St. Olaf College

Students playing croquet
Stav Hall
St. Olaf professor and student
Buntrock Commons
St. Olaf winter scene
Students in class
Old Main
St. Olaf concert
St. Olaf campus
St. Olaf classroom
Science lab
Athletic facilities
St. Olaf wind turbine

St. Olaf College
Office of Admissions
1520 St. Olaf Avenue
Northfield, MN 55057

Request information

phone: 507.786.3025
toll-free: 800.800.3025
fax: 507.786.3832
email admissions


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Programs and Degrees Offered



One of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, St. Olaf offers a distinctive education grounded in academic rigor, residential learning, global engagement and a vibrant Lutheran faith tradition. Many excellent colleges provide one, two or even three elements of the St. Olaf experience. What makes St. Olaf unique is the combination of so many distinguishing features working together at the highest level: an intense academic program that sharpens minds and an emphasis on a global perspective that broadens them; the vitality of a residential community that engages thoughtful people across the full range of human experiences; and a faith tradition that encourages reflection and honors different perspectives. By cultivating the habits of mind and heart that enable graduates to lead lives of financial independence, professional accomplishment, personal fulfillment and community engagement, St. Olaf provides an uncommon educational experience that fully prepares students to make a meaningful difference in a changing world.

St. Olaf College at a glance


  • Undergraduate: 3,034

Student distribution

  • Domestic students: 83% White, 6% Asian, 5% Hispanic, 4% multiracial, 2% Black, <1% American Indian/Alaskan Native, excludes race/ethnicity unknown
  • International students are 7% of total enrollment


  • Student/faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Average class size: 22
  • Number undergraduate majors: 44

First-year student profile

  • Average ACT score: The middle 50% of enrolled students had ACT composite scores between 26 and 32; 81% of students presented the ACT as part of their applications.
  • Average SAT score: The middle 50% ranges were 570-690 for math and 560-700 for reading; 33% of students submitted the SAT as part of their applications.
  • High school GPA: 3.62
  • Percentage from Minnesota: 44%
  • Percentage who live on campus: 100%


  • 2015-16 undergraduate tuition and fees: $42,940
  • Room and board: $9,790
  • Percentage first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: 89%

Religious affiliation

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Degrees offered

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Music

View a list of all majors and degrees or St. Olaf's detailed program information.

5 largest majors:
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Chemistry


215 full time, 119 part time; 93% of full-time faculty members hold the doctorate or highest degree in their field

Student/faculty ratio


Average class size


Accreditation & approval

  • American Chemical Society
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Schools of Dance
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Pre-professional programs

  • Accounting
  • Architecture and design
  • Business and management
  • Computer and software engineering
  • Engineering
  • Health studies (including 20 areas)
  • Information technology
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Performing arts
  • Public policy
  • Theology and seminary

Teaching licensure programs

  • Secondary/Middle Level (5-12) licenses in communication arts/literature, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, physics) and social studies
  • Level K-12 licenses in dance, theater arts, ESL, music (vocal and instrumental), visual art, and French, German, Spanish and Latin

Intercampus agreements

A cooperative agreement with Carleton College enables St. Olaf and Carleton students to take courses on either campus.

Study abroad programs

There are 110 program opportunities in more than 45 countries to choose from. Four St. Olaf faculty-led semesters are offered:

  • Global Semester
  • Environmental Science in Australia
  • Mediterranean Semester: Cultural Crossroads in Context
  • Term in Asia

Students also may study in Argentina, China, Germany, India, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey and many other countries across the globe. Areas of study vary widely, from environmental science in Australia, mathematics in Budapest, or sustainable development in Central America to Renaissance art and culture in Florence, African culture and society in Botswana, and democracy and social change in Northern Ireland.

In addition to St. Olaf’s own interim and semester-length programs and institutional exchanges, approved offerings are also available through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, Council on International Educational Exchange, IES Abroad, Center for Global Education, and other organizations.

Internships/career services

The Piper Center for Vocation and Career offers internship programs that provide planned, supervised experiential education projects that integrate study and practical work. Internships are undertaken to acquire and apply knowledge through direct experience in a field related to the student's academic program.

The Piper Center also provides career information and assistance to students and alumni through professional advising, on-campus interviews, and a resource center with information on graduate schools. The Center assists with career planning, tracks employment opportunities and paid internships, and facilitates a career advisory network of alumni.

Admission & cost


Online application:

Application requirements: The Common Application and the St. Olaf supplement to the Common Application

Admissions tests required: ACT (writing is recommended) or SAT

Application deadlines: Early Decision I: Nov. 15; Early Decision II: Jan. 8; Regular Admission: Jan. 15

Application fee: None

Advanced placement credit

St. Olaf College awards a maximum of 6.00 St. Olaf-equivalent credits from among all pre-college (PSEO/CIS/AP/IB/CAL) credits presented by matriculating first-year students. More Information

Transfer criteria (credits, GPA):

Usually successful transfer students have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Courses graded C or higher will be considered for transfer credit. See the St. Olaf catalog for further information.

Transfer process (deadlines and materials)

February 1 and April 1 are the deadlines for fall enrollment. Students must submit the common application and St. Olaf supplement, transcripts for each college attended, a statement of good standing from prior institution(s), a high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores, and two letters of recommendation. For more information regarding our transfer policy and process, contact our transfer coordinator at


2015-16 undergraduate tuition and fees: $42,940

Room and board: $9,790

Percentage of first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: 89%

Financial aid information

St. Olaf is committed to helping every admitted student find a way to finance his or her education. A St. Olaf education is an investment that pays dividends — economical and personal — over a lifetime. There are several forms of aid available to help make college affordable for families: gift aid (need-based grants and merit scholarships), student employment and student loans.

More about financial aid
Net Price Calculator

Student involvement

Student organizations

More than 200 registered student organizations including:

  • academic groups
  • environmental awareness groups
  • musical groups
  • multicultural groups
  • political groups
  • recreational groups
  • religious groups
  • social groups

Athletic programs

Conference membership

  • NCAA Division III
  • Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

Men's varsity

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross-country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Skiing (alpine and Nordic)
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling

Women's varsity

  • Basketball
  • Cross-country
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Skiing (alpine and Nordic)
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball


More than 30 intramural and club sports, in which nearly half of the student body is involved.

Club sports

  • Badminton
  • Boxing
  • Cycling
  • Fencing
  • Hockey (men's)
  • Lacrosse (men's and women's)
  • Martial arts
  • Rowing
  • Rugby (men's and women's)
  • Ultimate Frisbee (men's and women's)
  • Volleyball (men's)

Fine arts offerings

  • Agnes A Cappella (female a cappella ensemble)
  • Ballroom dance club
  • St. Olaf band
  • Cantorei
  • St. Olaf choir
  • Chapel choir
  • Clarinet choir
  • Collegium musicum
  • Early music singers
  • Flute choir
  • Gospel choir
  • Handbell ensemble
  • Horn club
  • Improv theater
  • St. Olaf orchestra
  • Manitou singers
  • Musical theater
  • Muziko Nova composers society
  • Norseman band
  • Opera
  • Philharmonia
  • Runestones accordion ensemble
  • St. Olaf film production society
  • Trombone choir
  • Uba-euphonium ensemble
  • Viking chorus
  • Virtuosi chamber winds

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