General Graduation Requirements

The following graduation requirements are shared by both the B.A. (bachelor of arts) degree and the B.M. (bachelor of music) degree.


Students must successfully complete the equivalent of 35 St. Olaf credits through a combination of full-credit and fractional-credit courses.

Note: For numerical purposes, the term "course" means a full (1.00) course credit, as distinguished from fractional course credits, unless otherwise noted.

Residency Requirement

Seventeen of the 35 St. Olaf credits required for graduation must be taken through St. Olaf College. This may include St. Olaf-sponsored study abroad and away programs.  

January Term

At least three of the required 35 St. Olaf credits must be earned in three separate January full-credit (1.0) terms. A January term may be taken on campus, through a St. Olaf study abroad or away January term program, or through an approved January term exchange with another 4-1-4 college. Transfer students admitted with at least sophomore standing must complete two January terms. After having successfully completed two January terms, seniors completing their degree may satisfy the third January term requirement by means of a summer course taken during a St. Olaf summer session after the commencement in which the student participates.

Grade Points and Grade Point Average

An average grade of C (2.00 on a 4.00 system) for all courses taken for the usual letter grades is required for graduation. See Grade Point Average for details.

Course Level

See Explanation of Course Levels.

Satisfactory completion of 18 credits above level I, courses numbered 200 and higher is required for graduation.

A course can earn only its assigned level. It cannot be raised in level as the result of extra studies, assignments, or performance.

Graded Courses

See Grades.

A minimum of 24 credits out of 35 must be taken graded through courses taken from a St. Olaf professor.

A sliding scale is used for transfer students and some Smith Center for Global Engagement programs. Sophomore transfer students need a minimum of 18 graded credits and junior transfer students a minimum of 13 graded credits. Details are available from the registrar.

All students should be aware of the restrictions on S/U and P/N grades.

Students studying on St. Olaf study abroad and away programs should refer to Graded and Ungraded Courses in the Academic Regulations and Procedures section of this catalog for details about how this graduation requirement is affected by programs abroad and away.

Completion of Incomplete Grades

A student with an incomplete on their academic record may participate in Commencement if all other requirements for graduation have been met. Only after a final grade has been recorded for the course, however, will a degree be conferred, and a diploma issued.