St. Olaf CollegeAcademic CatalogSt. Olaf College

Table of Contents
Academic Life
Academic Regulations
International and Off-Campus Studies

Special Programs
» Education Put to Work
» Pre-Professional 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.

Pre-Professional Preparation

The following roster of pre-professional studies indicates how the liberal arts can fulfill the general as well as the specialized objectives of St. Olaf students.

Recommendations are based on the typical pre-professional requirements currently existing in universities and professional schools.

Subjects grouped under the headings "Strongly Recommended" are required by many institutions while those under "Recommended" are important but not necessarily required. Because of their diverse nature, many professions such as business and management, law and public policy defy course-specific recommendations for undergraduates. For example, as many psychology as economics majors in the United States enter business careers each year through corporate training programs. In those instances, recommendations should be considered suggestive, not directive. Opposite examples are nursing and social work (consult the Index), which have prescribed curriculums required for the state license.


Students are encouraged to work closely with faculty, pre-professional advisers, department chairs and the Center for Experiential Learning during and after their time at St. Olaf.


Campus contact person: Mary Emery, Economics Department

Students planning to sit for the CPA examination upon graduation should major in economics or mathematics and take elective courses in accounting and finance. Since 2000, new members of the American Institute of CPAs have been required to earn one year of college credit beyond the bachelor's degree. Students are strongly advised to check the regulations for licensure in the state where they intend to practice.

Strongly recommended: Management Studies 225, 237, 250, 251, 252, 258, 259, 281 and 380; Mathematics 126

Recommended: Management Studies 236; English 251 and 255 and courses in statistics and computer science


Campus contact persons: Steve Edwins and Wendell Arneson, Art and Art History Department

An art major or art emphasis is highly recommended for students planning on pursuing a career in architecture. Architecture is an art that requires knowledge of cultural history, social organization, strong design and technical skill as well as a background in mathematics and physics.

Strongly recommended: A major in the visual arts with an emphasis in sculpture, painting, architectural drawing and digital media (Art 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 228, 235 and 239); a strong background in art history; and strong background in mathematics (Calculus I and II or Mathematics Analysis I and II) and Physics 124L and 125L

Recommended: Courses in American and European history, American and/or urban studies, literature (especially with advanced writing components), philosophy and courses in social science, and at least one ORC-designated course

Business and Management
Campus contact person: Mary Emery, Economics Department

Students planning to enter the business world immediately upon graduation and seek a career in accounting, finance, management, or marketing should major in economics and consider an area of emphasis or a management studies concentration.

Strongly recommended: Management Studies 225, 237, 250, 251, 252 and 383; English 251; Psychology 125

Recommended: Management Studies 236 and 281; English 251 and 255, Mathematics 126; Psychology 250

The best Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs do not require a specific undergraduate curriculum. They seek people with strong skills in analysis, communication and leadership. Typically, students entering an MBA program will have two or more years of work experience.

Computer and Information Sciences

Campus contact person: Richard Brown, director of the computer science concentration

The following are recommendations in addition to courses normally taken in a computer science concentration.

Recommended for computer science: Computer Science 398; Computer Science 294 or 394; supporting mathematics courses, e.g., Mathematics 220; at least one ORC-designated course

Recommended for management information science: Economics 125, 236; at least one ORC-designated course
Recommended for computer engineering: Electronics, e.g., Physics 246; supporting mathematics, e.g., Mathematics 226


Campus contact persons: Ted Johnson, Biology Department, Wesley Pearson, Chemistry Department, and other members of the Health Professions Committee

Strongly recommended: Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123 Interim), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254, 379; Biology 125, 126, 231, 243; General Education 111, plus a second course in English or an ORC-designated course; Nursing 110; Mathematics 120 and126 or 122 and 128; Physics 124 and 125; Psychology 125.

Recommended electives: Art, Biology 231, 233, 243, 382, Nursing 110

Most dental schools (e.g., Minnesota) require that these courses be graded. Students must also take the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT).


Campus contact person: David Dahl, Physics Department

Most students choose to complete a B.A. degree at St. Olaf before beginning work on an M.S.E. degree at the school of their choice, an option which typically takes five and one-half to six years. A cooperative program exists that enables a student to receive a B.A. degree from St. Olaf and a B.S. degree in engineering from either Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., or the University of Minnesota, in a five-year program. Consult the Index for further information.

Strongly recommended for civil, electrical and mechanical engineering: Major in physics

Strongly recommended for chemical engineering: Major in chemistry


Campus contact person: Jan Allister, English Department
Strongly recommended: English 255

Recommended: Other writing courses such as English 251, 257, 373; course work in American and modern world history, contemporary sociology/anthropology, ethics, economics and political science; course work in mass media; Art 115 (photography); Computer Science 172; at least one ORC-designated course


Campus contact person: Charles Umbanhowar, Sr., Political Science Department

Most accredited law schools have no specific requirements for the pre-law course, but the Association of American Law Schools emphasizes the breadth and quality of the undergraduate program. Students desiring more information should consult with members of the Pre-law Advisers Committee.


Campus contact person: Ted Johnson, Biology Department, Wesley Pearson, Chemistry Department, and other members of the Health Professions Committee

Refer to the requirements of the specific medical schools of interest.

Strongly recommended: Biology 125, 126, 233; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254, 379; Mathematics 120 or 122; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, 228; Psychology 125

Recommended: Biology 231, 233, 243; Chemistry 379; Nursing 110; courses in literature, humanities, philosophy and behavioral sciences

Medical schools require that these courses be graded. Students must also take the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT).

Performing Arts

Campus contact persons: Chair of the Art Department; chair of the Theatre Department; chair of the Dance Department; chair of the Music Department; director of the interdisciplinary fine arts major

Strongly recommended: A comprehensive major in art, dance, music or theater. Teaching majors are offered and the individual department chairs should be consulted for the specific departmental requirements. The interdisciplinary fine arts major is an interdisciplinary major with an emphasis in art, dance, music or theater. The Bachelor of Music degree is a professional degree for preparation in music performance, theory-composition, church music or music education. For specific information about requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree, refer to the Music section of the catalog course listings.

Recommended: Well-rounded background in the liberal arts, particularly the humanities.


Campus contact persons: Ted Johnson, Biology Department; Wesley Pearson, Chemistry Department, and other members of the Health Professions Committee

Strongly recommended: Biology 125, 126, 231, 243; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254; Economics 121; English 111, 220; Mathematics 120 or 122; Physics 124 and 125; at least one ORC-designated course

Recommended: Electives to minimum of 17 courses
Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) required.

Physical Therapy

Campus contact persons: Ted Johnson, Biology Department

Generally required: Biology 125, 126, 243; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126; Mathematics 120 or 122; Physics 124 and 125; social sciences (three courses): Psychology 125, 264, and one sociology course; Statistics 110 or 212; Graduate Record Examination (G.R.E.).

Recommended: Biology 231, 233, 247; Chemistry 247, 253; Psychology 241; Physical Education 374, 375; Sociology/Anthropology 248; biomedical ethics

Some physical therapy schools require a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C.P.R.) course. Consult early with physical therapy schools about additional recommended or required courses for their program.

Public Policy

Campus contact person: Daniel Hofrenning, Political Science Department

Recommended: Courses in political science and economics are most directly applicable and are strongly recommended. However, a broad liberal arts education also provides strong preparation. Courses in all disciplines can offer unique perspectives on public policy issues and excellent training for a career in public service.

Students with an interest in an international career (such as the Foreign Service) should, in addition to courses recommended above, pursue advanced foreign language studies.

Social Work

Campus contact persons: Naurine Lennox and Mary Carlsen, social work program

The undergraduate social work major is required for students who wish to be licensed as social workers by the State of Minnesota and to be employed as a social worker immediately following graduation (consult Index for program listing).

Students who plan to attend a graduate school of social work following graduation are encouraged to consult the Social Work director for information on appropriate courses and majors. For admission to graduate professional programs the following are:

Generally required: Statistics 110 or 212

Highly recommended: Social Work 221

Recommended: Humanities (especially ethics, logic, literature); social sciences (including economics and political science); human biology; language study (especially Spanish); public speaking, computer literacy and cultural competence

Teaching (Public Education)

Campus contact person: Mark Schelske, Education Department

The teacher education program is recommended for students who seek state licensure for classroom teaching.
Students who satisfactorily complete the professional education sequence and meet the course requirements of a selected major teaching area become eligible for a K-6, 5-8, K-12 or 5-12 license (depending on their choice of teaching area). Consult the Index for information about education and social studies education.

Recommended: Education 290 is a prerequisite for all education courses and should be taken the second semester of the sophomore year or fall of junior year. Students should acquaint themselves with requirements of the program early in their college experience by consulting the catalog, the Education Department website and with education and content area advisers.

Theology and Seminary

Campus contact person: L. DeAne Lagerquist, Religion Department

The Association of Theological Schools recommends that college students study the following subjects:

English language and literature; history, including non-Western cultures as well as European and American; philosophy, particularly its history and its methods; natural sciences, both the physical and the life sciences; social sciences, where psychology, sociology and anthropology are particularly appropriate; the fine arts and music, especially for their creative and symbolic values; Biblical and modern languages; religion, both in the Judeo-Christian and in the Near and Far Eastern traditions.

Students should acquaint themselves with the specific entrance requirements of the schools to which they might apply.

Students interested in further advice may consult with the College Pre-Seminary Committee (contacted through the college pastor) or with the chair of the Religion Department.

Veterinary Medicine

Campus contact person: L. Henry Kermott, Biology Department

Recommended: Biology 125, 126, 231, 233; Chemistry 125 (or 121, 123), 126, 247, 248, 253, 254, 373, 379; Mathematics 120 or 122; Physics 124 and 125, or 126, 127, and 228; Economics 121; Statistics 110 or 212; at least one ORC-designated course

The Veterinary Aptitude Test and Graduate Record Exam may be required. Requirements vary with the school; experience with animals necessary. Please contact campus adviser for pre-veterinary medicine for more complete details.

Note: all or most of these courses may be required, depending on the school.