Transfer of Credit to St. Olaf College
Pre-College Credits Applied to St. Olaf College
PSEO (Post-Secondary Education Option)
Courses taken by high school students that are taught on the campus of a regionally accredited college or university under the instruction of a university faculty member.
CIS (College in the Schools)
Courses taken by high school students that are offered in conjunction with a university but are most often taught by a high school teacher at the high school. In some cases, these courses may make use of distance education methods. The college or university either trains the high school teacher and reviews the program or provides a college instructor for the course. (In many cases coursework is reviewed and graded by a college instructor even if that instructor is not the teacher of record for the course.)
AP (Advanced Placement) Exams: College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB)
National exams normally taken in conjunction with a high school AP course.
Exams taken in conjunction with an IB high school curriculum.
Exams taken in conjunction with the Cambridge international education program.
St. Olaf College awards a maximum of 6.00 (six) St. Olaf-equivalent credits from among all pre-college (PSEO/CIS/AP/IB/Cambridge A Level) credits presented by matriculating first-year students. The registrar first awards credit for the AP/IB/Cambridge A Level exams that qualify. If the six pre-college credits allowed are not fulfilled by AP/IB/Cambridge A Level credits alone, then the registrar can award up to a maximum of four of the six allowable pre-college credits through approved PSEO/CIS courses. In extraordinary circumstances, students may submit a request for an exception to the four-course limit on PSEO credits. For guidelines and procedures, consult the registrar.
An official transcript, requested by the student and sent directly to the Registrar's Office from the college or university certifying the credit (PSEO, CIS), or an official report (AP/IB/Cambridge A Level), is required for consideration of awarding St. Olaf credit.
PSEO or CIS courses do not reduce the 24 graded-course-credit requirement for all degree-seeking students.
Pre-college courses may each, when appropriate as determined by the registrar, count toward only one general education credit except for the MCD, MCG, or WRI attributes, which may be awarded in conjunction with a second general education attribute. Students may fulfill a maximum of one of the two requirements in each of HBS and HWC via pre-college credit. Only one of the two natural science requirements, SED and IST, may be fulfilled by pre-college credit. A maximum of six (6.00) GE requirements may be fulfilled via pre-college course credit. See additional degree information regarding general education requirements.
Double credit is not given for equivalent PSEO/CIS courses and AP/IB/Cambridge A Level credits.
In all cases, final judgment on the awarding of credit is made by the registrar.
Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO) / College in the Schools (CIS)
Only PSEO courses
- taught by a college/university faculty member on the campus of an accredited college or university under an established post-secondary program;
- of a liberal arts nature;
- of at least four (4.00) semester or five-and-a-half (5.5) quarter credits;
- in which the student has received a grade of “C” or higher
are considered for St. Olaf credit. In consultation with individual departments or programs, the registrar reserves the right to determine if the PSEO course should receive credit and, if so, the appropriate type of credit to be awarded (e.g., elective, general education, placement, credit toward the major).
Only CIS courses
- taught in the high school through an accredited college or university;
- that appear on the transcript of an accredited college or university under an established post-secondary program;
- of a liberal arts nature;
- of at least four (4.00) semester or five-and-a-half (5.5) quarter credits;
- in which the student has received a grade of “C” or higher
are considered for St. Olaf credit. In consultation with individual departments or programs, the registrar reserves the right to determine if the CIS course should receive credit and, if so, the appropriate type of credit to be awarded (e.g., elective, general education, placement, credit toward the major).
Advanced Placement (AP)
Department/program policies concerning AP exams are set once each year, in February, for the following academic year’s application pool and may, therefore, change from year to year. Normally, students who receive scores of “4” or “5” from the CEEB Advanced Placement Program receive placement and/or credit (including general education credit according to policies set by the college’s departments and programs). Some departments require a score of “5” on some tests. Departmental/program policies and guidelines for awarding advanced placement credit are available only at the Registrar's Office.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Department/program policies concerning IB exams are set once each year, in February, for the following academic year's application pool and may, therefore, change from year to year. Upon receipt of official documentation, and with certain departmental restrictions, St. Olaf awards credit only for scores of “5” through “7” on the Higher Level Exams of the High School International Baccalaureate Program. In exceptional circumstances, Standard Level (SL) exams may be considered for credit, at the discretion of a department or program. Departmental/program policies and guidelines for awarding international baccalaureate credit are available at the Registrar's Office; questions should be directed to the registrar.
Department/program policies concerning Cambridge A Level exams are set once each year, in February, for the following academic year's application pool and may, therefore, change from year to year. St. Olaf considers awarding credit upon receipt of official documentation, and with certain departmental restrictions. Departmental/program policies and guidelines for awarding Cambridge A Level credit are available at the Registrar's Office; questions should be directed to the registrar.
General Policies Governing All Transfer of Credit To St. Olaf College:
- Credit for work done at other regionally accredited colleges or universities, if satisfactory in grade and applicable toward a liberal arts degree, is generally allowed to count toward a bachelor’s degree at St. Olaf, with some restrictions; see #6 below. A “regionally accredited college or university” is defined as a liberal arts institution accredited by an approved regional accrediting commission. St. Olaf excludes vocational, technical, business, and on-line/correspondence institutions, even if regionally accredited.
- The following are not transferable as St. Olaf credit: courses that are essentially workshops, camps, summer theater, guides, summer jobs, assistantships, and travel programs; music ensemble participation credits (band, choir, orchestra, etc.); intercollegiate athletic participation; internships and/or independent study courses taken through another regionally accredited college or university. Courses of fewer than four weeks in length (regardless of the number of class contact hours) are not transferable as St. Olaf credit. Students considering “Extension School” courses at the University of Minnesota or elsewhere must check with the registrar.
- Credit will not normally be given for courses taken at another institution while a student is enrolled in courses at St. Olaf.
- One St. Olaf course credit is equivalent to 4.00 semester or 5.50 quarter credits. A course must meet the normal requirements of a minimum of 38 class contact hours to qualify for St. Olaf credit.
- Completed transfer credit of all types is processed as follows: the sum of all eligible semester credits and the sum of all eligible quarter credits are separately converted to St. Olaf credit, using the transfer credit scale below. The sum of the converted subtotals is the total number of St. Olaf course credits allowed in transfer.
Transfer Course Scale: Semester and Quarter Credits Converted to St. Olaf Courses
Effective August 1, 2014. Includes all precollege credit for students entering in 2014, and all 2014 summer transfer of credit for current students.
|Quarter Credits||Semester Credits||Number of St. Olaf Courses|
- Only courses graded C or higher at the original institution are given credit for appropriate courses through transfer. The actual grades earned at other institutions are entered on the student’s St. Olaf record but are not considered graded courses that count toward the St. Olaf grade point average. The college does not accept courses awarded pass (P) or satisfactory (S) grades from other institutions.
- Non-St. Olaf off-campus work during summer school or a term or more of an academic year through another college/university must be evaluated and approved by the registrar in advance. Students must submit a transfer of credit form for pre-approval. The student is given a copy of the approved form as a receipt; the registrar retains the original. An official transcript reflecting the completed course work at the host college/university must be sent by that institution directly to the St. Olaf registrar before credit transfer can be considered. The registrar may also request a photocopy or printed copy of the web pages of the relevant portion of the host college’s catalog and the class schedule, course outlines, or syllabi.
- Current students should be aware of restrictions on the number of courses that can be transferred from other institutions. After students have matriculated at St. Olaf, unless they are transfer students, they may subsequently transfer a maximum of 4.00 equivalent St. Olaf courses from other colleges or universities to St. Olaf for degree credit; only two (2) general education requirements may be awarded. This applies, as well, to students who take a leave of absence from St. Olaf. A transfer student may be allowed fewer than four equivalent St. Olaf credits after matriculation, depending upon the total credits initially transferred. The specific number allowed is found on the student’s degree audit. Course credits earned on St. Olaf-sponsored off-campus programs or through inter-registration with Carleton College or an approved Interim exchange program are excluded from these restrictions.
- Transfer courses may reduce a student’s requirements under the 24-graded-course rule under General Graduation Requirements. Consult the reduced graded course scale under Graded and Ungraded Courses in this catalog.
- New transfer students must complete a minimum of 17.00 credits at St. Olaf or through St. Olaf programs.
- General Education (GE) Accreditation: If transfer work is accepted for St. Olaf credit, the Registrar's Office may authorize general education credit for such work in accordance with the General Education Accreditation of St. Olaf-Approved Transfer Courses and Off-Campus Coursework. New entering transfer students receive a written evaluation of credits accepted by St. Olaf from the Registrar's Office.
As of August 2014, at least four (4.00) semester or five-and-one-half quarter credits are required for a transfer course to fulfill a particular general education requirement. A course worth fewer than four semester or five-and-one-half quarter credits cannot by itself satisfy a St. Olaf general education requirement or be applied to a major.
Beginning with students entering in August 2014, the following GE requirements are waived for transferred students under certain circumstances:
The First Year Writing (FYW) requirement is waived for students entering with seventeen or more (17-18) transfer credits (junior standing).
Writing in Context: One Writing in Context requirement (WRI) is waived for students entering with eight or more (8-16.75) transfer credits (sophomore standing); two Writing in Context requirements (WRI) are waived for students entering with seventeen or more (17-18) transfer credits (junior standing).
The Biblical Studies requirement (BTS-B) is waived for students entering with seventeen or more (17-18) transfer credits (junior standing).
- Students wishing to apply a transfer course toward a major or a concentration should consult with the department chair or program director. Courses not granted preliminary approval for transfer by the registrar are not allowed for transfer credit, regardless of the judgment of a department or program about their suitability for a major.
- Consult the policy on Foreign Language (FOL).
Transfer Students (students currently enrolled at other institutions wishing to transfer to St. Olaf): Additional Policies
- Transfer students should seek admission to St. Olaf by contacting the director of admissions. During the admissions process, the registrar is asked by the Office of Admissions to provide the applicant with an evaluation of transfer credit, based on official transcripts. For additional information, see Admissions Procedures.
- All students transferring to St. Olaf from other colleges or universities must be aware of restrictions on the number of transfer credits allowed after matriculation to St. Olaf. The number of additional transfer credits allowed is printed on the degree audit.
- Transfer students should become familiar with the college’s S/U policy. Students who are transferring more than six courses to St. Olaf from another institution may have the allowable number of permitted S/U courses reduced by scale. This scale is recorded by the registrar on the evaluation of transfer credit form returned to the transfer applicant during the admission process and is posted on the student’s degree audit.
- Transfer students who have previously received college credit for courses taken in high school or college courses taken while in high school should be aware of the college’s policies. See Pre-College Credits Applied to St. Olaf College. College Board Advanced Placement credit is considered if the transfer student provides St. Olaf with the original scores.
- New transfer credit equivalencies apply to all transfer students applying to enter as of August 2014; see relevant sections of the transfer credit policy.
- Courses taken by St. Olaf students at colleges and universities within the United States and on St. Olaf-approved off-campus programs may earn general education credit if they meet the criteria listed under the General Education Requirements. The amount of general education credit a student may earn will depend on the source of the work being accredited, that is, whether it was earned through work completed prior to enrollment at St. Olaf, work completed on a faculty-led international program, work completed at another university, etc. Courses from off-campus programs not on the approved list maintained by the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies do not fulfill any general education requirements.
- At least one of the two courses in each of the following general education requirement categories must be taken from a St. Olaf faculty instructor.
Historical Studies in Western Culture (HWC)
Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS)
Scientific Exploration and Discovery (SED) / Integrated Scientific Topics (IST)
Exception: If a student has received credit for one of the above general education requirements through pre-college credit, s/he may receive credit for the other one via a St. Olaf-approved off-campus program.
- Double-counting for off-campus courses instructed by non-St. Olaf faculty is permitted only for the following types of courses:
Courses appropriate to the Writing in Context requirement (WRI)
Courses appropriate to the Multicultural Studies Domestic Component requirement (MCD) or Multicultural Studies Global Course requirement (MCG). Such courses may meet one additional general education requirement if they meet the relevant guidelines described under the General Education Requirements.
With the approval of the relevant department chair or program advisor, off-campus courses may meet a major or concentration requirement in addition to meeting a general education requirement.
In cases where students believe they should receive a different type or amount of general education credit than what has been authorized through the above procedures, they may appeal the decision to the Curriculum Committee. An appeal should include documentation of the work the student completed (syllabi, examinations, papers, letters from course instructors, and/or any other relevant supporting materials), and a written explanation of how such work meets the guidelines for the requirement(s) the student wishes the work to fulfill.