Academic Planning

Who is my academic advisor?
How do I narrow my selection of courses?
Will I receive credit for any IB or AP exams I have taken?
If I am an international transfer student, which of my credits will transfer to St. Olaf?
What level courses should I choose?
What is full-time status?
May I take private music lessons if I’m not a music major?
Does the college need my completed transcripts?
Will I need to take an intensive English course?
What is the website for the listing of courses?
Examples of international students’ course selections

Who is my academic advisor?

All students are assigned an academic advisor in the department they have expressed an interest in studying. These advisors help students plan their courses, insuring that all requirements are met for majors and graduation.  Students meet their advisors during Week One.

How do I narrow my selection of courses?

With almost 500 courses offered each semester, the curriculum provides students with the possibility of exploring a wide range of subjects. Academic Advisors assist students in choosing courses which deepen knowledge in the area of their major as well as courses that broaden their worldview such as courses in art, computer science, philosophy, foreign languages, and religion. Students are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as music organizations, student government, intramural sports and volunteer service activities.

Will I receive credit for any IB or AP exams I have taken?

With certain departmental restrictions, St. Olaf will award credit for scores of 5 through 7 on the Higher Exams of the International Baccalaureate Program, and credit or placement for scores of 4 through 5 on the Advanced Placement Exams. Visit the Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising website for more information.

If I am an international transfer student, which of my credits will transfer to St. Olaf?

The Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising will conduct a formal audit of each international transfer students official transcript and will evaluate each course on an individual basis as well official scores of AP and IB exams.  In general, course work that is liberal arts in nature for which at least a C grade was received will be transferable. Transfer students will register for classes during the introduction week in September, ahead of the incoming first-year students.  Any transfer student will need to complete at least two full academic years of course work at St. Olaf College.  Please see the St. Olaf College catalog for more details on transferring credits.

What level courses should I choose?

First-year students normally register for Level I courses (100-199). Students transferring to St. Olaf from other colleges may register for Level II (200-299) or Level III (300-399) courses. Students coming to St. Olaf for a one-year experience may choose classes from any level, depending on their preparation.

What is full-time status?

All students on F-1/J-1 visas are required to be enrolled in coursework full-time. In order to meet the visa requirement of being a full-time student, all international students must take at least 3.0 credits each semester (the maximum course-load is 4.5 courses), and 1 course during interim..

May I take private music lessons if I’m not a music major?

Yes. Please note there is a supplementary charge of $440 per class per semester for applied music courses such as voice or piano lessons.

Does the college need my completed transcripts?

Yes.  All new degree-seeking first-year and transfer students (that is, all students who plan to graduate from St. Olaf College) must send completed, official copies of their high school (and university) transcripts to the Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising by August 1.  No student’s admission to college is official until transcripts for all previous academic work have been received by the Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising.

Will I need to take an intensive English course?

All new international students will be required to take an International Student Writing Placement test during orientation.  Students needing to upgrade their English skills will be required to register for English 107 Introduction to Academic Writing.  College courses make heavy demands for both reading and writing so it is essential that English skills be developed.

What is the website for the listing of courses?

Course offerings and class schedules may be found by visiting the college catalog and class/lab schedule websites.

Examples of international students’ course selections

First-Year Student from India
Semester I

Course Credits
College English 1.0
Cellular Biology and Genetics 1.0
Calculus I 1.0
Principles of Psychology 1.0
Soccer 0.25
Total 4.25

 

Interim

Psychology of Leadership 1.0

 

Semester II

Organismic Biology 1.0
Bible in Culture and Community 1.0
Public Speaking 1.0
Introduction to Sociology 1.0
Ballroom Dancing 0.25
Total 4.25

Transfer Student from Germany
Semester I

American Culture 1.0
College English 1.0
Beginning Norwegian 1.0
Basketball 0.25
Volleyball 0.25
Adapted Physical Education 0.50
Total 4.0

 

Interim

Foundation Perceptual Drawing 1.0

 

Semester II

History: Europe and Muslim World 1.0
Principles of Psychology 1.0
Dynamics of Wellness 1.0
Psychology of Sports 0.50
Swimming Fitness 0.25
Total 3.75

 

Exchange Student from Japan 
Semester I

English as a Second Language 1.0
American Culture 1.0
Fine Arts 1.0
Foundation Color Design 0.50
Modern Dance I 0.25
Total 3.75

 

Interim

Women, Men, and Communication 1.0

 

Semester II

Art since 1945 1.0
College English 1.0
Marriage and the Family 1.0
Ballet 0.25
Total 3.25