Oles in all pre-health programs benefit from one-on-one advising, job shadowing and internships at top healthcare organizations like the Mayo Clinic, health-related study abroad programs, and networking with alumni in healthcare careers. Our accredited bachelor’s degree program in nursing takes a holistic approach to the profession, providing experience in healthcare facilities and preparing students to take the RN licensure exam.

Med school (M.D. and D.O.) acceptance rate in 2022 vs. the national average of 47%


in ranking among the nation’s 267 liberal arts colleges in the number of graduates who go on to earn doctoral degrees in all fields


in ranking for science lab facilities according to the Princeton Review

What sets St. Olaf apart?

St. Olaf College provides a unique combination of resources and services for pre-health students which effectively supports them in their journeys to a career in healthcare. St. Olaf is known for its strong science faculty and courses, including the cadaver lab and our robust nursing program. As well as being assigned a faculty advisor in their major, pre-health students also have access to faculty advising specialists in a broad range of healthcare fields. The Health Professions Committee, comprised of faculty from the natural sciences and mathematics, provides both informal advising and a formal service to students interested in medical, dental, and other health careers.

As a part of their liberal arts experience, pre-health students are encouraged to study abroad; health-related programs include Biology in South India. One of St. Olaf’s greatest resources is our alumni, many of whom have entered healthcare fields. Through programs such as Ole Med and Connections (travel to major U.S. cities to experience industries and careers first hand), pre-health students are able to build relationships with alumni to learn more about their career paths, gather advice, and potentially to gain a mentor.

Pre-health students have excellent experiential opportunities available to them that offer firsthand exposure to healthcare. Selective cohort internship programs (Rockswold Health Scholars, Health Scholars at the Mayo Clinic, Norway Innovation Scholars, Mayo Innovation Scholars) and structured shadowing opportunities (Allina, TRIA Orthopaedic, Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physician in Clinical and Hospital Health Care) are St. Olaf-specific programs for pre-health students.

[TOP] Colten Yahn talks about his experience as an intern in TRIA Orthopaedic Center

Opportunities That Have A Real Impact:

“Dr. Rockswold created this program specifically for Oles, knowing that a lot of students come to St. Olaf pre-med” -Anna Pendergast

[LEFT] Rockswold Health Scholars Program


Throughout their time at St. Olaf, pre-health students benefit from collaborative advising by faculty and staff. The Pre-Health Career Coach in the Piper Center is a full-time staff member devoted to advising pre-health students and working closely with the Chair of the Health Professions Committee to provide workshops, information sessions, and personalized advising.

[LEFT] Abbey Schnaith describes her experience as a pre-med student and an athlete



The St. Olaf College Nursing Program takes a holistic approach to the field of nursing; integrating development of the whole person, a commitment to lifelong learning, and service to others. Ole nurses are well prepared for professional practice and/or graduate school to earn advanced degrees.

Students intending to major in nursing at the time of application to the college may be considered for direct admission. You must complete the nursing application, which includes two additional essays at the same time they submit an application to the college.

Nursing Program Application