Programs and Degrees Offered
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.
Carleton College at a glance
- Undergraduate: 2,046
- Domestic students: 60% White, 8% Asian, 8% Hispanic, 7% multiracial, 5% African-American, <1% American Indian/Alaska Native, 0% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 1% race/ethnicity unknown
- International students are 11% of total undergraduate enrollment
- Student/faculty ratio: 9:1
- Average class size: 17
- Number of undergraduate majors: 33
First-year student profile
- Percentage from Minnesota: 13%
- Percentage who live on campus: 96%
- ACT: middle 50% of enrolled students had ACT composite scores between 31 and 35
- SAT: middle 50% ranges were 680-760 for math and 670-780 for reading
Cost & financial aid
- 2019-20 undergraduate tuition and fees: $57,111
- 2019-20 room and board: $14,658
- Percentage of first-time, full-time students receiving grants and scholarships: 58%
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
- Computer Science
Average class size
205 full time; 16 part time; 93.1% hold a doctorate or a terminal degree in their field.
- Business and management
- Health care
- Library 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 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
Application deadlines: Early Decision Fall: Nov. 15; Early Decision Winter: Jan. 15; Regular Decision: Jan. 15
Application fee: None
Admissions tests required: ACT or SAT optional for those applying for admission in the 2021 academic year.
Earning college credit in high school:
View a summary table of what is recognized and accepted as well as how many of those credits can be applied toward your degree.
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.
Net price calculator: apps.carleton.edu/admissions/afford/estimator/
Undergraduate tuition and fees: $57,111
Undergraduate room and board: $14,658
Percentage of first-time, full-time students receiving grants and scholarships: 58%
Financial aid application deadline: Early Decision I, Nov. 15; Early Decision II and Regular Decision, Jan. 1
FAFSA code: 002340
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 hundreds of campus clubs and organizations.
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, typically organized through the Center for Community and Civic Engagement.
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)
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Volleyball (sand)
- Alpine skiing
- Ballroom dance
- Ice hockey (men's and women's)
- Lacrosse (men's and women's)
- Nordic skiing
- Rugby (men's and women's)
- Synchronized swimming
- Table tennis
- Tae kwon do
- Ultimate Frisbee (men's and women's)
- Volleyball (men's)
- Water polo
Fine arts offerings
All students are eligible to participate in the arts programs at Carleton, regardless of major, skill or talent.
- 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.