St. Olaf CollegeAcademic CatalogSt. Olaf College

Table of Contents
Academic Life
Academic Regulations
» Entering St. Olaf
» Transferring to St. Olaf
» Registering for Courses
» Special Registrations
» Counting Courses & Credits
» Academic Status
» Curr. Regulations & Advice
» Records/Policies
» Leaving St. Olaf
International and Off-Campus Studies
Special Programs
Admissions and Financial Aid
Life Outside the Classroom
Facts and Figures
College Calendar

Changes that have occurred in St. Olaf academic policy and curriculum since the publication in 2002 of the St. Olaf Catalog for 2002–04 are indicated in red and red strikethrough type.

Registrar's Office
Admin 224
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057



Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Academic Status


Classification is based on the number of St. Olaf full-equivalent courses completed by and only on October 1, as follows:

Sophomore: 6-14 courses
Junior: 15-22 courses
Senior: 23- courses

Because reclassification is completed only once each year, it is important that all work completed at another institution be transferred to St. Olaf before the reclassification process begins. A student's classification may affect "room draw," choice of residence hall, registration time, or other benefits. For purposes of classification the term "course" means a full (1.00) equivalent course.

Students who graduated from high school six or fewer months prior to entering St. Olaf as "new students" may not, as the result of six or more Advanced Placement, high school, post-secondary and/or college summer courses, claim sophomore status for purposes of room-draw or waiver of some requirements afforded "college transfer" students who have a high school graduation date of 11 months or more prior to entrance into St. Olaf.


The Book, available online at, contains information about the St. Olaf honor system and its procedures and about plagiarism.

A student under review for an honor code violation may not drop the course in question unless a withdrawal is authorized by the student honor council.

Questions about the honor system should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students.


Each semester, the Registrar's Office compiles for the Office of the Dean of the College a Dean's List, which includes the names of all students with a GPA of 3.75 or above for that semester. In order to be named to the Dean's List, students must have successfully completed three or more graded courses fall credits in the semester.


On Honors Day each May, students are recognized in three categories: Seniors elected to Phi Beta Kappa, special honors and general honors by class. General honors includes all full-time students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher.

The names of the honorees are posted on the World Wide Web at least three weeks prior to Honors Day.


Standards for election to Phi Beta Kappa and other honor societies are the prerogative of the honor societies, not the college.


Honors are determined by the cumulative grade point average. They are recognized at Honors Day, conferred at Commencement and recorded on the final transcript and the diploma as:

3.30 — cum laude
3.60 — magna cum laude
3.85 — summa cum laude

In determining honors, a grade point average is never rounded up or down.

Honor designations are not recorded on student transcripts prior to graduation from the college.


Each graduated senior is ranked in his/her class according to cumulative grade point averages (G.P.A.). Class rank is recorded on the permanent transcript for those students whose names appear in the Commencement program in May of a given year.

Participators in Commencement are ranked according to their cumulative G.P.A. after Spring Semester of the senior year. Rank is not changed even if further St. Olaf course work is used to complete degree requirements or used by diploma graduates for additional credits.

Class rank is also computed for non-seniors at the end of each academic year, but is not recorded on the transcript. Class rank is available upon request at the Registrar's Office. Picture identification is required.


A student will be placed on academic probation, or be continued on probation, with:

  1. A cumulative grade point average of 1.50-1.80 in the first year, 1.75-1.90 in the sophomore year and 1.87-1.95 in the junior and senior year, or
  2. Two or more grades of D, F, N, or U in any semester, or
  3. Fewer than two and one-half courses of C- or better during a semester, or fewer than five and one-half courses of C- or better during an academic year.

A student on probation may not participate in a St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus program or in an interim exchange program. Institutionally-controlled gift assistance or financial aid may be reduced if a student is placed on academic probation.

College decisions involving probation are not subject to appeal.


A student may be dismissed if he/she is on probationary status and fails to achieve minimal academic progress. Minimal academic progress may be defined as that combination of course completions and grade points that suggest the probable completion of graduation requirements in four years with at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average. Such progress is expected to approximate the following scale:

Cumulative G.P.A. of 1.87 after the completion of 26 credits.
Cumulative G.P.A. of 1.75 after the completion of 17 credits.
Cumulative G.P.A. of 1.50 after the completion of 8 credits.

Normally a student cannot be on probation longer than one semester before being academically dismissed.

There is usually a waiting period of one year prior to consideration of an application for readmission following dismissal.

Decisions resulting in academic dismissal or the placement of a student on academic probation are made by the academic standing committee, which includes an associate dean of students, a representative of the registrar's office, the director of the academic support center, director of multicultural student services and a representative from the faculty. Parents are notified when academic dismissal occurs. Students placed in dismissal status may appeal the dismissal decision to an appeals board composed of the dean of the college, the dean of students and the registrar. The appeal must be made in writing and sent to the registrar within seven days of the date of receipt of the dismissal letter.