Rankings and Recognitions That Matter

For a college or university, favorable mention in guidebooks and college rankings aimed at popular audiences is always gratifying. However, what is more meaningful to us are those rankings and recognitions that demonstrate the actual outcomes of a St. Olaf education and the quality of the education we provide to our students. Here are a few in which St. Olaf takes particular pride.

  • According to the most recent National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates, St. Olaf ranks 11th overall among the nation's 236 baccalaureate colleges in the number of graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees.

    St. Olaf earned top 10 rankings in the following fields: religion/theology (2nd); education (4th); life sciences and social service professions (5th); arts/music and medical sciences (6th); chemistry (7th); mathematics/statistics and foreign languages (8th); biological sciences (9th); and physical sciences (10th).

  • St. Olaf has had five Rhodes Scholars since 1995. Two St. Olaf seniors were selected in the 2008 awards competition. Over the past two decades, only two other liberal arts colleges have had the honor of having two selections in a single year.

  • Nine St. Olaf graduating seniors were named Fulbright Scholars for 2012–13. Since 1995, 87 St. Olaf students have received prestigious Fulbright scholarships.

  • 31 St. Olaf students have received Goldwater scholarships since 1995. The scholarships, which are granted to sophomores and juniors in mathematics, science and engineering, are selected on the basis of academic merit.

  • More than two-thirds of all St. Olaf students study abroad before graduating. According to the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2011 Report on International Educational Exchange, St. Olaf ranked 1st among baccalaureate institutions in the total number of students studying abroad for the 2009–10 academic year.

  • St. Olaf regularly ranks as one of the top 25 small colleges and universities in the nation (5,000 students or fewer) in the number of graduates who serve in the Peace Corps. For 2012, St. Olaf placed 3rd among its peers in current Peace Corps volunteers, with 24 volunteers serving overseas.

  • St. Olaf had 33 National Merit Scholars in the freshman class that arrived on campus in the fall of 2012. In 2011, with 43 scholars, St. Olaf ranked 3rd among liberal arts colleges and 47th overall among the more than 3,000 accredited four-year colleges and universities in the nation in the number of merit scholars in that year's class.

  • St. Olaf is consistently one of the nation's most successful undergraduate institutions in preparing students for medical school. Approximately two-thirds of St. Olaf graduating seniors who apply to medical school gain admission, compared to a national average of 40-45 percent.

  • St. Olaf has earned seven Academic All-American selections: three in baseball and one each in football, volleyball, women's golf, and women’s track and field. Ninety student-athletes received Academic All-Conference recognitions by the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2011–12.