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

73% of the class of 2012 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. Students participating in non-Carleton off-campus study programs pay a $500 administrative fee. The fee will be charged to the student’s Carleton account after the Off-Campus Studies Petition has been approved. During the 2013-2014 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, 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: Mark Kanazawa, Professor of Economics


ECON 221 Contemporary British Economy, 6 credits

ECON 222 The Industrial Revolution in Britain, 6 credits

ECON 223 J.M. Keynes and his Present-Day Legacy, 2 credits, S/CR/NC

ECON 224 The Determinants of Economic Growth and the Modern British Economy, 4 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 Dublin, Belfast, and Louisburgh in County Mayo. 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 Language and Culture 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, Weimar, or Vienna.

Director: Sigi Leonhard, Professor of German


GERM 205 Intermediate Composition and Conversation, 6 credits

GERM 254 Theater in Berlin, 6 credits

GERM 275 Projects in the Arts, 4 credits, S/Cr/NC

GERM 290 Independent Reading, 2 credits, S/Cr/NC

Spanish Studies 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. Home stays, group excursions, and participation in lecture series, theater programs, music and art seminars.

Director: Humberto Huergo, Professor of Spanish


SPAN 209 Politics and Culture in Contemporary Spain, 4 credits

SPAN 247 Spanish and Italian Art in the Age of Velazquez, 6 credits

SPAN 290 Independent Reading, 2 credits, S/CR/NC

SPAN 349 Madrid: 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: Mark McKone, Professor of Biology; Matt Rand, Associate Professor of Biology; and Dan Hernández, Assistant Professor of Biology


BIOL 307 Evolutionary Ecology of Australia and new Zealand, 6 credits

BIOL 308 Ecology and Conservation in Australia and New Zealand, 6 credits

BIOL 309 Comparative Reproduction of Australian Vertebrates, 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 for the coursework.

Director: Jay Levi, Professor of 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

English Theater and Literature Seminar in London, winter Term, 18 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 Shakespeare, British literature and theater, and art. 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: Pierre Hecker, Associate Professor of English


ENGL 278 Shakespeare’s England, 6 credits

ENGL 282 London Theater, 6 credits

ARTH 261 The Art of Tudor and Stuart Britain, 3 credits

ARTS 262 Visualizing the Renaissance, 3 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 Sarah Titus, Associate Professor of Geology


GEOL 285 Geology of the North Island, 6 credits

GEOL 286 Topics in North Island Geology, 3 credits, S/CR/NC

GEOL 287 Geology of the South Island, 6 credits

GEOL 288 Topics in South Island Geology, 3 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


PE 290 Directed Reading and Volunteer Coaching Project, 2 credits, S/Cr/NC

PE 338 Global Athletics, 6 credits

PE 340 Introductory Coaching practicum, 4 credits,

PE 174 Introductory Coaching Activity

POSC 238 Globalization and Development: Lessons from International Football, 6 credits

French Studies Seminar in Paris, spring term, 18 credits

The program makes extensive use of local resources, both in Paris and in 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.

Director: Dana Strand, Professor of French


FREN 249/349 Identity Crossings: France - Morocco, 6 credits

Students select two of the following courses:

FREN 208 Cultural Themes, 6 credits

FREN 246 Modern French Art,  6 credits

FREN 248 Representations of Islam in France, 6 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, 6 credits

LTAM 365 Development and Social Inclusion in Peru, 6 credits

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 Composition, 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

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

Urban History in Beijing and Beyond, spring term, 18 credits

The main objective of this seminar is to help the participants, informed by relevant historical sources and urban theories, reconstruct a visible face of urban change over time. The evolving meaning of the complex relations between national identities and the sites and structures of select East Asian cities will be explored, including Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, among others. Students will have the opportunity to design and carry out an independent on-site research project based on a mixture of written sources, visual representations of a city, and interviews.

Director: Seungjoo Yoon, Associate Professor of History


HIST 158 City Planning and Daily Life in China and Korea, 6 credits

HIST 257 History of Urban China and Korea, 6 credits

HIST 290 Directed Reading: Approaches to Chinese Cities, 2 credits, S/Cr/NC

HIST 295 Individual Research: Mapping Chinese and Korean Cities in Time, 4 credits

Identity and Belonging in the New Europe, spring term, 18 credits

The program invites students to think about the nature of what it means to belong to a political community in the contest of contemporary Europe. It begins in the United Kingdom, using Edinburgh as its base. For the second half of the program the group relocates to Budapest. During the program the students will design and carry out a project involving a combination of field research techniques in comparative politics, including elite interviews, archival research, and quantitative data analysis. 

Director: Devashree Gupta, Associate Professor of Political Science


POSC 247 Comparative Nationalism, 6 credits

POSC 383 Politics of The European Union, 6 credits

POSC 392 Comparative Field Research Methods, 6 credits

Carleton offers one winter break program and one spring break program in 2013-2014. For the winter break program 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.  For the spring break program students register for a winter term course, spend spring break on site, and return to campus spring term for a follow-up course. These programs are made possible by the Peter G. Thurnauer Memorial Programs Fund and the West Fund.

Comparative Agroecology in the U.S. and China, winter break 2013

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

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

Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon, spring break 2014

This program explores the central issues and questions on 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, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and History


Winter term: HIST 306 American Wilderness, 6 credits

Winter break field work and winter term course: HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies, Grand Canyon, 6 credits

Program 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.

Associated Kyoto Program (AKP), In Kyoto, Japan, academic year only

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.

Higher Education Consortium For Urban Affairs (HECUA), fall, and spring semesters

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.

Agriculture and Justice: Building a Sustainable Food System, Minneapolis/St. Paul and rural Minnesota. Spring semester only

Art for Social Change: Intersections of Art, Identity, and Advocacy (formerly City Arts), Minneapolis and St. Paul. Spring semester only

Community Internships in Latin America (CILA) in Quito, Ecuador. Fall or spring semester

Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland. Spring semester only

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

Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment (formerly the Metro Urban Studies Term/MUST), Minneapolis and St. Paul. Fall or spring semester

Making Media, Making Change: Digital Technologies, Story Telling, and Activism, Minneapolis and St. Paul. Spring semester only

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

The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging (formerly Scandinavian Urban Studies Term/SUST), Oslo, Norway. Fall semester only

Writing for Social Change: The Personal, the Political, and the Power of the Written Word, 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.

Associated Colleges Of The Midwest (ACM)

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

ACM Brazil Exchange. Fall or spring semester, adviser: George Vrtis 

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

ACM Studies Costa Rica Language, Society, and the Environment. Fall semester only, adviser: Yansi Perez

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

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. Spring semester & winter quarter/trimester (Jan-March), adviser: Alison Kettering 

ACM India Culture, Traditions, and Globalization. Fall semester, adviser: Amna Khalid

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 Newberry Library Seminar Research 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.