What to Do During Your Visit

Take a Tour

Every tour guide will cover the highlights, as well as their personal favorite places. Ask them questions. When was St. Olaf founded? What does “Um! Yah! Yah!” really mean?  How many organs are on campus? The rock climbing wall is HOW TALL?  You mean there are Chemistry majors who play water polo and the clarinet? What do people do in the Honor Houses?

Our students are St. Olaf’s best ambassadors. Sometimes they get carried away, so we try to hold them to about an hour, then they ought to get back to studying, or practicing, or rehearsing, or organizing, or working in the lab, or… you get the idea.

Go to an Info Session

We offer daily info sessions to answer general questions about St. Olaf.

All visit programs include student and faculty panels that cover the basics about our academic programs, international and off-campus programs, athletics, music, and campus life. Naturally, we’ll also cover Admissions (applying and getting in) and Financial Aid (affording and financing this awesome experience).

Ask Lots of Questions

There are lots of shared traditions enjoyed by students and faculty, but everyone has their own St. Olaf experience. Ask what people do, what they like, what they think about, which are their favorite courses or professors, what the dorms are like, which organizations they’re involved in. Nothing is off-limits.

Interview with an Admissions Officer

We don’t require an interview as part of the application process, but putting a face and a personality to an application is very helpful. We’re most interested in learning what you think about, what kind of person you are, what makes you curious. It’s a two-way street: we want you to ask questions, too! If you are not a senior, your interview may be with one of our Admissions Fellows, trained students who help us provide more one-on-one experiences for more students.

Sit in on a Class

We are, um, a college. Students go to class. Faculty love to teach. The interaction among students and between students and faculty is something to see, and to experience. If you’d like to visit a class, please let us know in advance, so we can try to match your interests to the available classes. Our faculty are happy to have visitors in the classroom, but they like to have a heads-up about when to expect you.

Follow your Interests: Faculty Appointments, Music Rehearsals, Coach Visits 

There’s a whole lot of stuff going on at St. Olaf.  If your interests and talents are deep and specific to one or two areas, we’ll put you in touch with other students or leaders in those areas.  Are you a swimmer? Meet a coach at Tostrud Center. A Trombonist? We’ll set you up with our Music Admissions Coordinator or a member of the music faculty. Love wearing safety goggles and a white lab coat? We’ll send you to Regents Hall so you can see what a great science learning and teaching facility looks like (and yes, there will be plenty of faculty who are eager to talk with you and show you around).

Go to Chapel

The Chapel is an important place on campus, where people from across the campus community gather for music, reflection and worship. Daily chapel services are entirely voluntary, and a distinctive part of campus life for many students. No classes or other activities are scheduled during Chapel time, so you’ll find many students squeezing in a little extra study time.

Enjoy a Meal

Awesome food. Enough said. We don’t care if the recent ranking is #2, #3 or #6 (we’ve been each one, and the food hasn’t gotten better – or worse – whether we’ve moved up or down). St. Olaf is one of those rare places that still have one dining hall so the entire community can gather in a single place for meals. You should have seen Stav Hall the night the last Harry Potter movie opened. It looked like Hogwarts.