Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Requirements for B.A. Degree Candidates

Comprehensive Graduation Requirements (General Education)

General education requirements constitute the core degree requirements of the curriculum. Courses are described in this catalog; general education attributes for all courses are indicated in the class and lab schedule.

St. Olaf’s general education curriculum does not work by a distribution system (so many courses in certain disciplines); rather, it identifies an area of learning for general education and sets out a series of guidelines and intended learning outcomes that inform the construction of courses. Departments and programs submit their course proposals to the Curriculum Committee, which judges whether a course fulfills a specific general education requirement. Because the college’s expectations for general education are distinctive and characteristic of this college alone, students must be particularly careful as they plan off-campus and transfer work. The Registrar’s Office determines how transfer work applies to St. Olaf’s general education requirements; advisors of approved St. Olaf programs determine whether a course taken through one of these programs/approved by St. Olaf applies to the general education requirement. See TRANSFERRING TO ST. OLAF.

Some courses in the St. Olaf curriculum count for more than one graduation requirement at the same time. For example, a course taken for general education may also be the first course in a major. A course may simultaneously satisfy two different general education requirements. In addition, students may complete some requirements with approved courses taken on St. Olaf-approved international and off-campus programs.

A typical course of study may have proportions as follows:

General Education: 14-16 credits
Major: 8-10 credits
Electives: 10-12 credits
Total for graduation: 35 credits

Depending upon Advanced Placement examination results, choice of world language, prior preparation in languages and mathematics, choice of a major, and addition of a second major, a concentration, or a teaching certification, the proportions will vary.

The codes for the general education requirements are listed under each requirement. The code for each requirement fulfilled by a course is listed in the class and lab schedule, not in the course listings in this catalog.

Of courses taken to meet general education requirements, only .25 credit courses may be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) basis. Full or .50 credit courses taken S/U do not fulfill general education requirements.

An independent study or an independent research credit does not fulfill a general education requirement for the degree. Exception: In consultation with the faculty supervisor, and with the approval of the registrar, independent study or independent research may count as a course in writing [WRI].