Take a Student-Led Campus Tour
Every tour guide will show you the highlights and talk about their favorite places on campus. Their stories and experiences are some of the best ways to learn about St. Olaf. Ask 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 return to studying, practicing, rehearsing, organizing, working in the lab, or … you get the idea.
Go to an Information Session
We offer daily information sessions to answer general questions about St. Olaf. If you are a first-time visitor to campus, this is a great way to learn about what a St. Olaf education can do for you.
On our Summer and Fall Visit Days and on Junior Preview Days we offer 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.
Many traditions are shared by students and faculty, but everyone has his or her own St. Olaf experience. Ask what people do, what they like, and what they think about. What are their favorite courses or who are their favorite professors? What is it like to live in the dorms? How cold is a Minnesota winter? 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 helpful. If you’re a senior, we encourage you interview. These conversations help us get to know you — 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 visitors.
Sit in on a Class
We are a college. Students go to class. Faculty love to teach. The interaction among students and between students and faculty is something to see and experience. If you’d like to visit a class, please let us know in advance so that 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
If your interests and talents are deep and specific to one or two areas, we’ll put you in touch with other students or faculty members in those areas. Are you a swimmer? Meet a coach poolside. A Trombonist? We’ll set you up with our music admissions coordinator or a member of the music faculty. Do you 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 — you’ll find 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. (All chapel services are streamed live and archived online.)
Enjoy a Meal
Awesome food. Enough said. We don’t care if some website ranks us No. 2, No. 3, or No. 6 (we’ve been each in the past five years or so, 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 has a single dining hall for the entire community. It’s about sharing meals with your friends.
See how Stav Hall looked when the last Harry Potter movie opened …