In front of Laird

Carleton’s liberal arts approach offers many different paths to satisfy the College’s graduation requirements. That means countless opportunities and a sometimes dizzying array of choices.

To help you plan your schedule, here are some questions and suggestions to consider.

Which Argument and Inquiry Seminar were you placed into?

Go to “My Course Schedule” in The Hub in August. You’ll want to make a note of the course time so you choose additional courses that don’t conflict.

You may drop your A&I seminar during online registration, but only if you are able to add yourself to another open A&I. If you drop your A&I seminar without registering for another A&I, your original A&I seminar will be reinstated by the Registrar’s Office the next day (or you will be added to another seminar of our choice if your original seminar has since closed).

Do you have any prior credits?

Up to 18 credits may apply to your Carleton degree. These may be College Board Advanced Placement (AP) or Higher Level International Baccalaureate (IB) credits, or approved pre-matriculation credits. Prior credits do not fulfill liberal arts requirements, but they can allow you to begin at a higher level in a certain department. For example, a score of 4 or 5 on an AP test may exempt you from taking an introductory-level course. See the Academic Catalog’s Pre-Matriculation Work policy for a detailed list of AP and IB credits that can be applied at Carleton. Check the Hub to view your prior credits.

Are you planning to start work on your language requirement?

Be aware that most — but not all — language courses start their sequence in the fall. So if you don’t begin a language course then, you’ll have to wait a whole year to get started.

If you studied a language in high school but don’t feel excited about continuing it, you could consider starting a new language. In addition to French, German, Latin, and Spanish, Carleton offers many languages not commonly taught in high schools, including Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian. Learn more about choosing a language.

See our Language FAQ for more information about studying languages at Carleton.

Are you considering a math course?

Many first-year students will want to start in the calculus sequence. See the Math Department’s website for placement information.

Are your courses distributed across the curriculum?

As you look at your potential courses for Fall term, do all of them fall in one group (Social Inquiry, quantitative reasoning, Humanistic Inquiry, etc.)? Your first year is the ideal time to explore different areas of study. Consider registering for classes in three different departments to lend balance to your schedule and to lay a foundation for your graduation requirements.

Have a major in mind?

Although you can’t declare a major until spring of your sophomore year, it never hurts to think ahead. Visit the academic departments’ web sites to see if the department you are considering has suggested particular courses appropriate for your first year.

Seeking academic accommodations?

The Office of Accessibility Resources promotes access and equity for all students of Carleton. They can introduce you to the wide range of academic accessibility resources available for Carleton students.

Considering music lessons?

Have you considered music lessons? You can register for a music lesson in addition to your three regular courses any term. See the music department’s Information for First-Year Students section for more information.

Considering Pre-Med?

Are you considering a career in the health professions? Please visit the Pre-Health Program website for information and advice about getting started.

Want a workout?

You’re engaging your mind, but what about your body? You can register for a physical education class in addition to your three regular courses. Four terms of PE are required during your time at Carleton.

Still have more questions?

Check out this Academic FAQ with details about your four year academic experience at Carleton.