Why St. Olaf

The Norwegian Department at St. Olaf College continues to act as a leader in Norwegian Studies; we take great pride in the fact that we have the only Norwegian department in the world (others are Nordic or Scandinavian, or housed within Germanic, European, or Language Departments). 

Our Norwegian language enrollments are significantly higher than the national average. The most recent MLA report on enrollment (2016) shows that St. Olaf’s enrollment in Norwegian language courses was well over double any of our peer institutions or any of the large universities in North America. Additionally, we offer more levels of Norwegian than any other institution, thus giving more opportunities to our students to gain advanced proficiency in Norwegian.

We have worked conscientiously in recent years to develop a variety of attractive courses covering various aspects of Nordic culture and society. Because we are a large department in comparison to other Norwegian or Nordic programs, we have multiple faculty who are able to teach across multiple content areas. We also offer opportunities for students to put their learning into practice outside the classroom through faculty-directed research, an internship program in Oslo, student employment, and leadership opportunities for advanced language students.

The Norwegian department faculty at St. Olaf has been very active in the larger scholarly community through organizations such as SASS (Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Studies), Ibsen Society of America, and as members and officers of NORTANA (Norwegian Teachers and Researchers Association of North America), and NAHA (Norwegian-American Historical Association).