Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to know about the 3-3 calendar?

You may have already noticed unusual features of Carleton's calendar. In some ways, it resembles the quarter calendar some of your friends or siblings may be on, but there are significant differences. Our academic year is divided into three terms—roughly ten weeks in length—with the school year running from early September to early June. Students generally enroll in only three six-credit courses each term (credits for participating in music and drama activities are extra). You register three times a year, changing courses each term after talking with your adviser.

What does this mean in practical terms? For one thing, while students at semester schools have to fit their course work into eight terms over four years, Carleton students have twelve terms. A student planning to major in chemistry at a semester school probably needs to start chemistry the first term of the first year—the second semester at the latest—or the student will run into trouble fitting in all the requirements. Because you have twelve terms at Carleton, you can enter a major a bit later; in fact, Carleton students don't declare majors until the end of the sophomore year. As a result, Carleton professors recommend you spend some of your first year trying out new subjects.

  • lluedke, 18 March 2005
  • FAQ courtesy of Advising Handbook
  • Keywords: trimesters, trimester system, academic calender, three terms, semester

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