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
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 advance faster toward your academic goals.
Are you really invested in what other people are saying? That’s big at Carleton. It really comes down to valuing differences and recognizing your own limitations while trying to understand other perspectives.
Cristian Castro-Brizendine '19
Cost & financial Aid
The average financial aid award was more than $62,000 for first year students in the Carleton Class of 2026. For a quick estimate, try out our six-question tool.
First-time, full-time students receiving grants and scholarships
Financial aid application deadline
Early Decision I, Nov. 15
Early Decision II, Jan. 15
Regular Decision, Jan. 15
Learn more about financial aid at Carleton.
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.
Number of student organizations
Types of student organizations
Cultural or ethnic
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
Theater & Dance
Comedy / Improv
Dance Team / Club
World / cultural dance
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)
Swimming / Diving
Track and field
Swimming / Diving
Track and Field (indoor and outdoor)
Number of 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.
Number of intramural sports
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
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
Office of Admissions
100 South College Street