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.



A permanent academic record of courses and grades is prepared for each student who registers in the regular academic programs of St. Olaf College. An unabridged transcript of this record is maintained in a vault in the Registrar's Office.

Upon graduation or withdrawal from the college, a student's academic record continues to be stored on a permanent basis at the college with a second copy deposited out of state.

A copy of the permanent record may be released only upon the written consent of the individual student or in conjunction with "Academic Records," and "Transcripts of Academic Records" defined in The Book, available online at Corrections of errors on the academic record must be reported to the registrar within one year.

Questions concerning transcripts and academic records should be directed to the Registrar's Office.

Procedures affecting St. Olaf's academic records are in accordance with the U.S. Family Privacy Law of 1974.


St. Olaf protects student academic records in accordance with the U.S. Family Privacy Law of 1974. Permanent records may be released only upon the written consent of the student. While the college does not send grade reports to parents or guardians, such information can be made available to eligible individuals upon special request. The provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibit the college from releasing grades or other information about academic standing to parents unless the student has released such information in writing, or unless the student is a dependent as defined by FERPA. (Essentially, a student is considered a dependent if he or she is legitimately claimed as such on the parent's most recent IRS income tax form, or if the parent(s) is paying a portion of the student's college expenses.) Forms are available in the Office of the Dean of Students for parents who request this information. Further information concerning St. Olaf College procedures in compliance with FERPA is available in The Book, available online at, and from the Office of the Dean of Students.


The St. Olaf College Academic Catalog or the Catalog Supplement is published once each year. Students must meet the graduation requirements outlined in this catalog in the year they first enter St. Olaf as degree candidates. Academic regulations and procedures as they apply to students may change during their time at St. Olaf, but graduation requirements remain those in effect at the time of entry.


The Registrar's Office certifies many forms including insurance forms and student loan papers. Certifications requiring the release of a grade point average or rank in class must be accompanied by a written request from the student. Facts of public record are confirmed without written request. These include dates of attendance, graduation and major.


A degree audit is a computerized review of a student's course transcript matched against the college's requirements for a degree. Except for progress in the major, the senior residency requirement, six courses with grades of C or higher in the major and the 21-outside-course requirement, it tells the student where he/she stands relative to graduation at a given moment.

Students should report an error found on a degree audit to the registrar immediately. The student alone is responsible for understanding and meeting degree requirements.
Students have immediate access to their degree audits on the Web and may print a copy of it at any time. Along with the deans and other academic officers, advisers and students may request printed audits on a need-to-know basis.

Copies of the degree audit are available to students free of charge on a next-day basis at the registrar's window. Students must pick them up in person by presenting a picture identification and signing a receipt.

Like transcripts, degree audits are private documents. The Registrar's Office cannot provide copies to third parties inside or outside of the college, including to other students acting as proxies. As is the case with all academic records, St. Olaf's procedures regarding student degree audits are administered in compliance with the U.S. Family Privacy Law of 1974.


The curriculum and educational policy committee (CEPC) is a standing faculty committee. In addition to its curricular policy responsibilities, the CEPC:

  1. Establishes academic regulations, recommends procedures and sets deadlines on the college calendar.
  2. Hears and acts upon student petitions for exceptions and adjustments to academic regulations, deadlines and fees. Decisions of the CEPC are final and subject to no further appeal.

Students have the right to appeal petitions denied or fees assigned by the registrar to the committee by re-submitting the petition to the registrar. If the committee has completed business for the semester or year, decisions may be delayed over a vacation break or summer. Decisions made by the committee are final.


Permission to register, as well as the release of an official transcript or a diploma, will be denied to students who have outstanding financial obligations to the college. Questions should be directed to the Business Office.


The Registrar's Office assigns a handling fee for special services such as late registrations, late course adds or drops and other changes in registration or appeals done by petition. Petition forms are available from the registrar. Students may appeal the fee to the curriculum and educational policies committee by resubmitting the petition to the registrar. Decisions of the committee are final. If the student submits an appeal after the committee has finished business for the semester or year, a decision may be delayed until after a vacation or summer break.


Students may petition for waivers to academic regulations, fees and college deadlines at any time during the regular academic year. Petition forms are available from, and returnable to, the Registrar's Office. A student will be notified through his/her mailbox when a petition has been acted on and is ready for pick-up at the registrar's window.

In cases where a petition is denied, or a fee charged by the registrar, the student may appeal to the curriculum and educational policies committee by resubmitting the original petition to the registrar.

Petition forms must be completed in full with appropriate faculty signatures where applicable. The petition form must be accompanied by a written explanation setting forth the circumstances of the student's case under petition/appeal.


Tuition and fee refunds for anyone leaving within five weeks after the beginning date of any semester will be determined according to the following scale:

One week or less — 90% refund
Two weeks or less — 80% refund
Three weeks or less — 60% refund
Four weeks or less — 40% refund
Five weeks or less — 20% refund
Over five weeks — no refund

Students who enroll for the year but who elect to omit an Interim are not entitled to a refund of Interim tuition and room. Students not participating in an Interim program are eligible for an Interim board refund through application at the Business Office. If a student drops a performance studies course (lesson) after the first day of class, no refund of music lesson fees is made.


The transcript is a complete and unabridged course record. In addition to courses and grades, the transcript reports the grade point average. The student's rank in class along with major, honors or other distinctions are recorded on the transcript once they are fixed immediately prior to commencement.

Transcripts of the academic record are available in three formats: official transcripts, unofficial transcripts and transcript/degree audits. Unofficial transcripts and transcript/degree audits are available to current students free of charge on a next-day basis at the Registrar's Office. They are issued on plain paper and do not bear the raised seal or the imprimatur of the college. They must be received in person. Picture identification is required.

Upon written request, official transcripts may be received in person, by mail or sent to third parties. Official transcripts are printed on college-designed paper with appropriate signatures for $3.00 per copy. Only official transcripts can be mailed. Regardless of a student's location — on or off campus — telephone requests for transcripts cannot be accepted under any condition. Under special conditions, the Registrar's Office will accept a faxed request for an official transcript: contact the office [(507) 646-3015, fax (507) 646-3210, e-mail:] to be informed on the steps.
A copy of the transcript may be released only upon the written consent of the individual student, or in conjunction with "Academic Records and Transcripts" defined in The Book, For example, faculty advisers receive issues of the transcript/degree audit each year but, along with deans and other academic officers, may request them at other times. Parents may not receive student transcripts independent of the student's written request unless approved in advance by the dean of students.

Current students can have access to their transcripts through St. Olaf's pages on the World Wide Web.

St. Olaf's transcript/records policy is administered in accordance with the U.S. Family Privacy Law
of 1974.