Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Special Registrations


All persons attending, auditing, or participating in a program of instruction must officially register with the college. Permission of the instructor and the registrar is required to audit a course. An auditor is a visitor in a class and participates in its activities only at the invitation of the instructor. Students are discouraged from seeking to audit courses that involve performance, lab work, discussion sessions, or extensive use of equipment such as studios, gymnasia, and computers. In the case of science courses with attached labs, students may audit the course but not the lab. Auditors take exams or hand in written work only at the direction of the instructor.

Students may:

  • Audit a course after taking the course once for credit;
  • Audit a course more than one time;
  • Audit a maximum of one full credit beyond a full 4.50 course load;
  • Audit an Interim course if not registered for a different Interim course, provided they meet the graduation requirement of three Interim courses in addition to the audited course.

Students may not:

  • Subsequently earn credit for a course by special examination after auditing the same course;
  • Register for credit through petition for courses where tests and evaluations are used to establish an early grade pattern after the add deadline has passed;
  • Audit an Interim course if concurrently registered for a different Interim course;
  • Audit an IS/IR or Internship;
  • Audit summer school courses.

Successful Audits: A person attempting a successful audit must have the permission of the instructor at the time of entering the course and should negotiate the conditions necessary for completion of a successful audit with the instructor at that time. A successful audit form, available from the Registrar’s Office, is to be completed by the student and the instructor together and returned by the student to the Registrar’s Office no later than the last day to add a class for the semester in which the course is being offered. Changing a course from graded to audit requires completion of the Successful Audit form and must be submitted by the last day to drop a class or make a change in the grading option. A properly documented successful audit is entered on the auditor's transcript with a notation of AU. Successful audits are not awarded course or grade credit nor do audits fulfill graduation requirements in whole or in part. An unsuccessful audit occurs when the student does not complete the plan set forth on the audit form. An unsuccessful audit appears on the transcript with a notation of UA. Auditors other than registered full-time St. Olaf and Carleton students or staff will be required to pay 20% of the current tuition charge per course.


Full-time, degree-seeking St. Olaf and Carleton College students may enroll in courses on either campus. Inter-registration is limited to one course per term. A course taken at Carleton must receive prior approval of the Carleton instructor and registrar and be worth at least six variable Carleton credits. A Carleton course must be properly registered in order for credit to be awarded (see procedure below). As a general rule Carleton will not inter-register St. Olaf students for Carleton courses which are routinely taught at St. Olaf. Carleton courses are computed in the St. Olaf grade point average.

Registration for a Carleton Winter Term course is considered a full St. Olaf Interim load. A St. Olaf student may not simultaneously register for a St. Olaf Interim. A Carleton Winter Term course counts as one (1.00) St. Olaf Interim (January Term) course.

Physical Activity courses must be inter-registered. A PHA/SPM course taken at Carleton will count toward the general education requirement (PHA/SPM) at St. Olaf, but no credit will be given toward the total number of courses required for graduation. A student wishing to apply a Carleton course to his/her major should consult with the appropriate St. Olaf department chair or program director before completing the inter-registration procedure. Consult the Registrar’s Office for the procedure to secure general education credit approval before completing the inter-registration process.

Seniors must be aware that Carleton grades from spring quarter courses are not reported until after St. Olaf’s commencement ceremonies. Taking a Carleton course during the spring semester of the senior year will affect the student’s  graduation status.

To enroll in a Carleton College course, students must:

  1. Obtain an application form from the St. Olaf registrar.
  2. Obtain the signature of the Carleton instructor and the Carleton registrar.
  3. Complete an application each term that they take a Carleton course. Example: A student must register for two Carleton terms if s/he wishes to take the Hebrew 101-102 sequence.
  4. Return the completed application to the St. Olaf registrar’s window for approval. A copy of the completed form will then be sent to Carleton and the student notified by e-mail.
  5. Drop a Carleton course by obtaining a change of registration form from the St. Olaf registrar’s window; have it signed by the Carleton instructor; return it to the St. Olaf registrar by the posted Carleton drop deadline.

Note that St. Olaf students may not register for an independent study or independent research with a Carleton faculty member. St. Olaf students may not audit Carleton courses.


St. Olaf College permits enrollment on a part-time basis in most regular college classes at a reduced rate of tuition. Prospective continuing education students must comply with the following:

  • Continuing Education students must be 25 years of age or older and non-degree seeking or be a St. Olaf graduate;
  • Register on a space-available basis;
  • Register no earlier than the first day of classes with signatures from faculty.

Continuing education students who later decide to become degree seeking may count only 7 (seven) courses taken under the continuing education guidelines toward a degree.

Persons wishing to take courses as continuing education students must obtain and complete the appropriate paperwork in the Registrar’s Office prior to attending class. Any questions should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

Regular degree-seeking students registered full- or part-time in the traditional college program are not permitted to take courses at the reduced rate as continuing education students.


Independent work is a privilege to be extended only if those involved agree the student is prepared to benefit, that the proposal is well-planned and that there is previous course work in the area to give credence to independent study. The following regulations apply:

  1. Total work to be done shall approximate that expected for a regular semester course. No proposal worth less than or more than a full (1.00) course credit will be considered.
  2. Independent study/independent research may fulfill an elective credit or a credit in the major, but it may not fulfill a general education requirement (except for a Writing in Context course [WRI]).
  3. Independent study/independent research is not a substitute for a regularly offered course, but a special type of educational experience with purposes different from those for which regular courses are designed. Ordinarily, prerequisite course work will have been completed in the area of the independent study.
  4. A student may take up to a total of three independent study courses. A student may also take two independent research courses in each field in which he/she has completed five courses. Independent study is registered by department or program as 298, Level II. Independent research is registered as 398, Level III. First-year students may not take an independent study/independent research course.
  5. Applications for independent study/independent research are available at the registrar’s window. Paperwork is due by the last day to add a class. Several signatures are required. Students need to complete the form before they register for the independent study/independent research. Once it is approved by the registrar the registration appears on the SIS.
  6. Independent study/independent research courses must be supervised by a St. Olaf faculty member. The exception is already-established independent courses or study service through approved St. Olaf off-campus study. Students on non-St. Olaf programs do not receive credit for independent study/independent research.

Questions about independent study/independent research should be directed to the registrar.


Students have the option of proposing a self-designed, integrative major through the Center for Integrative Studies (CIS) at any time during the sophomore year or at the beginning of the junior year. A student may propose any sequence of courses, seminars, independent studies, or experiential learning as the means of pursuing an individual major.

The proposal must have the support of a faculty academic advisor. The coherence, depth, and feasibility of each proposal is evaluated by a faculty review committee convened by the CIS. Students pursuing individual majors also keep a web portfolio of their work in the major as a means of demonstrating the connections among its various components, to the work of other students, or to other sites of public discussion.

For more information about individual majors, consult Integrative Studies.


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. Upperclass students may pursue, with guidance of a faculty member, independent study projects or internships on or off campus during the Interim. St. Olaf upperclass students may also attend an Interim at one of approximately 25 other 4-1-4 colleges on an Interim exchange basis. Consult the Registrar's Office for details.

Specific regulations as they apply to Interim include:

  1. For students who originally matriculated at St. Olaf, three successful Interims are required for graduation. Transfer students admitted with sophomore or junior standing must successfully complete two Interims as is the case of transient students who spend the sophomore and junior years at another institution.
  2. First-year students must register for an Interim course unless they have prior approval from their class dean.
  3. Students may take only one course or program of instruction during Interim. For example, St. Olaf students enrolled in a Winter Term course at Carleton are not permitted to enroll in the St. Olaf Interim. The Carleton course equals a full Interim load. Students enrolled in an Interim course or program cannot audit another course for the purpose of having a second transcript entry, e.g. "successful audit."
  4. 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.
  5. Students who enroll at St. Olaf for the year but who elect to omit the Interim course are not entitled to a refund of Interim tuition or room. A student must apply for a board credit through the Business Office before leaving campus. No credit will be given once interim begins.
  6. Departments and interdisciplinary programs have varying requirements concerning the use of Interim courses in the major, or to fulfill graduation requirements. Students should consult the department or program, this catalog and the online Interim Class and Lab Schedule.
  7. For senior “participators” (see PARTICIPATION IN COMMENCEMENT), who have successfully completed two Interims, a St. Olaf summer school course taken after Commencement may count as the third Interim.  The student must pay the appropriate St. Olaf summer school tuition and meet the residency requirement for graduation.
  8. Students graduating with the class of 2008 and later may fulfill one of the three 1.00 credit interim requirements through participation in a St. Olaf approved program of off-campus study if the dates of the off-campus program preclude successful completion of a separate interim course.


St. Olaf will accept Interim Exchange only from 4-1-4 colleges with which it has an exchange agreement and only if the Interim is at least 3.5 weeks in length. Interim Exchange courses earn elective credit and may qualify for certain majors. Applications, available at the registrar’s window, must be approved by the registrar. The student/applicant may check the college's website for information about courses.

First-year students may not participate in Interim Exchange.

An Interim Exchange course must be taken for a letter grade, but grades earned at other colleges through Interim Exchange are not computed in the St. Olaf grade point average.

Students who participate in an Interim Exchange are not entitled to a refund of Interim tuition or room. A student must apply for a board credit through the Business Office before leaving campus. No credit will be given once Interim begins.

Questions regarding a specific exchange and about course credit from an exchange should be directed to the registrar.


Academic internships are viewed as an integral part of a student’s academic life at St. Olaf College. An academic internship is a planned, supervised, experiential learning project integrating study and practical work. As a credit-bearing experience it allows students to acquire and apply knowledge through direct experience in a field related to their academic program. The academic internship is intended to integrate on-site learning with the knowledge base of a related discipline. Academic integrity is assured through established department/program criteria, faculty supervision, an Academic Internship Learning Plan, and guidance from the Center for Experiential Learning.

The following regulations govern academic internships:

  1. To assure that a proposed academic internship is credit-worthy, a student must complete a Learning Plan in advance of the internship. A form for a Learning Plan is available online at the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) website.
  2. Credit for an academic internship will be granted only when the academic internship is completed in conjunction with a St. Olaf academic program.
  3. Each academic internship must have a St. Olaf faculty supervisor and an on-site supervisor. There must be ongoing communication among the college, the student, and the on-site supervisor during the academic internship to assure fulfillment of the Learning Plan.
  4. An academic internship as outlined in a Learning Plan must be approved by the Center for Experiential Learning and by the faculty supervisor. Approval by the department chair is needed for the academic internship to be counted toward a major.
  5. Each academic internship must include both practical work experience assigned by the on-site supervisor and complementary academic work assigned by the St. Olaf faculty supervisor as outlined by the Learning Plan.
  6. A student may enroll for an academic internship as either a Level II (294) or Level III (394) course, using criteria established by individual departments or programs. At the discretion of an individual department, a student may take a second internship with the same number in that department, provided it has a different focus.
  7. A student may be paid for work done during the academic internship.
  8. The academic internship experience must be evaluated by the St. Olaf faculty supervisor, with input from the on-site supervisor.
  9. Only proposals for internships bearing a full (1.00) or one-half (0.5) course credit will be considered.
  10. Academic internships are offered P/N only.
  11. Academic internships do not fulfill general education requirements.
  12. Consideration of transfer of academic internship credit from another institution will follow the transfer credit policy for matriculated students.
  13. No more than three (3.00) academic internship credits may apply to a St. Olaf degree; the maximum number of internship courses is four (4).
  14. A student may register for an academic internship only after the Center for Experiential Learning approves the Learning Plan.
  15. A student must register for an academic internship prior to or during the term for which the student receives credit. For summer internships, the deadline is June 1. Credit will not be awarded retroactively.
  16. The academic internship experience (on-site work in addition to academic work) must total 160 hours, with a minimum of 120 hours on site for a one-credit intership and 100 hours, with a minimum of 80 hours on site for the one-half credit internship.
  17. Each department or program sets guidelines for approved experiential learning activities and may therefore choose to offer either full-credit or half-credit internships as part of its curriculum.
  18. Neither a 0.5 credit academic internship nor the sum of two 0.5 credit academic internships taken during Interim may count towards the graduation requirement that three full course credits must be earned during three separate Interims.
  19. Paperwork for internships during the academic summer school must be completed by June 1.


Special students are defined as short-term (one year or less) students who do not plan to graduate from St. Olaf and are usually part-time. High school honor students are one category of special students; continuing education students are also considered special students. Anyone not in the categories mentioned above who wishes to register as a special student must contact the Registrar's Office for forms and submit transcripts from any high school or college previously attended.

Part-time degree-seeking students who intend to graduate from St. Olaf and who wish to register for fewer than three course credits must have permission to be enrolled part-time from the Dean of Students office.

Special students always register at the registrar’s window on the first day of classes up to the last day to add. Tuition must be paid, in full, at the time of registration.


The St. Olaf College summer school consists of two five-and-one-half-week terms, during each of which a student may take a maximum of 2.50 courses, for a total of 5.00 courses during the two terms of summer session. Course descriptions, costs, and other details are contained in the Summer School Catalog, available online at Questions about summer school programs, credits, and registration should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

Summer school tuition must be paid before a student will be permitted to register for summer courses.

Seniors anticipating completion of degree requirements through St. Olaf summer school should be aware of limited course offerings in a typical summer session.