Transfer of Credit to St. Olaf College

General Policies Guiding Transfer of Credit to St. Olaf College

Credit for coursework completed through other regionally accredited colleges or universities is allowed to count toward a bachelor's degree at St. Olaf, subject to the parameters below.  One St. Olaf credit is equivalent to 4 semester or 5.5 quarter credits. St. Olaf credit will not be awarded more than once in the case of two or more similar transfer courses.

The Registrar will divide the total number of earned semester or quarter credits by 4 or 5.5 accordingly to equal the number of St. Olaf credits that will be awarded. In order to receive credit, the student must request a final, official transcript to be sent to St. Olaf directly from the awarding institution. An official transcript is one in a sealed envelope or accessible via a secure electronic transfer.

  • Up to two courses of 3 semester credits or 4 quarter credits may be awarded as 1.00 St. Olaf credit with appropriate OLE Core (St. Olaf’s general education) attributes.

  • Courses must be graded C or higher at the awarding institution in order to transfer to St. Olaf. 

  • The grades earned are entered on the student's St. Olaf record but are not included in the St. Olaf GPA.  

  • Courses with grades of pass (P) or satisfactory (S) are not accepted.

The following are not transferable as St. Olaf credit:

  • Workshops, camps, summer theater, guides, summer jobs, assistantships, and travel programs

  • Music ensemble participation credits (band, choir, orchestra, etc.)

  • Intercollegiate athletic participation

  • St. Olaf credit will not be awarded more than once in the case of two or more similar transfer courses.

Transfer Policies for New First-Year Students

St. Olaf awards a maximum of 6.00 St. Olaf credits from all pre-college credits presented by new incoming first-year students.  Pre-college credit includes the following types of courses and exams taken by high school students: 

  • AP (Advanced Placement) Exams (official score report required)

  • IB (International Baccalaureate) Higher-Level Exams (official score report required)

  • Cambridge A Level International Examinations (official score report required)     

  • PSEO (Post-Secondary Education Option) / CIS (College in the Schools) / Other Dual-Enrollment Programs  

Credit for qualifying AP/IB/Cambridge A Level exam scores is awarded first up to a maximum of 6.00 St. Olaf credits. Secondly, credit for PSEO courses is awarded up to a maximum of 4.00 St. Olaf credits. The maximum St. Olaf credits awarded for all pre-college transfer work cannot exceed 6.00 St. Olaf credits. 

A student may fulfill a maximum of six OLE Core attributes (general education requirements) via pre-college credit, based on the parameters stated above.  

St. Olaf credit will not be awarded more than once in the case of two or more similar transfer courses.      

Transfer Policies for New Transfer Students 

Transfer students are students who are entering St. Olaf college for the first time and have earned college credit after graduation from high school.                

  • During the admissions process, the registrar provides the applicant with an evaluation of transfer credit.       

  • New transfer students entering the college with 18.00 St. Olaf credits must complete a minimum of 17.00 credits at St. Olaf or through St. Olaf programs.           

  • Transfer students who enter with 8-16 credits will be allowed to take up to 5 S/U courses at St. Olaf. Transfer students who enter St. Olaf with 17-18 credits will be allowed to take up to 4 S/U courses.

  • Transfer courses will count toward a student’s requirement of 24-graded-courses by scale. 

Consult the Registrar’s Office in cases where students believe they should receive a different type of OLE Core curriculum attribute (general education credit) than what has been authorized through the above procedures. An appeal should include course syllabi and a written explanation of how such work meets the guidelines for the requirement(s) the student wishes the work to fulfill.         

In all cases, final judgment on the awarding of credit is made by the registrar. 

Transfer Policies for Continuing Students

After matriculation at St. Olaf, a student may transfer a maximum of 4.00 St. Olaf credits.*  Only two OLE Core attributes (general education requirements) may be awarded from those 4.00 credits.  This also applies to students who take a leave of absence from St. Olaf.  A transfer student may be allowed fewer than 4.00 credits after matriculation, depending upon the total credits initially transferred. The number of future transfer credits allowed can be found on the student’s degree audit. 

After matriculation at St. Olaf, students are strongly encouraged to have potential transfer courses evaluated and approved by the Registrar prior to registering for any course outside of St. Olaf. This ensures the transfer credit will fulfill the degree requirements the student intends.*

*The course must be completed with a grade of C or higher and a final official transcript is required.                

*Course credits earned on St. Olaf-sponsored study abroad or away programs or through inter-registration with Carleton College or an approved January term exchange program are excluded from these restrictions.     

Link to the Transfer Credit Approval Form.

Contact the Registrar's Office for details. 

Transfer of Credit for Study Abroad or Away

  • OLE Core attributes (general education requirements) will only be awarded for study abroad and away programs on the approved list maintained by the Smith Center for Global Engagement.