St. Olaf CollegeAcademic CatalogSt. Olaf College

Table of Contents
Academic Life
Academic Regulations
International and Off-Campus Studies
Special Programs
Admissions and Financial Aid
Life Outside the Classroom
» Residential Life
» Student Services
» Co-Curricular Activities
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.

Co-Curricular Activities


Student Activities

The student activities program at St. Olaf College is designed to complement the academic program of studies and to enhance the overall educational experience of students through development of, exposure to and participation in social, cultural, intellectual, recreational and governance programs.

Student activities are planned and implemented through collaborative efforts by the Student Government Association, under the leadersqhip of the director of student activities. At first glance, the name, Student Government Association (SGA), is slightly misleading. The SGA is not a separate committee itself, but the term used in referring to its nine divisions, in addition to student media. These divisions are the Alumni Relations Committee, Board of Regents Student Committee, Diversity Celebrations Committee, The Pause, Political Awareness Committee, Student Activities Committee, Student Organizations Committee, Student Senate and Volunteer Network.

The Alumni Relations Committee (ARC) keeps the student body connected to St. Olaf alumni. Activities include matching students to mentors in their field and bringing past Oles back to campus to share their experiences.

The Board of Regents Student Committee (BORSC) is responsible for gathering and voicing students' concerns to the governing body of St. Olaf, the Board of Regents.

The Diversity Celebrations Committee (DCC) coordinates the many cultural celebrations held on campus each year. These include Black History Month, Viva La Raza, Asia Weeks and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Pause, located in Buntrock Commons, is a place as well as an SGA division. It provides space for students to kick back, grab a plate of nachos or homemade pizza from The Pause kitchen, watch a few minutes of big-screen TV, play a video game and simply relax. The Pause Mane Stage also features a dance floor and stage and hosts many campus and regional bands, dances and other entertainment.

The Political Awareness Committee (PAC) strives to keep students on top of critical political and social issues by bringing in national speakers, such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Janet Reno. They also work to keep students aware of election issues and candidates.

The Student Activities Committee (SAC) features 10 sub-committees that program Homecoming, Senior Week, recreational activities, student-parent banquets, dances, comedians, movies and trips to the Twin Cities.

The Student Organizations Committee (SOC) oversees 90+ student organizations, ranging from service groups such as Habitat for Humanity to club sports such as men's and women's Ultimate Frisbee. SOC grants formal recognition status and coordinates grants and funding to these organizations to help them with the planning of programs and activities.

The Student Senate is the legislative division of the SGA. The Senate is elected by the student body and serves as the main liaison with the administration and faculty. It consists of SGA division chairs and representatives from residence halls and campus-wide committees.

The Volunteer Network (VN) provides St. Olaf students with a wide range of rewarding volunteer opportunities in Northfield and the surrounding communities, such as pet therapy with nursing home residents, tutoring in Northfield schools, Special Olympics and being role models for Northfield youth.

Student Government

Student groups are free to organize and regulate their own activities within the limits set forth by college policy. The specific roles appropriate for each of the intra-student organizations are specified by the constitutions of these bodies.

Each student is a member of the St. Olaf College student community and may participate in the election of its officers.

The St. Olaf Student Senate, composed of elected student representatives, is the official student government on campus. It represents the interests of the St. Olaf College student community, overseeing student-related affairs. Copies of the St. Olaf Student Senate Constitution are available in the Student Activities Office and the Dean of Students Office.

The Interhall Council (IHC) plays a significant governing role in the shaping of residential life. Membership is determined by elections held in the fall. The hall councils meet regularly to program activities and review the needs and concerns of hall residents.

The Honor Council (in conjunction with a College Judiciary and a College Appeals Board) is the primary body for hearing discipline cases involving academic dishonesty.

Student Media

All student media offices are located in the Buntrock Commons.

The Manitou Messenger, founded in 1887, is the college newspaper published weekly by students for the St. Olaf College community. It is the medium for announcing and reporting campus-related events and for expressing student and faculty opinions.

The St. Olaf Literary Arts Magazine is the publication of the creative arts at St. Olaf College. It stimulates and solicits creative work from students and faculty members as well as from other sources and is published each spring.

The Viking, the college yearbook founded in 1903, is published annually to record and reflect life at St. Olaf College. Students with an interest in design, photography, copy writing, business, or advertising are welcome to join the staff.

KSTO is the student FM radio station for the St. Olaf College community. Its broadcasts include music, athletic events, community service announcements and taped programs from college and outside sources. KSTO, 93.1 FM, is student run and operated 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

All divisions of the SGA are entirely student run and are funded by the students of St. Olaf

For more detailed information about campus governance, consult The Book.

While the curriculum of college is designed to prepare students for lives of worth and service in the 21st century, many opportunities outside the classroom help them put their ideals into practice even before they graduate from St. Olaf.

St. Olaf as a Worshipping Community
St. Olaf's primary aim is to provide the best possible education. As a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Olaf intentionally carries out that aim in the context of a worshipping Christian community.

In addition to the study of theology, the college provides time, facilities and personnel to sustain the worship life of the community of faith on campus. A 20-minute chapel service in Boe Memorial Chapel every weekday is part of the college's regular schedule. Through the years, the St. Olaf faculty and student body have exercised the privilege of voluntary attendance at these services in a remarkable way.

Sunday morning worship on campus is the responsibility of the student congregation. Because of the denominational affiliation of the college, the worship services are predominantly in the traditional Lutheran liturgical format. The Office of the College Pastor, together with the student congregation, does, however, seek to carry on a ministry addressed to the needs and interests of all students, regardless of church affiliation. The various churches in the Northfield community cordially invite students to participate with them as well.

Membership in the St. Olaf College student congregation is open to all students. They declare their interest in membership and are given voting privileges by simply participating regularly in the worship life and other activities of the congregation. The activities of the congregation, as well as certain benevolence projects, are supported by free-will offerings at regular worship services.
The congregation states its purpose and aim in the following preamble to its constitution:

"Inasmuch as God is working at St. Olaf College, a community of varied religious and social backgrounds in which the students are challenged by questions and faced with decisions, the St. Olaf College student congregation seeks to become an intentional and self-conscious expression of God's gathered people, providing opportunity for the ministry of Word and Sacraments, extending a call for responsible membership in the community of faith as well as the community of learning and showing a genuine and active concern for the work of the Church both on and off the campus."

In addition to supervising the daily chapel services and the activities of the student congregation, the Office of the College Pastor is always open to students who seek counseling for personal, vocational, or religious areas of concern, or who simply desire to inquire about ways to get involved in the various religious activities available on campus. The counseling is done, of course, with complete confidentiality.

Community Volunteer Services
A large number of St. Olaf students participate in numerous volunteer activities in the local Northfield area and surrounding communities. Students regularly visit with juvenile offenders in Red Wing and with the physically and mentally challenged in Faribault. Some students also visit shelters for the homeless in downtown Minneapolis to serve food, sort donated clothes, or just play with the children. Other students contribute their time and talents visiting senior citizens in the local hospital and retirement centers, serving as coaches for Special Olympics athletes, as well as participating in a number of tutorial opportunities within the Northfield schools and local literacy programs.

Interested students may contact the student coordinator of the St. Olaf Volunteer Network in the Student Activities Office for more information.

St. Olaf offers an extensive program of intercollegiate and intramural sports. Excellent facilities and coaching are available for the large number of students who wish to take part in sports activities.

Intercollegiate Competition
St. Olaf athletic teams compete in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which includes 12 colleges in addition to St. Olaf: Augsburg, Bethel, Carleton, Concordia, Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Macalester, St. Benedict, St. Catherine, St. John's, St. Mary's and St. Thomas.

The program of intercollegiate athletics for men includes baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, hockey, Nordic and alpine skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.

The intercollegiate sports program for women includes basketball, cross country, fastpitch softball, golf, hockey, Nordic and alpine skiing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The intercollegiate athletic program is considered an integral part of the college, and its purpose and scope are educational in concept and in operation. This policy reflects institutional ideals and objectives, and its supervision and control are vested in the faculty.

Eligibility for intercollegiate athletics is certified by the faculty in accordance with Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference policy.

Intramural and Club Sport Options
The intramural program offers a wide range of activities to meet the needs and desires of as many students as possible. The program includes dozens of activities offering competitive opportunities for men's, women's and coed teams. There are also a number of "club sport" teams that provide "extramural" competitive experiences in sports such as Ultimate Frisbeeª, men's volleyball, lacrosse, coed water polo and cycling, which are not sponsored as intercollegiate sports.

There are many opportunities for general recreation and free play for all students. Several types of aerobic machines are available for use in the Tostrud Center (open in Fall 2002) an in Skoglund and Manitou Fieldhouses. The gym, fieldhouse, weight room and pool facilities in these buildings are available throughout the day and evening, and on weekends. The Mohn outdoor basketball courts and the outdoor fields and hiking/skiing trails surrounding the campus are also available for student use.

Skoglund Athletic Center houses all indoor sports, including basketball, wrestling, swimming, indoor track and tennis. The gymnasium-auditorium, with three full-sized basketball courts, has seating for 2,200 at intercollegiate basketball, volleyball, and wrestling events. The swimming pool has six seven-foot racing lanes and spectator seating for 300. The fieldhouse with a textured tartan surface contains a one-tenth mile track, areas for indoor track and field events and ample room for indoor baseball, football, softball, soccer and golf practice throughout the year. Five tennis courts provide students with indoor tennis play.

The two-story common unit links all other elements of the Athletic Center and includes a spacious lobby-concourse, classrooms, offices, locker rooms, double-mat wrestling room, weight-training room, training room, two handball/racquetball courts and a sauna.

Outdoor facilities include a football stadium, adjoining practice fields, a nine-lane artificial surface outdoor track, a separate soccer game field and four adjacent practice fields, tennis courts (12), baseball field, two softball fields and numerous intramural fields. The Manitou Fieldhouse, which houses a strength room, meeting/aerobics room, training room, two team dressing rooms, an equipment room, public rest rooms and general changing areas, was completed in the summer of 1992.


Music Ensembles Abound
People from across the nation begin their celebration of the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season with the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, a cherished tradition of the college for more than 85 years and an expression of the college's rich musical heritage.

The first festival in 1912 was a worship service in song for the college community, planned and directed by F. Melius Christiansen, the founder of the St. Olaf Music Department. The four concerts, which attract over 15,000 people to campus, feature the members of the St. Olaf Choir, the Chapel Choir, the St. Olaf Cantorei, the Manitou Singers, the Viking Chorus and St. Olaf Orchestra performing as individual groups and as a mass ensemble.

St. Olaf Choir, with 70 mixed voices, is the pioneer a cappella choir in the United States. For more than three-quarters of a century, the St. Olaf Choir has maintained its original purpose Ñ study and performance of a wide range of sacred choral literature. During annual tours in the United States and abroad, the ensemble exemplifies the highest artistic standards in choral music performance. Private lessons in voice are required for all members.

Chapel Choir, an ensemble of 120 mixed voices, sings for Sunday services of the student congregation and for special events both on and off campus, including a vespers concert each fall and a concert each spring with the St. Olaf Orchestra.
The St. Olaf Cantorei, an ensemble of 90 mixed voices, sings for Sunday services of the student congregation and serves as a laboratory for students in church music.

Manitou Singers is a 100-voice first-year women's chorus which sings at services of the student congregation, gives campus concerts and makes occasional off-campus appearances.
The Early Music Singers, a chamber vocal ensemble, performs a variety of music but focuses especially on Renaissance and Baroque literature. In addition to singing for Sunday services of the student congregation, the group presents a fall and spring concert with the Collegium Musicum.

Gospel Choir, a mixed ensemble of students of all races, backgrounds and denominations, pursues the performance of gospel music. Its repertoire includes traditional through contemporary gospel music and such influences as African, Caribbean, Latin American and jazz styles.

The Viking Chorus is a 60-voice first-year men's group that performs for special student events and presents an annual spring concert after a weekend tour. It also sings for services of the student congregation.

The Collegiate Chorale is a women's chorus for female students and faculty and staff women. The 120-voice ensemble gives two concerts during the year.

The St. Olaf Orchestra, with approximately 90 instrumentalists, presents several concerts each year, provides music for a variety of college programs and makes an annual 10-day concert tour. The orchestra periodically tours abroad, most recently to central and eastern Europe in the summer of 1998. Private lessons on one's orchestral instrument are required.

The St. Olaf Philharmonia is an ensemble of approximately 70 instrumentalists that performs orchestral literature of all periods. Performances include a fall and spring concert, a vespers concert with the Chapel Choir and several off-campus appearances.

The St. Olaf Band — The 85-member St. Olaf Band performs at a variety of concerts and college functions both on and off campus during the school year. The band tours regionally for 10 days each year. In June 2000 the ensemble completed a concert tour of the British Isles. Private lessons on one's band instrument are required.

The Norseman Band The 85-member Norseman Band is a concert band that plays several concerts each year both on and off campus. The band's membership includes first-year students through seniors.

Jazz Ensembles — Three jazz big bands perform music from the different eras of jazz history, including swing, be-bop, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, funk and contemporary styles. Each group performs in a concert and swing dance each semester.

Handbell Ensembles — Two handbell ensembles perform in a variety of settings, including chapel and Sunday Services and a major spring concert.

Collegium Musicum performs music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras on authentic historical instruments. Singers who participate are usually drawn from the Repertory Singers. A concert is performed each semester with the Repertory Singers.

Other Instrumental Musical Groups — The Trombone Choir, Horn Club, Flute Choir, Clarinet Choir, St. Olaf Brass, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Pep Band and Percussion Ensemble offer opportunities for membership in performing groups to all students at St. Olaf. Musicians who belong to other performing groups, as well as students who have no other ensemble membership, join together in these unique ensembles. They perform regularly in campus concerts and frequently travel to other cities in the area to perform. In most cases, these ensembles rehearse once a week.

Dance, Dance, Dance
The Companydance and Veselica Dance Companies are open to men and women by audition in the fall and spring. Class and rehearsal periods generally occur between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Companies provide choreographic and performing opportunities throughout the year both on- and off-campus. Veselica emphasizes international dance traditions; Companydance emphasizes modern dance.

A highly diverse group of students participates in theater at St. Olaf. Participation in the theater program is open to the entire community, and all major productions are produced under the direction of the professional staff of the Department of Theatre. No previous experience is necessary to participate.
In addition to the major season of five plays selected from the classic and modern repertory, the theater fosters a series of one-acts, experimental, and "Readers' Theater" presentations. During the one-month Interim, there are a variety of exciting opportunities to become involved in theater. The program of the St. Olaf College Theatre Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Student Media
All student media offices are located on the lower level of the St. Olaf Center.

The Manitou Messenger, founded in 1887, is the college newspaper published weekly by students for the St. Olaf College community. It is the medium for announcing and reporting campus-related events, and for expressing student and faculty opinions.

The St. Olaf Literary Arts Magazine is the publication of the creative arts at St. Olaf College. It stimulates and solicits creative work from students and faculty members as well as from other sources.

The Viking, the college yearbook founded in 1903, is published annually to record and reflect life at St. Olaf College. Students with an interest in design, photography, copy writing, business or advertising are welcome to join the staff.

KSTO is the student AM radio station for the St. Olaf College community. Its broadcasts include music, athletic events, community service announcements and taped programs from college and outside sources. KSTO, 590 AM, is student run and operated 18 hours a day, seven days a week.


St. Olaf Artist Series
The St. Olaf artist series each year presents several outstanding attractions from the fields of music, drama, and dance. These concerts by world famous artists are intended primarily for St. Olaf students as an important facet of their college education.
The attractions are selected by a faculty/student committee. The concerts are free to students, faculty, and staff. Tickets for both reserved and general admission seats are placed on sale to the public as part of the college's cultural responsibility to the community.

St. Olaf Convocation Program
In addition to the regular academic offerings, the college provides opportunities for students and faculty to hear and meet prominent persons in the fields of education, government, politics, theology, and the arts. A series of convocation lectures brings such persons to the campus at regular intervals throughout the year.