Senior Survey

Academic, post-graduation education, employment, and other Carleton student and alumni outcomes.

The Senior Survey is administered to college seniors during their last year in college. It includes about students’ satisfaction, college activities and future plans. Carleton has participated in the survey in most years since 1998.

Alumni Employment

Historic Data on Graduates (one, five, and ten years Out):

We surveyed graduates of the Class of 2016, 2011, and 2006 in the spring of 2017 about what they were currently doing:

Full-time employment82.90%67.20%69.30%
Graduate education (FT or PT)7.70%25.90%16.80%
Part-time employment3.40%2.60%5.00%
Personal project (e.g., book, art)0.90%0.00%3.00%
Seeking employment0.00%1.70%3.00%
Internship or fellowship0.00%0.90%2.00%
Caring for children / family member3.40%0.00%1.00%
Employed but on leave1.70%0.00%0.00%
Temp or contract work0.00%1.70%0.00%

Source: 2017 Alumni Survey

Graduates Since 1990:

Alumni employment for Carleton graduates since 1990, as recorded in the alumni database. The information in the summary table represents the most recent reported job category for Carleton alumni. Note that most of the information is self-reported, and some of the information may be out of date.

Carleton’s Pathways website: What can you do with a liberal arts degree? Never feel limited in entering a profession if there is no directly related undergraduate major. The Pathways site explores over 25 career fields that our graduates have entered without a corresponding undergraduate major. The site explores what courses one might take, what types of internships, graduate study and fellowships are available, and who to contact at Carleton for more information. Examples of alumni in each profession are shown, and Carleton students can connect and network with alumni volunteers.

Career Paths Visualization (by Major): An interactive graph that allows one to explore known employment fields for graduates since 1990 by major. One can drill from a major to broad or specific employment, or backwards from employment fields to undergraduate majors. (Graphic design by Carissa Knipe ’14)

Employment and Education After Carleton (by Major): As a complement to the interactive Career Paths Visualization (above), IRA and the Career Center have worked together to compile a series of two-page summary reports.

The reports feature tabular data showing:


  1. The broad industry sector of the employer;
  2. The field of work that the graduate does for the employer;
  3. The most common job functions of our graduates. 


  1. The most common graduate or professional institutions attended by our graduates;
  2. The most common graduate or professional degree programs; and
  3. The most common degrees sought. 

These reports are available for all Carleton graduates since 1990, with breakouts by undergraduate major. All results reflect the most recent information reported in the alumni database.

Carleton Graduate Employment Outcomes

About 35 employers employ more than 10 Carleton graduates; over 5000 others employ fewer than 10 graduates. Carleton is usually ranked by the Peace Corps as among the top 25 small colleges (enrollment under 5,000) with the greatest number of Peace Corps volunteers.

Post-Carleton Graduate and Professional Study

Typically, between 20 and 25% of graduating seniors enroll immediately in a graduate or professional school program.  Many work for a year or two before enrolling.  But within ten years of graduation, well over three-quarters of alumni report that they have enrolled in some graduate-level program.

Academic Doctorates Earned by Carleton Graduates, 1966-2016:

The National Science Foundation’s annual Survey of Earned Doctorates provides information about academic doctoral degrees earned by graduates of U.S. undergraduate institutions.

Carleton ranks 2nd among U.S. liberal arts colleges in the number of doctoral degrees earned by its alumni from 1966 to 2016.

These tables break out by discipline the 3,229 academic doctoral degrees reported to have been earned by Carleton graduates in this period. The survey does not capture information about medical or legal professional degrees. Tables represent the most recent data available as of Spring 2016.