Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Domestic Off-Campus Studies: Global Perspective
“Global Perspective” — The
term comes up again and again when St. Olaf students and faculty
talk about the lessons they have learned while studying on international
and domestic off-campus programs.
They’re talking about the kind of exciting
insights they received when Hindu caste systems, Scandinavian
cinema or Greek architecture came to life before their eyes;
when their biology or physics laboratory moved to a rain forest,
a desert or a glacier; or, when everyday and utterly familiar
things like eating breakfast or taking a bath were put into thought-provoking
The objective of all off-campus programs is
to provide students with the opportunity to engage in cross-cultural
learning. Students gain knowledge and awareness of cultures other
than their own and reflect on their own culture with a new perspective.
More than three-fourths of all St. Olaf students participate
in off-campus programs, many of them led by St. Olaf faculty
members. As a matter of fact, more than 65 percent of every graduating
class have studied internationally, in places as diverse as Aberdeen,
Chiang Mai, Harare and Medan. About 25 percent have participated
in domestic programs — ranging
from Interim courses on desert biology to consortial programs in
urban education, the contemporary art scene and northwoods environmental
A number of students find off-campus study
so valuable that they participate in two or three programs during
their St. Olaf careers. Of equal importance is the fact that
faculty members find these programs extremely rewarding — both for their students and
for themselves. That is why, in the more than 40 years that St.
Olaf has been sponsoring them, the college’s field-supervised
programs (Term in the Middle East, Term in Asia, Global Semester,
and more recently, Environmental Science in Australia) have been
led by more than 50 different professors, and 140 faculty members
have led more than 300 off-campus Interim courses.
Each off-campus offering has a program adviser. Program advisers
are St. Olaf faculty members who are particularly well qualified
to offer academic advice on specific programs.
It is strongly recommended that all first-year students discuss
off-campus study plans with their academic adviser and with the
faculty program adviser or the study abroad adviser in the International
and Off-Campus Studies Office.
Exchange agreements and the college’s
membership in consortia make it possible for students to participate
in a number of exciting off-campus programs in addition to the
ones sponsored by St. Olaf itself.
St. Olaf is one of 14 liberal arts colleges that make up the
Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). Other ACM members are
Beloit, Carleton, Coe, College of the University of Chicago, Colorado,
Cornell, Grinnell, Knox, Lake Forest, Lawrence, Macalester, Monmouth
St. Olaf is also a member of the Higher Education Consortium
for Urban Affairs (HECUA), which offers students specialized programs
in domestic and international sites focusing on community issues
and social change.
Policies and Procedures
Students are responsible for adhering to the
regulations and policies contained in the Academic Regulations
section of this catalog. In particular, students on St. Olaf
off-campus programs are directed to refer to the policies on “Graded and Ungraded Courses” for
full details on how off-campus programs affect this graduation
Nearly all St. Olaf students who study off
campus do so during their sophomore, junior or senior years.
(A few Interims are open to first-year students.) The college’s
4-1-4 calendar (two semesters separated by an Interim in January)
contributes to the flexibility: it enables students to participate
in programs which last a month, a summer, a semester, half a
year or a full year.
Students intending to take part in a recognized program off-campus
must be in good academic standing, be sufficiently mature to benefit
from such study and provide evidence of good health. Many programs
have prerequisites, including introductory or advanced courses
in a specific discipline or certain levels of language proficiency.
Some programs are competitive and applicants will be accepted based
on meeting a standard set of criteria governing the selection process.
Details about all St. Olaf-approved semester and year-long programs,
program advisers, prerequisites and application deadlines and procedures
are found in the international and off-campus studies brochure,
published every fall by the Office of International and Off-Campus
Studies. Interim offerings are detailed in the off-campus Interim
brochure published in spring by the Office of International and
Students in all St. Olaf-sponsored programs pay the St. Olaf
tuition plus a program fee. In addition, students are expected
to cover passport fees, the costs of additional independent travel
and personal expenses. St. Olaf financial aid is available for
St. Olaf off-campus programs. Information about special scholarships
for off-campus study is available from the Financial Aid Office
or the study abroad adviser in the International and Off-Campus
Grades, Credits, Registration
All off-campus courses are graded and appear
on the transcript, but only those letter grades given for a course
taught by a St. Olaf faculty member are calculated into a student’s
grade point average.
In order for a student to receive academic credit for off-campus
study sponsored by an institution with which St. Olaf has a program
relationship, registration must be done in advance through St.
All credits earned on St. Olaf-approved programs are viewed as
resident credit. In most cases, students can expect to earn
the same amount of credit on an off-campus program that they would
earn on campus during a comparable period of time.
Students studying on St. Olaf off-campus programs
should be aware of the “24 graded courses” graduation
requirement. Full details on how this requirement is affected
by off-campus courses is found in the Academic Regulations section
of this catalog.
St. Olaf’s S/U policy applies to courses
taken on off-campus programs.
Credits for Non-St. Olaf Terms Off-Campus
Students wishing to study on programs not listed here will take
a leave of absence from the college and must negotiate in advance
with the registrar in order to be sure that credits will transfer.
Students may earn elective credit and credit toward a major,
but may not fulfill general education requirements through
such programs. These students may not register for subsequent St.
Olaf terms through a proxy.
St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus Study Opportunities
Full details about programs, program advisers,
prerequisites and application deadlines and procedures are found
in the international and off-campus studies brochure, published
every fall and spring by the Office of International and Off-Campus
Studies. The brief descriptions located in this catalog, however,
will give you an idea of the breadth and depth of St. Olaf’s
off-campus study opportunities.