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: 1,995
- Domestic students: 72% White, 10% Asian, 8% Hispanic, 6% multiracial, 4% Black, <1% American Indian/Alaska Native, <1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, excludes race/ethnicity unknown
- International students are 10% of total undergraduate enrollment
- 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 30 and 33; 55% of first-year students presented the ACT as part of their applications.
- Average SAT score: The middle 50% ranges were 670-770 for math, 660-750 for reading and 650-760 for writing; 63% of students submitted the SAT as part of their applications.
- Percentage from Minnesota: 13%
- Percentage who live on campus: 96%
- 2015-16 undergraduate tuition and fees: $49,263
- Room and board: $12,783
- Percentage first-time undergraduates receiving financial-aid: Around 66% of Carleton students qualify for some form of financial aid with 55% in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid.
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.
Use LinkedIn’s alumni tool* to explore what Carleton graduates majored in and the types of careers they have and with which companies.
*based only on those who have accounts on LinkedIn
Bachelor of Arts
5 largest majors:
- Political Science/International Relations
Average class size
211 full time; 31 part time; 93.8% hold a doctorate or a terminal degree in their field.
- Business and management
- Hospital administration or health systems
- Journalism and publishing
- Library science
- Social work
- Veterinary science
Teaching licensure programs
- Grades 5-12 in communication arts, mathematics, earth science, life science and social studies
- Grades 7-12 preparation in physics and chemistry
- K-12 preparation 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.
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, and environmental sustainability in Tanzania and Ethiopia 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.
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.
Accreditation & approval
- American Chemical Society
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Online application: go.carleton.edu/apply
Admissions tests required: ACT or SAT
Application deadlines: Early Decision Fall: Nov. 15; Early Decision Winter: Jan. 15; Regular Decision: Jan. 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. To find out more about Carleton and credits for advanced classes: go.carleton.edu/admissions
Transfer criteria (credits, GPA):
Students who are admitted as transfer students are expected to complete a minimum of 108 Carleton credits and six terms at Carleton to be eligible for the degree. Successful transfer applicants typically demonstrate strong performance at their previous institution, whether it is a four-year college or university or a two-year community college.
Transfer process (deadlines and materials)
Fall Deadline: Mar. 31. A complete application includes the application, test scores (SAT or ACT), high school and college transcripts, recommendation letter and a statement on reasons for transferring.
2016-17 undergraduate tuition and fees: $50,874
Room and board: $13,197
Percentage of first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: Around 66% of Carleton students qualify for some form of financial aid with 55% in the form of need-based grants and scholarships, which do not need to be repaid.
Financial aid information
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:
- 34 student hobby groups
- 31 cultural, ethnic and religious groups
- 25 music/art groups
- 13 political groups
- 11 community service groups
- 8 publications
- 8 educational groups
- 6 environmental/outdoor groups
- 3 pre-professional groups
- 1 student-run pub
- NCAA Division III
- Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)
- Swimming and diving
- Track and field (indoor and outdoor)
- Swimming and diving
- Track and field (indoor and outdoor)
- Disc golf
- Flag football
- Floor hockey
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Volleyball (sand)
- Hockey (field and ice)
- Synchronized swimming
- Tae kwon do
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Volleyball (men's)
- 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
- We bring a variety of guests to campus for performances and workshops.
Carleton Campus News
- Carleton College Announces Faculty Promotions The Board of Trustees recently approved the promotion of three faculty members, from associate professor to professor, effective September 1, 2016.
- Carleton to hold its 142nd Commencement Ceremony June 11
The College will award a Bachelor of Arts degree to 494 graduating members of the Class of 2016, along with an Honorary Degree to former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan C. Page, who will address the graduating seniors.