Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.



Pre-college credit includes:
PSEO (Post-Secondary Education Option): Courses taken by high school students that are taught on the campus of a regionally accredited college or university under the instruction of a university faculty member.
CIS (College in the Schools): Courses taken by high school students that are offered in conjunction with a university but are most often taught by a high school teacher at the high school. In some cases, these courses may make use of distance education methods.
AP (Advanced Placement) Exams: College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) national exams normally taken in conjunction with a high school AP course.
IB (High School International Baccaleaurate) Higher Exams: Exams taken in conjunction with an IB high school curriculum.

General Policy on Pre-College Transfer Credit:
St. Olaf College awards a maximum of 6.00 (six) St. Olaf-equivalent credits from among all pre-college (PSEO/CIS/AP/IB) credits presented by matriculating first-year students. The registrar first awards credit for the AP exams that qualify. If the six pre-college credits allowed are not fulfilled by AP alone, then the registrar can award up to a maximum of four of the six allowable pre-college credits through approved PSEO/CIS courses. In extraordinary circumstances, students may submit a request for an exception to the four-course limit on PSEO credits. For guidelines and procedures, consult the registrar.

An official transcript, requested by the student and sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from the college or university certifying the credit (PSEO, CIS), or an official report (AP/IB), is required for consideration of awarding St. Olaf credit.

PSEO or CIS courses do not reduce the 24 graded-course-credit requirement for all degree-seeking students.

Pre-college courses may each, when appropriate as determined by the registrar, count toward only one general education credit except for the MCD, MCG, or WRI attributes, which may be awarded in conjunction with a second general education attribute. Students may fulfill a maximum of one of the two requirements in each of HBS and HWC. Only one of the two natural science requirements, SED and IST, may be fulfilled by pre-college courses (PSEO/CIS). A maximum of six (6.00) GE requirements may be fulfilled via pre-college course credits.

Double credit is not given for equivalent PSEO courses and AP credits.

In all cases, final judgment on the awarding of credit is made by the registrar.

Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO) / College in the Schools (CIS)
Only PSEO courses taught by a college/university faculty member on the campus of an accredited college or university under an established post-secondary program, of a liberal arts nature, and of at least three (3.00) semester or four (4.00) quarter credits, and in which the student has received a grade of “C” or higher, are considered for St. Olaf credit.

Only CIS courses that are taught in the high school through an accredited college or university are accepted for credit. The college or university either trains the high school teacher and reviews the program or provides a college instructor for the class. (In many cases coursework is reviewed and graded by a college instructor even if that instructor is not the teacher of record for the class.) CIS courses must appear on the transcript of an accredited college or university under an established post-secondary program, be of a liberal arts nature, and receive at least three (3.00) semester or four (4.00) quarter credits, and the student must receive a grade of “C” or higher, to be considered for St. Olaf credit.

No online or distance learning courses will be accepted to fulfill PSEO or CIS.

Advanced Placement (AP)
Department/program policies concerning AP exams are set once each year, in February, for the following academic year’s application pool and may, therefore, change from year to year. Normally, students who receive scores of “4” or “5” from the CEEB Advanced Placement Program receive placement and/or credit (including general education credit) according to policies set by the college’s departments and programs. Some departments require a score of “5” on some tests. Departmental/program policies and guidelines for awarding advanced placement credit are available only at the Registrar’s Office.

International Baccalaureate (IB)
Upon receipt of official documentation, and with certain departmental restrictions, St. Olaf awards credit only for scores of “5” through “7” on the Higher Level Exams of the High School International Baccalaureate Program. Departmental/program policies and guidelines for awarding international baccalaureate credit are available at the Registrar’s Office; questions should be directed to the registrar. 

First-year students are required to complete First-Year Writing (FYW), with one exception: FYW is awarded to first-year students who receive a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature or English Language Exam or a score of 5 or higher on the International Baccalaureate (IB) exam.

The director of writing administers a writing placement exam for first-year students whose SAT verbal and writing scores, ACT English and reading scores, or additional admissions materials indicate that they may benefit from taking Writing 107 or Writing 110 before enrolling in a First-Year Writing course. Students required to take the writing placement exam receive written notification, during the summer and upon arrival to campus, from the director of writing. The writing placement exam is offered only during Week One. International students take a writing placement exam as part of international student orientation.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE (policy approved by the faculty April 5, 2007)
New matriculating students are expected to complete their foreign language (FOL) requirement with a course or courses taken at St. Olaf. Students entering with previous training in a foreign language must take the relevant placement test. If they decide to complete the FOL requirement in that language, they must take and pass the necessary course(s) according to the placement test results and the FOL policy for the specific language. Students who place higher than the last course normally required to complete the FOL requirement may be eligible to take a proficiency exam. Please consult individual departments for information about their FOL policies.

New matriculating or new transfer students who have taken college-level foreign language courses at another institution may receive elective credit for those courses, within the maximum number of pre-college credits allowed by St. Olaf, if the courses are deemed appropriate by the registrar. To complete the FOL requirement in that language, such students must take the relevant placement test and follow the procedure described in the preceding paragraph.

If new matriculating students or new transfer students wish to complete their FOL requirement with courses in a language not taught at St. Olaf, the course(s) must comply with college policy for completion of the FOL requirement, as determined by the registrar.

After a student matriculates, under special circumstances, the registrar, in consultation with the appropriate foreign language department, may grant permission to a student to complete the final course for the FOL requirement through summer intensive or semester courses (through a leave of absence) taken at another institution.

Students who enter St. Olaf College with a native language other than English may have their foreign language requirement fulfilled by showing evidence of proficiency in their native language. These students must prove completion through eighth grade in their native language; or they must provide a high school transcript that shows they completed their high school requirements in their native language; or they must pass a St. Olaf College proficiency test (see below).

Foreign Language Placement Tests
The foreign language departments place first-year students and other new students in appropriate language courses on the basis of placement tests or high school preparation. The foreign language placement tests are relatively short, diagnostic tests; they should not be considered exhaustive and do not provide a satisfactory basis for the certification of proficiency or for receiving course credit. Rather, they function entirely for placement in St. Olaf language courses.

Foreign Language Proficiency Tests
The foreign language proficiency tests are administered by the various foreign language departments. The foreign language proficiency tests measure proficiency at a level equivalent to the end of the corresponding number 231 or 232 language course. A student who passes the appropriate proficiency test satisfies the St. Olaf foreign language requirement (FOL) but does not receive course credit.

Proficiency reports from persons not known to St. Olaf must be based on documented exposure or training by the student in a foreign language equivalent in length to three or four college semesters or demonstration of a sufficient length of time in a non-English speaking culture to give credence to a proficiency report. As a rule, proficiency reports from persons outside of St. Olaf are not acted upon until the student arranges for a final proficiency exam by persons and methods agreed to by members of the foreign language faculty, the registrar, and, if deemed necessary, the dean of the college. Such exams may involve an expense charged to the student.