Carleton is located in Northfield, MN in the southeastern part of the state and about 40 miles south of the Twin cities. Carleton is a small liberal arts college with just over 2,000 undergraduates.
“The character of Carleton is the blend of rigor and good humor that permeates everything we do. It fosters depth, creativity, and compassion, both inside the classroom and out. We are joyfully competitive — more likely to inspire one another than jockey for favor. It is what we’re all about: passionate pursuits among friends.”
Students comment on the quirky nature of the school in a positive way. The campus is beautiful and full of lakes, woods, streams, hiking and trails, and even an 800 acre arboretum, or the “arb”. There are a wide range of architectural styles on campus.
Popular majors include: biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, economics, math, political science/international relations and visual and performing arts. Carleton also has a coordinated 3:2 program in Engineering with Washington University in St. Louis. For such a small school, there is a wide range of excellent majors and areas of study. Distribution requirements ensure all undergrads take a wide range of courses and also go deep in their chosen are a of study. Carleton also has a writing and foreign language requirement. Seniors all have to complete a senior comprehensive project. Carleton has a warm and inviting vibe, but it’s a serious school – students are motivated and have a lot on their plate. 70% of classes have fewer than 20 students; “Carls” as they are affectionately called say they are expected to participate and engage in their classes. Carleton is a place of thoughtful students and professors get high marks for their engagement and support. A high percentage of students go on to graduate school.
18% of students are Minnesota natives and the school draws a lot of students from the Midwest. Almost all students live on campus and housing is guaranteed for all four years. There is no Greek life and social life takes place on campus for the most part. Students aren’t allowed to have cars on campus. Carleton competes in Division 3 athletics and about ¼ of students play varsity sports. There are a lot of club teams; one of them being their championship ultimate frisbee which is taken very seriously. If the weather doesn’t deter you, Carleton might be one of the best liberal arts schools in the country.