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J-Term at Carthage

J-Term Basics

What is J-Term?
A requirement that doesn’t feel like a requirement.

During J-Term, or January Term, students take a single course, concentrating on one subject for the month of January. Courses are offered on campus and around the world. All students must complete two J-Term courses during their time at Carthage, although most students choose to participate in J-Term every year. First-year students must participate during their freshman year.

Students diving during a J-Term trip to Honduras.

Off-campus study tours

Many students choose to travel during J-Term. Every January since 1973, Carthage faculty have led study tours to such destinations as India, Sweden, France, Cuba, China, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, and Honduras to teach lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom. Students visit rainforests, islands, deserts, and excavation sites around the world to study biology, geography, history, and archaeology. Most study tours are offered in January — more than 400 students went on study tours in 2018 — but several are also offered in June, July and August.
See a list of J-Term study tours


The Cancer Biology class examined the science behind cancer cells and some promising new treatments.

Innovative on-campus courses

For students who stay on campus during J-Term, there are more than 60 courses from which to choose. Assemble a telescope from scratch. Stage an opera in 30 days. Curate a museum exhibit. Study bioenergetics or the biology of cancer. Courses meet for three hours Monday through Friday, providing time for field trips, guest speakers, research projects, and vibrant discussion. Many students choose to explore a subject outside their majors, giving them a chance to discover new interests and test their creativity. Other students will use J-Term to tackle a tough requirement, like Organic Chemistry, enjoying the extra class time and opportunity to focus.
See on-campus J-Term courses


Opportunities for real-world experience

Some students spend J-Term working as interns for area businesses and other organizations, where they observe and learn under the guidance of qualified professionals. Field placements allow students to acquire experience and career path insights while building valuable professional relationships. For more information about field placements, contact Career Services.

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