Overview

We approach learning with enthusiasm, energy and a distinct brand of playfulness. We are a collaborative place where students and professors work together to make sense of the messiness of life. 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.

At Carleton, we’re committed to making our education affordable to all admitted students – not just those whose families can pay the full cost. We meet the full need of all admitted students. And we keep loans small and work-study manageable. This lets you focus on what matters: getting a top-notch education.

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 our Chaplin’s Office deepens the spiritual life of the campus across a truly diverse range of faith practices.

Student body profile
Academics

Focus and flexibility define our academic calendar. You’ll take three classes for each 10-week term, which means academic life moves quickly. By offering three terms a year, Carleton gives you the opportunity to explore and satisfy your curiosities — and to move faster toward your academic goals.

Learning options

Dual-degree programs
Intercampus agreements
Internships
Pre-professional programs
Study abroad/away
Teacher licensure programs

Internships

Our internship program starts as soon as your first days on campus and will meet you where you’re at during your four years as a student. We are particularly proud of our robust winter break externship program, which gets you firsthand professional experience fast.

Pre-professional programs

Pre-Architecture
Pre-Engineering
Pre-Health
Pre-Law
Pre-Med

Study abroad/away

Carleton sent its first cohorts on off-campus study programs in 1969 and hasn’t stopped since. Today, more than 70 percent of Carleton students study off-campus at least once prior to graduation. If you’ve wanted to see the world, Carleton is a great gateway.

Carleton's emphasis on community allows me to be myself in an unapologetic way. As I wander around campus attending events and activities, I know I have found a home in a place that is not only welcoming but supportive and loving.

Stella Dennehy '24

Admissions

Are you an interdisciplinary learner? Do you believe that we do our best learning together rather than apart?  Can you roll up your sleeves and dig deep into a topic? If so, you’ll love what Carleton’s academics offer. They are immersive, demanding, confidence-building and fun!

Apply online

Cost & financial Aid

Carleton is committed to making our education affordable for all admitted students. We meet the full need of every student — we don't assume students will need to take out private loans or outside scholarships. This lets you focus on what matters: getting a top-notch education.

The average need-based financial aid package for the Class of 2027 (including grants, student employment, and loans) was $66,566; 56 percent of the first-year class received more than $17 million in need-based grants. To see an estimate of what it would cost your family to attend Carleton, try one of our financial aid estimators.

Net price calculator

Tuition and fees

First-time, full-time students receiving grants and scholarships
65%

Financial aid application deadline
Early Decision I, Nov. 15
Early Decision II, Jan. 15
Regular Decision, Jan. 15

FAFSA code
002340

Profile code
6081

Learn more about financial aid at Carleton.

Student activities

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 to meet with representatives from hundreds of campus clubs and organizations.

Civic engagement is central to our community, and you'll find many service opportunities 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, diverse and overlapping, and it's easy to start new clubs, too.

Types of student organizations

Community service
Cultural or ethnic
Political
Pre-professional
Religious
Student government
Student interest/hobbies

Community service

Sixty-four percent of Carleton students participated in community or civic engagement in 2020-21 through Carleton’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement.

Fine art offerings

Instrumental Music

African Music
Concert Band
Folk Music
Jazz Ensemble
Small Ensembles
Symphony Orchestra

Vocal Music

A capella
Early Music
Gospel
Jazz
Mixed Choir

Theater & Dance

Ballroom Dance
Comedy / Improv
Dance Company
Dance Team / Club
Hip-Hop dance
Sacred dance
Swing dance
Theater club
Theater productions
World / cultural dance

Athletic programs

NCAA Division
Division III

Conference membership
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

Men's varsity

Baseball
Basketball
Cross-Country
Football
Golf
Soccer
Swimming / Diving
Tennis
Track and field

Women's varsity

Basketball
Cross-Country
Golf
Soccer
Softball
Swimming / Diving
Tennis
Track and Field (indoor and outdoor)
Volleyball

Club sports

To know Carleton is to know Ultimate Frisbee. Carleton has long supported women’s and men’s teams that contend at the national level, in both Open and Division III levels.

Club sports offered
Aikido
Alpine Skiing
Badminton
Ballroom Dance
Broomball
Climbing
Cycling
Equestrian
Fencing
Ice Hockey (men's)
Ice Hockey (women's)
Karate
Lacrosse (men's)
Lacrosse (women's)
Nordic Skiing
Rugby (men's)
Rugby (women's)
Running
Snowboarding
Soccer (coed)
Swimming
Synchronized Swimming
Table Tennis
Tae Kwon Do
Tennis
Ultimate (co-ed)
Ultimate (men's)
Ultimate (women's)
Volleyball (men's)
Water Polo

Number of intramural sports
10

After graduation

Carleton is a gateway to the life you want to lead and can help you identify and affirm your values. Students work with our Career Center to find the professional fields that match those values and network through Carleton’s talented and friendly global community of supporters.

Disciplines with largest number of graduates
1. Social sciences
2. Biological and biomedical sciences
3. Computer and information sciences and support services

Alumni majors
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

Contact information

Other Student paths

Transfer

Learn more