Carleton College

Laird Stadium
Nourse Hall
Goodsell Observatory
Sayles-Hill Campus Center
Carleton wind turbine
Skiing in the Arb
Skinner Memorial Chapel
Dorm, sweet dorm
International Fest
Willis Hall
Student on fellowship in Spain
English professor
Carleton rugby
Carleton chamber ensemble
African Drum Ensemble
istry at Carleton

Carleton College
Office of Admissions
100 South College Street
Northfield, MN 55057

phone: 507.222.4190
toll-free: 800.995.2275
fax: 507.222.4526
email admissions

Want to get to know us better? Come visit!

Programs and Degrees Offered


Ready to work hard and play hard? Carleton is one of the nation's top liberal arts and sciences colleges, boasting success from physics to frisbee and everything in between. Our academic programs span the disciplines, giving you a broad foundation of knowledge to take your interdisciplinary learning to the next level. With students hailing from across the country and around the world, our diverse community will challenge and support you. Located in the historic river city of Northfield, we're just 40 miles south of the Twin Cities; you'll find plenty to occupy your time outside of class. Carleton graduates go on to become physicians, teachers, civic leaders, artists, engineers, authors — and our strong opportunities in research and internships will help prepare you for whatever comes after Carleton.

Carleton College at a Glance


  • Undergraduate: 2,042

Student Distribution

  • Domestic students: 73% White, 10% Asian, 7% Hispanic, 5% multiracial, 4% Black, <1% American Indian/Alaska Native, <1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, excludes race/ethnicity unknown
  • 9% international students


  • Student/faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Average class size: 17
  • Number undergraduate majors: 33

First-Year Student Profile

  • Average ACT score: The middle 50% of enrolled students had ACT composite scores between 29 and 33.58% of first-year students presented the ACT as part of their applications.
  • Average SAT score: Middle 50% ranges for SAT Math: 680-770, SAT Reading: 660-750, SAT Writing: 660-750. 61% of students submitted the SAT as part of their applications.
  • Percentage from Minnesota: 19%
  • Percentage who live on campus: 96%


  • 2014-15 undergraduate tuition and fees: $47,736
  • Room and board: $12,366
  • Percentage first-time undergraduates receiving financial-aid: Around 66% of Carleton students qualify for some form of financial aid. 55% of financial aid awards are in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid.

Religious Affiliation

  • Although founded by the Congregational Church, Carleton is now a non-denominational college with no formal religious affiliation. Our vibrant spiritual life on campus reflects the diverse backgrounds of our students, and you'll find services ranging from Catholic mass to Buddhist meditation.


Degrees offered

Bachelor of Arts

View all Majors and Degrees

5 largest majors

Biology, Political Science/International Relations, Economics, Mathematics, Chemistry


247 total instructional faculty: 215 Full-time; 32 Part-time. 92% hold a doctorate or a terminal degree in their field.

Student/faculty ratio


Average class size


Accreditation & Approval

American Chemical Society, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools

Pre-Professional Programs

Architecture, business and management, chemistry, dentistry, engineering, hospital administration or health systems, journalism and publishing, law, library science, medicine, ministry, social work and veterinary science.

Teaching Licensure Programs

Carleton offers Minnesota teaching licensure preparation for grades 5-12 in communication arts, mathematics, earth science, life science and social studies. Grades 7-12 preparation is available in physics and chemistry. K-12 preparation is available in French, German, Spanish and visual art.

Non-Traditional Education Programs

Adult education programs are available on a limited basis for area residents and alumni.

Intercampus Agreements

A cooperative agreement with St. Olaf College enables Carleton and St. Olaf students to take courses on either campus.

Study Abroad Programs

Carleton students study across the country and around the world, on a wide variety of programs. Thanks to our flexible financial aid and academic credit policies, nearly three-quarters of our students study off-campus during their four years. Many of our students participate in the two dozen programs led by our faculty, studying agroecology in China, printmaking in the South Pacific, culture in Peru, history in Ghana, just to name a few. Students also have access to programs led through other associations and consortia, including the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Education (ISLE) program, HECUA consortium, and School for International Training (SIT). Get your passport ready — the world is your classroom.

Internships/ career services

Students wishing to gain career experience may apply to Carleton's Career Center for placement in established internship programs or they may design their own programs. Credit may be awarded with faculty permission.

The Career Center works with students starting in their first year, helping them explore their myriad post-Carleton options. Sponsoring numerous activities to prepare students for post-college life, the Career Center supports Carleton students with internships, alumni mentorships, and off-campus excursions to explore various career fields. Students have the opportunity to work with both professional staff and peer mentors, and are also encouraged to participate in workshops on interview skills, resume creation, and a variety of other skills.

Admission & cost


Online application:

Admissions tests required: ACT with writing or SAT

Application deadlines: Early Decision Fall — November 15; Early Decision Winter — January 15; Regular Decision — January 15

Application fee (amount): Free online

Advanced placement credit

Carleton accepts up to 36 credits toward the Carleton degree from the following: College Board AP credits, and IB credits. These credits may not be applied to distribution requirements. The faculty urges prospective students to take advantage of opportunities for advanced study available to them. Several departments on campus offer tests to determine student placement into appropriate level Carleton courses. SAT II scores of 690 and above for French or Spanish or 680 and above for German successfully fulfill the language requirement. To find out more about Carleton and credits for advanced classes:

Transfer criteria (credits, GPA):

No more than 102 Carleton credits may be transferred. Usually successful transfer students have a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Transfer process (deadlines and materials)

Fall Deadline: March 31. A complete application includes the application, test scores (SAT or ACT), high school and college transcripts, Dean or Adviser's recommendation letter and a statement on reasons for transferring.


2014-15 undergraduate tuition and fees: $47,736

Room and board: $12,366

Percentage of first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: Around 66% of Carleton students qualify for some form of financial aid. 55% of financial aid awards are in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid.

Financial aid information

Affording Carleton
Net price calculator

Student involvement

Student organizations

Students choose Carleton not only for our top-notch academics, but also for our rich extracurricular opportunities. Every year begins with the student organizations fair, an opportunity to meet with representatives from Model UN, the Aikido club, the Carletonian (our weekly student newspaper), a cappella groups, and hundreds of other clubs on campus. Civic engagement is a key part of our community, and you'll find service opportunities galore through various organizations as well as through some of your class projects. Weekends are full of sporting events, concerts, hiking trips, game nights, and loads of other organized or casual activities. Our students find their social circles to be wide and overlapping, and it's easy to start new clubs, too. At last count, we have 8 publications, 25 music/art groups, 31 cultural, ethnic and religious groups, 13 political groups, 6 environmental/outdoor groups, 8 educational groups, 3 pre-professional groups, 34 student hobby groups, 11 community service groups, and a student-run pub.

Athletic programs

Conference membership

NCAA Division III, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

Men's varsity

Baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, indoor and outdoor track and field, soccer, swimming, tennis

Women's varsity

Basketball, cross-country, golf, indoor and outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball


Basketball, flag football, racquetball, dodge ball, sand volleyball, tennis, broomball, floor hockey, soccer, disc golf, tennis, softball, Ultimate

Club sports

Aikido, badminton, cycling, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, ice hockey, karate, lacrosse, rugby, synchronized swimming, tae kwon do, Ultimate Frisbee, men's volleyball and water polo

Fine Arts Offerings

Carleton students develop and share their talents through a variety of academic and extracurricular programs. We offer classes in each of the main areas of the arts: music, theater, dance, studio art and art history, English, and cinema and media studies. Our faculty come from a range of academic and professional backgrounds, and you'll find coursework in both the practical and theoretical areas of the arts. We offer performance opportunities throughout the year, and auditions are typically open to all students, regardless of major.  There are also dozens of student-run groups in all areas of the arts, with performance opportunities every term. We take advantage of the local arts scenes, including performances in Northfield and the Twin Cities, and we bring a variety of guests to campus for performances and workshops.  

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