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Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question about Carthage? Here are some frequently asked questions, answered by Carthage students and our admissions representatives.

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General Questions About Carthage

Where is Carthage located?

Carthage’s campus is a more-than-80-acre arboretum located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Michigan, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. The campus offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan from almost every building on campus, including many residence hall rooms. Easy access to two major metropolitan areas gives students opportunities for real-world experience and networking.
Read 20 reasons we love our location
Take a virtual tour

Will I get in?

Students who applied for the Fall 2018 freshman class had an average ACT composite score of 24 and an average high school GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. More than 50% of entering students are in the top 20% of their class. Carthage accepts students on an individual basis. You will work with your personal admissions representative throughout the application process. Find your admissions representative.

Can I graduate in four years?

Yes. In fact, more than 90% of Carthage graduates finish in four years. Plus, with the Carthage liberal arts advantage, many students major in more than one area. Take Gabie Cypher. She earned her degree in four years with a double major in social work and business management. “To get a degree in two very different fields in four years was the main reason I chose this school,” Gabie said. With some careful planning, she made it through eight semesters without ever having to overload on credits. Read more about the Carthage Advantage.

Can I afford Carthage?

Financial aid often covers a substantial amount of the overall cost at Carthage. In fact, we award more than $20 million in assistance, and the average aid package covers nearly two-thirds of total costs. Find out an early approximation of what you can expect to pay to attend Carthage by using our net price calculator. It only takes a few minutes.

Are scholarships available?

More than 90% of Carthage students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance, including $2 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. The deadline to apply for most competitive scholarships is Dec. 3. Read more about Carthage scholarships.


What can I major in?

Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, including biology, finance, international political economy, education, theatre, and neuroscience. See a full list of our majors.

Do you really know your professors, and do they know you?

Because class sizes are relatively small, you really do get to know your professors. They are approachable and want to help you learn. Professors have office hours during the week where you can meet with them and ask any questions.
Read more about Carthage faculty

Are the professors easy to reach with questions?

Professors are extremely approachable. Professors know every person in their class within the first week, and it’s more than just knowing your name. They know you at a deeper level. They always list their office hours at the start of each semester, and you can go speak to them during office hours or contact them by email. Professors are very good at returning emails promptly. 
Virtual Tour Stop: Hear Carthage students talk about approaching their professors

Professor Tracy Gartner talks with a student between classes in the new Science Center.Professor Tracy Gartner talks with a student between classes in the new Science Center.

How big are your classes?

Our average class size is 17 students. Personally, my smallest class was 3, and my largest was 28. — Answered by Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience

My largest class has been around 30 students. My smallest class was 7 students. — Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry

The largest class I was in had 26 students, and the smallest class size I was in had 8 students. — Taylor Sanders, social work and psychology

My largest class had less than 30 students and that was my general chemistry class. My more major- and minor-specific classes have 10 to 15 students. — Anthony Jordan, mathematics

How do you pick your classes?

During your freshman year, your Student Success Advisor will help you pick out the classes that you need to take. You will be assigned a faculty advisor once you have declared a major. Your faculty advisor will help you choose classes based on your degree requirements. You have the freedom to choose when you would like to take a class, and what times best fit your schedule. 

What are the religion courses you can choose from, and how many do you have to take a year?

At Carthage, students must take two religion courses. One is Understandings of Religion, which provides a basic understanding of the major world religions. Students get to choose their second religion course and there are many to choose from, including History of Christian Thought, Sociology of Religion, Philosophy of Religion, Religion and Politics, Issues in Living and Dying, Post-Exilic Judaism, Luther and the Reformation, Islam, Greek Religions, Religion and Society, and more. There may be other religion classes that are offered during January Term that are not offered during a semester. Students can take their two religion classes at any time during their four years at Carthage. 
See the Carthage Plan for degree requirements

What kind of internships have Carthage students had?

The Aspire Center provides career services to Carthage students, helping students find skill-developing on-campus employment, internships, and more. There are all different types of internships available. Carthage students have interned at such companies as Jockey International, CNH, Snap-On Tools, Uline, Abbott Laboratories, and the Chicago Cubs.
Learn more about internship opportunities available through Carthage

Carthage student Stefano Dolomas interned at JB Tax through the Great Lakes Career Ready Internsh...Carthage student Stefano Dolomas interned at JB Tax through the Great Lakes Career Ready Internship program.

Student Life

Is it easy to get involved in clubs?

Absolutely! Since it is a smaller campus, it is easy to get involved with many organizations on campus. You can even become an executive board member by your sophomore year. My sophomore year, I became the president of Alpha Lambda Delta, an honors society that inducts academically excellent freshmen. Carthage holds an Organization Fair every fall and spring. Attend the Org Fair, and you’ll be able to talk to representatives from every organization on campus, and seek out any clubs that you might be interested in joining. We have almost any club you can think of here, and if we don’t have it, you can start your own! — Answered by Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience
Carthage has more than 130 student organizations. Learn more about Carthage’s student orgs.

What is the community like, both in Kenosha and on campus?

Carthage is a close-knit community where people know who lives on their floor and who is in their classes. Campus is small enough where you’ll see many people you know, but you will always meet new people as well. — Taylor Sanders, social work and psychology

The community is honestly amazing. The RAs on the floor create a sense of community, and you will find some of your best friends living on your floor. I met my best friend and roommate on my freshman year floor. — Anthony Jordan, mathematics

The community feel on campus is amazing. I am from central Minnesota. Having such a good community feel is one of the reasons I love Carthage and do so well being away from home. Because Carthage is a small school, it is easy to have that personal feel. Students go to games, you get close to professors, you can walk down Campus Drive and say hi to multiple people. People genuinely care about each other and look out for one another.

Students don’t have to leave campus unless they are running errands or going out to eat. That said, I love Kenosha. There are a ton of cute restaurants to explore, and the mall in both Racine (about 15 minutes north) and the outlet mall we have in Pleasant Prairie (15 minutes south) are nice places to go shopping or just look around. Kenosha in general is just a fun town to explore, especially downtown by the lake!

All in all, I love both the community at Carthage and in Kenosha. — Answered by Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry 

What is there to do on weekends?

There’s lots to do during the weekends at Carthage. On Friday nights, the Carthage Activities Board (or CAB) hosts performances for all students on campus, such as comedians, bands, hypnotists, and other entertainment acts. Every Saturday night, CAB hosts free movie screenings of movies before they are released on DVD. Also, since Carthage is between Milwaukee and Chicago, the location is ideal. Students can take a Carthage shuttle to the Metra Station and easily take the train into Chicago. Students also can visit the athletic facility and check out any sporting events occurring over the weekend. — Answered by Anthony Jordan, mathematics

In addition to different activities brought to you by CAB, there are sporting events, events hosted by different organizations, and dances put on by fraternities that are open to all students. Stay on campus during the weekends; it is how you meet new people! — Answered by Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry

How easy is it to get to Chicago or Milwaukee?

It is very easy! To get to Chicago, take the Metra train. The Metra station is located 3 miles from campus, and there is a shuttle that goes from campus to the station. The train will bring you right into the city. There is also a bus Coach USA that can bring you to Milwaukee. — Answered by Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry

Where can I eat on campus?

Starbucks is the main place to grab food quickly between classes, since it is located in one of the academic buildings (the A. W. Clausen Center for World Business). Einstein Bros. Bagels is where I grab a bite when I am studying in Hedberg Library. The Campbell Student Union has Baja Fresh, World of Wings, Sub Connection, and the Red Zone Convenience Store, so that’s the place to meet up with a group of people because you can all get exactly what you want from a different place, yet still eat together. The cafeteria is by far the best bang for your buck. It’s all-you-can-eat and has plenty of options that change daily, which is nice because you don’t get sick of the food. — Answered by Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience
See all campus dining options

Starbucks is one of many places to eat on the Carthage campus.Starbucks is one of many places to eat on the Carthage campus.

How bad are the winters? :)

Carthage is in Wisconsin, after all, so the winters tend to be on the snowier, colder side, but it is manageable. During the winter, students do take advantage of the snow by going sledding on the hill across the street from campus, building snowmen, and even having snowball fights on Campus Drive. Sure winter is cold, but it can be a lot of fun, too! — Answered by Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience

The winters can seem pretty brutal to some people. The wind is the worst part. Make sure you have a jacket, and hat and mittens! — Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry

The winters can become a little nippy, but the lake covered in the icebergs is simply breathtaking. — Anthony Jordan, mathematics

Are freshmen allowed to have a car on campus?

Yes, freshmen can have a car on campus. To park in campus parking lots, you will need to purchase a parking permit. Resident student permits and commuter permits are available. Resident student permits allow students to park overnight in designated lots; commuters can’t park overnight in campus lots. Most resident students pick off-campus parking lots with gates, security, and a free shuttle to campus. Permit costs vary depending on what lot you choose. Talk to your admissions representative or the Office of Student Accounts for more information. — Answered by Alex Morton

Do I need to have a car?

Students don’t need to have a car on campus. There are multiple shuttles that are available for students to use. One shuttle goes to a grocery store, as well as a few other shops and places to eat. A city bus comes through campus as well. Otherwise, students will carpool to different places they need to go. — Answered by Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry; and Taylor Sanders, social work and psychology

What is campus safety like?

Carthage Public Safety is definitely present on campus. Public Safety officers monitor the campus and all of the parking lots throughout the day and night. Public Safety also helps students get back to their residence halls and responds quickly to any issue that may arise. If an emergency were to happen on campus, students would receive alerts through email, voicemail, and text message. Thankfully, due to the location of Carthage College, we have very few issues on campus during the day or even late into the night. — Anthony Jordan, mathematics

Do I have to be Lutheran to attend Carthage?

Absolutely not. I’m not Lutheran and I go here. Religious life on campus is as involved as you choose to be. There is chapel time during the week and regular Lutheran and Catholic services on the weekend, but nobody is ever going to pound on your door and force you to go to any of these events. Carthage is a very accepting community, and we have students of many different faiths and beliefs. There are opportunities for students to strengthen their faith through worship services, ministry organizations, and music groups, but I have never felt pressured to participate in anything that I was not interested in doing. — Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience 

Residence Halls

How big are the dorm rooms?

They are pretty decently sized and actually bigger than my room at home. They comfortably fit two beds, desks, chairs, nightstands, and dressers. Also, if students bunk their beds or form an “L” in the corner with their beds, a whole pocket of space opens up large enough for a comfy futon. — Answered by Anthony Jordan, mathematics

Big enough for you to have your own space in the room, but small enough to get close to your roommate, for better or worse ;). — Answered by Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience

What’s it like having a roommate?

Having a roommate is what you make of it. Everyone needs to understand that you might not always be best friends with your freshman roommate, and others may be the best of friends. Either way, communication is key to a happy living environment.  — Answered by Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry

I went through four roommates freshman year and have had a single ever since. I was not personally lucky with my roommate experience, but on the upside, Carthage was very accommodating getting me out of undesirable living situations. I am an only child, so having a roommate was a huge adjustment for me. It was a struggle to adjust, but at the very least, I got some funny stories out of it and got a true college experience. This is just my personal experience, though. My best friend got assigned a random roommate freshman year and has lived with the same girl since then and they are very close friends. It’s the luck of the draw. — Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience

Having a roommate is a large adjustment, but this one individual can become your best friend for life. Carthage does an awesome job of pairing up roommates as long as the roommate survey is taken accurately. — Anthony Jordan, mathematics

It’s great having a roommate! It’s OK if you don’t end up being best friends; it’s just nice to meet someone new and share your college experience with someone who is going through the same new chapter of life. — Taylor Sanders, social work and psychology

Is the Oaks Village housing option available to incoming freshmen?

Yes, freshmen can live in the Oaks Village. Once you decide to enroll at Carthage, you will fill out a housing request form. You can specify on that form that you are interested in living in the Oaks. But please note: That request does not guarantee you a spot in the Oaks. My own personal opinion is that freshmen should live in the traditional residence halls for their first year, and then choose to live in the Oaks their sophomore or junior year. The Oaks are a little more secluded, and it is a little harder to meet new people. If you have a medical reason that makes the Oaks more appealing, you can always talk to your admission representative.  — Macy Anderson, biology/pre-dentistry
See all residence halls

The Oaks Village is Carthage's newest housing option. Its six buildings offer students single and...The Oaks Village is Carthage's newest housing option. Its six buildings offer students single and double rooms with two people per bathroom.

And about our mascot … 

Who is the Carthage mascot?

His name is Torchie, and he looks like the bad guy from “The Incredibles,” but he is so much cooler! — Answered by Jacelyn Peabody, biology and neuroscience

Torchie, the Carthage mascot, welcomes new students to campus in September.Torchie, the Carthage mascot, welcomes new students to campus in September.

  • 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 …