First Year Registration FAQs

When will I register for my classes?

Registration for new first-year students will begin on Monday, July 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM. 

***The Online registration process is now CLOSED. 
If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

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 Writing course (WRIT 111) or a Religion course (REL 121) in the fall. Many students will also opt to continue the foreign 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 FYW course through transfer credit) additional courses that pique your interest. The General Education curriculum includes a group of courses all students take within the liberal arts as part of the St. Olaf degree requirements. First semester is a great opportunity to take a GE 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 General Education 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.

How can I see which courses are offered?

Once you have deposited and activated your 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. You can search by department, major area of interest, or even by General Education requirements!

How do I decide which courses to take?

Refer to the First-Year Registration Guide to see sample first-year schedules for each major, concentration, and pre-professional program in which you are interested.

What if one of my course placements isn’t offered this semester?

If a course that you have placed into is offered only in Interim or Spring, you can use the opportunity to choose a different GE/elective course in the fall.  Please contact the Center for Advising and Academic Support if you need assistance.

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.

Can I test out of the language requirement?

St. Olaf requires successful completion of either the third or fourth semester in a language as one of the General Education (GE) 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 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 awarding institution sent directly to St.Olaf for evaluation. An official transcript is defined as one available via a secure link to a PDF or in a sealed envelope. For more information, visit the Registrar’s Office website.

How do I make changes to my schedule?

Log in to SIS and use the drop or change buttons, but remember…registration is live and another student might register for your seat immediately after you drop a course.  

Please contact the Center for Advising and Academic Support if you need assistance.

What if I have changed my mind and no longer want to be part of a Conversation Program?

When you open the First-Year Registration link in SIS, you will see that you are already registered for the first course in your Conversation Program. If you decide that you no longer want to be part of this program, please contact the Director of the Conversation Program.