Distinctive Features

St. Olaf is a complex institution even among liberal arts colleges. The college was founded well over a century ago by Norwegian-Lutheran immigrants who aspired to create an intellectual community that would provide a superior education and nurture each student’s faith. We remain committed to academic depth and rigor, to honoring our immigrant roots, and to providing opportunities for students to grow in their faith and discover how they are called upon to serve others. St. Olaf is a very entrepreneurial place, and service is just as likely to mean starting a new business or making a scientific discovery as it is pursuing a career in teaching or medicine.

We believe that the best education is a residential liberal arts education and in a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. But many more attributes make St. Olaf distinctive. A commitment to and long history of global study; a 4-1-4 academic year calendar that allows for a month of intensively-focused inquiry during Interim; Conversation programs that spark interdisciplinary exploration; widespread research and creative inquiry at the undergraduate level; and a growing number of real-world internship and practicum opportunities.

Discover for yourself what makes St. Olaf College a very special place.