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.

Entering St. Olaf


Students entering St. Olaf with test scores of three to five from the CEEB Advanced Placement Program may receive placement and/or credit according to policies set by the college's departments and programs. Scores of "5" uniformly receive placement and credit. Scores of "4" generally receive placement and/or credit and scores of "3" may receive placement and/or credit. Each department or program may choose to review the essay-test booklets of entering students, including transfer students. In all cases, Advanced Placement credit is at the discretion of the departments and programs. Advanced Placement credit awarded in the Biology, Chemistry, or Physics areas does not fulfill St. Olaf's General Education requirement of a laboratory science (NSL) but will satisfy a non-laboratory science requirement (NST). Departmental/program policies and guidelines for awarding advanced placement credit are available at the Registrar's Office.


St. Olaf will accept advanced placement credits for entering students under the high school International Baccalaureate program. Only the higher exams with scores of "5" to "7" on higher level exams will be considered. Departments and programs set policies for International Baccalaureate credits and placement, which match those of the Advanced Placement program. Questions should be directed to the registrar.


Entering students may bring to St. Olaf up to five equivalent St. Olaf course credits taken under a post-secondary option program (PSEO) or other program in which college courses are taken during students' high school years. The following restrictions are in place:

  1. No more than five equivalent St. Olaf course credits will be awarded to an entering first-year student.
  2. The course work must be taken through an accredited college under an established post-secondary program.
  3. Students must provide the Registrar's Office with an official transcript from the college certifying
    the credit.
  4. Judgments on course credits will be made by the college registrar.


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.


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.