St. Olaf College
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: 3,046
- Domestic students: 81% White, 7% Asian, 6% Hispanic, 4% multiracial, 2% Black, <1% American Indian/Alaskan Native, <1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, excludes race/ethnicity unknown
- International students are 8% 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%
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Use LinkedIn’s alumni tool* to explore what St. Olaf graduates majored in and the types of careers they have and with which companies.
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- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Music
5 largest majors:
Average class size
215 full time, 119 part time; 93% of full-time faculty members hold the doctorate or highest degree in their field
- Architecture and design
- Business and management
- Computer and software engineering
- Health studies (including 20 areas)
- Information technology
- 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
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.
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.
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
Online application: wp.stolaf.edu/admissions/apply
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 email@example.com.
2016-17 undergraduate tuition and fees: $44,180
Room and board: $10,080
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 than 200 registered student organizations including:
- academic groups
- environmental awareness groups
- musical groups
- multicultural groups
- political groups
- recreational groups
- religious groups
- social groups
- NCAA Division III
- Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)
- Skiing (alpine and Nordic)
- Swimming and diving
- Track and field
- Skiing (alpine and Nordic)
- Swimming and diving
- Track and field
More than 30 intramural and club sports, in which nearly half of the student body is involved.
- Hockey (men's)
- Lacrosse (men's and women's)
- Martial arts
- 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
- 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
- Runestones accordion ensemble
- St. Olaf film production society
- Trombone choir
- Uba-euphonium ensemble
- Viking chorus
- Virtuosi chamber winds
St. Olaf Campus News
- St. Olaf students present, compete at computer science symposium
Seven teams of computer science students from St. Olaf College presented papers at the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium hosted by the University of Northern Iowa.
The symposium focused on integrating computer-based technology into the classroom and making it part of the curriculum.
All of the St. Olaf students’ interdisciplinary projects centered on 3-D images and computer vision. Their work stemmed from projects completed as part of the Advanced Team Project and Senior Capstone courses in the Computer Science Department. Projects ranged from a 3-D model of Regents Hall of Natural and Mathematical Sciences to ways to improve camera calibration and optimization to get better 3-D models from photos.
The symposium also included a programming competition. Teams competed to solve eight programming problems correctly in three hours without the use of the internet. St. Olaf teams placed second, third, and fourth.
- Student wins Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award
St. Olaf College student Emily Sackett ’16 has received a history scholar award that will enable her to spend five days in New York City this summer meeting with prominent scholars and touring some of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s archives.
The Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award recognizes undergraduates who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history or American studies and a commitment to public service and community involvement.
Throughout her undergraduate career at St. Olaf, Sackett has had ample opportunity to expand on her history coursework. When she studied abroad at the University of Oxford through St. Olaf’s Oxford Harris Manchester College Off-Campus Program, she was able to use the university’s archives of the Virginia Company to research women who came to the American colonies.
She worked in the St. Olaf Archives and has also volunteered in several historical societies, guiding tours, working in the archives, and helping with exhibits. Last summer she did a fellowship in Historic Deerfield, a restored colonial town in Massachusetts that focuses on New England material culture.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of history education and has received awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.
“I’ve gotten a lot of support from the St. Olaf History Department in applying for this award,” Sackett says. “Professor Hahn and Professor Fitzgerald guided me through the whole process.”
This fall Sackett will begin graduate work at the University of Virginia, where she will study colonial history with a focus on women in the southern United States.