See what students say:


With roots in a “Norwegian heritage,” St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, provides students “a wonderful liberal arts education” with a strong focus on “classical music appreciation,” while still offering “academic opportunities for everyone.” St. Olaf emphasizes the need for “globally conscious citizens.” To help them “[build] a global perspective,” St. Olaf encourages students “to ask questions and explore their beliefs.” Students agree that “the professors here are simply phenomenal in every respect, and their approachability is absolutely a hallmark of this campus.” Nearly everyone we heard from praised their professors as “readily available to help,” offering “late night review sessions,” encouraging “academic conversations outside of the classroom,” and “[extending] office hours to all five days a week the week before” major projects are due. St. Olaf students feel their professors “care about their students as whole people.” But “this does not mean that they are lax and let students walk all over them.” St. Olaf faculty maintain “high expectations” for their students, “but [they] want to see students succeed” as well. “Being a professor isn’t just a 9-to-5 job for them,” one student explains, “but a life they truly enjoy.” While the school is affiliated with the Lutheran church, students assure us that “even if you aren’t religious, you won’t feel out of place at St. Olaf,” explaining how “the religious aspect of the school” is rooted in its history “and allows those that are religious to find a community of people who are religious as well.”

Student Body

Students express concern about the “lack of diversity on campus,” but they hold one another in high esteem. “It’s an accepting and trusting community” where students are comfortable “leaving laptops and backpacks around” without worry, and “if you lose your ID or wallet, you can expect it to appear in your PO box within a few hours.” Students tend to be “a little preppy, type A personalities” who are “trustworthy” and considerate: “a local florist sells ‘Friday flowers’—which people buy for their friends and leave in their POs with notes.” These “sincere” students “wear Norwegian sweaters non-ironically” and exude a “very mid-western ... niceness.” Olaf is an alcohol-free school, and “although it definitely has a presence on campus,” students “agree that there is no pressure to drink” from fellow Oles. “I would say if you’re not into socializing at parties and are into good clean fun,” one student explains, “then there are options for you.” With such strong music programs, it is no wonder that “music is very important to the average St. Olaf student, especially choir.”

Campus Life

Oles enjoy an active and engaging campus life where “most students are busy on school days and nights either studying or attending school functions.” Olaf students take their community and club involvement seriously. With “250 student clubs and organizations” that “[provide] opportunities for students to explore and nourish their passions,” students find that “it is really easy to get involved in multiple activities.” While this can make it so their “days are pretty full, sometimes hectic,” “being an Ole means you are fully devoted to your school or your community.” Even so, Oles say they have “a pretty good work/life balance since there are so many opportunities to de-stress and spend time with friends (even if you are just working in the same room).” Among the “million extra activities” that Oles love, “choir and music are hugely popular-—[about 25 percent] of students are in a music ensemble and [many] students participate in the nationally renowned St. Olaf Christmas Festival.” During the Christmas Festival, “alumni from all over [flock] back to the Hill to relive their Ole days. The campus is decorated everywhere, and the cafeteria even serves Norwegian food for the big weekend.” And for Oles this “close knit, inquisitive student body” is “literally home.” “I leave for break, excited to see my family” one environmental science major explains, “But to be honest? I find myself longing for the day when I come back to campus. Back to my home.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Abigail DeGezelle
Visit Coordinator

Office of Admissions
1520 St. Olaf Ave.
Northfield, MN 55057

Ph: 507-786-3026


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Fireside Lounge, Buntrock Commons
The Lion's Pause (student-run nightclub)
Tostrud Recreation Center
Beautiful 300 acre campus

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Mall of America
Many Arts Activities in Twin Cities
Museums in Twin Cities
Historic downtown Northfield

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

1-night stay, seniors only


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is 35 miles from campus. Please contact the admissions office for information regarding transportation options from the airport to campus.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From Interstate 35 (nearest four-lane thoroughfare) take Exit 69 to Highway 19 East. The main entrance to the campus is five miles east of the interstate via Highway 19. Look for a stone marker on your left as you enter Northfield city limits. You also may reach the campus via St. Olaf Avenue which intersects with Highway 3 in Northfield.

Local Accommodations
Please contact the admissions office for a listing of accommodations or visit this website: http://www.visitingnorthfield.com/lodging.html


Applicants: 5,496
Acceptance Rate: 50%
Average HS GPA: 3.67



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