Driving down rural Highway 19 in southeast Minnesota amidst farms and cornfields, it’s hard to imagine that one of the country’s best liberal arts colleges lies just out of sight. Founded in 1866, Carleton attracts a talented, diverse, and intelligent group of students, many of whom were initially considering matriculation into the Ivy League. The campus atmosphere, while intensely intellectual, is at the same time laid-back and friendly and is a great fit for students who want a small liberal arts college atmosphere, and a student body filled with a diverse, eccentric, and fun-loving people.
Prospective students who visit the campus in the summer will have a hard time envisioning what the college is all about because Carleton is really defined by the students, staff, and faculty who populate it. All of these people come together to make the college a supportive, intellectual, and challenging environment in which to live and learn. The class sizes are very small, usually with less than 20 students per room, and all classes are taught by dedicated professors, never any teaching assistants. Bachelor’s degrees in arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences are awarded, giving graduates the skills needed to succeed in life.