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.

Transferring to St. Olaf


All students transferring to St. Olaf from other colleges or universities should be aware of quantitative restrictions on transfer work subsequently taken after matriculation at St. Olaf. The number of additional transfer credits available is printed on the degree audit.

Credit for work done at other accredited colleges or universities, if satisfactory in grade and applicable toward a liberal arts degree, will be allowed toward a bachelor's degree at St. Olaf. An "accredited college" means a liberal arts institution and excludes vocational, technical, business and correspondence schools. The credit granted for such work is provisional, subject to the completion of one year of satisfactory study at St. Olaf. Transfer students should seek admission to St. Olaf by contacting the director of admissions. During the admissions process, the registrar will provide the applicant with an evaluation of transfer credit, evaluated on the basis of official transcripts.
Several important regulations apply:

  1. A student must complete a minimum of 17.00 credits at St. Olaf or through St. Olaf programs.
  2. Only courses graded at C or higher at the original institution will be given credit through course transfer.
  3. The actual grades earned at other institutions are entered on the student's St. Olaf record, but are not included in the computation of the St. Olaf grade point average.
  4. A St. Olaf course is equivalent to 4.00 semester or 50 quarter credits (hours). At least three semester or four quarter credits (hours) are required for "course-for-course credit" toward a particular requirement. A course worth fewer than three semester or four quarter credits cannot by itself satisfy a St. Olaf General Education requirement. A course must meet the normal requirements of a minimum of 36 class contact hours to qualify for St. Olaf credit. See scale under "Transfer Courses" below.
  5. Students wishing to apply a transfer course toward a major or a concentration should consult with the department chair or program director how the courses will fulfill a requirement.
  6. Course equivalencies are granted through transfer within certain credit ranges. A transfer student should refer to the scale printed under "Transfer Courses" below.
  7. The college does not accept P or S grades from other institutions.
  8. College Board Advanced Placement credit will be considered if the transfer student provides St. Olaf with the original scores.
  9. Transfer students should become familiar with the college's S/U policy. Since St. Olaf permits only six out of the minimal 35 courses required for graduation to be taken S/U, students who are transferring more than six courses to St. Olaf from another school may have the allowable number of permitted S/U courses reduced by scale. This scale will be recorded by the registrar on the evaluation of transfer credit form returned to the transfer applicant during the admission process.
  10. The 24-graded-course requirement is reduced by scale for transfer students; consult the "Graded and Ungraded Courses" reduction scale below.
  11. Music ensemble participation credits (band, choir, orchestra, etc.) and intercollegiate athletic participation are not awarded transfer credit.
  12. Transfer students who have previously received college credit for courses taken in high school or college courses taken while in high school should be aware of the college's policies: see "High School Credits Applied to College" above.


St. Olaf students considering transferring courses to St. Olaf from other colleges should be aware of quantitative restrictions on transfer work.

After students have matriculated at St. Olaf, they may subsequently transfer only 4.00 courses from other colleges or universities to St. Olaf for degree credit, and only two (2) courses may count toward General Education requirements.

If students earn the allowed transfer courses through non-St. Olaf, off-campus programs after matriculation, they may apply these courses toward a major or concentration or as elective credits (if they receive pre-approval from the registrar and the appropriate St. Olaf department chair or program director). But such non-St. Olaf, off-campus courses cannot be applied to General Education requirements. Course credits earned on St. Olaf off-campus programs or through inter-registration with Carleton College are excluded from these restrictions.

For St. Olaf students planning to transfer external credits within the quota limits, the procedures are:

Students must check with the registrar before making plans for non-St. Olaf courses. St. Olaf students planning summer school courses at another institution, and St. Olaf students enrolling for a semester/quarter or more in other colleges/universities in anticipation of transferring credits to St. Olaf must file a transfer of credit form (available at the registrar's window) for advance approval. The student is given a copy of the approved form as a receipt; the registrar retains the original.

Note that a department chair or program director may sign the approval form without reference to the student's transcript, present record, or future plans. In other words, a non-St. Olaf course is pre-approved for transfer only on its liberal arts merit as an elective or as a credit fulfilling a specified requirement. The student alone is responsible for understanding the appropriateness of the transfer credit to the particulars of the curriculum including the residency requirement, the repeated course rule, the major, the graded course policy and the college's graduation requirements as a whole. Again, restrictions on the amount of transfer course credit are printed on each student's degree audit. The St. Olaf faculty has set 35 class contact hours as the minimum instruction time required for a full course to transfer to St. Olaf.

Several important regulations and procedures apply:

  1. Only courses from an accredited college or university are accepted by St. Olaf.
  2. A photocopy of the relevant pages of the host college's catalog must accompany the transfer of credit form when it is submitted to the department chair or program director for approval. The chair or director may also request the class schedule, course outlines or syllabi.
  3. A student cannot apply to a St. Olaf General Education requirement or toward a major any course worth fewer than three semester or four quarter credits.
  4. Grades below C cannot be transferred to St. Olaf. Grades from other schools are entered on the St. Olaf record.
  5. Correspondence courses, internships and/or independent study courses taken through another college or university are not accepted as college credits transferable to St. Olaf. Students taking "Extension School" courses at the University of Minnesota or elsewhere must check with the registrar.
  6. Off-campus work through another college/university must be evaluated by the registrar in advance and is subject to the limitations stated under "Off-Campus Programs (Non-St. Olaf Sponsored)" in this catalog.
  7. In order to assure credit transfer, an official transcript reflecting the completed course work at the host college/university must be sent by that institution directly to the St. Olaf registrar.
  8. Juniors and seniors planning transfer work from other institutions should be aware of the St. Olaf residency and senior residency requirement.
  9. If a St. Olaf student has previously taken work on a semester or quarter system, all credits on such systems will be combined and converted into St. Olaf course credits using the scale below, or an expanded scale available at the registrar's window.
  10. If credits were earned under both a semester credit system and a quarter credit system, each system is converted individually, using the transfer course scale, to St. Olaf course credits. Once the conversion has been made, the course credits are added together to determine the total number of course credits transferred.
  11. Courses of less than four weeks in length (regardless of the number of class contact hours) and courses that are essentially workshops, camps, summer theater, guides, summer jobs, assistantships, travel programs and television-VCR-Internet-media-based experiences, are not ordinarily transferrable as St. Olaf credit.
  12. Students should use the following transfer course scale.

Transfer Course Scale:
Semester and Quarter Credits Converted to St. Olaf Courses

0-3 qtr. crs. or 0-2 sem. crs. = 0 St. Olaf course
4-7 qtr. crs. or 3-5 sem. crs. = 1 St. Olaf course
8-12 qtr. crs. or 6-8 sem. crs. = 2 St. Olaf courses
13-18 qtr. crs. or 9-12 sem. crs. = 3 St. Olaf courses
19-23 qtr. crs. or 13-16 sem. crs. = 4 St. Olaf courses
24-29 qtr. crs. or 17-19 sem. crs. = 5 St. Olaf courses
30-34 qtr. crs. or 20-23 sem. crs. = 6 St. Olaf courses
35-40 qtr. crs. or 24-27 sem. crs. = 7 St. Olaf courses
41-45 qtr. crs. or 28-30 sem. crs. = 8 St. Olaf courses
46-50 qtr. crs. or 31-34 sem. crs. = 9 St. Olaf courses

Because transfer courses may reduce a student's requirements under the 24-graded-course rule, interested students should consult the reduced graded course scale under "Graded and Ungraded Courses" in this catalog.