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Carleton Liberal Arts Experience


The Carleton Liberal Arts Experience (CLAE) is a week-long summer program for high school students. The curriculum explores African American history, identity, and contemporary culture through the framework of a liberal arts education. It’s designed for Black and African American students and those interested in African American studies. The free program provides exposure to highly rigorous, college-level coursework within the unique style of education found only at liberal arts colleges like Carleton.

Program Details

Apply to CLAE – Coming in January 2025!

Who should apply?

Students who identify as Black or African American, or who have an interest in African American culture, are encouraged to apply. We’re looking for academic excellence, investment beyond the classroom in activities, talent, or work, and a desire to engage with values of diversity and inclusion.

At Carleton, students love to learn and enjoy challenging their intellectual capacity. It’s fueled by deep curiosity and desire to make an impact. Applicants should embody these characteristics. 

  • The 2024 CLAE application closed at 11:59pm ET on April 7. 

Please Note: Beginning in 2024, CLAE will occur in the summer between junior and senior year and only rising seniors will be considered. Students who are currently in 11th grade are eligible to apply for the Carleton Liberal Arts Experience.

Application Components

    • A current transcript
    • At least one letter of recommendation from an academic teacher 
    • Information about extracurricular activities or a resume
    • Two short essays
Prior to CLAE, I had never been surrounded by so many self-motivated, tenacious, and gifted students. CLAE truly exposed me to a part of myself that I had never known.
Peter Uwalaka '07
CLAE Scholar '01, Carleton College '07, Harvard University Graduate School of Education '10
"I am applying to Carleton because I appreciate what the school has done for me. My first trip to Minnesota was for CLAE and it was my very first flight alone. It was one of the greatest opportunities I've been given."
DeLante Blagburn '23
Greenville, SC
"I was excited to experience liberal arts, and during my stay on campus I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved how engaged everyone was during the seminars, expressing well thought out opinions and ideas while also actively listening to what others had to say."
Javin White '20
Bowie, MD
"CLAE is where it all started for me. I attended the program with 49 other African American students and fell in love with the school...I felt like I belonged on campus."
Brittany Deweaver '20
Oakland, CA