Studying Off-Campus

General Information

Each year, more than 800 St. Olaf students study on off-campus programs. St. Olaf College offers academic programs in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North, South and Central America and the Pacific. Some programs extend the scope of particular majors, language concentrations or area studies; all add a cross-cultural dimension to a liberal arts education.

St. Olaf off-campus opportunities are not limited to language students or specific major fields. Many programs, taught in English, provide significant opportunities for cross-cultural study and experience in all aspects of the general education program of the college.

Off-campus Interim courses are offered each year during January. A complete list of the next year’s off-campus Interim courses is available in April from the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies.

Program Advisors

Program advisors are faculty members qualified to offer academic advice on
specific programs. Students interested in a particular program are encouraged to talk with the appropriate adviser.

Information about program costs and travel arrangements is available from
the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies.


The opportunity to apply for an off-campus program is available to all St. Olaf College students. However, participation is not guaranteed to all students due to enrollment limits. A selection process, prerequisites and minimum requirements are in place for all programs.

Programs differ in requirements. For example, some programs in Great Britain and most language programs accept juniors and seniors only; Term in Asia, Term in the Middle East, Global Semester and study/service programs accept sophomores, juniors and seniors, though – all other things being equal – preference is given to upper-class students.

Students on academic probation may apply to a program, although ordinarily
a student who remains on probation may not participate in an off-campus program. Approval of the administration of the college is required for a student on academic probation to participate in an off-campus program.

Some off-campus programs have a prerequisite. Students who are enrolled in a course that is a prerequisite for an off-campus program must satisfactorily complete that prerequisite in order to participate in the program. If the student does not satisfactorily complete the prerequisite course, he or she is responsible for all cancellation penalties related to the program in accordance with the policy stated in this catalog.

Because students on programs listed in this brochure are considered to be “in residence” at St. Olaf, seniors may participate in either semester.

All programs are closed to first-year students, with the exception of a few Interim programs. Semester and year-long programs are for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

The college will attempt to accommodate the interests of all qualified students who want to study off-campus, but students should be aware that there will be enrollment limits on individual programs.

Non-St. Olaf Students

Global Semester, Term in Asia, Term in the Middle East, Term in China, Environmental Science in Australia, and some off-campus Interims are open to students enrolled in other institutions. Interested students may apply through the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies. These applicants must receive the approval of their academic dean or the person who is in charge of off-campus programs on their home campus. In determining credit hours, St. Olaf courses are equal to 4.00 semester credit hours each.

Non-St. Olaf students pay St. Olaf tuition plus additional program costs. Information will be provided upon request.

Credit and Grades


Students normally complete the same number of courses on an off-campus program as they would on the home campus.

Students considering an off-campus program must consider major and general education requirements to ensure participation will not jeopardize normal progress toward graduation.

Courses count toward St. Olaf general education requirements where appropriate and, at the option of the department concerned, toward a student’s academic major. An exception is made when courses are worth fewer than three semester credits at a foreign university. See each program description for specific information on credits.

Under the St. Olaf satisfactory/ unsatisfactory (S/U) policy, courses taken S/U do not fulfill general education requirements.

Students do not receive transfer credit if they make their own arrangements to enroll in a program with which St. Olaf has developed a relationship. If a student is to receive academic credit, registration must be through St. Olaf College.


St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus programs (including those through other schools or consortia) contain components with letter grades available that are not computable and do not count in the GPA or toward the 24-graded-course requirement. There are two exceptions:

1.     A course taught by a St. Olaf professor if the student so opts.
2.     A full-year program gives a student course credits toward the number of computable courses required, even though none of the letter grades from a full-year program are computed.

Full-year program:
9 courses earned – 4 graded courses
8 courses earned – 4 graded courses
7 courses earned – 3 graded courses
6 courses earned – 3 graded courses

Some graduate and professional schools reserve the right to include off-campus program grades in computing a GPA and do so retroactively.