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About the Carleton Summer Science Institute

The Carleton Summer Science Institute will help students learn to think and write like a scientist by doing science. That is, CSSI students, faculty, and Carleton undergraduate research assistants will engage in classroom and hands-on research related to faculty and student interests. Students will complete a collaborative guided research project which will culminate in a presentation at the CSSI Research Symposium held at the end of the program.

Participants will rotate through three, one week courses which focus on important concepts in the field of the faculty member in order to gain a deeper understanding about interrelation of the scientific fields. Students also will have the opportunity to participate in forums and informal discussions about emerging questions in science, ethics, public policy, science writing, and other topics of interest.


The Carleton Summer Science Institute is a residential program that requires full time residence at Carleton College for the duration of the program.  Participants are expected to remain on campus, with the exception of CSSI-sponsored excursions.  Only in cases on emergency and with the express approval of the Director of Summer Academic Programs, will a participant be permitted to take time away from the program.  No exceptions will be made.

Credit Information

The Carleton Summer Science Institute faculty provides a written evaluation of each student's participation soon after their completion of CSSI. Six Carleton credit hours, equivalent to approximately three semester credit hours, are awarded to participants who successfully complete CSSI.  While these credits do typically transfer to other colleges and universities, it is at the sole discretion of individual institutions to determine the acceptability of these credits.


Classes:  Mornings are dedicated to course work and hands-on activities led by CSSI faculty and Carleton College undergraduate Research Assistants.  Each course focuses on the most important general concepts in the field of that particular faculty member.  Participants will experience all three courses.

Guided Research:  In the afternoon, the CSSI faculty work with a self-selected group of students (10-12 per group) for all three weeks.  Research topics vary from year to year and depend on faculty and student interests.

Evening Discussions:  These informal discussions are organized by the Carleton College undergraduate Research Assistants and Resident Assistants.  The purpose is to provide a forum for informal discussion about emerging questions in science, technology, ethics, public policy, writing, or any other topical issues may be relevant.


Participants are responsible for their own transportation to CSSI.  Those who travel by air should plan to use the Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP) International Airport.  An airport shuttle bus to and from the campus will be available for a small transportation fee.  Carleton College is located in Northfield, Minnesota, approximately 45 minutes south of the airport.  Additional details will accompany the acceptance materials.

Summer Academic Programs