Carleton College

Northfield, MN

Get to know Carleton College

School Profile

College Town campus setting

2,044 undergraduate students

548 first-year students

50 U.S. states represented

13% First-generation students


21% applicants admitted

76% in top 10% of their graduating class

ACT middle 50%: 32-35


33 majors and 38 minors

Student-to-faculty ratio 8:1

Average class size 17 students

Introduction to Carleton College

Carleton is a top 10 liberal arts college where professors are consistently ranked the best in the nation for their commitment to teaching. A co-ed, residential college of about 2,000 students, Carleton is located just 45 minutes south of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Northfield, Minnesota, which is often cited among the best college towns in the country.

Made up of a collaborative community where students and faculty work together, Carleton’s small classes and top-ranked professors create a rigorous yet highly supportive academic environment. The College offers 33 majors and 38 minors in addition to other areas of study, so you’ll have plenty to explore before declaring your major at the end of your sophomore year. With the trimester system, students at Carleton cover a semester’s worth of material in a 10-week period, three times per year, allowing for a fast-paced yet in-depth academic experience (as well as a full six weeks of winter break). Constantly curious, Carleton students take their work seriously, but not themselves, and they’re always down to help each other out. The cooperative campus environment contributes greatly to the College’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity, which infuse every aspect of the Carleton experience.

Outside of the classroom, Carleton students are active in over 200 student-led organizations on campus. From the Frisbee toss during New Student Week in the fall, to broomball on the Bald Spot ice rinks in the winter, to Spring Concert at the end of the academic year, Carls have fun regardless of the season. They also love to explore Carleton’s expansive arboretum, which boasts 15 miles of trails across 800 acres of land and is used for recreation, classes, and research. Carleton’s Off-Campus Studies (OCS) office and the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) create dynamic opportunities for students to learn with and from others all over the world as well as in the local community. About 70% of students study abroad during their time at Carleton, 69% participate in community or civic engagement, and 77% are engaged in research. During their four years on campus, Carleton students get a world class education, discover their passions, and make lifelong friends.

Carleton students focus on three courses each 10-week term — fall, winter, and spring, giving them the opportunity to explore diverse interests.

All Carleton students do a comprehensive senior project called “comps,” which usually involves original research or creative expression. 

Explore Carleton College through photos

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