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Experiential Learning

At Carthage, our immersive academic and professional experiences will equip you with the tools you need. Unique programs like J-Term, Western Heritage, and the required senior thesis will arm you with specific, distinctive skills sets vital to any future career.


Honduras J-Term


J-Term is famous at Carthage. It’s one page of the calendar devoted entirely to whatever you’re wild about. Travel. Volunteer. Perform. Inspire. There are over 60 courses you can take on campus, or go on a study tour led by a faculty member to such destinations as Cuba, China, Ireland, Nicaragua, or the Caribbean. All Carthage students must enroll in a J-Term course during their freshman year, and successfully complete at least two J-Term courses to graduate.


Study Abroad

Carthage is ranked No. 4 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. That’s mostly thanks to our J-Term, when professors lead month-long study tours in 15-25 different countries. But many students choose to study abroad for a full semester or year. To truly become a global citizen, it’s not enough to read and talk about the world. You need to experience living, learning, and working in other countries.


Carthage in Chicago

Carthage in Chicago

The new Carthage in Chicago program takes full advantage of our ideal location just an hour north of Chicago. This semester-long program provides students with the opportunity to take part in an internship or major academic project, a variety of classes, and weekend excursions — all while living in one of the most dynamic cities in the world.


Undergraduate Research

You, your professor, and 10 weeks of one-on-one mentoring. That’s what makes up the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, or SURE. SURE pairs selected students with faculty members for paid summer research positions, including a research budget to help you get the job done right. It’s just one example of how Carthage emphasizes original research at the undergraduate level.


The Carthage Symposium

One big goal of the Carthage curriculum is for students to make connections between disciplines. A Carthage Symposium is a single course team-taught by two instructors from different fields. You will explore one topic through two completely different lenses, enriching your understanding and better preparing you for your future career. All students must complete one Carthage Symposium.


Honors Program

The Carthage Honors Program is rigorous and demanding, but incredibly rewarding for the College’s highest academic achievers. Students who join the program take specially designed courses during their first six semesters, participate in active Student Learning Communities, and complete an Honors Portfolio their senior year. Students who complete the program will be recognized as Carthage Honors Scholars.



Internships are key to bridging the gap between “college kid” and full-time employed adult. Our Director of Internships can help you line up the perfect internship to jumpstart your career. Maybe you want to spend a semester in Chicago, or find an internship at nearby companies like SC Johnson, Jockey, or Abbot Laboratories. You may even get paid for an unpaid internship. Carthage is one of 19 colleges to receive the Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Initiative grant, which provides funding to students who perform unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations.


Western Heritage

Students must complete two seminar courses called Western Heritage, typically taken during the fall and spring semesters of freshman year. Western Heritage will expose you to literature from the greatest thinkers, authors, artists, and leaders of all time — not so you can “ooh” and “ahh” at their genius, but so you can build upon it. You will imagine what could be possible, learn to think independently, and discover what you’re capable of achieving through intense discussions and complex writing assignments.


Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing well is a powerful life skill, and Carthage is committed to teaching you to write well — no matter what your discipline. Carthage’s intensive Writing Across the Curriculum program requires all students to take four courses that are designated Writing Intensive (“WI” in the catalog). The first two of these courses are Western Heritage I and II. Of the remaining two courses, one must be in your academic major; the other can be any WI course in the curriculum. If you are completing more than one major, you need only one WI in one of the majors that you are completing.

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