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 by 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 during 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. (See INCOMPLETES and CARLETON INTER-REGISTRATION.) The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.


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

St. Olaf College confers the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music upon students who have completed requirements leading to those degrees. Recently, approximately 80-83% percent of all St. Olaf students who enter directly after high school graduate after four years of study. This is one of the highest graduation rates in the country among four-year, private liberal arts colleges.

(Approved by Faculty, April 5, 2007)

  • Students must meet the application requirements for both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degree programs.
  • Students engage in professional study in music and study in the liberal arts, leading to both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees.
  • The duration of the double-degree option may vary among disciplines but will be less than the sum of the durations of both degree programs if undertaken separately. For most students, pursuit of a double-degree option will require five years of study. It should be noted that in a few cases (notably when the BA graduation major is in the natural sciences) completion of all requirements in five years may not be possible.
  • Students pursuing the double-degree option may choose any of the four Bachelor of Music graduation majors (Church Music, Music Education, Performance, and Theory/Composition) and any of the Bachelor of Arts graduation majors except Music.
  • Students shall meet the requirements for the BA graduation major and BM graduation major, as well as the general and comprehensive graduation requirements for the two degrees. The final two years of coursework in pursuit of the degrees must be spent in residence. A minimum of 43 full course credits must be completed with the last 17 full course credits earned through St. Olaf.
  • Students required to continue study in a fifth year to complete two degrees are eligible for continuing financial aid from St. Olaf College.
  • A double-degree student may elect to graduate in two different semesters, one with each degree, but must meet all requirements for the degree and the graduation major within that degree before the diploma for that degree will be awarded.
  • Graduating double-degree students receive two diplomas, one for each degree.


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 fee for replacing a diploma: $25.00 (domestic); $35.00 (international).