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.

Leaving St. Olaf


Upon withdrawing from St. Olaf, a student in good academic standing may apply to the Office of the Dean of Students for a leave of absence. An approved leave provides the student with the right to return to St. Olaf without re-applying to the Office of Admissions. For students who are granted a leave of absence for medical reasons, the Office of the Dean of Students may require documentation from a health-care provider indicating the student is prepared to return to St. Olaf.

The leave of absence provides the student with the opportunity to register for future St. Olaf courses at the normal time of registration in a given semester either in person or through a proxy. In addition, a student planning to return after a leave of absence may participate in room draw at its regular time either through a proxy or in person.

The leave of absence agreement requires that returning students make the minimum tuition deposit at least four weeks prior to registration or room draw and to notify the Registrar's Office (in cases of registration) and the Dean of Students Office (in the case of room draw) of their intention to return to St. Olaf.

Students who are on a leave of absence of less than 180 days duration will continue to be considered enrolled full-time, in good standing, for the purposes of Title IV student loan deferment (i.e., Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Perkins Loan.) This allows the borrower to avoid utilizing the grace period attached to those loans. This provision is limited to one leave of absence in a twelve-month period. However, if at the end of the leave of absence, the student fails to return to St. Olaf, the student's withdrawal date will be back-dated to the last date of attendance. This may cause the borrower to be required to enter immediate repayment on the affected Title IV loans.

The college reserves the right to deny re-admission where intervening circumstances warrant such denial.


During Fall Semester, members of the senior class apply for candidacy for the degree to which their courses apply. Application is made through the Registrar's Office. Only such members of the senior class as have been accepted as candidates for a degree will participate in Commencement events. Seniors not filing this application risk being overlooked for a diploma and inclusion in the Commencement program. Seniors who will complete all requirements and graduate after Fall Semester or Interim will be contacted individually and asked to apply for candidacy in late October.


Commencement exercises are held each May for graduating seniors who are members of that class and who have successfully completed 35 credits and all other requirements for the degree.

Seniors who have successfully completed 33 of the 35 required credits with a minimum 2.00 grade point average may "participate" in Commencement exercises. A participator's name will appear with appropriate honors designation in the Commencement program, but he/she will not receive a diploma until the completion of all requirements. The grade point average for participators may change if their remaining course work is completed at St. Olaf. Honors may also change, but rank in class remains unchanged. The grade point average for diploma graduates will change if St. Olaf courses that qualify for inclusion in the grade point average are subsequently taken but honor designation and rank in class will remain as they were recorded on the date of graduation.

Neither senior status, number of courses attempted, time spent in college, delays in submitting off-campus or transfer work, nor other circumstances or miscommunication eliminate the 33 full-course requirement. The 33 credits must be fulfilled and recorded before the day of Commencement. The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.

In Fall Semester, the Registrar's Office conducts a review for each senior who has applied to graduate. A senior who will not meet the requirements stated for participation in Commencement will be notified that he/she has been removed from the list of graduating seniors. Seniors should be cautious about changing registration in the last semester of the senior year. Any change that brings a senior below the stated requirements for participation will result in the student being dropped from the graduating class.

Past experience leads the college to believe that seniors should be cautious about taking courses S/U. A U designation does not carry credit and will not be changed to another type of grade for graduation credit at a later date. An S grade may not fulfill a General Education requirement.


Baccalaureate degrees and degree requirements are defined only in this catalog and the Catalog Supplement.
Should a student desire to earn both the B.A. degree and the B.M. degree at St. Olaf, he/she must complete a minimum of 43 credits, with the last 17 credits earned through St. Olaf. See the special residency requirement in this catalog.

Degree requirements are those defined in the St. Olaf College Catalog in the year a student first enters St. Olaf as a degree candidate.

Students alone are responsible for seeing that their programs include all requirements for graduation.


A diploma is issued to each member of the graduating class at Commencement under the following conditions:

  1. All requirements for the Baccalaureate degree have been successfully completed.
  2. The recipient has no outstanding financial obligations to the college.

    Diplomas are not issued to senior participators until all degree requirements are completed.

    There is a $25.00 fee for replacing a diploma.


Withdrawal from St. Olaf must be processed through the Dean of Students Office. If withdrawal from St. Olaf occurs before the 10th day of classes during a semester or the fifth day during Interim, no entry is made on the transcript (permanent record). If withdrawal from St. Olaf occurs after the last day to add a course, but before the last day to drop a course, an entry indicating the withdrawal is made on the student's transcript. For example:

Registered September 8, 2000
Withdrew November 1, 2000

If a student withdraws after the last day to drop a course, the following entries are made on the transcript depending on the circumstance:

WP — withdrawal with a passing grade
WF — withdrawal with a failing grade


Many students decide to return to St. Olaf after an absence or leave. The procedure for returning after an absence is as follows:

  1. Contact the Dean of Students Office, (507) 646-3615, for permission to return and re-entry information.
  2. Contact the Student Accounts Office to pay the re-entry fee.
  3. Contact the Registrar's Office for materials and times to register and inform the Registrar's Office of the name of any proxy.
  4. Register at the regular registration time or any time after the normal registration time up to the last day to register for the semester in which you wish to return.
  5. When you return to campus for classes, you will need to reactivate your e-mail account through the Information and Instructional Technology (IIT) Office.