Skip to main content

Transferring to Carleton

Each year we review applications from students who want to transfer to college. Whether you're applying from a community college, a large university, or something in between, we're eager to support your journey to Carleton.

Each year we review applications from students who want to transfer to college. Whether you're applying from a community college, a large university, or something in between, we're eager to support your journey to Carleton.

Quick Details

  • Students are transfer applicants if they have completed any college coursework after graduating high school. High school students participating in dual enrollment college classes are not transfer applicants.
  • All students (transfer and first-year) begin at Carleton in the fall term
  • There is no application fee to apply to Carleton.
  • If you are admitted, you will receive your credit evaluation along with your acceptance letter.
  • If you are eligible for financial aid, you will receive your aid award along with your acceptance letter.

Transfer of Credits

We’ll include the credit evaluation with your acceptance letter. You can find a comprehensive guide to credit eligibility through our campus handbook.

In general, we’ll award credits for coursework from regionally accredited colleges and universities, with grades of C- or higher. Initially, we award general credit: equivalency to specific courses is determined by individual academic departments. Transfer students can bring in a maximum of 102 credits (equivalent to 18 Carleton courses).


We’re a residential community and we guarantee housing for all full-time students. More than 96% of our students live on campus, though a small number arrange their own housing typically in the community of Northfield, close to campus. Traditional campus housing will be made available for all transfer students, and we’ll consider exceptions for transfer students who wish to live off-campus.

Transfer Application Timeline

Application Deadline: March 31
Admissions Decision by: May 15
Students Enroll By: June 1
Classes Start: early September

Each year we anticipate maintaining a small waitlist for transfer students. We generally hope to make our final decisions by August 1.

Application Materials

  • Application: Coalition App or Common App
  • Report from registrar or school official (this confirms you are in good standing)
  • Transcripts (Final High School and College)
  • Two teacher recommendations
  • Test Scores: SAT or ACT
    • Carleton is adopting a test-optional policy for transfer applicants applying for admission, meaning results of the SAT or the ACT are not required, though you may still submit them.
    • Carleton does not require the writing section for either test
  • We require TOEFL or IELTS or DET (DuoLingo English Test) for students whose primary language of instruction (or first language) has not been English.
  • SAT Subject Tests are optional
  • No application fee
    • There is no cost to apply to Carleton.

Optional Materials

There are several optional components you can consider submitting:


Interviews help you get a better sense of how you might fit in at Carleton, and they help us learn how your strengths and talents might be nurtured in our community.

  • We do not require an interview.
  • A limited number of interview slots are available for transfer applicants after the submission of an application. We offer several interview options on and off campus.


We allow applicants to submit arts supplements in:

  • music
  • theater
  • dance
  • the visual arts
  • film

You can submit these on your applicant status page, which you’ll gain access to after you apply. We send your samples to appropriate Carleton professors. They review your samples for the admissions committee. These portfolios are not required for participation or majoring in the arts at Carleton. All students are welcome to submit materials, regardless of their plans once at Carleton.


Want to play a varsity sport at Carleton? Contact the coach directly through the recruit questionnaire.

We’re committed to making Carleton affordable for all our admitted students. We have financial aid estimators to help you understand what your financial aid award might look like.If you have any questions about affording Carleton, get in touch with Student Financial Aid.


All incoming students, including transfers and first-years, are included in New Student Week. This is your opportunity to get familiar with campus, learn about resources and support programs, and meet other new students.


We’re here to help you. Here are some of the common resources our transfer students use:

  • Faculty members invested in your success.
  • The Academic Support Center, where you’ll find help navigating the academic workload with organization and confidence.
  • Carleton’s TRIO program offers academic, personal, and financial support to first-generation college students, and to students who have a documented disability. Transfer students who are eligible for the program will be sent an invitation to apply following their acceptance to Carleton.
  • Carleton’s Career Center offers an array of opportunities, designed to prepare students for their career or for graduate school.
  • Carleton’s Off-Campus Studies office facilitates exploration of the world. Most recently, our students participated in 105 different programs in 45 countries.
  • The Office of Student Fellowships helps students explore funding opportunities for national and international fellowships for graduate study, language study, teaching and research abroad, and other pursuits.
  • Carleton’s Office of Accessibility Resources works to create barrier-free environments in and out of the classroom, including academic accommodations.

Carleton’s support resources extend beyond academics. You’ll find plenty of resources to help you succeed both inside and outside the classroom. Some of these programs include:

The Carleton community's unpretentiousness, silliness, and genuineness is a combination that I wasn't sure I would get elsewhere. Upon visiting I felt instantly comfortable here.
Zoe Harris '19
I chose Carleton for the collaborative academics and extracurricular activities that have kept me engaged in the campus community.
Jacob Cohen '19
Carleton had a unique combination of the same academic rigor and intellectual engagement that attracted me to many other schools and a good-natured humor and lack of pretension I found at virtually no other such institutions.
Lucas Demetriades '22
I decided to go to Carleton because of the learning for learning’s sake ethos that motivates its dedicated professors and students (and also I thought the trimester system would be fun!)
Kamala GhaneaBassiri '22
Two students at Commencement