Off-Campus Study Programs

76% 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. In addition, the Carleton Global Engagement programs are open to both Carleton and non-Carleton students.

Students expecting credit for participation in an off-campus program, whether in the United States or abroad, during the academic year or the summer, must 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.

In addition to the Carleton seminars and break programs, students can choose a Carleton Global Engagement program. These programs enroll students from institutions nationwide.

  • Carleton summer seminar participants must take a required leave of absence during the following winter term.
  • 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

Students can also select from a variety of co-sponsored programs and over 80 additional non-Carleton programs. 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: go.carleton.edu/ocs.


Carleton Programs 2019-20

Economics and European Studies in Cambridge, summer term

Faculty Director: Paul Petzschmann

Founded in 1983, the Carleton Economics and European Studies Program has been located at the University of Cambridge for over 30 years. The seminar explores Britain’s evolving relationship with Europe through the prism of the Great War, the recent Brexit referendum and the writings of its most famous political economists.

Cambridge Program Courses

Irish Studies in Ireland, summer term

Faculty Director: Constance Walker

The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland offer a rich range of literature, culture, history, and politics to study and explore.  This program will immerse Carleton students in Ireland, exploring its contentious history and learning about its culture through modern literature and films, frequent excursions to historic sites, arts festivals, and meetings with local scholars, historians, performers, and writers.

History of Computing in England, summer term

Faculty Director: David Liben-Nowell

Many watershed moments in computing history were the result of British innovations — and Britain owes a great deal to computation, too, particularly the code-breaking work during WWII led by Alan Turing. This program will explore the history of computing, WWII, and cryptography (including the broader context of Turing's life).

History of Computing in England Program courses

German Studies in Berlin, fall term

Faculty Director: Seth Elliott Meyer

Berlin is one of the most fascinating places in Europe, both for its history and for its status as a cultural metropolis. Like no other German city, it bears the scars of recent German history and carries the promises and challenges of a united Germany and a united Europe. It has a vibrant art scene, global startups, a rich and progressive music culture, and countless culinary options. Come discover why Berlin’s former mayor declared, "Berlin is poor but sexy."

German Studies in Berlin Courses

Spanish Studies in Madrid, fall term

Faculty Director:  Humberto Huergo

This advanced Spanish language program is based at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), one of Spain’s top academic institutions.  Courses include Urban Studies, Political Sciences, and Art History, as well as an intense grammar review.  All 20 credits count towards the Spanish major or minor.  In addition to their coursework, students are allowed to audit a course of their choice.

Spanish Studies in Madrid courses

Global Engagement Program: Buddhist Studies in Bodh Gaya, India, fall term

Faculty Director: Arthur McKeown

Through comparative study, the program examines each of the three major Buddhist traditions and their historical development: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Students live in a Burmese Vihar, or monastery, where our highly qualified team of faculty and on-site staff provide an engaging and supportive environment. In addition, the program includes group travel to Varanasi and New Delhi, as well as a month-long Independent Study Project at the end of the semester that includes the opportunity to travel to a Buddhist community in India or neighboring countries.

Buddhist Studies in Bodh Gaya course

Global Engagement Program: Women's and Gender Studies in Europe, fall semester

Faculty Director: Iveta Jusová

Since 1984, the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe (WGSE) program has offered students a unique opportunity to explore feminist and queer theory in practice across Western and East Central Europe. Interaction with academics, politicians, activists, and homestay hosts in Utrecht, Berlin, Prague and Krakow encourages comparative approaches to independent research projects.

Women's & Gender Studies in Europe courses

Microeconomic Development in Bangladesh Program, winter break

Faculty Director: Faress Bhuiyan

The Bangladesh trip and its fall and wintre term coursework examines and evaluates a modern understanding of microeconomic development as it relates to--among other things--poverty alleviation, microfinance, rural-urban migration, population control, mutual insurance, social businesses, and women’s rights.

Bangladesh Program courses

Geology in New Zealand Program, winter term

Faculty Directors: Clint Cowan and Cam Davidson

New Zealand is an amazing place to study geology. Plate tectonic processes are active and happen in real time. The country also has a rich Gondwanan heritage. This program will travel throughout the North and South Islands while visiting a range of settings—from mountains and glaciers to terraced coastal plains and sea cliffs.

Geology in New Zealand Program courses

Architectural Studies in Europe Program, winter Term

Faculty Director: Baird Jarman

Spanning four countries, ten weeks, over 100 architectural site visits, and over 2,000 years of history, this program features three courses offering different approaches to architectural studies. One course surveys European architectural history. Another investigates practices and challenges in managing architectural heritage sites. The third teaches observational drawing focused on architecture.

Architectural Studies in Europe Program courses

English Theater and Literature in London Program, winter term

Faculty Director: Constance Walker

Literature, theater, and the arts flourish in London. The city has an incomparably rich artistic and cultural past and present, and is arguably the world’s pre-eminent city for theater. The goal of the 2020 London program is to immerse Carleton students in this milieu, exploring London’s diverse theater scene and studying its literature, art, architecture, and history, with a focus on the Romantic era and its cultural legacy.

English Theater and Literature in London Program courses

Political Economy and Ecology in Southeast Asia Program, winter term

Faculty Director: Tun Myint

Southeast Asia is a diverse and dynamic region of the world. With its population of over 580 million, about one in every ten persons in the world today is a Southeast Asian. Global interaction with the region has been on the rise in terms of tourism, foreign direct investments, education, World Bank development activities, social movements, and global environmental change issues. These local-global dynamics cannot be understood fully without experiencing the livelihoods, culture, ecology, and political societies of Southeast Asia. This program is designed for students to experience, live, and learn on the ground.

Political Economy and Ecology Program courses

Sport and Globalization in London and Seville Program, winter term

Faculty Director: Bob Carlson

What role does sport play in a society? Given their deep sporting history and current success on the world stage, London (Great Britain) and Seville (Spain) provide rich and unique opportunities to investigate how sport and society intersect, as well as how globalization impacts each. The program will critically examine sport and sporting culture in both countries.

Sport and Globalization in London and Seville Program courses

Wilderness Studies: The Grand Canyon Program, spring break

Faculty Director: George Vrtis

Wilderness has captured the heart, mind, and sweat of the American people since the nation’s founding. This two-term seminar and off-campus study program will explore how and why these relationships have unfolded and the importance they hold for thinking about the past, present, and future of Americans’ relationship with wild country.  

Wilderness Studies courses

French and Francophone Studies in Paris, spring term

Faculty Director: Cathy Yandell

A location with a particularly rich cultural history, Paris is today a diverse and dynamic city influenced by many distinct traditions. The program will explore key aspects of the historical, cultural, and artistic foundations of Paris, through both study and experiential learning in the city. The role of France’s colonial legacy in contemporary Paris will also be explored, culminating in a trip to Morocco, one of the most significant sources of French immigration.

Paris Program courses

History, Culture and Commerce: Africa and Arabia Program, spring term

Faculty Director: John Thabiti Willis 

Explore archeological and heritage sites in Zanzibar, Oman, and Bahrain that form an important contact zone in the Indian Ocean World. The program offers a unique view of the rich and living legacies of cultural and commercial exchange between Africa and Arabia in the past and present.

History, Culture and Commerce Program courses

Linguistics and Culture in Japan Program, spring term

Faculty Director: Michael Flynn

In addition to two courses in linguistics, the program will take advantage of its location in Kyoto, the capital of Japan and the heart of its cultural life until 1868. While there, students will explore many aspects of Japanese history and culture, including religion (Shinto and Buddhism), literature of the Heian Period, Kabuki theater, the bombing of Hiroshima, and Japanese baseball.

Linguistics and Culture in Japan Program courses

Language and Culture in Global Russia, spring semester

Faculty Director: Diane Nemec Ignashev

Though its implications have been debated for centuries, Russia's geographic span of the Eurasian continent has contributed to the formation of a rich blend of cultural influences unique in the modern world. Visitors to "Russia" who speak "Russian" quickly discover that both terms share plural meanings: from Lipetsk to Ulan-Ude, from Petrozavodsk to Krasnodar, people(s) of different heritages who call themselves Russian both share a common sense of national identity and take pride in regional and ethnic difference within the nation.

Language and Culture in Global Russia courses


Carleton Co-Sponsored Programs 2019-20

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.

Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), fall and spring semester
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.

  • Art for Social Change: Intersections of Art, Identity, and Advocacy, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, spring semester only
  • Environmental Sustainability: Ecology, Policy, and Social Transformation,  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
  • Ecuador - Community Internships in Latin America (CILA), in Quito, fall and spring semester
  • Italy - Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Justice, fall semester only
  • New Zealand - Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future, fall semester only
  • Northern Ireland - Democracy and Social Change, fall and spring semester
  • Norway - Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging, in Oslo, fall semester only

Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

The ACM programs in the United States and abroad have a resident director for each program recruited from the member colleges. Courses are conducted by the ACM director and by staff at the program site.

  • ACM Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities, fall semester

Great Lakes Colleges Association and Associated Colleges of the Midwest

  • Japan Study at Wadeda University, Tokyo, Japan, fall semester, spring semester, academic year