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, applications, and deadlines.

Off-Campus Study

70% of the class of 2011 participated in off-campus study during their years at Carleton. Carleton offers a changing selection of seminars and 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 other non-Carleton institution-led programs.  Students who plan to participate in a non-Carleton program must complete an OCS petition and receive approval from the OCS office prior to participation.

Carleton Off-Campus Study 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 2012-2013 academic year, the following programs will be part of the Carleton curriculum. A brochure and application are available for each program in Leighton 119, as well as on the OCS 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 the Midlands, London, sites near Cambridge in East Anglia, and a trip to the Continent, will expand the classroom study.

Director: Michael Hemesath, Professor of Economics and Steven Strand, Professor of Economics


  • ECON 221 Contemporary British Economy, 4 credits
  • ECON 222 The Industrial Revolution in Britain, 6 credits
  • ECON 223 The Life of J.M. Keynes, 4 credits, S/CR/NC
  • ECON 224 Economics of Multinational Enterprises, 4 credits

Chinese Studies Seminar in China, fall term, 18 credits

Chinese language and culture program, based at Tongji University, one of the more prestigious universities in Shanghai and at Nankai University in Tianjin, the third largest city in China. Language study, Chinese civilization, society, and culture including art, Taichi, and/or other martial arts. Modern accommodations in an international dormitory will provide ample opportunity to speak Chinese and experience Chinese culture.

Director: Qiguang Zhao, Professor of Chinese


  • CHIN 207/307: Chinese Language, 9 credits
  • CHIN 212: Chinese Culture, 3 credits, S/CR/NC
  • CHIN 282: Chinese Civilization, 6 credits

Cross-Cultural Psychology Seminar in Prague, fall term, 18 credits

Students live and study in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The course of study includes cross-cultural psychopathology, modern Central European history, and elementary Czech language or modern Czech art. To help experience the culture and history of the region firsthand, students will participate in lectures, discussions, cultural events, walking tours, and out-of-town trips, including Krakow and the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Poprad and the High Tatra mountains in Slovakia, and the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.

Director: Ken Abrams, Assistant Professor of Psychology


  • PSYC 358: Cross-Cultural Psychopathology, 6 credits
  • EUST 279: Nationalism, Minority, and Migration, 6 credits
  • PSYC 290: Directed Reading, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • PSYC 400: Integrative Exercise (Comps – required for seniors), 4 credits, S/CR/NC
  • Electives:

           - LCST 101: Communicating in the Czech Republic, 4 credits, S/CR/NC, or

           - ARTH 215: Modern Art in the Czechlands: Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries, 4 credits, S/CR/NC

Spanish Seminar in Madrid, fall term, 18 credits

Spanish language program for advanced students, based in Madrid’s Instituto Superior de Arte. 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 290 Independent Reading, 2 credits, S/CR/NC
  • SPAN 209 Contemporary Spanish History, 6 credits
  • SPAN 247 Spanish Art from El Greco to Picasso, 4 credits
  • SPAN 349 Madrid: Theory and Practice of Urban Life, 6 credits

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

The program focuses on the study of conflict between conservation and development. Students will travel throughout northern Tanzania, the highlands of Ethiopia, as well as to the birthplace of coffee in Ethiopia. The academic program centers on directed learning modules and independent fieldwork with an emphasis on teamwork. Visits to cultural sites and interactions with Tanzanian and Ethiopian scientists are important aspects of the program.

Director: Tsegaye Nega, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies


  • ENTS 264: Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, 6 credits
  • ENTS 280: Research Projects on Conservation and Development, 4 credits
  • ENTS 284: Cultural Studies,
  • ENTS 285: Wildlife Conservation and Livelihoods, 6 credits

Ecology Seminar in Australia, winter term, 18 credits

The main goal of the program is to explore ecological features of coastal environments in order to understand how natural and anthropogenic disturbances are impacting these systems. Fieldwork is the essential part of the program. Shorelines, rocky intertidal areas, the Great Barrier Reef, and the rain forests will be the classroom. Variety of lodging at research stations, dorms, hostels, and camping.

Director:  Annie Bosacker, Visiting Assistant 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, 4 credits

English Theater and Literature Seminar in London, winter term, 16 credits

The London program will immerse students in the best and most varied performances the city has to offer, and will 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 may travel to Stratford-on-Avon to see Royal Shakespeare Company productions.

Director: David Wiles, Associate Professor of Theater


  • ENGL 278: Imperial Britain, Then and Now, 4 credits (S/CR/NC)
  • ENGL 282: London Theater, 6 credits
  • ENGL 286: After Sunset: British Fiction, Film, and Drama 1945-1989, 6 credits

Studio Art Seminar in the South Pacific, winter term, 18 credits

The goal of this program is to bring together studio art practice with the challenges and advantages of off-campus study—drawing from nature in a new environment, studying social issues in the context of a foreign setting, and producing narrative work in response to travel. In the first half of the seminar students will study Polynesian culture, the Coromandel Peninsula, and the Tongariro National Park. The second half of the seminar will include a few weeks in Sydney, Australia, a trip to the rain forest of Lamington, and a visit to the Great Barrier Reef.

Director: Fred Hagstrom, Professor of Studio Art


  • ARTS 212: Mixed Media Drawing, 6 credits
  • ARTS 274: Printmaking, 6 credits
  • ARTS 275: The Physical and Cultural Environment of Australia and New Zealand, 6 credits, S/CR/NC, RAD, SS
  • PE 136: Independent Activity—Snorkeling, Diving, and Hiking, Optional PE Credit

French Studies Seminar in Paris, spring term, 18 credits

The program will make extensive use of local resources, both in Paris and in Madrid, 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 249/349 European Identities: Paris & Madrid, 6 credits

Students select two of the following courses:

  • FREN 208 Cultural Themes, 6 credits
  • FREN 246 Modern French Art,  6 credits
  • FREN 247 France and the European Union, 6 credits

History, Religion, and Urban Change in Rome

Centered in Rome, this program will provide students with opportunities to study the people, identity, politics, urban landscape, and religion of the historically rich city, during Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and beyond. Students will experience and explore the city and environs in depth, and learn how to investigate this experiential knowledge through the examination of texts, images, sites, and landscapes. Each course will have many site visits inside and outside Rome, as well as assignments that require independent exploration.

Directors: Victoria Morse, Associate Professor of History and William North, Associate Professor of History


  • HIST 201 Power and Piety in Medieval Rome, 300-1150, 6 credits
  • HIST 206 The Eternal City in Time: Urban Structure and Change,  6 credits
  • HIST 207 A Roman Journal: Travelers’ Accounts as Source and Experience, 3 credits
  • LCST 101 Italian Language, 3 credits

Society, Culture, and Language in Peru, spring term, 18 credits

Based in Lima, Peru’s capital, students will observe the differing sides and the contradictions and paradoxes of modernization in the developing world. The program’s primary objective is to create conditions for the students to reflect on such reality and the cultural artifacts created by the peoples of Peru.

Director: José Cerna Bazán, Professor of Spanish


  • SPAN 211 Writing and Conversation, 6 credits
  • SPAN 269 Diversity, Conflict, and Culture in Peru 6 credits
  • LTAM 365 Current Issues in Development and Social Movements in Peru, 6 credits

Winter Break Programs

Carleton offers four winter break programs in 2012-2013. Students register for a fall term course, spend two weeks on site during winter break, and return to campus winter term for a follow-up course. These programs are made possible by the Peter G. Thurnauer Memorial Winter Break Programs Fund and the West Fund.

Voice and Visibility: Afro-Arab Women’s History

This program explores the historical development of the African Diaspora in an Arab Society and examines Arab history and culture from the perspective of Afro-Arab women. Students will spend the two-week field study component in Dubai, studying its rise from being a pearling and fishing village to a global trading and tourism hub. While there, students will meet Emirati religious leaders and Arab news editors and journalists. Excursions to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world.

Director: Thabiti Willis, Assistant Professor of History


  • Fall term course: HIST 280 Africans in the Arab World, 6 credits
  • Winter break field work and Winter term course:  HIST 286 Africans in the Arab World: On Site and Revisited, 6 credits

Biogeoscience in Belize: Tropical Marine and Marginal Marine Organisms and their Environments

This program will focus on tropical marine and marginal marine organisms and their interactions with the physical environments. The goal is to better understand the tropical reef, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems and the stresses being placed upon them. Fieldwork will be an essential part of the program, which is designed to appeal to students interested in biology, geology and environmental science. The two-week winter break component is in Belize at the University of Belize Calabash Caye Field Station.

Director: Clint Cowan, Professor of Geology


  • Fall term course: GEOL 232  Tropical Marine Biogeoscience, 6 credits
  • Winter break field work and Winter term course: GEOL 233  Research Projects on the Belize Tropical Marine System, 6 credits

Dream and Reality in Turn-of-the-Century Vienna

Students will examine the beginnings of Modernism in Austrian culture, music, theater, art, architecture, and philosophy, focusing on literature within its wider context. The group will survey the history and culture of the period between 1870 and 1930, with the primary focus on the period from around 1890-1920. During the two-week winter break field trip to Vienna, students will visit museums and see the architecture and art studied in the fall term course. Lectures and discussions will be in German.

Director: Anne Ulmer, Professor of German


  • Fall term course: GERM 345 Vienna: Dream and Reality, 6 credits
  • Winter break field work and Winter term course: GERM 346  Viennese Culture on Site, 6 credits

Microeconomic Development: Bangladesh the Lab

This program introduces students to the structure, performance, and problems of developing economies from a microeconomic perspective by looking at the historical, cultural, structural, and institutional reasons for underdevelopment in developing countries with special emphasis on Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South-East Asian economies. The two-week field trip to Bangladesh will feature lectures by experts in the fields of economic development, gender studies, rural development, and environmental studies. Included also will be  a visits to the Grameen Bank, rural development project sites, and an introduction to the history and culture of Bangladesh.

Director: Faress Bhuiyan, Assistant Professor of Economics


  • Fall term course: ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development, 6 credits
  • Winter break field work and Winter term course: ECON 244  Analysis of Microeconomic Development Models, 6 credits

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, 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 or spring semester

Scandinavian Urban Studies (SUST) in Oslo, Norway, fall or spring semester

Metro Urban Studies (MUST), Poverty, Inequality, and Social Change, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, fall or spring semester

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

Northern Ireland: Democracy and Social Change, in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, spring semester only

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

City Arts, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, spring semester only

Writing for Social Change, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, fall semester only

Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Program (ISLE), 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.


Thirteen programs in the United States and abroad are sponsored by the 14 consortium members of the ACM. 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 Off-Campus Studies office and applications are available on line.

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

ACM Brazil Exchange. Fall or spring semester, adviser: Cameron Davidson, Al Montero and Silvia Lopez

ACM Chicago Program: Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Urban Studies, Chicago. Fall or spring semester, or spring trimester (March-May), advisers: David Lefkowitz, Nathan Grawe, Adrienne Falcon

ACM Studies in Latin American Culture and Society, Costa Rica. Fall semester only, adviser: Mark McKone

ACM Tropical Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences and the Humanities, Costa Rica. Spring semester or spring quarter/trimester (April-June), adviser: Mark McKone

ACM Florence Arts, Humanities, and Culture, Italy. Fall semester or winter quarter/trimester (January-March), adviser: Alison Kettering

ACM London and Florence Arts in Context, Italy and England. February-May spring semester; Florence only, winter term; January option for Italian Language, adviser: Alison Kettering

ACM India Culture, Traditions, Globalization. Fall semester, adviser: Arnab Chakladar

ACM Japan Studies. Academic year, fall semester, fall semester with cultural practicum, & spring semester, adviser: Noboru Tomonari

ACM Newberry Library Program in the Humanities, 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: Cindy Blaha

ACM Tanzania Ecology and Human Origins.  August - December semester, adviser: Bereket Haileab

ACM Urban Education: Student Teaching in Chicago. Fall or spring semester, adviser: Deborah Appleman

Other Programs for Off-Campus Study

In addition to the programs above, which Carleton sponsors or co-sponsors, 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 non-Carleton program, which includes the programs co-sponsored by Carleton, must complete an OCS petition and receive approval from the OCS office prior to participation. 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. 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: go.carleton.edu/ocs.