First Year Registration Guide

How-To

Begin your journey with the registration process. On Monday, July 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM CDT you will be able to register for first semester courses for the 2020-21 academic year. To assist you in the process, please review our how-to guide for first year registration.
                                                      ***The Online Registration Process has now CLOSED.                                                         Please contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

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Academic Life

A St. Olaf liberal arts education is a transformative experience, one that will challenge you to think critically and explore concepts and questions both in and out of the classroom. In order to set you up for success in your academic pursuits, the second summer module of your New Student Orientation experience is now live on Moodle! The Academics module will give you a sense of what it is like to be a student at St. Olaf and serve as an initial introduction to the multiple academic resources you have available to you on the Hill.

1.0

most full-semester courses are 1.0 credits

41

majors to choose from for bachelor of arts graduation

4.0-4.5

credits each semester

Majors and Concentrations

Overview
Ancient Studies spans more than two millennia between Greece’s Bronze Age and the fall of the Roman Empire. Combining art, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion, and theater, it encourages students to take a broad look at ancient Western culture, examining it from multiple perspectives.

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The Department of Art and Art History at St. Olaf approaches the study of art as an intellectual and creative endeavor. The department’s curriculum provides students with the research, interpretive, and technical skills to make and study meaningful works of art and to sustain them as artists and critical thinkers throughout their lives.

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This concentration integrates studies of African history and culture, the nature of the interaction between Africa and the New World and the role played by Africans, African culture and African institutions in the political, economic, cultural and religious life of the New World. The concentration in Africa and the African Diaspora affords students the opportunity to grapple with such questions as — to what extent the iconography of Africa is used to mobilize Africans in the Diaspora, and how the consciousness of Africa is sustained and fostered in the New World, as well as the contributions of Africans in dispersion and relations with Africa. The concentration also provides an opportunity for students to study the ways in which Africans and peoples of African descent understand and interpret their interactions with global cultures and traditions.

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Overview
The Asian Studies major allows students to gain competence in either Chinese or Japanese language and the understanding of Asian societies through a selection of courses in languages, linguistics, literature, film, economics, history, religion, art history, political science, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, as well as special interdisciplinary courses on Asia.

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In the Biology major, students not only focus on a broad foundation in the field biology through core courses, but also achieve depth in specific biological interests through elective courses and independent study. A St. Olaf biology degree prepares students for a wide range of careers or further study, and the college is among the top undergraduate institutions in the number of graduates who go on to earn Phds in the field.

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Biomolecular science explores the interface between the traditional disciplines of biology and chemistry. Students who meet the requirements of the concentration have the opportunity to have their degree accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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The Chemistry Department offers courses in the traditional major areas of chemistry, as well as in interdisciplinary areas, such as biochemistry, bioanalytical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, environmental chemistry, and organometallic chemistry. It is routinely in the top three undergraduate institutions for the number of chemistry majors graduated in a year.

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St. Olaf has taught Chinese since 1973 and is one of only a few colleges in the Midwest that offers four years of language study, an active study abroad program, and a broad selection of related courses in art, economics, history, literature, philosophy, and religion.Students not only develop skills in the language, but also gain knowledge of China in all of the language courses by using various authentic materials.

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Overview
Classics offers courses in ancient and medieval literature, history, philosophy, religion, political science, fine arts, and archaeology. These courses are fascinating ways to explore the humanities, both on campus and abroad. Learning classical languages improves students’ verbal and analytical skills and gives them tools for studying the past and evaluating the present.

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St. Olaf’s Computer Science (CS) major is a balanced liberal-arts program that satisfies national curricular expectations, builds on a breadth-first, hands-on introduction to the discipline, takes a team-based approach to software design including interdisciplinary team projects, integrates ethical and social analysis in a distinctive way, and emphasizes written and oral communication skills and other aspects of a liberal arts education.

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Movement-intensive and language-intensive classes present dance as a vital form of embodied awareness, personal expression, and physical communication.The St. Olaf College B.A. in dance guides students toward lives and careers with strong physical, creative, and analytical skills at their foundation.

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The economics curriculum at St. Olaf includes theory, applications, institutional studies, and quantitative analysis. The economics major serves as excellent preparation for careers in a wide variety of fields, including economic analysis, banking, accounting, consulting, health administration, finance, business management, teaching, and international affairs.

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The Education major prepares students for teaching licensure; to ensure depth, breadth, and mastery in their licensure areas, students majoring in Education must also major in their content licensure area (i.e., English, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Art, Theater, French, German, Spanish, or Latin). The Educational Studies concentration offers students from all areas of the liberal arts an opportunity to strengthen their program of study with selected courses that focus on some feature of education. Educational Studies provides important foundational work toward achieving a number of post-baccalaureate goals including various vocations (e.g., management, arts education, coaching, environmental education, youth ministry, classroom teaching, teaching English abroad) and service opportunities (e.g., Peace Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, AmeriCorps, Fulbright, etc.). Students seeking teaching licensure in ESL also pursue an Educational Studies concentration.

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Our engineering studies curriculum provides students with the mathematical and analytical skills that constitute the foundations of engineering, supporting a wide array of fields including mechanical, electrical, civil, and environmental engineering. In addition, the concentration offers practical, applied skills such as working with laboratory instrumentation, design software, and/or fabrication techniques. Completing this concentration in combination with a major in a natural science or math prepares students to pursue graduate work in engineering. To get started in this concentration, begin by taking science courses that fit your interests and math courses based on your math placement.

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Drawing on 1500 years of literature from Geoffrey Chaucer to Emily Dickinson, Chinua Achebe, and Toni Morrison, the English major encourages students to dig deeply and to range widely, crossing borders and exploring diversity both in content (authors, literary genres, and historical periods) and in form (critical and creative approaches).

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Environmental studies explores the relationships between the earth’s natural and physical systems, human political, economic, and social systems, and human understanding of the environment as informed by ethics, philosophy, art, history, religion, and literature.

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The Exercise Science major at St. Olaf is designed for students interested in the advanced and specialized study of the biophysical aspects of exercise. The major supports academic linkages across disciplines and provides excellent preparation in a wide variety of fields.

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The well-being of individuals, couples, and families is a national and global concern. Family studies is an integrative field that synthesizes knowledge from many liberal arts disciplines, particularly economics, political science, psychology, social work, and sociology.

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German courses allow you to explore topics from fairy tales to film, from everyday life to international politics, and from confronting the past to building a more sustainable and inclusive society. In courses for the major, students gain an understanding of German culture, literature, and civilization as they develop analytical and communication skills in the spoken and written language.

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A major in French complements any other St. Olaf major and extends students’ liberal arts education and multicultural competence.By studying the French language and Francophone cultures, civilizations, and literature, students develop and enhance their oral and written language skills, analytical thinking, and familiarity with diverse perspectives sought by employers and graduate schools today.

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Overview
German courses allow you to explore topics from fairy tales to film, from everyday life to international politics, and from confronting the past to building a more sustainable and inclusive society. In courses for the major, students gain an understanding of German culture, literature, and civilization as they develop analytical and communication skills in the spoken and written language.

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Overview
Students choosing a Greek major will acquire an advanced knowledge of the ancient Greek language, the ability to translate and analyze ancient Greek literature in at least three genres, and a basic knowledge of the ancient Greek civilization.

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Overview
St. Olaf History explores the many facets of the human condition from the past to the present. History invites those who study it to develop an appreciation for the variety of human experiences.

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St. Olaf History explores the many facets of the human condition from the past to the present. History invites those who study it to develop an appreciation for the variety of human experiences.

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The international relations concentration offers students the opportunity to combine insights from political and other social sciences with language and humanistic studies in order to examine pressing questions related to war, peace, trade, security, justice and power. This concentration complements majors in the social sciences, area studies, and foreign languages in particular, but it is appropriate to all students committed to engaging with issues arising from the globalized nature of the modern world.

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Overview
The Japanese major requires students to demonstrate both linguistic and cultural competence. Linguistic and language skills include proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Intermediate-High level, as well as metalinguistic and intercultural awareness of the use of Japanese language in different social milieus.

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Overview
Students majoring in Latin will acquire an advanced knowledge of the Latin language, the ability to translate and analyze Latin literature in at least three genres, and a basic knowledge of the ancient Roman civilization.

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Latin American studies offers an interdisciplinary structure for the systematic study of Latin America, an area that encompasses countries in North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean, whose distinct geography and cultures are unified by elements of a common heritage. It is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach that contributes to the investigation of political, economic, ethnic, gender, religious, and cultural issues in Latin America.

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Linguistic studies encompasses all areas related to the scientific study of the nature, structure, and function of language. Linguistic studies treats language both as a fundamental human faculty and as a changing social institution.

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Management studies is a multidisciplinary program offering a contract concentration in management studies that can be earned in conjunction with any B.A. academic major. Individual contracting encourages students to consider personal goals as they design a program of courses in management studies, economics, and other disciplines.

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Advances in the mathematical sciences — mathematics, statistics, and computer science — have brought new perspectives to biological research. By answering questions that cannot be addressed using other means, the mathematical sciences can provide indispensable tools for biological research. The result is the interdisciplinary field of mathematical biology, which involves developing analytical and computational predictive models of biological systems. The concentration at St. Olaf is intended to train students in mathematical biology, allowing them to understand the development and applications of these models. With the large number of subfields in mathematical biology today, the concentration allows students to pursue a path that best suits their interest (e.g., mathematical modeling or bioinformatics).

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Mathematics is all the things noted above and more at St. Olaf, where the mathematics program is recognized nationally for innovative and effective teaching. Students arrange a major in mathematics by developing an Individualized Mathematics Proposal (IMAP). An IMaP outlines a complete, coherent program of study consistent with the goals of the individual student.

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Medieval studies is one of St. Olaf’s oldest interdisciplinary programs. In scope, it spans the more than ten centuries between the fall of the Roman Empire and the flowering of the Renaissance. The major combines art, history, language, literature, philosophy, religion, and theater courses, and encourages students to explore medieval European culture with a broad scope, examining it from multiple perspectives.

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The concentration in Middle Eastern studies provides students with the opportunity to study the ways in which members of Middle Eastern cultures have understood and interpreted the world, as well as the way in which others have interpreted the Middle East.

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The Music department is dedicated to creating an educational experience that unites the artistic standards of a professional program with the intellectual rigors and academic breadth of the liberal arts in an environment.
The Music Department offers extensive opportunities to explore, practice, and celebrate the musician’s art with an ongoing commitment to a distinctive ensemble program, excellent individualized instruction, and a comprehensive undergraduate music curriculum.

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Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary program that draws from psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and other disciplines. The neuroscience program provides students access to the field by linking curricula, faculty, and students in a contract concentration that requires foundations in at least two natural sciences and allows students to explore connections with courses in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

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The Nordic studies concentration at St. Olaf College is designed to meet the needs of students who wish a more interdisciplinary study of the Nordic cultures than that offered through the Norwegian major. The Nordic studies concentration is an interdisciplinary study of the language, literature, history, and culture of the Nordic countries. It is a self-designed combination of courses, approved by the Director of Nordic Studies, who is also the chair of the Norwegian Department.

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Overview
St. Olaf is one of a few colleges and universities where students can use Norwegian to complete their foreign language requirement — and beyond the requirements can study in depth the language, literature, culture, and history of Norway. The Norwegian major allows students to gain competence in the Norwegian language and an understanding of Norwegian society through a combination of courses in the language, literature, history, and culture of Norway.

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Overview
The nursing program, through an innovative design that integrates theory with practice and partners educators with professionals in practice, prepares graduates to provide and coordinate nursing care for individuals, families, and communities within standards of professional practice.

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A major in philosophy is highly recommended not only for those who wish to pursue graduate study in philosophy but also as a preparation for other careers that require the ability to think in a creative and disciplined manner about questions that are new or whose method of solution is debated, including careers in law, theology, business, management, medicine, journalism, politics, and education.

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Physics is the study of how and why things work — from the minute world of the atomic nucleus to the universe itself — within the context of a few fundamental laws. The St. Olaf Physics Department offers a strong, flexible major and a specialized concentration in engineering. Both programs provide excellent undergraduate research opportunities and applied projects. We are a lively department with a sense of community among students, faculty and staff.

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The political science major provides broad exposure to the discipline and develops skills in critical thinking, systematic inquiry, and effective writing and speaking. Students majoring in political science complete courses in four areas: American politics and public policy, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.

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The Department of Psychology follows the American Psychological Association’s guidelines of “synthesizing the natural and social science aspects of the discipline, in part, by requiring students to take courses in both knowledge bases.” Thus both interpersonal and investigative skills are enhanced.

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Established at St. Olaf College in 1969, Race and Ethnic Studies (abbreviated RACE) represents a multigenerational faculty and student commitment to the interdisciplinary study of race and ethnicity. The program centers the concerns and experiences of people of color and proceeds from the recognition that race and ethnicity have been and continue to be crucial components within interlocking systems of oppression, as well as powerful sites of intersectional resistance.

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The Religion Department equips students of all backgrounds and traditions to interpret, evaluate, and respond to religious ideas and practices. The work of the department is shaped by the college’s Lutheran heritage and commitments as they unfold in a world of many faiths. The Religion major’s learning outcomes expect students to demonstrate the ability to communicate, knowledge of approaches, knowledge of subject.

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The Russian Language and Area Studies Department, in keeping with the college mission to provide a “global perspective,” offers a variety of courses that build upon Russian language proficiency to give students the knowledge and tools for a successful career. Recent graduates have entered professions in higher education, business, government, the church, law, and the arts.

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The field of social studies education demands reflective practitioners with a broad foundation in the liberal arts and specific knowledge in each of the seven disciplines. The social studies education major equips students with this core content knowledge while also providing multiple opportunities for critical thinking about the various ways we construct knowledge and communicate the human experience.

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Social work education builds on the liberal arts with professional foundation courses. It prepares students for generalist practice, students who understand scientific approaches to knowledge building and practice, are reflective of and responsible for their own ethical conduct, and are committed to lives of service and leadership in the global community.

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Sociology and Anthropology will take you on a journey into unfamiliar cultures and allow you to see familiar social surroundings as if for the first time. Our disciplines open a window to the wider world. Join us as we explore the hunters and gatherers of Southern Africa, peasants in India, squatter activists in Peru, and Latinos in the United States. Come with us into the domain of the rich and powerful, into the lives of impoverished and powerless, into the jurisdiction of politicians, doctors, community activists, labor leaders, and police.

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In courses for the Spanish major, students gain an understanding of the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world (Spain, Latin America, and the Hispanic U.S.) through the study of literature, non-literary texts, culture, language, and linguistics. At the same time, they develop communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

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At St. Olaf, students can combine their interests in statistics with any major and acquire a background that leads to graduate study and abundant career opportunities.

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The St. Olaf Department of Theater takes for its subject matter all aspects of making theater. It produces a season of plays whose focus is the liberal arts curriculum rather than a typical theater company’s season of plays. All courses focus on the making of dramatic art.

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Women’s and Gender Studies students explore scholarship about women and gender across cultures and throughout history to examine intersections of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, religion, and age. The program encourages students to think critically as means to becoming active and ethical participants in career, family, social life, and community.

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Conversation Programs

American Conversation

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Asian Conversations

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Environmental Conversation

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Great Conversation

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Public Affairs Conversation

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Science Conversation

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Pre-professional Programs

A video to provide an overview of considerations for first year registration for pre-health students.

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Architecture and Design

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Business and Management

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Computer Engineering/Software Engineering

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Engineering

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Genetic Counseling

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Health Administration

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Information Technology

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Mental Health

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Occupational Therapy

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Physical Therapy

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Physician Assistant

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Pre-medicine

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Public Health

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Public Policy

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Speech Language Pathology

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Theology and Seminary

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Veterinary Medicine

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