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Carleton College

School Profile

Carleton is a top 10 liberal arts college where professors are consistently ranked the best in the nation for their commitment to undergraduate teaching. Home to about 2,000 students, the campus is a co-ed, residential institution. Carleton is located in Northfield, Minnesota, often cited among the best college towns in the USA and just 40 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Carleton is a collaborative community where students and professors work together. Carleton’s small classes and top-ranked professors create a rigorous yet highly supportive academic environment. Offering 33 majors and 38 minors, 88% of students are interested in multiple academic fields. While Carleton students are curious and academically focused, they don’t take themselves too seriously and are always there to help each other.

Outside of the classroom, Carleton students are active in over 200 student-led clubs. From Broomball in the winter to Frisbee on the Bald Spot to the Silent Dance Party in the Libe, Carls have fun regardless of the season. They also love to explore Carleton’s expansive arboretum, which boasts 24 km of trails. 70% of Carleton students study abroad, 69% participate in community or civic engagement, and 77% are engaged in research.

Carleton draws students from all 50 states and 57 countries. From mentoring relationships with professors to numerous support offices and expert staff, Carleton equips students to express and explore their identities, interests, and post-college course.

Carleton graduates go on to success across sectors, whether they become astrophysicists photographing black holes, ecology researchers tracking bird migration, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writers, developers at Google, or Academy Award-winning film directors. You’ll find Carleton alumni pursuing grad school, leading Fortune 500 companies, and serving in the Peace Corps. It has a uniquely loyal alumni network, and graduates are always willing to help other Carls.

Key Programs Offered

  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science/International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • History
  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art

Campus Life

Carleton College is located in the historic river town of Northfield, Minnesota, known for its safety and friendliness. The Carleton Knights have 19 varsity athletic teams competing in the NCAA Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Carleton offers more than 200 student organizations, including the Carleton Juggling F.I.S.H., the One Knight Stands cabaret troupe and the Knightingales a cappella group, to name a few. Intramural sports like quidditch, broomball, dodgeball and sand volleyball are also popular among students. 

Students are required to live on campus all four years in a residence hall, shared interest house or campus townhouse. Interest houses include Asia House, Jewish Interest House, Muslim Interest House, Rainbow House, La Casa del Sol, and the Intercultural Center.

At a Glance

About Carleton College

Top-ranked professors. Collaborative, motivated students. Supportive environment. At Carleton, we approach learning with enthusiasm, energy, and a distinctly Carleton brand of playfulness. We’re a top 10 liberal arts college located in Northfield, Minnesota, and we can’t wait to meet you!

  • #1

    Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching

    Faculty recognized by U.S. News & World Report for the past 13 years

  • #9

    National Liberal Arts College in the USA

    According to U.S. News & World Report

  • 100%

    Your Financial Need Met

    Admitted students receive financial aid that makes Carleton affordable.

Nature At Your Doorstep in the Arb

Just steps away from academic buildings and residence halls is the Cowling Arboretum, 800 acres (3.2 square km) of forests, wetlands, oak savannas, and prairies. The Arb offers endless opportunities for recreation and enrichment, and is a perfect place to enjoy Minnesota’s four seasons. The Arb is foremost an outdoor classroom for students of Carleton College. Used by all disciplines and majors, it has been the subject of drawing courses, natural history essays, and biological and geological analyses. 

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