Off-Campus Studies Programs

78% of Carleton students participate in off-campus study program during their years at Carleton. To meet the needs of individual students, Carleton offers and supports a wide variety of off-campus study programs: Carleton seminars, winter break programs, and spring break programs in the United States and abroad, led by Carleton faculty; Carleton co-sponsored programs, and other non-Carleton programs. Students expecting credit for participation in an off-campus program, whether in the United States or abroad, during the academic year or the summer, should check with the Off-Campus Studies Office, Leighton 119, for procedures, required forms, applications, and deadlines.

Carleton Off-Campus Study Programs

Carleton offers a changing selection of seminars, winter break, and spring break programs every year. These programs offer a related group of courses designed and led by Carleton faculty for Carleton students, using the resources of a site other than the Northfield campus. Students are selected by application two to three terms preceding the actual program. Students pay the Carleton comprehensive fee, which covers room, board, tuition, plus excursions and social events at the program site. Transportation to the site, books, and personal expenses are the responsibility of each student. Financial aid applies to these programs. During the 2015-2016 academic year, the following programs will be part of the Carleton curriculum. A brochure for each program is available in Leighton 119, as well as on the OCS website. Applications are online and found at the OCS website.

Carleton summer seminars require students to take a required leave of absence during the following winter term.

Seminar Cancellation Policy: Carleton College shall have the right, at its option and without liability, to make cancellations, changes, or substitutions in cases of emergency or changed conditions or in the interest of the program.

Other Programs for Off-Campus Study

In addition to the Carleton seminars and break programs, and the co-sponsored programs, students can select from over 80 additional non-Carleton programs, which the student and her/his academic adviser believe will further the student’s educational goals. Students who plan to participate in a co-sponsored or non-Carleton program must complete the online OCS Application for Approval prior to participation. Students participating in these programs pay a $500 administrative fee. The fee will be charged to the student’s Carleton account after the Off-Campus Studies Office has approved the application. Students who are approved for off-campus study by the College may earn up to 54 credits (one year’s worth) to be applied to their Carleton degree. Financial aid applies to one non-Carleton off-campus study program approved by the College.

Students are encouraged to learn more about off-campus study opportunities and information about specific programs by visiting the Off-Campus Studies office in Leighton 119 and by visiting its website:

Economics Seminar in Cambridge, England, summer term, 18 credits

Residing at Hughes Hall of Cambridge University, students will study British Economics, past and present. Numerous excursions, including London, sites near Cambridge in East Anglia, and the Midlands, will expand the classroom study.

Director: Lauren Feiler, Assistant Professor of Economics


  • ECON 221 Contemporary British Economy, 6 credits
  • ECON 222 The Industrial Revolution in Britain, 5 credits
  • ECON 223 The Great Economists of Cambridge, 4 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ECON 224 Cross-Cultural Choice Experiments, 3 credits

Ireland through Writing and Literature: Irish Literature and Culture Seminar in Ireland, summer term, 18 credits

Ireland through Writing and Literature: Irish Literature and Culture Seminar in Ireland, summer term, 18 credits

Irish literature, creative writing, and history and culture of Ireland will be the subjects of study while students explore the past and contemporary Ireland in Ballyvaughan, Belfast, and Dublin. Students will enjoy frequent excursions throughout Ireland, in addition to classroom and recreational facilities at Irish universities.

Director: Gregory Hewett, Professor of English


  • ENGL 257 Contemporary Irish Literature, 6 credits
  • ENGL 260 Creative Writing in Ireland, 6 credits
  • ENGL 274 The History and Culture of Ireland through Literature, 6 credits

German and European Studies in Berlin, Germany, fall term, 18 credits

Based in Berlin, this program examines German and European politics, history, culture, and language. To further explore Berlin and Germany's connections to its European neighbors, there are excursions to Prague, Vienna, and Warsaw. Homestays, daytrips.

Director: Lydia Butt, Lecturer in German and David Tompkins, Associate Professor of History


Participants with little or no background in German will enroll in

  • GERM 105 Beginning German in Berlin, 6 credits
  • GERM 175 Berlin Field Studies in English, 6 credits
  • HIST 248 Berlin: A German Crucible of European and Global Culture, 6 credits

Students who have successfully completed German 103 or who have been exempted from the language requirement will enroll in

  • GERM 175 Berlin Field Studies in English, 6 credits - OR –
  • GERM 275 Berlin Field Studies in German, 6 credits, - OR –
  • HIST 248 Berlin: A German Crucible of European and Global Culture, 6 credits
  • GERM 205 Intermediate Composition and Conversation, 6 credits - OR –
  • GERM 305 Advanced Composition and Conversation, 6 credits
  • GERM 254 The World’s a Stage – Theater in Berlin, in German, 6 credits

With the exception of GERM 105, all courses count toward the German major and the Certificate of Advanced Study in German within designated categories of respective requirements. Successful completion of GERM 205 or GERM 305 will satisfy the College language requirement.

Spanish Seminar in Madrid, fall term, 18 credits

Spanish language program for advanced students, based in Madrid’s Colegio Mayor Universitario Chaminade. Course work focuses on providing a comprehensive view of Spanish literature, history and art. Homestays, group excursions, and participation in lecture series, theater programs, music and art seminars.

Director: Humberto Huergo, Professor of Spanish


  • SPAN 221 Filming Madrid, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • SPAN 229 Current Issues in Spanish Politics,  4 credits
  • SPAN 247 Spanish Art Live, 6 credits
  • SPAN 349 Theory and Practice of Urban Life, 6 credits

Biology Seminar in Australia and New Zealand, winter term, 18 credits

This program introduces students to the thrill and challenges of doing biological research in the field, surrounded by the amazing environment of New Zealand and Australia. The group will spend the majority of its time at field stations or in remote locations in both countries working on research projects alongside Carleton faculty and a team of teaching assistants, local university instructors, and naturalist guides.

Directors: Nancy Braker, Lecturer in Biology; Mark McKone, Professor of Biology; and Gary Wagenbach, Professor of Biology Emeritus


  • BIOL 212 Ecological Field Research, 6 credits
  • BIOL 250 Marine Biology, 6 credits
  • BIOL 307 Evolutionary Ecology of Australia and New Zealand, 6 credits

El Mundo Maya: Socio-Cultural Field Research Seminar in Guatemala and Chiapas, winter term, 18 credits

Through coursework and independent research, this program provides students with the opportunity to examine issues of cultural empowerment, community development, and social change in Guatemala. The program is based in Lake Atitlán and surrounding village communities. The program includes family stays, program seminars, independent field projects and travel to El Petén and the neighboring Chiapas, Mexico to provide and important comparative case study for the coursework.

Director: Jay Levi, Professor of Anthropology


  • SOAN 241 Mesoamerican Cultures, 6 credits
  • SOAN 251 Resource Management and Sustainable Development in the Maya World, 4 credits
  • SOAN 290 Directed Reading, 2 credits
  • SOAN 295 Field Methods and Individual Research Project, 6 credits

Geology Seminar in New Zealand, winter term, 18 credits

The program travels through the North and South Islands and visits a range of settings from mountains and glaciers, to terraced coastal plains and adjacent shoreline and shallow marine environments.  Students will stay and work out of rustic field stations, focus on fieldwork, visit cultural sites, and interact with local scientists.

Directors: Clint Cowan, Professor of Geology; and Cameron Davidson, Professor of Geology


  • GEOL 285 North Island, 6 credits
  • GEOL 286 Topics in North Island Geology, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • GEOL 287 South Island, 6 credits
  • GEOL 288 Topics in South Island Geology, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • GEOL 289 Basic Field Drawing, 2 credits, S/CR/NC


Sport and Globalization in London and Seville, a Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation Seminar, winter term, 18 credits

The program studies global sport, specifically, soccer, its place in culture, history, politics, and economics, as well as the mechanics of the sport. Along with classroom activities, site visits to soccer clubs, schools, and stadiums, the program encourages students to explore first hand British and Spanish culture. The program includes a service-leaning project in Seville where students will coach and teach local school children.

Director: Bob Carlson, Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation


  • PEAR 290  Directed Reading and Volunteer Coaching Project, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • PEAR 338  Global Athletics, 6 credits
  • PEAR 340  Introductory Coaching Practicum, 4 credits
  • PEAR 174  Introductory Coaching Activity
  • POSC 238  Globalization and Development: Lessons from International Football, 6 credits

Urbanization and Conservation in Ethiopia and Tanzania, winter term, 18 credits

The aim of this field seminar is to help students understand the drivers of urbanization in Ethiopia and Tanzania and explore the resulting social and ecological consequences using a hands-on approach. The underlying premise of the seminar is that conservation must be inherent to any successful effort to create livable cities. Accordingly, the seminar will center in analyzing and deploying a critical conservation that can enrich urban planning and the urban environment. Visits to cultural sites and interactions with Tanzanian and Ethiopian scientists will be important aspects of the program.

Director: Tsegaye Nega, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies


  • ENTS 238 Urbanization and Conservation, 6 credits
  • ENTS 239 Urban Agriculture, 6 credits
  • ENTS 280 Research Projects on Conservation and Development, 4 credits
  • ENTS 284 Cultural Studies, 2 credits, S/CR/NC

English Theater and Literature Seminar in London, spring term, 18 credits

The goal of the London program is to immerse the students in the best and most varied performance the city has to offer, and to make use of local museums and other cultural sites to enhance the study of British literature.  The group will attend productions of classical and contemporary plays in London and will travel to Stratford-on-Avon to see Royal Shakespeare Company productions.

Director: Nancy Cho, Professor of English


  • ENGL 277 London Studies Project, 3 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ENGL 279 Urban Field Studies 3 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ENGL 281 Imagining London: Literature and the Metropolis, 6 credits
  • ENGL 282 London Theater, 6 credits

French Studies Seminar in Paris, spring term, 18 credits

The program will make extensive use of local resources both in Paris and Morocco, providing students with a unique opportunity for language immersion, cultural analysis, and personal growth.  In addition to classes and excursions, students may pursue activities such as sports, dance, music lessons, etc. There will also be an opportunity to volunteer in a school in a disadvantaged neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris.

Director: Scott Carpenter, Professor of French

Courses (students enroll in three of the four courses for a total of 18 credits):

  • FREN 208 Cultural Themes, 6 credits
  • FREN 246 Modern French Art, 6 credits
  • FREN 248 Representations of Islam in France, 6 credits
  • FREN 249/349 Hybrid Paris, 6 credits

Turkey: Nations, Islams, and Modernities, spring term, 18 credits

This Program will help students understand how the modern Middle East emerged from the transformation of the Ottoman Empire at the hands of forces of modernity. The plurals in the title are meant to foreground the multiplicities of understandings that each term has. One of the central themes in the program will be the contention among the people of the Middle East over the meanings of nation, Islam, and modernity. Daytrips around Istanbul, excursions to Ankara and Cappadocia, Izmir and the Aegean coast, and Sarajevo in Bosnia.

Director: Adeeb Khalid, Professor of Asian Studies and History


  • HIST 264: The Politics of Gender in the Modern Middle East, 6 credits
  • HIST 269:  Istanbul: Imperial Past, Global Present, 3 credits
  • HIST 261:  Nations, Islams, and Modernities: The Transformation of the Ottoman Empire and the Making of the Middle East, 6 credits
  • LCST 101: Survival Turkish, 3 credits

Japanese Linguistics in Kyoto, Japan, spring term, 18 credits

The program takes advantage of its location near Doshisha University to explore various aspects of Japanese history and culture as well as explore topics in linguistics. Knowledge of Japanese is not required.

Director: Michael Flynn, Professor of Linguistics


  • ASST 284 History and Culture of Japan, 6 credits
  • LING 285 The Linguistics of the Japanese Writing System, 6 credits
  • LING 286 The Structure of Japanese, 6 credits

Political Science in Washington D.C, spring term, 18 credits

This seminar allows students work experience three days a week in a Washington internship and provides over fifty class sessions with leading Washington figures - legislators, administration officials, judges, lobbyists, American and foreign diplomats, and members of the American and international press.

Director: Barbara Allen, Professor of Political Science and Greg Marfleet, Associate Professor of Political Science


  • POSC 288 A Global Conversation, Part I, 6 credits
  • POSC 289 A Global Conversation, Part II, 6 credits
  • POSC 293-07: Global Conservation Internship, 6 credits, S/CR/NC

Moscow and Beyond: Russian Language and Culture Studies in Moscow, spring term, 18 credits

Seminar (whose courses count toward the Russian major and the Certificate of Advanced Study) will include Russian language courses, which meet from six to nine periods a week and are conducted by members of Philological Faculty of Moscow State University. Field trips might include trips to St. Petersburg, Lake Baikal, the Republic of Buryatia, on the border with Mongolia.

Director: Diane Nemec Ignashev, Professor of Russian


  • RUSS 290 Reading for Russia, 3 credits
  • RUSS 226 Russia’s Hallowed Places, 6 credits


  • RUSS 307 Advanced Grammar, 4 credits
  • RUSS 308 Advanced Phonetics and Intonation, 2 credits
  • RUSS 309 Advanced Practicum, 3 credits


  • RUSS 207 Intermediate Grammar, 4 credits
  • RUSS 208 Intermediate Phonetics, 2 credits
  • RUSS 209 Intermediate Conversation, 3 credits


  • RUSS 107 Beginning Grammar, 4 credits
  • RUSS 108 Beginning Phonetics, 2 credits
  • RUSS 109, Beginning Conversation, 3 credits

Agricultural Sustainability in the U.S. and China, winter break 2015

The goal of the program is to explore the possibilities of sustainable agriculture in the U.S. and China. Fall term is spent on campus, meeting and talking with organic farmers, while during the winter break the students travel to China to meet with Chinese farmers. During the two-week China field investigation students perform extensive field experiments planned during fall term and will present their findings during winter term.

Director: David Hougen-Eitzman, Senior Lecturer in Biology

Courses:  Students must register for both courses

  • Fall term: ENTS 260  Comparative Agroecology, 6 credits,
  • Winter break field work and winter term course: ENTS 261  Field Investigation in Comparative Agroecology, 6 credits

NYC Studio Art, winter break 2015

This program allows students to explore the city’s artistic venues and visit working artists in their studios to gain an understanding of the daily pursuit of their profession. During the fall term course, students will develop both perceptual and reflective skills through a series of projects that will challenge the student to explore and refine both traditional and unconventional drawing strategies. During the field trip, work consists of daily drawing requirements and visits to the studios of working artists, museums, galleries and art performances. The seminar continues on campus with weekly meetings where the students’ experiences will be synthesized into a series of drawing projects that will be presented in an exhibit in The Weitz Center.

Director: Dan Bruggeman, Senior Lecturer in Art

Courses: Students must register for both courses:

  • Fall term: ARTS 213 Elaborating on Perception Part 1, 6 credits
  • Winter break field work and winter term course: ARTS 214 Elaborating on Perception Part 2: Drawing, Field Investigation and Portfolio Development, 6 credits

Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon, spring break 2016

This program explores the central issues and questions of how the Grand Canyon and other treasured places have reflected and shaped American cultural, political, and environmental history of the last four centuries. The winter break field trip and spring term course focus on the study of wilderness in American society and culture. The course culminates at Carleton with the completion and presentation of a major research project.

Director: George Vrtis, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and History

Courses:  Students must register for both courses:

  • Winter term: HIST 306 American Wilderness, 6 credits
  • Winter break field work and spring term course: HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies, Grand Canyon, 6 credits

Programs Co-Sponsored by Carleton

For specialized areas of study, Carleton has partnered with other colleges to develop off-campus study programs. For each of these programs, Carleton representatives participate in the management, Carleton faculty often serve as instructors and directors, and Carleton students participate along with others from the member colleges and universities.

ASSOCIATED KYOTO PROGRAM (AKP), IN KYOTO, JAPAN, fall and spring semester, academic year

Students with background in Japanese live with Kyoto families and enroll at Doshisha University in intensive language classes plus two courses each term conducted by visiting professors from AKP member colleges or Doshisha faculty.


These 15-week programs provide the opportunity to learn from local and international faculty who integrate theory with real-life urban issues. Home stays, internships, community immersion activities, and field research are used throughout the programs, which are open to all majors. Individual program brochures are available in the Off-Campus Studies office, Leighton 119.

Community Internships in Latin America (CILA), in Quito, Ecuador, fall and spring semester

Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland, fall and spring semester

The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging, in Oslo, Norway, fall semester only

New Zealand Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future, fall semester only

Art for Social Change: Intersections of Art, Identity, and Advocacy, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, spring semester only

Environmental Sustainability: Science, Public Policy, and Community Action,  in Minnesota, fall semester only

Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, fall and spring semester

Writing for Social Change: The Personal, the Political, and the Power of the Written Word, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, fall semester only


This 15-week program enrolls 15-20 students from eight consortium colleges to study the culture, history, religion, political structure of Sri Lanka. In-depth studies include Buddhist thought and practice, conversational Sinhala, and an independent research project. Students live with host families in Kandy.


Sixteen programs in the United States and abroad are sponsored by the 13 consortium members of the ACM. A resident director for each program is recurited from member colleges. Courses are conducted by the ACM director and by staff at the program site. Brochures about each program are available in the Off-Campus Studies office and applications are available on line.

ACM Botswana:  Development in Southern Africa, spring semester, adviser: Bereket Haileab

ACM Brazil: Semester Exchange Program, fall semester, spring semester, adviser: Silvia L. López

ACM Chicago Programs: fall, semester, spring semester, spring trimester, advisers:

Arts: David Lefkowitz

Entrepreneurship: Jenny Bourne

Urban Studies: Rich Keiser

ACM Costa Rica: Community Engagement in Public Health, Education, and the Environment, fall semester, adviser: José Cerna Bazán

ACM Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, and Humanities, spring semester, spring quarter/trimester, adviser: Mark McKone

ACM Florence, Italy: Arts, Humanities, and Culture, fall semester, winter quarter/trimester, adviser: Ross Elfline

ACM India: Culture, Traditions, and Globalization, fall semester, adviser: Kristin Bloomer

ACM India: Development Studies and Hindi Language, winter quarter/trimester, spring semester, adviser: Kristin Bloomer

ACM Japan Study, academic year, fall semester, fall semester with cultural practicum, spring semester, adviser: Noboru Tomonari

ACM Jordan: Middle East and Arabic Language Studies, fall semester, adviser: Adeeb Khalid

ACM London and Florence: Arts in Context, February-May spring semester; Florence only, winter term; January option for Italian Language, adviser: Susan Jaret McKinstry

ACM Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities, in Chicago, fall semester, adviser: Jessica Leiman

ACM Oak Ridge Science Semester, Oak Ridge, National Laboratory, Tennessee, fall semester, adviser: Cindy Blaha

ACM Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China, fall semester, adviser: Mark Hansell

ACM Tanzania: Ecology and Human Origins, fall semester, adviser: Bereket Haileab

ACM Urban Education: Student Teaching in Chicago, fall semester, spring semester, adviser: Deborah Appleman