How-To

Registration Guide for your First Semester

When is registration?

Registration begins Monday, July 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM CDT and is first-come, first-served. You may access the portal for planning purposes beginning mid-day on Thursday, July 9.
***The Online registration process is now CLOSED. 
If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Step-by-step Instructions ➤

How many classes should I take?

Most students register for 4.0-4.5 credits each semester. Full-time status is defined as 3.0-4.5 credits. If you receive financial aid, be sure to review the requirements for various programs on the Financial Aid website. Most St. Olaf full-semester courses are 1.0 credit, but we also offer many that are .25 and .50 credits.

What classes, majors and concentrations does St. Olaf offer?

St. Olaf offers many classes, majors and concentrations that you may have never considered! What classes do you really want to take?! What subjects interest you? This is a great time to explore! Review the list of majors and concentrations in the First Year Registration Guide as well as the Class and Lab Schedule in the Student Information System (SIS) to identify classes, majors, and concentrations that interest you.

While planning your schedule, keep in mind that it is best to have a balanced schedule with a variety of classes, time to eat lunch, time to get from one class to the next, etc.

Class Choice #1

You will be assigned to register for either a First Year Writing (FYW), listed as WRIT 111, or Biblical Studies (BTS-B) course, listed as REL 121. Your assigned course will be shown on the registration page as First-Year Course.  You can select a section/topic that you are interested in!

NOTE: An English AP score of 5 or IB score of HL 5-7 satisfies the FYW requirement, in which case you will register for Religion. AP/IB scores will be available mid-July, so check back regularly in July for placement updates as you plan your schedule.

If you are in a Conversation Program that fulfills one of these General Education (GE) requirements, you have been registered for that Conversation Program course already.

Have you been notified that you have been selected for Writing 107 or Writing 110? If yes, you will register for that course along with a REL 121 section for your first semester. These will show as your assigned courses when you register.

Class Choice #2

Many students choose to take a world language course during their first semester for several reasons listed below. Also, watch this video about choosing a language to study at St. Olaf.

  • If you are planning to start a new language, have never taken a language or have placed in the first semester of a language, the first course in the sequence is typically only offered in the first semester of each academic year. Thus, if you do not enroll in the first class in the sequence now, you will need to wait until sophomore year to begin your language sequence. Exception: Spanish 111 is often taught during interim.
  • If you are continuing in a language, it is often advantageous to continue the language without interruption if possible. Be sure to follow your placement guidance found on SIS under Advising Information.
  • Enrolling in a language first semester is often necessary if you wish to major in that language.
  • If you are interested in Asian Conversations, you should sign up for Chinese or Japanese during your first and second semesters.

NOTE: AP/IB scores will be available mid-July, so check back regularly in July for placement updates as you plan your schedule. Placement information is available in SIS under the Advising Information dropdown.

Students who enter St. Olaf College with a native language other than English should consult the Registrar’s Office.

Class Choice #3

Review the following questions:

  • Many majors at St. Olaf do not require you to take a course in that department during your first semester. However, there are some majors and pre-professional programs in which it is recommended that you start right away. Be sure to review the First Year Registration Guide for more information.
  • Is a math course a requirement for your major? If you plan to major in math, physics, biology, chemistry, computer science, or wish to pursue a pre-health professional program and have not completed Calculus I (Math 119 or Math 120), you should enroll in Math 119 or 120 this semester. Note: Math 119 is only offered in fall semester. Find your math placement results in SIS under Advising Information.
  • Thinking about becoming a doctor, accountant, or engineer? Pre-professional programs help you shape your studies to fit the requirements of America’s top professional and graduate schools. Review the pre-professional requirements. For example, if you wish to pursue pre-health, you should enroll in Chem 121, 125 or CH/BI 125. Interested in engineering? You will likely need to enroll in physics and math or chemistry and math (chemical engineering).

NOTE: AP/IB scores will be available mid-July. check back regularly in July for placement updates as you plan your schedule. Placement information is available in SIS under the Advising Information dropdown.

Class Choice #4

This is a great time to explore! Look at all the courses offered and develop a list of 7-10 courses you would like to take! It is always wise to have a Plan A, B, and C schedule.

Additional Course Options (.25 or .50 credits)

If you’re looking for partial-credit courses to add to your schedule, here are some options:

  • Intercollegiate fall athlete?—If you are a member of an Intercollegiate sport, you can register for it to receive .25 credit and one SPM GE. Search the class/lab schedule for Exercise Science (ESAC) courses numbered 170 and higher.
  • Interested in Dance?—Search for Dance Dept courses that may fulfill ALS-A or SPM GEs when you register.
  • Music lessons? –Contact the Music Department for more information.