Distribution Requirements

I’m trying to understand the graduation requirements, which would seem to require 16 classes to fulfill (which seems a little daunting). If a student takes a course that satisfies two of the requirements (e.g., social inquiry and literary/artistic analysis), can that class “double-count” toward both requirements, or can it only count toward one?

Each course can only have one Curricular Exploration and Intellectual Engagement designation. However, a class can fulfill the Curricular Exploration and Intellectual Engagement requirement and other category (WS, IS, QRE, IDS). My daughter is currently registered for a course will fulfill 3 different requirements: Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Rich, and International studies. https://apps.carleton.edu/academics/liberalarts/requirements/

Thanks @pcmom1 for your explanation. I had actually read the description you linked to, but it didn’t seem to me to be particularly clear on the point (for instance, one sentence says a course can only have one designation, but the immediately following sentence says a course that has one type of designation can also have another type of designation). But if I’m following what you’re saying, a course can count toward two (or perhaps more) requirements, but only, at most, one CEIE requirement, correct? So safe to say that it would not take 16 courses to satisfy the 16 different requirements?..which is really what I’m trying to figure out (on behalf of DS, who is hoping there might be a possibility of a double major, or at least a major and a minor)…

Double majors can be done with a bit of planning and many students have 2 majors, or a major and a minor. Counselors make sure that students with 2 majors graduate on time (in 4 years).Double majors are a bit busy their senior year with 2 Comps.

@AMW1963 , yes, your daughter would probably not have to take all 16 classes to fulfill all the requirements. My daughter is about to start a class that is listed to fulfill 3 of the requirements (at least I hope so). My daughter is planning on majoring and possibly double minoring and this will help make that possible. Check out this link: https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/registrar/schedule/enroll/ You can search for classes and see which requirements they fulfill. I hope that helps

Thanks @CollegeGrad79 and @pcmom1 for your insights. I’ve been getting the impression, from comments on this forum and otherwise, that double majoring was actually fairly rare, so I was surprised by the comment that “many students have 2 majors”. Anyone have any idea what the percentages are? The difficulty of double-majoring is one of the few things (it’s basically that and the weather) that are making my son uncertain about Carleton.

Hi @AMW1963 I’ll answer in two parts. First on the weather.Yes, it’s cold and yes it snows in Northfield. This year was a bit exceptional all throughout the Midwest. Would say once every 5 years or so Northfield gets a harsh winter and maybe once every 5 years or so they get a relatively mild winter with breaks in the cold and snow and suprisingly warm weather for a day or two. (kinda like Denver) Northfield usually gets less snow than the cities in New England and the Northeast that have comparable colleges.Since Carleton has a long break between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, (no school in December) the weather is only a problem during Winter Trimester (the second ten weeks) Colleges on a semester schedule in a Northern climate tend to have lousy weather from mid November to the Holiday break and again in January, February, and part of March. Students can get out of at least one Winter Trimester by planning to take that term off-campus in a warmer climate. About 2/3rds of Carleton students take part in off campus programs and I’m sure that some plan their program to miss one Winter Trimester. I have met students from Texas, the SF Bay area, etc at Carleton and they don’t seem to have any problems adjusting to the climate. Since Carleton is a special place, I bet many are sad to leave.Some of these students even choose to stay in that climate and go on to graduate school, or jobs in the Twin Cities (a vibrant metro area for twentysomethings)

Carleton has a great sense of humor about their climate (and the college in general). Here is yesterday’s (April Fools) press release from Carleton “Carleton College Announces Winter-Free Academic Calendar”.

I’ll put some thoughts together on double majoring in a bit.

@AMW1963 I found this thread on double majors from 7 years ago. Looks like a great discussion of the pros and cons of double majoring at Carleton.

Also a quote by Dean in this article https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/21/liberal-arts-students-fears-about-job-market-upon-graduation-are-increasingly

Don’t know percentage, but while “not fairly rare,” as many students are working on double majors, double majoring is also not fairly common. With the introduction of minors 2 years ago, think a lot more students are interesting in minoring. Most students like choosing from the myriad of subjects that are available at Carleton. Carls seem to like knowing (and are inquisitive) about everything. Many would say this is the value of a liberal arts college like Carleton.

I wouldn’t say that Carleton makes it difficult to double major, would just say that they don’t actively promote it. Wiith so many classes students want to take, in so little time (only 4 years), and having to do 2 Comps, students tend to choose other options. Other parents/students may have a different take on this than I do. By the way, I do know a double major at Carleton, and the only difficulty they had was during one of the trimesters when they were working on two Comps at the same time. They passed both Comps and thought it was an amazing experience.

One thing to consider, at Carleton students don’t “officially” choose a major until the Spring of their sophomore year. By this time they will have taken 18 classes. During this time of exploration, students are exposed to many academic subjects and ways of thinking about the world. Because Carls are very open minded, they often revisit their (incomining) choice of major. Some students come in to Carleton thinking they will be an English major and graduate a Physics major, or they may be sure they will be a Chemistry major and graduate as an Economics major. Quite a few students come in as a x major and graduate as a Geology major, as Carleton has a renown Geology Department. Some students may even change their major after sophomore year and Carleton works with them so that they graduate in 4 years.

I have comments on the weather and on double majoring as the parents of two Carleton grads. My oldest started her college search saying she only wanted to look at schools south of the Mason-Dixon line because she wanted to go somewhere she would be warmer than New England. I think she knew from the minute she first visited Carleton that it would be her school, and never gave a second thought to the weather. Post-script - she still lives in Minneapolis 7 years after graduation. My second did a double major. Admittedly, the two overlapped more than some other double majors would (CS and Math), but he had no trouble completing them with a trimester to spare - he was done at the end of his senior winter term, and decided not to enroll for spring (though he did stay in Northfield).

Thank you all for sharing your (or your children’s) experiences. I don’t foresee the weather to be a deciding factor for my son (though given the anticipated upcoming blizzard - coinciding with our planned visiting days - I could be wrong about that!); however, the potential double major thing is a crucial consideration. I appreciate that many students ultimately don’t end up majoring in the area they expected, but in a sense you’ve hit the nail on the head. I very much want him to have the experience of “trying” new and different fields (economics, anthropology, psychology, etc.), but I’m concerned that, if he wants to preserve the possibility of doing a math/music double major, and he’ll need to take a year of a foreign language his first and/or second year, the “slots” left for such exploration will be somewhat limited. Still, I’m feeling more positive about it now that I understand that it will not require 16 different classes to fulfill the 16 “requirements”.

As Carleton is on the trimester system, with students taking about 36 six credit classes, students seem to have quite a few “slots” open after taking a Foreign Language and double majoring. Just a guess, but think that a student could have at least 10, maybe even 12 classes for exploration, if the double major was planned well (and in advance). Also a student could easily fit in an off-campus study program in their major and/or possible one not in their major.

My DD is planning to double major and study abroad. She planned out her courses toward the end of freshman year. She found departments very willing to work with her to make sure she could fit in everything. One major was in her mind when applying, one was a totally new interest she found there. I like that they pick classes three times a year as they are able to adjust their path fairly quickly. I wonder if some classes could fulfill a requirement and count toward the major. As for the weather, she loves the snow and thinks it’s beautiful.