Overview

With so many great liberal arts colleges, how do you choose? What makes St. Olaf stand apart? We think it’s this: St. Olaf doesn’t produce ordinary college grads. It turns out Oles (Oh-Lees). Oles are the people that companies want, because they know how to get stuff done. They think harder, approach problems differently, persevere with enthusiasm. Oles are born of St. Olaf’s intense academic program — an academic program that hones minds, while its emphasis on global engagement helps broaden perspectives. Oles aren’t necessarily religious, but our religious tradition encourages deep self-reflection. Most important, perhaps, is the Ole community — a vibrant community that accepts, supports and encourages, generating lifelong friendships and invaluable business connections. Today more than ever, the world needs idealistic, tireless problem solvers. In other words, Oles.

St. Olaf’s more than 3,000 students come from over 90 countries, nearly every state, and a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. Oles choose from more than 85 majors, concentrations and pre-professional tracks, and more than 95 percent live on campus. The college ranks #2 for study abroad. Oles participate on 26 varsity teams, numerous club sports and intramurals. They belong to more than 200 student organizations and have countless opportunities to get involved. St. Olaf’s beautiful 300-acre campus is located in Northfield, Minnesota, approximately 40 miles south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Religious affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Student body profile

Oles have many interests and are ready to embrace them with full force in college. Oles approach their journey with care, ambition and open-mindedness, and are unified in their desire to make an impact.

Academics

St. Olaf will challenge you with the breadth and depth of a rigorous liberal arts education. Within your major, professors will expect you to master the discipline, demonstrate your knowledge and see the connections between big ideas. Your general education courses will ensure you develop a wide range of skills and the flexible habits of mind to meet 21st-century challenges: languages, quantitative reasoning, scientific literacy, creativity and collaboration and the ability to communicate your knowledge effectively. St. Olaf is the first step toward a lifetime of learning and doing, of seeing creative solutions to real-life, global challenges.

Learning options

Dual-degree programs
Intercampus agreements
Internships
Pre-professional programs
Study abroad/away
Teacher licensure programs

Pre-professional programs

Pre-Accounting
Pre-Architecture and Design
Pre-Audiology
Pre-Business and Management
Pre-Computer and Software Engineering
Pre-Dental
Pre-Engineering
Pre-Genetic Counseling
Pre-Health Sciences (20 areas)
Pre-Information Technology
Pre-Journalism
Pre-Law
Pre-Medicine
Pre-Nursing
Pre-Occupational Therapy
Pre-Optometry
Pre-Performing Arts
Pre-Pharmacy
Pre-Physical Therapy
Pre-Physician Assistant
Pre-Podiatry
Pre-Public Policy
Pre-Theology and Seminary
Pre-Veterinary Science

Being on Ole to me means being surrounded by the encouragement and support of other Oles. Whether I receive a flower from a fellow Ole on Fridays or get a word of advice from a professor, I always know that someone on the Hill has my back.

Darby Wilson '24

Admissions

To foster our community, we look for multifaceted people from diverse backgrounds who have all kinds of talents and interests — those who want to pursue their passions both in and out of the classroom. Our process is holistic, which allows us to admit students from a range of backgrounds and who bring a range of experiences. We know that test results don’t tell the whole story, so applications are accepted with or without ACT or SAT test scores.

Apply online

Cost & financial aid

We meet the need of EVERY student.

Our Commitment to Affordability provides grants and scholarships covering full tuition for most families making $90,000 and below. It also covers more than 65 percent of tuition for most families with income between $90,001 and $225,000.

St. Olaf is committed to making education affordable to attract and educate a diverse student body from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Our commitment includes meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need and offering merit scholarships to recognize your academic success and talent in the fine arts.

Net price calculator

Tuition and fees

First-time, full-time students receiving grants and scholarships:
100%

Financial aid application deadline
Early Action, Nov. 1
Early Decision I, Nov. 1
Early Decision II, Jan. 15
Regular Decision, Jan. 15

FAFSA code
002382

Profile code
6638

Learn more about financial aid at St. Olaf.

Student activities

There is always something going on at St. Olaf, from concerts, to community organizing, to intramural practice. No matter how varied your interests are, St. Olaf has more than 200 clubs and student organizations that are ready for you to join. Almost everyone is involved in something, and more than a few Oles are involved in one thing too many. That’s to be expected when you put talented and motivated people together.

Number of student organizations
200+

Types of student organizations

Academic clubs
Community service
Cultural or ethnic
Honor societies
Political
Pre-professional
Religious
Student government
Student interest/hobbies

Fine art offerings

At St. Olaf, creativity is cultivated, respected and nourished. In fact, we’re one of only three liberal arts colleges that offer fully accredited majors in art, dance, music and theater. You’ve probably heard of our music program: St. Olaf bands, choirs and orchestras are world-renowned. Our art program is highly esteemed too — with a proven track record of preparing students for graduate school in architecture and museum studies, and for careers as illustrators, photographers and makers of art. Our dance and theater programs launch graduates into conservatory programs and performing careers.

Instrumental Music

Concert Band
Drumline
Early Music
Handbells
Jazz Ensemble
Pep Band
Small Ensembles
Symphony Orchestra

Vocal Music

A Capella
Gospel
Jazz
Men's Choir
Mixed Choir
Opera
Women's Choir

Theater & Dance

Ballroom Dance
Comedy / Improv
Dance Company
Dance Team / Club
Swing dance
Theater club
Theater productions
World / cultural dance

Athletic programs

NCAA Division
Division III

Conference membership
Central Collegiate Ski Association
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

Men's varsity

Alpine Skiing
Baseball
Basketball
Cross-Country
Football
Golf
Hockey
Nordic Skiing
Soccer
Swimming / Diving
Tennis
Track and Field (indoor and outdoor)

Women's varsity

Alpine Skiing
Basketball
Cross-Country
Golf
Hockey
Nordic Skiing
Soccer
Softball
Swimming / Diving
Tennis
Track and Field (indoor and outdoor)
Volleyball

Club sports

While the number of club sports teams varies from year to year, St. Olaf generally sponsors around 30 club sports, consisting of competitive, recreational and instructional clubs. Students can initiate a new club by finding enough interested members and defining the structure and purpose of the new club. Each year, dedicated students create 3-5 new club sports.

Club sports offered
Alpine Skiing
Badminton
Ballroom Dance
Boxing
Cheer Team
Crew / Rowing
Curling
Cycling
Dance Team
Disc Golf
Equestrian
Figure Skating
Ice Hockey (men's)
Ice Hockey (women's)
Lacrosse (women's)
Martial Arts
Powerlifting
Rugby (men's)
Rugby (women's)
Running
Snowboarding
Soccer (men's)
Soccer (women's)
Swimming
Tennis
Ultimate (men's)
Ultimate (women's)
Volleyball (men's)
Volleyball (women's)
Water Polo

Intramural sports

More than 20 intramural sports and leagues are offered annually at St. Olaf, with the most popular sports being volleyball, soccer and basketball. Other sports offered include broomball, dodgeball, flag football, wiffleball, badminton and tennis.

After graduation

At St. Olaf, we are focused on working with students from day one to help them explore jobs, gain experience outside of the classroom and pursue meaningful post-graduate work, service and education. Beyond a great education, St. Olaf provides one-on-one career coaching and peer advising. We do everything we can to ensure that Oles are able to leverage their education into a job that’s meaningful and relevant — and 98 percent of Oles are employed, in full-time service projects or graduate school within six months after graduation. Employers want the unique skills that Oles have — a liberal arts education with real-world experience.

Disciplines with largest number of graduates
1. Social sciences
2. Biological and biomedical sciences (TIED)
2. Visual and performing arts (TIED)
3. Psychology

Alumni majors
Use LinkedIn’s alumni tool* to explore what St. Olaf graduates majored in and the types of careers they have and with which companies.

*based only on those who have accounts on LinkedIn

Contact information

Other Student paths

Transfer

Learn more