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Saint Olaf College

St. Olaf College challenges students to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community nourished by Lutheran tradition.

Bachelor's programmes

Humanities (2)



Founded in 1874 by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants, St. Olaf is a nationally ranked liberal arts college of the ELCA located in Northfield, Minnesota.


St. Olaf has defined the best education that can be had as a residential liberal arts education. We bring students together to this campus on a hill, place them in community with one another, and open to them the faculty and the curriculum of the college. We do this not to prepare them for any particular occupation but rather to provide them with the base of knowledge, the skills and proficiencies, the experiences, and the habits of mind and heart that will enable them to flourish in whatever future awaits them.


Undergraduate research allows students to develop professionally and personally in ways not possible through traditional lecture and laboratory courses. Research experiences within all academic disciplines give students the opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of research techniques and processes, apply classroom learning in real-world contexts, explore academic literature, and form meaningful relationships with faculty members and professional researchers. Information about how to find such opportunities on and off campus, how to apply for research positions, and frequently asked questions can be found below.


  • Meet with a Career Coach

Coaches in the Piper Center are eager to assist you in finding a career or vocational path

  • Learn about your skills and interests

Explore surveys and tools to help you assess your abilities, interests, and values

  • Explore “What can I do with a major in … ?”

Not sure about a major? See what careers Oles with particular majors have pursued in the past

  • Explore careers

Not sure about a career? Use these resources to find careers that fit with your skills and interests

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

The Global Student Satisfaction Awards empower students across the globe to determine the best universities of 2019. By rating institutions on a scale from 1 to 5, on multiple studies-related questions, we found the top educators in the world.

Learn more about the Global Student Satisfaction Awards


Student services

The Center for Advising and Academic Support (CAAS) provides resources for all St. Olaf students as they work to maximize their full academic potential. CAAS collaborates with faculty, staff, and other campus partners to provide a range of services, programs, and resources to support student learning at no additional cost. Support is student-centered, accessible, and inclusive.

Housing services

The Residence Life Program at St. Olaf fosters the development of community within the residence halls, honor houses and across campus. As a residential college, we require that all full-time students reside in college-owned housing as far as accommodations permit. Our co-ed halls house men and women on separate floors or corridors. First-year students will be assigned housing in one of the three first-year-only halls or in Hill/Kitt or Mohn Halls, where upper-class and first-year students reside on separate floors.

Our student rooms are equipped with extra long twin beds.  The beds have frames that raise the mattress creating a loft or bunked bed if desired.  

Library services

We encourage all college employees to make use of the electronic and print collections in Rølvaag Library, the Glasoe Science Library (in the Science Center), and the Halvorson Music Library (in the Music Building). Your college ID serves as your library card, allowing you to check out material and, in most cases, take it home. 

ICT services

All student rooms have computer network hookups that offer access to the Internet and e-mail.  Each residence hall has a formal lounge, piano, recreation room, computer room, laundry facilities, kitchen and vending machines.

Medical services

St. Olaf College’s partnership with Northfield Hospital & Clinics provides access to certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions for common illnesses and injuries.

Student Life

Campus life

Located in Northfield, Minnesota, 40 miles south of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the St. Olaf campus includes 30 major academic, residential, and service buildings, most of which are constructed in the Scandinavian-modern architectural style.

Sports facilities

  • POOL and Climbing wall 
  • Skoglund gym
  • Wellness Center

Student clubs

  • Student organizations are critical players within our active and engaged campus community.
  • The Office of Student Activities is committed to investing in our student organizations because we recognize the impact that they have on the St. Olaf experience, on our physical campus, and on the greater community beyond the Hill. Our office mission is rooted in empowering students to discover and define their passions, themselves, and their communities. 
  • Student organizations, from our perspective, are vehicles for students to do just that. Whether you are a student organization leader looking for resources, hoping to start a new student organization, or simply looking to get involved. 


St. Olaf College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the US Department of Education.

Student Reviews

Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

Overall experience was great.

Good Ole Hill
Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

Engaged classroom experience. Very experienced and supporting faculty who are always available to listen to you and offer guidance. Great outside classroom support resources as well as financial support.

Cold & Community in rural Minnesota
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

If you're looking for an intimate, small town college experience where you know your professors, St. Olaf is a great choice! The winter is long and harsh, but there is a strong sense of community and you are easily able to take classes outside of your chosen course.

Northfield, Minnesota, United States


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