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An Exceptional Education

Learning at Carleton revolves around curiosity and exploration. It’s about asking questions and pursuing answers relentlessly. Your classmates and professors will offer their unfailing support — and, when needed, they’ll challenge you, too. It means refusing to settle for the path of least resistance. Instead, it’s about aligning your ideas and knowledge with your passions, identities, and inspirations. Carleton is a launch pad for a lifetime of discovery and achievement.

Standout Faculty

Carleton professors are leaders in their fields. Their intellectual passions drive them to the forefront of academic discovery. They match this ability for outstanding research and scholarship with an unparalleled commitment to teaching — and to your success. Carleton faculty members have a passion for personal guidance and enthusiastic interaction with their students. This ensures that classes are engaging, adventurous affairs. Camaraderie, not competition, is the foundation of Carleton’s educational experience. Meet our faculty.

Real Collaboration

On Carleton’s campus, you’ll find a focus on academic exploration. Professors, administrators, staff members, and students are each on a journey of discovery. This shared commitment to Carleton’s mission makes connecting and collaborating with one another the norm. Invitations to join in abound. Heads-down competition? Not so much. Learn more about collaboration at Carleton.

Evolution of a Scholar

Are you a prospective English major who has always loved research? Not sure how your photography hobby fits with your love for political debate and social entrepreneurship? At Carleton, you’ll have the freedom and the time to sample freely from course offerings before you settle on a major.

Think of Carleton’s liberal arts offerings as a buffet from which you can sample freely. We encourage you to follow your curiosities and engage in subjects you’re already passionate about. But we also want you to take risks. After four years at Carleton, you’ll have gone places you never imagined, researched subjects you never considered, and become someone you didn’t know you could be.

The Curriculum

You should try this. And this. Oh, and this, too! Master a new language, make discoveries in a lab, write critically and creatively, dabble in the arts. These are only a few of the avenues for growth and exploration that make up Carleton’s expansive liberal arts curriculum.

Discovery and creativity are born out of interdisciplinary thought. Here philosophers collaborate with chemists. Computer scientists work closely with economists. And art historians inspire musicians. Learn more by exploring our curricular exploration requirements.


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.


No matter your major, research and discovery are at the core of a Carleton education. Your senior comprehensive project — or “Comps” — is a staple of senior year. You’ll work closely with a professor and immerse yourself deeply in your chosen topic.

Projects range from writing a 50-page research paper to creating a mobile app to producing short films to choreographing dance performances. Comps gives you the opportunity to take ownership of your four-year educational journey and to show us what you have learned during your time at Carleton.

First-Year Seminars

First-year students receive a terrific introduction to the liberal arts through Argument & Inquiry Seminars, which help you practice the core elements of liberal arts learning. You’ll ask scholarly questions, hone persuasive arguments, and evaluate and employ evidence. Topics are fascinating, enjoyable, and rewarding, such as “American Lyric: Poetry, Pop, and Rap,” “Economics of Race,” and “Brain, Mind, and Behavior.” Our students consistently rank these special courses among their best academic experiences — and they’re offered only to first-years!

Off-Campus Studies

More than 70% of Carleton students study off campus at least once. Their studies and travels open up new worlds and bring new perspectives. Students might master a language, immerse themselves in a complex cultural issue, or explore geology up close and in the ground. Carleton faculty lead two dozen programs. Or students can choose from programs offered through other institutions. Learn more about Off-Campus Studies at Carleton.

Support for Success

Carleton students graduate at exceptionally high rates and are statistically happier than many of their peers, thanks, in part, to our supportive environment. Our faculty members are accessible and committed to your success. Each student has a dedicated faculty adviser who will guide you through our curriculum and challenge you to expand your horizons. And staff members at our many academic support centers offer expertise and guidance. Learn more about the various ways we support student success.

Career Center

Time moves quickly at Carleton, so it’s never too soon to start thinking about life after graduation. The Career Center encourages you to supplement your classroom learning with “real-world” experience. Staff members can prepare you for your professional future. They will help you land the right internship, network with alumni, or craft the perfect cover letter and résumé. With their help, you can graduate with confidence in your professional future. Learn more about our Career Center.