Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
The following roster of pre-professional studies indicates how the liberal arts can fulfill the general as well as the specialized objectives of St. Olaf students. Recommendations are based on the typical pre-professional requirements currently existing in universities and professional schools.
Many other occupations beyond those in this roster may be pursued with a liberal arts background, of course. To learn more about them, call or visit the campus contact persons listed in areas that seem similar.
Subjects grouped under the headings “Strongly Recommended” are required by many institutions while those under “Recommended” are important but not necessarily required. Because of their diverse nature, many professions such as business and management, law, and public policy defy course-specific recommendations for undergraduates. For example, as many psychology as economics majors in the United States enter business careers each year through corporate training programs. In those instances, recommendations should be considered suggestive, not directive. Opposite examples are nursing and social work, which have prescribed curriculums required for licensure examinations.
Students are encouraged to work closely with faculty, pre-professional advisors, department chairs, and the Center for Experiential Learning during and after their time at St. Olaf.
Campus contact person: Mary Emery, Economics Department
Students planning to sit for the CPA examination upon graduation should major in economics or mathematics and take elective courses in accounting and finance. Since 2000, new members of the American Institute of CPAs have been required to earn one year of college credit beyond the bachelor’s degree. Students are strongly advised to check the regulations for licensure in the state where they intend to practice.
Strongly recommended: Management Studies 225, 237, 250, 251, 252, 281, and 380; Mathematics 126
Recommended: English 251 and 255; and courses in statistics and computer science
Campus contact persons: Steve Edwins and Wendell Arneson, Art and Art History Department
An art major or art emphasis is highly recommended for students planning on pursuing a career in architecture. Architecture is an art that requires knowledge of cultural history, social organization, strong design, and technical skill as well as a background in mathematics and physics.
Strongly recommended: A major in the visual arts with an emphasis in sculpture, painting, architectural drawing, and digital media (Art 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 228, and 239); a strong background in art history; and strong background in mathematics (Calculus I and II and Physics 124L and 125L
Recommended: Courses in American and European history, American and/or urban studies, literature (especially with advanced writing components), and philosophy; social science courses; and at least one ORC-designated course
Business and Management
Campus contact person: Rick Goedde, Economics Department
Students planning to enter the business world immediately upon graduation and seek a career in accounting, finance, management, or marketing should major in economics and consider an area of emphasis or a management studies concentration.
Strongly recommended: Management Studies 225, 237, 250, 251, 252, 256, 257, 383; Psychology 125
Recommended: Management Studies 281; English 251, 255, Mathematics 126; Psychology 250
The best Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs do not require a specific undergraduate curriculum. They seek people with strong skills in analysis, communication and leadership. Typically, students entering an MBA program will have two or more years of work experience.
Computer Engineering, Software Engineering
Campus contact person: Richard Brown, director of the computer science program
Computer science remains at the heart of preparation for careers or graduate study in computer engineering (which focuses on hardware design) and software engineering, since computer science provides a conceptual foundation for computing disciplines. The emphasis on “hands-on” learning techniques, professionalism, and computing ethics and on the development of communication and leadership skills in St. Olaf’s computer science major program give a further preparatory boost to future engineers. The following courses are particularly recommended.
Recommended for computer engineering: Computer Science 125 or 251/252; Computer Science 231, 241, 253, 263, 273; Physics 246; statistics (e.g., Statistics 212). Also consider Computer Science 284.
Recommended for software engineering: Computer Science 125 or 251/252; Computer Science 231, 241, 253, 263, 273, 284; statistics (e.g., Statistics 212). Also consider Computer Science 276.
Campus contact persons: Ted Johnson, Biology Department, Wesley Pearson, Chemistry Department, and other members of the Health Professions Committee
Strongly recommended: Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254, 379; Biology 125, 126; General Education 111, plus a second course in English or an ALS-L designated course; Mathematics 120; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, 228; Psychology 125; Chemistry/Biology 125, 126, 127 can replace Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 125.
Recommended electives: Art; Biology 231, 233, 243, 382; Nursing 110
Most dental schools (e.g., Minnesota) require that these courses be graded. Students must also take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).
Campus contact person: David Dahl, Physics Department
Most students choose to complete a B.A. degree at St. Olaf before beginning work on an M.S.E. degree at the school of their choice, an option which typically takes five and one-half to six years. A cooperative program exists that enables a student to receive a B.A. degree from St. Olaf and a B.S. degree in engineering from either Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., or the University of Minnesota, in a five-year program. Consult the PHYSICS listing in the catalog for further information.
Strongly recommended for civil, electrical and mechanical engineering: Major in physics
Strongly recommended for chemical engineering: Major in chemistry
Information Technology and Information Systems
Campus contact person: Richard Brown, director of the computer science program
St. Olaf’s computer science major provides a deep foundation for applied computing fields since the concepts of computer science provide insights into all forms of computing and because St. Olaf’s program emphasizes “hands-on” experience to build up valuable technical skills and strong liberal arts interpersonal skills. The following courses are particularly recommended.
Recommended for information technology: Computer Science 125 or 251/252; Computer Science 263, 273, 276, 284, 350; economics and management studies courses related to business and accounting; internships in industry, and/or on campus with the Office of Informational and Instructional Technologies (IIT).
Recommended for information systems: Computer Science 263, 284, 350; economics and management studies courses related to business and accounting
Campus contact person: Jan Hill, English Department
Strongly recommended: English 255
Recommended: Other writing courses such as English 251, 257, 373; course work in American and modern world history, contemporary sociology/anthropology, ethics, economics and political science; course work in mass media; Art 124 (photography); at least one ORC-designated course
Campus contact person: Doug Casson, Political Science Department, and Kirsten Cahoon, Center for Experiential Learning
Law schools search for well-rounded individuals who have strong skills in analytical thinking and expression. For this reason there is no set pre-law curriculum at St. Olaf and those interested in attending law school are advised to pursue a program that strengthens their abilities in writing, reading, speaking, and analysis. Students desiring more information should consult with members of the Pre-law Advisory Committee.
Campus contact person: Ted Johnson, Biology Department, Wesley Pearson, Chemistry Department, and other members of the Health Professions Committee
Refer to the requirements of the specific medical schools of interest.
Strongly recommended: Biology 125, 126; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254, 379; Mathematics 120; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, 228; Psychology 125; Chemistry/Biology 125, 126, 127 can replace Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 125.
Recommended: Biology 231, 233, 243; Nursing 110; courses in literature, humanities, philosophy and behavioral sciences
Medical schools require that these courses be graded. Students must also take the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT).
Campus contact person: Ted Johnson, Biology Department
Generally required: Biology 125, 243; Psychology 125, 241 and 264; Statistics 110 or 212; a studio art course; Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.)
Recommended: Biology course with physiology or anatomy component, or Exercise Science 374 or 375 Consult early with occupational therapy schools about additional recommended or required courses for their programs.
Campus contact persons: Chair of the Art Department; chair of the Theatre Department; chair of the Dance Department; chair of the Music Department
Strongly recommended: A comprehensive major in art, dance, music, or theater. Teaching majors are offered, and the individual department chairs should be consulted for the specific departmental requirements. The Bachelor of Music degree is a professional degree for preparation in music performance, theory-composition, church music, or music education. For specific information about requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree, refer to MUSIC in the catalog course listings.
Recommended: Well-rounded background in the liberal arts, particularly the humanities.
Campus contact persons: Ted Johnson, Biology Department; Douglas Beussman, Chemistry Department, and other members of the Health Professions Committee
Strongly recommended: Biology 125, 231, 243; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254; Economics 121; General Education 111; Chemistry/Biology 125, 126, and 127 can replace Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 125; Mathematics 120; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, 228; at least one ORC-designated course or Theatre 120; two psychology courses;
Recommended: Electives to minimum of 17 courses
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) required.
Campus contact person: Ted Johnson , Biology Department
Generally required: Biology 125, 243; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126; Chemistry/Biology 125, 126 and 127 can replace Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 125; Mathematics 120; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, 228; social sciences (three courses): Psychology 125, 264, and one sociology course; Statistics 110 or 212; Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.).
Recommended: Biology 231, 233, 247; Chemistry 247, 253; Exercise Science 374, 375; Psychology 241; Sociology/Anthropology 248; Philosophy 250; biomedical ethics
Some physical therapy schools require a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C.P.R.) course. Consult early with physical therapy schools about additional recommended or required courses for their program.
Campus contact person: Rebecca Judge, Economics Department
Recommended: Courses in political science and economics are most directly applicable and are strongly rec-ommended. However, a broad liberal arts education also provides strong preparation. Courses in all disciplines can offer unique perspectives on public policy issues and excellent training for a career in public service.
Students with an interest in an international career (such as the Foreign Service) should, in addition to courses recommended above, pursue advanced foreign language studies.
Theology and Seminary
Campus contact person: College Pastor Bruce Benson or Anantanand Rambachan, Religion Department
The Association of Theological Schools recommends that college students study the following subjects: English language and literature; history, including non-Western cultures as well as European and American; philosophy, particularly its history and its methods; natural sciences, both the physical and the life sciences; social sciences, where psychology, sociology, and anthropology are particularly appropriate; the fine arts and music, especially for their creative and symbolic values; Biblical and modern languages; religion, both in the Judeo-Christian and in the Near and Far Eastern traditions.
Students should acquaint themselves with the specific entrance requirements of the schools to which they might apply.
Students interested in further advice may consult with the College Pre-Seminary Committee (contacted through the college pastor) or with the chair of the Religion Department.
Campus contact person: L. Henry Kermott, Biology Department
Recommended: Biology 125, 126, 231, 233; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254, 373, 379; Economics 121; Chemistry/Biology 125, 126 and 127 can replace Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 125; Mathematics 120; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, and 228; Statistics 110 or 212; at least one ORC-designated course
The Graduate Record Exam is required. Requirements vary with the school; experience with animals necessary. Please contact campus advisor for pre-veterinary medicine for more complete details.
Note: All or most of these courses may be required, depending on the school.