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St. Olaf College

United States
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Institution type Private

About St. Olaf College

One of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, St. Olaf College offers a distinctive education grounded in academic rigor, residential learning, global engagement, and a vibrant Lutheran faith tradition.

Many excellent colleges provide one, two, or even three elements of the St. Olaf experience. What makes St. Olaf unique is the combination of so many distinguishing features working together at the highest level: an intense academic program that sharpens minds and an emphasis on a global perspective that broadens them; the vitality of a residential community that engages thoughtful people across the full range of human experiences; and a faith tradition that encourages reflection and honors different perspectives.

By cultivating the habits of mind and heart that enable graduates to lead lives of financial independence, professional accomplishment, personal fulfillment, and community engagement, St. Olaf College provides an uncommon educational experience that fully prepares students to make a meaningful difference in a changing world.

Campus information

Known as “The Hill,” St. Olaf College’s picturesque 300-acre campus is home to 16 academic and administrative buildings, 30 student residences, and 10 athletic facilities. As a residential college, 95 percent of St. Olaf students reside in one of the 11 residence halls and 19 academic and special interest honor houses. Adjacent to campus are 325 acres of restored wetlands, woodlands, and native tallgrass prairie owned and maintained by St. Olaf, and a utility-grade wind turbine that supplies onethird of the college’s daily electrical needs.

Northfield is a historic river town of 20,000 in the southeast part of Minnesota, just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities and Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) international airport. Downtown Northfield, within walking distance of campus, has been restored to recall the 19th century and features coffeehouses, sandwich shops, restaurants, gift stores, and local art galleries. Northfield is also home to Carleton College, an athletic rival whose campus is just across the Cannon River.


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.  Rooms have a closet, dresser, desk, and chair for each student in the room. 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.

In addition to traditional residence halls, upper-class students have the option of residing in one of our 19 honor houses located on the periphery of the campus. Ten houses participate in service projects associated with volunteer organizations in the Northfield and St. Olaf Communities. Nine houses provide a unique environment for diversity awareness or immersion in a foreign language. Residents in the language houses speak the language their house represents; French, German, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and more.


Courses available 10

Accounting & Finance 1 Applied, Pure Sciences 2 Computer Science, IT 1 Creative Arts & Design 1 Health and Medicine 1 Humanities & Social Sciences 3 Sports Science 1


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