If I’m undecided about my major, what will my fall semester schedule look like?
If you are undecided about a major, fall semester is a wonderful opportunity to explore. Each first-year student will take a First-Year Seminar course (FYS 120) or a Writing and Rhetoric course (WRIT 120) in the fall. Many students will also opt to continue the world language they studied in high school or start a new language. Since the most common schedule is 4.0-4.5 total credits, you can select two (or three or even four courses if you don’t take a language course or have completed your Writing and Rhetoric course through transfer credit) additional courses that pique your interest. The OLE Core curriculum includes a group of courses all students take within the liberal arts as part of the St. Olaf degree requirements. The first semester is a great opportunity to take a Core course or two, especially if you are exploring different majors.
A word of advice: Don’t worry about declaring a major right away if you are not ready! The liberal arts and the OLE Core curriculum are designed to help you find the best major for you. Most students switch their majors within the first year or two of college, and you are not required to declare one until March of your second year at St. Olaf.
When will I register for my classes?
Registration will begin on July 19th. Keep an eye on your St. Olaf email account for more information as we get closer!
How can I see which courses are offered in the fall?
Once you have deposited and activated your stolaf.edu email account, log into the Student Information System (SIS). On the left, you will see Class and Lab Schedule. Click on that to see course offerings for the Fall. You can search by department, major area of interest, or even by general education requirements!
How do I decide which courses to take?
We have a First-Year Registration Guide with sample first-year schedules for each major, concentration, and pre-professional program in which you are interested – make sure to check it out!
How likely is it that I will get into the classes I want?
We plan accordingly for course offerings that are specific to first-year students to ensure there is room, but as always, you’ll want to have alternate options in case your first choices are full.
How many classes/credits will I take in my first semester?
At St. Olaf, one full-semester course usually equals 1.0 credit and full-time status is 3.0-4.5 credits per semester. Most students take 4 courses for a total of 4.0 credits each semester. Taking fewer than 4.0 credits each semester may require additional semesters, summer courses, or overloading (unless a student has transferred in credits). Music ensembles are worth 0 credits and are billed separately. Music lessons are .25 credits each and count within your tuition.
Can I test out of the language requirement?
St. Olaf requires either the equivalent of the third or fourth semester in a language as one of the OLE Core curriculum requirements. Chinese, Greek, Latin, Norwegian, Japanese, and Russian require completion of the third-semester equivalent while Spanish, French, and German require completion of the fourth-semester equivalent. If you begin with SPAN/FREN/GERM 111, however, your language requirement will be fulfilled after successful completion of the third-semester course.
- If you will earn credit for one of the above languages with your AP or IB scores according to the charts provided by the Registrar’s Office, your placement is determined by your score and you do not need to take the placement survey. Reminder: you must request AP/IB scores to be sent to St. Olaf. We usually don’t receive them until mid-July.
- If you have studied one of the above languages previously, will continue with that language at St. Olaf, and do not have AP/IB credit for it, you must take the placement survey. Students who place above the fourth semester may have the option to take a proficiency exam to complete the language requirement.
- If you wish to take a language not previously mentioned or your native language is one other than English, please contact the Registrar’s Office to discuss your options.
How do I transfer my pre-college credits?
To transfer AP/IB scores, have them sent directly from College Board/IB to St. Olaf. To transfer credits from other colleges/universities, have a final, official transcript from the previous institution sent directly to St.Olaf for evaluation. A final, official transcript must come directly from the awarding institution and is defined as one available via secure link to a PDF or in a sealed envelope. For more information, visit the Registrar’s Office website.