Special Study Programs / Off-Campus Study Programs

Special Study Programs

To meet the needs of individual students, Carleton offers a wide variety of special programs including opportunities for independent and interdisciplinary work and off-campus studies. 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 and applications, and deadlines.

Off-Campus Study

71 percent of the class of ’08 participated in off-campus study during their years at Carleton. Carleton offers a changing selection of 10-13 seminars and two winter break programs every year, conducted by Carleton faculty in the United States and abroad. In addition, the College co-sponsors 32 other programs and approves participation of students in 78 programs from other institutions. Other options are available to students through a special request procedure.

Carleton Off-Campus Seminars

Carleton seminars offer a related group of courses conducted 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 and one non-Carleton off-campus study program approved by the College. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the following programs will be part of the Carleton curriculum. A brochure is available for each program in Leighton 119.


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

Director: Radek Szulga, Assistant Professor of Economics


  • ECON 221 Contemporary British Economy, 4 credits
  • ECON 222 The Industrial Revolution in Britain, 4 credits
  • ECON 223 The Life of J. M. Keynes, 4 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ECON 224 Multinational Financial Management, 4 credits

German Seminar in Berlin, Germany, fall term, 18 credits

Located in Berlin, on this language immersion program students improve their German language skills while gaining firsthand knowledge of Germany and its culture through homestays and weekend trips to places like Hamburg and Dresden.

Director: Kai Herklotz, Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Faculty Instructor: David Tompkins, Assistant Professor of History


  • GERM 205 Intermediate Composition and Conversation, 6 credits
  • GERM 244 The World’s a Stage – Theater in Berlin, 6 credits
  • HIST 248 Monuments and Memory: A Cultural History of Berlin, 6 credits

SPANISH SEMINAR IN MADRID, fall term, 18 credits

Spanish language program for advanced students, based in Madrid’s Universidad Complutense. Course work focuses on providing a comprehensive view of Spanish literature, history and art. Home stays, group excursions, and participation in lecture series, theater programs, music and art seminars.

Director: Humberto Huergo, Professor of Spanish


  • SPAN 209 Spain Current Events, 6 credits
  • SPAN 290 Independent Reading, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • SPAN 247 Spanish Art from El Greco to Picasso, 4 credits
  • SPAN 349 Madrid: Theory and Practice of Urban Life, 6 credits


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

Director: George Shuffelton, Associate Professor of English


  • ENGL 291 Independent Project, 4 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ENGL 380 London Theater, 6 credits
  • ENGL 381 Staging the Early Modern City, 1400-1650, 6 credits 

SPANISH SEMINAR IN PUEBLA, MEXICO, winter term, 18 credits

Students take classes at the Universidad de las Américas (UDLA) in Cholula, a city immediately adjacent to Puebla, live with Mexican families, and enjoy Cholula’s and Puebla’s first-rate tourist infrastructure, and commercial and educational facilities. The program includes frequent weekend excursions and day trips including trips to Mexico City, Veracruz, Merida, and Oaxaca.  

Director: José Cerna-Bazán, Professor of Spanish


  • SPAN 206 Grammar and Conversation, 6 credits or
  • SPAN 210 Grammar and Writing, 6 credits
  • SPAN 259 Images of Mexico in Literature and Popular Culture, 6 credits
  • SPAN 261 The Old and the New in Contemporary Mexico, 6 credits

IRISH STUDIES SEMINAR IN IRELAND, summer term, 16 credits

Irish poetry, fiction, and drama will be the subjects of study while students explore the past and contemporary Ireland in Dublin, Belfast, County Mayo, and Louisburgh. Students will enjoy frequent excursions throughout Ireland, in addition to classroom and recreational facilities at Irish universities.

Director: Susan Jaret McKinstry, Professor English


  • ENGL 291 Representing Ireland, 4 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ENGL 349 Ireland in Place, 6 credits
  • ENGL 384 James Joyce’s Ulysses and Dubliners, 6 credits

FRENCH SEMINAR IN PARIS, spring term, 18 credits

The program will make extensive use of local resources, both in Paris and Berlin, 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.

Director: Scott Carpenter, Professor of French


  • FREN 208 Conversation and Composition, 6 credits
  • FREN 246 City of Wonders: Paris in the Arts, 6 credits
  • FREN 249/349 European Identities: Paris and Berlin, 6 credits

GEOLOGY SEMINAR IN NEW ZEALAND, winter term, 18 credits

The program travels throughout the North and South Islands visiting a range of settings from mountains and glaciers to terraced coastal plains and adjacent shoreline and shallow marine environments. Students stay and work out of rustic field stations and hostels. The academic program is largely centered on directed learning modules and independent fieldwork; teamwork is emphasized. Visits to cultural sites and interactions with New Zealand scientists are important aspects of the program.

Director: Clint Cowan, Associate Professor of Geology


  • GEOL 281 Plate Tectonic Evolution of New Zealand, 4 credits
  • GEOL 282 Geologic Mapping and Field Observations, 4 credits
  • GEOL 283 Modern Geological Processes as Analogues of the Rock Record, 4 credits
  • GEOL 292 Research Projects on New Zealand Geology, 4 credits
  • GEOL 284 Cultural Studies, 2 credits, S/CR/NC


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 Atilán 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 for the coursework.

Director: Jay Levi, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


  • SOAN 241 Mesoamerican Cultures, 6 credits
  • SOAN 251 Resource Management, Community Development, and Social Change in Guatemala and Chiapas, 4 credits
  • SOAN 290 Directed Reading, 2 credits
  • SOAN 295 Field Methods and Individual Research Project, 6 credits

FRENCH STUDIES SEMINAR IN MALI, winter term, 18 credits

French language and Malian culture program enables students to experience life in both the capital city of Bamako through homestays, and in rural areas during excursions to several important medieval historic sites. Courses offered in French on literature, film, history and culture, French conversation and Bambara language.

Director: Chérif Keïta, Professor of French and Francophone Studies


  • FREN 250 Film and Society in Mali, 6 credits
  • FREN 251 Negotiating the Past-the Challenges of Nation Building in Mali, 4 credits
  • FREN 252 Literature and Society in Mali, 6 credits
  • FREN 290 Directed Reading, 2 credits, S/CR/NC


Students spend the majority of the time outside, learning how, as scientists, they can address many of biology’s most exciting questions by gathering data where organisms live and die: in the field. Australia is an ideal place to learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with field research. Australia offers myriad habitats, all teeming with its unique flora and fauna. By studying these organisms in the wild, students learn about their evolutionary history, their ecological present, and the uncertain future that all organisms face.

Director: Annie Bosacker, Visiting Associate Professor of Biology


  • BIOL 212 Biology Field Studies and Research, 6 credits
  • BIOL 250 Marine Biology, 6 credits
  • BIOL 255 Culture and Environment in Australia, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • BIOL 290 Directed Reading, 2 credits

RUSSIAN SEMINAR 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 around Moscow might include trips to St. Petersburg, several cities in the Russian North, and Black Sea area of the Krasnodar Region.

Director: Diane Nemec Ignashev, Professor of Russian


  • RUSS 290 Reading for Russia, 3 credits
  • RUSS 228 Russia North and South, 6 credits, RAD
  • RUSS 307 Advanced Grammar, 4 credits
  • RUSS 308 Advanced Phonetics and Intonation, 2 credits
  • RUSS 309 Advanced Composition, 3 credits


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


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


Seminar will focus on American national politics and foreign policy. It 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, and American and foreign diplomats and members of the press. Students will take a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, visit the Wythe house, and take a tour of Annapolis, Maryland visiting the historic state capital, U.S. Naval Academy, and the harbor front.

Director: Steve Schier, Professor of Political Science


  • POSC 289 Seminar, 6 credits
  • POSC 290 Directed Reading, 4 credits
  • POSC 293 Internship, 6 credits, S/CR/NC

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.

Programs Co-Sponsored By Carleton

For specialized areas of study, Carleton has combined 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.


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, interviews, community immersion activities and field research are used throughout the programs, which are open to all majors. Brochures on individual programs are available in the Off-Campus Studies Office, Leighton 119.

  COMMUNITY INTERNSHIPS IN LATIN AMERICA (CILA) in Quito, Ecuador, fall and spring semester

  SCANDINAVIAN URBAN STUDIES (SUST), in Oslo, Norway, fall semester only

  DIVIDED STATES OF EUROPE, in Oslo, Norway and Poland, spring semester only

  METRO URBAN STUDIES (MUST), in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, fall or spring semester


  NORTHERN IRELAND, DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL CHANGE, in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, spring semester only

  CITY ARTS, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, spring semester only

  WRITING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, fall semester only


This 15-week program enrolls 15-20 students from eight consortium colleges to study the culture, history, religion and 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.

Associated Colleges of the Midwest Programs (ACM)

Thirteen programs in the U.S. and abroad are sponsored by the 13 consortium members of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. A resident director for each program is recruited 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 OCS Office and applications from the faculty advisers.

ACM Brazil Exchange, spring semester, adviser: Helena Kaufman

ACM Business and Society in Chicago, fall or spring semester, adviser: Michael Hemesath

ACM Chicago Arts Program, fall or spring semester, adviser: Kelly Connole

ACM Studies in Latin American Culture and Society, fall semester only, adviser: Andrew Fisher

ACM Tropical Field Research, Natural and Social Science, in Costa Rica, spring semester only, adviser: Andrew Fisher

ACM Florence, Italy, fall semester only, adviser: Alison Kettering

ACM India Studies, fall semester, adviser: Arnab Chakladar

ACM Japan Studies, fall semester or academic year, adviser: Noboru Tomonari

ACM London and Florence Arts in Context, February-May spring semester, January option for Italian language, adviser: Alison Kettering

ACM Newberry Library Program in the Humanities, in Chicago, fall semester and other short-term seminars and tutorials, adviser: Jessica Leiman

ACM Oak Ridge Science Semester Natural Sciences in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, fall semester only, adviser: Will Hollingsworth

ACM Tanzania in Human Evolution and Ecology, July-December semester adviser: Bereket Haileab

ACM Botswana: Culture and Society in Africa, spring semester, adviser: Bereket Haileab

ACM Urban Studies, in Chicago, fall or spring semester, adviser: Adrienne Falcón

Other Programs for Off-Campus Study

In addition to those programs above which Carleton sponsors or co-sponsors, students can select from over 80 additional pre-approved programs for general participation, or they can request approval for an unaffiliated program which the student and her/his academic adviser believe will further the student’s educational goals. Students whose off-campus study program are approved in advance by the College may earn up to 54 credits (one year’s worth) to be applied to their Carleton degree. 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.