requirements for the degree.

Only students who have successfully completed 33 full course credits out of the required 35 full course credits with a minimum 2.00 grade point average are eligible to be included in the Commencement program and participate in Commencement and its related activities without receiving a diploma. Students who participate in Commencement without receiving a diploma are referred to as “participators.” A participator’s name will appear with appropriate honors designation in the Commencement program, but he/she will not receive a diploma until the completion of all requirements. The grade point average for participators may change if their remaining course work is completed at St. Olaf. Honors may also change, but rank in class remains unchanged. The grade point average for diploma graduates will change if St. Olaf courses that qualify for inclusion in the grade point average are subsequently taken but honor designation and rank in class will remain as they were recorded on the date of graduation. The diploma is conferred and a complete transcript issued following completion of all requirements.

Neither senior status, number of courses attempted, time spent in college, delays in submitting off-campus or transfer work, nor other circumstances or miscommunication eliminate the 33 full-course requirement. The 33 credits must be fulfilled and recorded before the day of Commencement. The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.


Baccalaureate degrees and degree requirements are defined only in this catalog and the Catalog Supplement.

St. Olaf College confers the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music upon students who have completed requirements leading to those degrees. 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.

Should a student desire to earn both the B.A. degree and the B.M. degree at St. Olaf, he/she must complete a minimum of 43 credits, with the last 17 credits earned through St. Olaf. See the special residency requirement in this catalog.

Degree requirements are those defined in the St. Olaf College Catalog in the year a student first enters St. Olaf as a degree candidate.

Students alone are responsible for seeing that their programs include all requirements for graduation.


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 year.


A diploma is issued to each member of the graduating class at Commencement under the following conditions:

  1. All requirements for the Baccalaureate degree have been successfully completed.
  2. The recipient has no outstanding financial obligations to the college.

Diplomas are not issued to senior participators until all degree requirements are completed.

There is a $25.00 fee for replacing a diploma.