Majors, Concentrations, Areas of Emphasis, and Teaching Certifications

The general education provisions of St. Olaf's liberal arts curriculum are designed to encourage in students a breadth of knowledge. The requirement that a student complete a major in order to graduate fosters the development of knowledge in depth.

Students at St. Olaf have 39 Bachelor of Arts graduation majors from which to select, as well as a number of teaching majors and teaching certification programs. Many students choose to major in one of the traditional liberal arts disciplines, such as art, biology, economics, history, mathematics, philosophy, or a world language. Others choose an interdisciplinary program that brings the perspectives of several disciplines to bear on a specialized area of concern, such as Asian studies, environmental studies, or women's and gender studies. Some students choose to double major or to pursue a concentration or certification program in addition to a disciplinary major or to develop an area of emphasis within a major. Students may also propose an individual major through the Center for Integrative Studies. Students interested in a professional music degree can pursue one of the five different majors available within a Bachelor of Music degree.

One major is required for graduation. Some students opt to pursue two majors, and others add an area of emphasis (a program of three or more related courses within or beyond certain majors) or a concentration (an approved program of four or more courses that cuts across departmental boundaries).

Students must declare a major by fall semester of the junior year. Majors (with areas of emphasis) and concentrations are officially listed on the student's permanent record. Students interested in a department teaching major or teaching certification must first be admitted to the Teacher Education Program.

Bachelor of Arts Graduation Majors

Bachelor of Arts majors are not available to Bachelor of Music candidates.

* For information on individual majors, see Integrative Studies in the Academic Programs portion of this catalog.

Bachelor of Arts Teaching Certifications

  • communication arts and literature: English
  • dance
  • English as a second language
  • mathematics
  • music: vocal; instrumental, classroom
  • science: biology, chemistry, physics, general science
  • social studies
  • theater
  • visual arts
  • world languages: French, German, Latin, Spanish

Areas of Emphasis

Areas of emphasis (three or more related courses within or beyond the basic major) at St. Olaf are:

  • economics: finance, management, policy analysis, international economic analysis
  • B.A. music: history-literature, theory-composition
  • B.M. music: Collaborative Keyboard Performance

Bachelor of Arts Concentrations

A concentration is an approved interdisciplinary program consisting of a minimum of four courses. Bachelor of Arts concentrations are not available to Bachelor of Music candidates. St. Olaf's 21 concentrations are listed below:

Bachelor of Music Graduation Majors

Special Programs

Students can customize their education at St. Olaf, thanks to an array of international and domestic off-campus study programs, innovative offerings such as a Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum course, the American Conversations, Asian Conversations, Great Conversation, Science Conversation, and opportunities for independent study and research, internships, pre-professional preparation, or the creation of an individual major through the Center for Integrative Studies.