Studying Off-Campus

Where and when can I study off-campus?

Who are the advisors?

Am I eligible?

What if I do not attend St. Olaf?

Do I receive any credit?

How does off-campus study affect my GPA?

General Information

Each year, more than 800 St. Olaf students study on off-campus programs in Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe, 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 maintains an approved list of over 70 semester or year-long programs. About 30 off-campus Interim courses are offered each year during January. A few summer programs are also available.

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 advisor.  The Program Advisor for each program is listed on the program brochure under “Advisor or Instructor” in the Fact Sheet section.

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. A selection process, prerequisites and minimum requirements are in place for each program. Programs differ in requirements.

Students on academic or disciplinary 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 College is required for a student on academic probation to participate in an off-campus program.

Non-St. Olaf Students

Environmental Science in Australia and New Zealand, and some off-campus Interim programs 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 all program costs. Information will be provided upon request.


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, unless 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 for a program on our approved list, 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.