St. Olaf College is a private liberal arts institution in southern Minnesota. An Evangelical Lutheran college, it is coeducational and open to applicants of all faiths and none.
Located in a rural part of the state, St. Olaf’s 300-acre residential campus in Northfield, an old town on the Cannon River with a history of dairy farming, is surrounded by a further 325 acres of woodlands and wetlands. It is 40 miles south of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the Twin Cities, and 75 miles north of the border with Iowa.
Formerly known as St. Olaf School, the college’s founding principles include utilising liberal arts education to prepare its students for careers in fields such as politics, business and the church. The highly selective institution only admits slightly more than a third of applicants.
Study at St. Olaf is available in more than 35 subjects, including biology, psychology, economics and mathematics, the courses with the most students on. University leaders aim to enshrine a global perspective across the institution, which also has a proud musical tradition.
A Norwegian-influenced college established by Norwegian-American immigrants and named after an 11th century king of Norway, St. Olaf runs a number of Viking history programmes and Norwegian language courses.
Alumni include Ernest Lawrence, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939 for inventing the cyclotron, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Gretchen Morgenson. Norwegian-American authors Ole Rølvaag and Siri Hustvedt also attended St. Olaf.