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College Catalog

College Overview

  • About Carthage

    Founded in 1847, Carthage College combines an environment of reflection and self-discovery with a culture of high expectation so our students uncover and ignite their true potential.

    As a four-year, private liberal arts college with roots in the Lutheran tradition, we place a strong emphasis on helping students develop a distinct moral and intellectual compass so they become perceptive, resourceful, and grounded individuals. Our rich academic experience equips students with foundational knowledge and skills, while our emphasis on real-world experiences gives them the opportunity to learn in a professional context.

    Our state-of-the-art campus, a beautiful arboretum spanning more than 80 acres on the shore of Lake Michigan, has a prime location in Kenosha, Wisconsin, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Our vibrant community includes 150 scholars, 2,600 full-time students, and 200 part-time students. Our student-centered academic and cocurricular experience results in graduates who are prepared to lead meaningful, productive lives.

  • The Carthage Mission

    Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together. 

    To read the full mission, with statements of principle, go to

  • Faith and Spirituality

    From its inception, Carthage College has been identified with the Lutheran tradition. The College’s mission statement and strategic plan affirm spiritual development of our students as a primary purpose. Along with this identity, religious inclusiveness is an intentional and specific objective. The student body and faculty represent many traditions, philosophies, and religions. It is the intent of the Center for Faith and Spirituality (CFS) to support the spiritual needs of all and helps all students prepare for careers by encouraging and nurturing personal spirituality, strong social ethics, respect for religious diversity, and sense of vocation (calling).

    Religious life is enhanced by students. The CFS hires students to work with worship, small groups, congregational outreach, interfaith, service, and more. There are other student organizations, including Better Together and Catholics at Carthage. These groups are supported by the Center for Faith and Spirituality, located in the A. F. Siebert Chapel. A local chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is also active on campus, as well as the Free Thinkers Society, Muslim Student Association, Jewish Awareness Association, Meditation Club, and Pagan Forum. Most worship experiences are held in the Siebert Chapel. There are three other smaller chapels on campus. Each is available for use by registered campus groups.

    Worship Life

    An ordained ELCA pastor serves as the Campus Pastor and Director of the CFS. Carthage has strong relations with area congregations and students are encouraged to connect with those congregations for worship during the weekend. A Roman Catholic Mass is held on Sunday evenings. A chapel service, where communion is served, is held each Tuesday during community time. On Thursday, Interfaith Lunch is available in the afternoon and student-led SPIRIT (Students Promoting Inclusivity Rooted In Togetherness) Worship is in the evening. There are a variety of small groups that meet throughout the week as well.

    Another focus of the CFS is personal counsel. The Campus Pastor is available to students, staff, and faculty for consultation and pastoral care. Issues of stress involving personal relations, religious insights, and confrontation with new intellectual challenges are discussed in confidence. Communication between students and parents is mediated with the permission of each. It is the purpose of the Campus Pastor to be available for spiritual support when a rabbi, priest, pastor, or an imam is not locally available. The mission of the CFS is to connect faith and life issues for the benefit of all.

  • Library and Information Services

    Hedberg Library is home to Library and Information Services (LIS). Named for Donald Hedberg, a 1950 Carthage graduate, Hedberg Library supports the educational program of the College by providing students and faculty with the resources, services, support, and inspirational space they need to pursue their course assignments and research. LIS supports traditional and electronic library services, information technology, and media, audiovisual, and equipment loans.

    Hedberg Library has several technology-enhanced classrooms, the 75-seat Niemann Media Theater, and collaborative and individual study rooms. Also in the Hedberg Library, the Staubitz Archives document the life of Carthage by collecting, preserving, and providing access to records and artifacts representing its rich history, the publications of faculty and staff, and the activities of the Carthage community. The Brainard Writing Center, on the main level, is staffed by trained Writing Fellows who provide assistance for any written assignment. And, Donna’s Bytes, in the east section of Hedberg Library, provides food, beverages, and a relaxing atmosphere for students to unwind and enjoy discussions, lake views, or sitting in front of the fireplace.

    LIS provides a physical and electronic collection of books, periodicals, audio and video recordings, microforms, and other materials. The growing collection contains more than 1 million unique resources. Laptop computers, iPads, camcorders, and other production and presentation equipment are available for loan. The library includes the Center for Children’s Literature, which features a large collection of children’s books.

    Through interlibrary loan and our memberships in the Wisconsin Interlibrary Services and the Center for Research Libraries, Carthage students and faculty have access to the combined resources of virtually all the libraries in the nation. Reference, interlibrary borrowing, resource development, instructional technology assistance, and information literacy instruction are provided to the Carthage community. Media production assistance and videoconferencing services are also available to students and faculty alike.

    The LIS information desk provides library reference desk and technology help desk assistance and is available virtually and during library hours for those who have research questions or need assistance with hardware, software, or media. Open 100 hours per week, the library has a generous loan policy. Students are encouraged to use the library’s resources and make suggestions for resources not currently owned.

    LIS technology staff maintain an extensive campus-wide network. The network offers users access to campus resources, such as the library catalog and databases, the learning management system, the student information system for registration and degree planning, as well as access to the internet. Using the learning management system, students can access course materials, submit assignments electronically, view their progress, and interact with instructors and fellow students.

    All students, staff, and faculty have access to email, calendar, and collaborative tools provided by G Suite for Education. Free and discounted versions of other software are available through LIS. Computer labs are located in academic buildings, providing more than 250 public access computers, and all of Carthage’s classrooms are technology enhanced with multimedia capabilities. Rooms in the residence halls have both wireless and direct Ethernet network access connections, as well as digital cable television. Students bringing their own computers and other digital devices should consult the LIS web page for more information:

  • Accreditation

    Carthage has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission* since 1916, when the association became the primary accrediting agency for schools in the Midwest.

    Several of the College’s departments and programs have sought specialized accreditation or approval in their discipline. Additionally, where required, Carthage has received the appropriate state approvals.

    The Athletic Training Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

    The chemistry major has been approved by the American Chemical Society, which promotes excellence in chemistry education for undergraduate students.

    Carthage’s new nursing program has been reviewed and approved by the Higher Learning Commission. The program has also received approval from the Wisconsin Board of Nursing to admit students. Carthage is a member of the National League of Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Carthage College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

    The Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

    The Teacher Education Programs for positions in elementary/middle, secondary, cross-categorical special education, and music, art, and physical education are fully approved education preparation programs by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and lead to Wisconsin educator licensure.

    Carthage is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements). SARA is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.

    Carthage also maintains membership in the American Council on Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, American Association of College and University Summer Sessions, American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers, Association of College Admission Counselors, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, and Wisconsin Independent Colleges of Teacher Education. Carthage is approved by the American Association of University Women.

    * Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, 1-800-621-7440.

  • The Undergraduate Degree

    The course of study offers sound academic preparation for advanced studies in graduate or professional schools, and for a variety of careers in business, industry, science, education, sports, music, and full-time Christian service. Similarly, the undergraduate program prepares students for medicine, engineering, government, law, social service, nursing, and theology.

    Students interested in health professions focus on prerequisites for admission to particular professional schools. The following courses are prerequisites for most medical programs: one year of biology, one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, and one year of physics. Students need to become familiar with the additional prerequisites of the particular school or program to which they plan to apply.

    Students may prepare for government service through a variety of majors including economics, political science, modern languages, geoscience, chemistry, history, mathematics, management, physics, and sociology.

    Pre-law and pre-seminary students may concentrate their studies in a discipline of their choosing. While most prelaw students major in political science or history, law schools accept students with majors in other areas. Carthage recommends that, in addition to courses in their major, students take expository composition, accounting, American government, American history, Constitutional law, economics, ethics, legal theory, logic, psychological science, and statistics. While most pre-seminary students major in religion, seminaries accept students with majors in other areas. All pre-seminary students are advised to take at least five courses in religion as a background for graduate study.

    Criminal justice, psychological science, social work, and sociology majors are prepared for careers in social service as one of their options.

    For dual-degree programs in engineering and occupational therapy, see Special Programs.

    Carthage offers the Bachelor of Arts degree for most majors, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Students can major in:

    • Accounting
    • Allied Health Science
    • Art Education
    • Art History
    • Asian Studies
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Chinese
    • Communication
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Data Science
    • Economics
    • Education
      • Cross-Categorical Special Education (K-12)
      • Elementary/Middle (Middle Childhood through Early Adolescence) (1-8) Education*
      • Secondary Education (Early Adolescence through Adolescence) (5-12) minor only (in conjunction with approved major)
      • Broad Field Social Science (in conjunction with a secondary education minor)
    • English
    • Environmental Science
    • Exercise and Sport Science
    • Finance
    • French
    • Geographic Information Science
    • Geoscience
    • German
    • Graphic Design
    • History
    • International Political Economy
    • Japanese
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Music Education
    • Music, Emphasis in Music Theatre
    • Neuroscience
    • Nursing (BSN)
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Public Relations
    • Religion
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Spanish
    • Studio Art
    • Theatre
    • Theatre Performance
    • Theatre Technical Direction
    • Theatrical Costume Design
    • Theatrical Stage Management

    * To review the Carthage report submitted in compliance with Section 207 of Title II of the Higher Education Act, visit

  • The Graduate Degree

    Carthage offers master’s degrees in the fields of business, music, athletic training, and education. The offerings include the Master of Science (MSc) in Business Design and Innovation, the Master of Music (M.M.) in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy, the Master of Arts in Athletic Training (MA-ATH), and the Master of Education (M.Ed.).

    M.Ed. concentrations include Curriculum and Instruction, Curriculum and Instruction with Reading License #316, Teacher Leadership, Teacher Leadership with Reading License #17, Higher Education, Educational Administration (K-12) with License #51, English as a Second Language with License #1395, and Bilingual with License #1023. In addition, several add-on licenses are available, including Wisconsin Reading Teacher Licensure (K-12) License #316, Cross-Categorical Special Education License, English as a Second Language, and Bilingual.

  • Intercollegiate Athletics

    The Athletics Department offers an opportunity for students to participate in a wide variety of sports that are designed to improve each student in mind, body, and spirit. Two levels of competition exist to meet each student’s needs. The highest competitive level is intercollegiate athletics for men and women. These teams consist primarily of recruited student-athletes, governed by the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III.

    Men participate in 13 sports. Fall: cross-country, football, soccer. Winter: basketball, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, and wrestling. Spring: baseball, golf, outdoor track and field, tennis, volleyball, and lacrosse. Women participate in 14 sports. Fall: cross-country, golf, tennis, volleyball, and soccer. Winter: basketball, bowling, indoor track and field, swimming and diving, and wrestling. Spring: outdoor track and field, softball, water polo, and lacrosse. The Director of Athletics is responsible for these departmental programs and reports to the President of the College.

    The second level of competition is club sports and intramurals. These programs are recreational, but club sports involve competition against club teams from other schools or community/recreational programs. These activities are open to all Carthage students and generally require some previous experience in the activity. Club sports include ice hockey and bowling.

    Department Philosophy

    Athletic participation is an important part of the total educational process. It provides students with learning experiences in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains.

    Department Goals

    Provide a variety of individual and team sports for student-athletes with appropriate leadership and coaching/teaching.

    Provide the opportunity for student-athletes to participate in amateur sports in an environment that enhances the very best in competition, sportsmanship, and ethical conduct.

    Assist student-athletes in the development of their leadership skills and teach them to serve as role models for others in the community.

    Promote academic achievement by recognizing NCAA Academic All-Americans, Conference All-Academic, and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll recipients, while strictly adhering to the NCAA and conference academic standards for participation.

    Provide safe, effective equipment and facilities to support each athlete and team.

    Make available fair and equitable distribution of overall athletic opportunities, benefits, and resources.

    Provide a disciplined yet humanistic environment to enhance physical, psychological, social, and emotional development and well-being.

    Recruit the best student-athletes in our region who exemplify excellence in academics, athletics, and citizenship.

    Win more than 50 percent of intercollegiate contests. Finish in the top four of conference standings for each sport with the ultimate goal of winning the conference championship.

    Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

    The Carthage Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is composed of two members from each Carthage athletic team. The SAAC meets regularly to discuss issues that impact Carthage student-athletes at the local, conference, and national levels. Their primary emphasis is to provide leadership opportunities for athletes and teams, while conducting service and community programs on and off campus.

    From the Carthage Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, one female and one male are chosen by the students to receive the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Merle Chapman Leadership Award. This award recognizes student-athletes within SAAC who demonstrate outstanding leadership at the campus and conference levels and a commitment to academic excellence.

  • Special Programs

    In addition to its regular degree programs, Carthage offers coordinated dual-degree programs in engineering, occupational therapy, and pharmacy.


    Engineering students attend Carthage for three years and, upon successful completion of the required courses listed below with certain GPA conditions, are assured admission to a partnering engineering school for completion of the final four to five semesters of what is typically a five-year program. Upon graduation from the engineering school, students receive the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from Carthage and the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree from the engineering school. The partnering engineering school is Case Western Reserve University: Case School of Engineering.

    While at Carthage, engineering students must major in one of the natural sciences, mathematics, or computer science. Required courses for admission to the partner engineering school are:
    Chemistry 1010, 1020
    Computer Science 1810
    Mathematics 1120, 1220, 2020, 2120
    Physics 2200, 2210

    Acceptance into the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University is contingent on both a three-year Carthage GPA of at least 3.0 and a 3.0 GPA in the above required courses.

    Occupational Therapy

    Students interested in the dual-degree program with Washington University in St. Louis attend Carthage for three years and, upon successful completion of Carthage’s degree requirements for graduation and Washington University’s prerequisites, apply for admission by Jan. 31 to the program in occupational therapy at Washington University. Washington University is the final determinant of admission to the program.

    Students who complete the program receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carthage and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree from Washington University. At Carthage, students must major in either biology or psychological science, and must complete six prerequisite courses for admission to the occupational therapy program at Washington University, including BIO 3300 Advanced Human Anatomical Systems, BIO 3310 Advanced Human Physiological Systems, PYC 2850 Child and Adolescent Development, PYC 3500 Abnormal Psychology, an additional social science course such as PYC 2200 Social Psychology or PYC 3850 Adult Development, and MTH 1050 Elementary Statistics. A grade of B or better is required for each. Proficiency in medical terminology and computer competency is expected.

    Applicants interested in occupational therapy programs at schools other than Washington University should examine the current catalog of the appropriate school to determine specific admission requirements.


    Carthage partners with two prominent graduate pharmacy schools, enabling students to earn both a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctor of Pharmacy.

    The 3+3 option consists of three years at Carthage and then three years at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Interested students can pursue any major at Carthage, provided they complete the admission prerequisites: two general biology courses, two advanced biology courses, three chemistry courses, two organic chemistry courses, one statistics course, one mathematics course (algebra or higher), one Writing Intensive course one course in public speaking, four general education courses (physics, economics, ethics, humanities, social sciences, or religion). Upon meeting both institutions’ requirements, qualifying students are assured admission to the MCW School of Pharmacy. The coursework a student completes in the first year of the PharmD curriculum counts toward elective requirements for the Carthage B.A. To earn the bachelor’s degree, participating students must accumulate at least 138 total credits (including at least 108 before transitioning to the doctoral portion at MCW) and meet all academic requirements, including a senior seminar research experience.

    The 3+4 option consists of three years at Carthage (with a major in chemistry) and then four years at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. Carthage students who have met the minimum GPA and other criteria receive priority status and admissions consideration for the PharmD program at RFUMS. To earn the B.A., students must accumulate at least 141 credits (including at least 96 credits at Carthage). Required courses include BIO 2300 Cell Biology and one other Writing Intensive course (in addition to the Intellectual Foundations core) at Carthage, as well as YPHS 503 Pharmaceutics III and YPHS 601A Pharmacology at Rosalind Franklin. To fulfill the Carthage senior thesis requirement, dual-degree participants undertake research at RFUMS in summer.

  • ROTC Programs

    Carthage has an agreement with Marquette University that allows students to enroll at Marquette for aerospace studies courses offered by the Air Force ROTC program. The Carthage transcript lists all courses and grades earned by the students in these courses.

    AFROTC is a nationwide program that allows students to pursue commissions (become officers) in the United States Air Force (USAF) while simultaneously attending college. AFROTC classes are held on college campuses throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; students can register through normal course registration processes. AFROTC consists of four years of aerospace studies classes (Foundations of the USAF, Evolution of USAF and Space Power, Air Force Leadership Studies, and National Security Affairs/Preparation for Active Duty), and a corresponding Leadership Laboratory for each year (where students apply leadership skills, demonstrate command and effective communication, develop physical fitness, and practice military customs and courtesies).

    College students enrolled in the AFROTC program (known as “cadets”) who successfully complete both AFROTC training and college degree requirements will graduate and simultaneously commission as Second Lieutenants in the Active Duty Air Force. The AFROTC program is currently offered at Marquette University, but it has a crosstown agreement that allows our students to enroll in AFROTC and become full-fledged cadet participants. For more information on AFROTC course descriptions, please review For more information on the AFROTC program, please review

    In addition, Carthage College awards military credit from an official SMART transcript. Military credits are subject to all college-wide transfer policies. Students who are able to present a DD214 form proving one year of active duty are awarded credits that satisfy the EXS 0010 and Lifetime Fitness requirement (2 cr.) and 4 general elective credits.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $22,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …