Located in Northfield, Minnesota, an historic river town with a population of approximately, 20,000, Carleton College is a small, private liberal arts college established in 1866. The fourth oldest private institution of higher education in Minnesota, Carleton’s mission is to provide a truly exceptional undergraduate liberal arts education. Just forty miles outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Carleton College sits on a 1,040-acre campus that includes an 880-acre arboretum. Architectural style ranges from Collegiate Gothic to contemporary; the oldest buildings on the campus date back to 1872, the newest having been built as recently as 2011. One of the largest sources of undergraduates who are pursuing doctorates, in 2015 Carleton was designated as the “Top Producer of Fulbright Awards for American Studies at Bachelors Institutions.”
Carleton follows a trimester schedule, with three ten-week long terms. Accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913, Carleton offers nearly 40 majors and a variety of concentrations in the areas of arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Carleton College is committed to providing students with a true liberal arts education and rather than training students for a single, narrow career path, seeks to develop in students the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in any walk of life by teaching them to “learn for a lifetime”. Studies focus on developing critical thinking skills, problem solving, creativity, and effective communications.
A group of highly respected scholars, researchers, and practitioners serve as faculty members. All courses are taught by professors, not assistants, and classes are kept intentionally small so that professors can give individual attention to each student. Research and scholarship are highly encouraged for both student and faculty members at Carleton; through Comps, independent study classes, and fellowship communities, students especially are encouraged to pursue significant scholarly work.
Carleton’s study body is a highly diverse one. With an enrollment figure of over 2,000, 90% of students choose to live on campus. Most students, including all first-year students, live in one of the College’s residence halls. Apartment-style townhouses are also available on campus as well as college-owned houses in the surrounding community. Most of these houses are shared interest living communities, where students with a particular passion (including sustainability, faith, outdoor adventure, food, science fiction, etc.) live together, sharing space and ideas. While Carleton College has no formal religious affiliation, 60% of students claim a religious preference and the student-body religious groups are sizeable and active. Self-described as an “intellectually insatiable group”, Carleton’s campus atmosphere is one of enthusiasm, energy, and even playfulness. The warmth and closeness of the campus community is clearly evident, even to visitors of the College.
An NCAA Division III school, Carleton College sponsors approximately 20 intercollegiate athletic teams for both men and women, including a variety of varsity sports and club teams. Most popular sports activities include baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, and football.