Summer Scoop: Carleton College

young students with folders on city street

This is a regular series that will explore and focus on different summer programs. Next up, this week’s spotlight is Carleton College. Carleton campus offers a number of different pre-college summer programs for high school students. These programs are offered across a wide breadth of interests and topics. So, read on for more information about these programs!

About Carleton College:

While this is a small college nestled in Northfield, Minnesota, Carleton more than makes up for their unknown stature. They do so by offering a wide array of summer programs ranging from science to writing. In other words, the school ensures that prospective students will find a summer program to align with their interests. The advantages here are clear. For instance, students can…

  • join a focused program and classes of your choosing,
  • enjoy smaller classes and one-on-one attention,
  • explore core disciplines not routinely offered at other colleges,
  • and ward off the bureaucratic and mechanized feel of larger university programs.

Further, for college credit, they offer five different 2 – 3 week programs for high school students. In addition to these five, they also offer a free 1-week summer program targeted at current sophomores. 

Carleton Summer Liberal Arts Institute

Northfield, Minnesota


  • January 15, 2021 – Application Opens
  • March 19, 2021 – Application Deadline
  • Mid-April 2021- Decisions Released

Program Dates: Program dates vary, please refer to the college’s website 

Descriptions by Program:

Local Applied Sustainability3 weeks

Participants learn how faculty from across the liberal arts curriculum are contributing to the global conversation of sustainability. While they do so, students also investigate how initiatives in our own communities strive to address environmental challenges that are globally relevant.

Drawing from Observation – 2 weeks

This program focuses on drawing, building technical skills to better render what is observed. Similarly, participants use drawing to record and think about what we see in our surrounding landscapes. 

Computer Science: Perceiving and Responding – 3 weeks

Students learn about finding computational solutions to two broad areas of interest. Firstly, problems where the computer needs to perceive something about the world in which it lives. Secondly, problems where the computer needs to respond appropriately given a complex scenario. 

Humanities: Ways of Knowing, Ways of Power in the Renaissance – 3 weeks

In this program, students will explore ways of knowing and ways of power in Renaissance Europe. For example, students will use influential texts, cartography, and Shakespeare’s works to contextualize the human experience through the age. 

Exploring Global Pandemics: Personal, Social, and Political Perspectives – 3 weeks

Students can examine how scholars in Psychology, Sociology, Political Science and Religious Studies work. Specifically, how they make sense of individual, group, and nation-state responses to global pandemics including Covid-19. 

Carleton Liberal Arts Experience (CLAE)

In addition to these fee-paying programs, Carleton offers a free 1-week academic program for students who have just completed their sophomore year. During this program, students experience the benefits of a liberal arts college education through classes in science, art, social studies, and technology. Notably, students from across the country are invited to apply for this online academic program.


January 25, 2021 – Application open

April 4, 2021 – Deadline to apply

In Conclusion

Each of these programs are currently accepting applications, so apply now! Don’t worry if you need help selecting a summer program or guidance with the application process. If you do, just make sure to reach out to a Empowerly college counselor. To ask for help, you can book a free consult to learn more below.

Questions? Let us know!