Even though the college today is coeducational, it wasn’t always. CMC was founded in 1946 as a men’s college. It wasn’t until 1976 that CMC began admitting both men and women. The college offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees but focuses primarily on undergraduate education. Total annual enrollment at CMC consists of approximately 1,300 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students. CMC employs about 130 full-time faculty and staff.
A Brief HistoryFollowing the conclusion of World War II in 1946, Claremont McKenna College was founded as “Claremont Men’s College” as its offering at the time was tailored towards male war veterans seeking to advance their eduucation and careers. From its inception, CMC’s mission was to develop business and community leaders in the fields of economics, government and international affairs–a mission continued to the present day. In 1976, the college began admitting women and was given its current name, Claremont McKenna College, in honor of one of its founders, Donald McKenna, an American philanthropist. Luckily the name change allowed the college to continue using its nickname, “CMC”.
AcademicsClaremont McKenna College (CMC) offers over 30 undergraduate majors through 12 academic departments and 10 research institutes. The most popular fields of study at CMC include economics, psychology, government, and international relations. The faculty to student ratio at CMC is 1:9 and over 80% of classes have less than 20 students. The college has a freshman retention rate of 96%, indicating that students are very satisfied, as well as a 4-year graduation rate of roughly 85%.
Outside of their major, students must complete two humanities courses, two science course, three social science courses, and a calculus course in order to graduate. Students are also required take three semesters of a foreign language and be able to pass a test demonstrating their proficiency in the language. Additional graduation requirements include completion of a senior thesis and three semesters of physical education.
Claremont McKenna curriculum places a lot of emphasis on the social sciences, especially government, economics, psychology, and international relations, which not surprisingly are the most popular areas of study at the college. In fact, about 40% of CMC students pursue majors in economics or government. In addition to a long list of traditional majors, CMC also offers a large selection of multi/inter-disciplinary majors including science and management, biology-chemistry, management engineering, public affairs and philosophy, econ-accounting, and economics, environment, and politics (EEP). Through the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, which was founded in 2007, CMC offers a 4+1 BA/MBA program which enables students to earn their Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from Claremont McKenna and their Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. This joint degree program takes 5 years to complete.
Where most four-year colleges and universities offer minors, Claremont McKenna offers “interdisciplinary sequences”. Interdisciplinary sequences include computer science, Asian-American Studies, financial economics, genocide, gender studies, human rights, ethics, and leadership, holocaust studies, and legal studies.
Up until just a few years ago, CMC required all science majors to complete 3 year-long courses in introductory chemistry, biology, and physics. However, CMC now offers a double year-long introductory science course through the Joint Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Pitzer colleges that allows much more flexibility than the previous requirement.
Over 50% of CMC students participate in the college’s study abroad program. While not technically a study abroad program, the Washington Program take students off campus to study government in Washington at night and complete an internship. All Washington Program courses are taught by Claremont McKenna professors.
According to a report produced by PayScale.com in 2009, CMC is ranked number one in the nation among liberal arts colleges for highest starting salary. The average starting salary for CMC graduates is approximately $53,000 a year. However, the large majority of CMC students (about 80%) go on to attend graduate school following graduation.
School RankingsClaremont McKenna College is selective for a reason, it’s one of the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in the nation. In 2010, Forbes ranked CMC the second best college in the state of California and the 9th best college nationwide among all colleges and universities. Consumer’s Digest ranked CMC 8th on its list of “Top Value” among all liberal arts colleges nationwide and The Wall Street Journal ranked it the 8th best feeder school into top law, business and medical graduate schools. Newsweek has repeatedly ranked CMC among the top 25 colleges in the United States in several categories, including “Most Desirable School”, “Stocked With Jocks”, “Brainiac Schools”, and “Great Education, Great Tan”. In 2011, CMC was also named the “Happiest College” in America by The Daily Beast, an opinion website run by Tina Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and Talk Magazine.
Admissions and Financial AidWith one of the lowest acceptance rates in the nation, Claremont McKenna College is a very selective college. In 2012, CMC admitted just over 12% of applicants. The median SAT score for entering freshmen is 1410 and the majority of new students were in the top 10% of their high school graduating class. Claremont McKenna College lives by a need-blind basis admission policy and is fully committed to ensuring that all students that qualify to attend the college are admitted, irregardless of financial status.
For the 2011-’12 school year, tuition was just over $41,000 a year and average room and board expenses were just shy of $14,000 a year. About half of all students at CMC receive financial assistance. In 2011, CMC extended over $20 million in financial aid packages–which did not include any student loans.
Student HousingEvery entering freshman at CMC is guaranteed four-years of on campus housing–and as student life revolves around campus events and activities, on-campus housing is the most attractive option for most students. Dormitories are organized into three regions: South Quad, Mid Quad, and North Quad. In addtion to dormitories, there is a large complex of student apartments (used almost exclusively by seniors) situated along the East end of campus. Unlike many other schools where students are expected to perform all housekeeping responsibilities, all dorm rooms at CMC are attended to on a weekly basis by housekeeping staff.
Each quad is home to several student dorms. South Quad includes “The Towers”, the tallest buildings in the entire city of Claremont, Auen, Fawcett and Stark Halls. Mid Quad is made up of Berger, Beckett and Phillips Halls, which feature both single and double rooms, student lounges, long interior corridors, and shared bathrooms. North Quad is home to Boswell, Appleby, Green, and Wohlford Halls, which are CMC’s oldest dorms. In North Quad rooms open to the outdoors instead of an interior hallway.
ApartmentsAlong the east edge of campus, situated between the college’s athletics facilities and Claremont Boulevard, lie the Senior Apartments. The Senior Apartments are made up of four individual complexes (numbered 651, 665, 671 and 681). The apartments are large enough to house most of CMC’s 260+ seniors, but each year some seniors find themselves living in the dorms when the apartments have filled up. Apartments are allocated to students based on credits.
Most seniors at Claremont McKenna College want to live in the Senior Apartments. Each apartment has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. This setup provides seniors the opportunity to live with three friends of their choice. Apartment dwellers are also provided an attractive meal plan option that allows them to eat at one of several dining halls located on campus. Seniors living in the senior apartments do not however receive the free housekeeping services provided to students living in the dorms. The Senior Apartments also tend to be quieter than the dorms, except for the occassional party.
The Claremont ConsortiumThe Claremont University Consortium, commonly referred to as the “Claremont Colleges” or the “7-Cs”, is composed of a group of five undergraduate and two graduate schools. Together these institutions provide centralized students services such as libraries, dining halls, healthcare, mail, and other facilities throughout the campuses, including Honnold/Mudd Library and the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges, Scripps Performing Arts Center and Seaver Theater Complex, Bridges Auditorium and Concert Hall, Monsour Counseling Center, W.M. Keck Science Center, and the Huntley Bookstore.
CMC students are able to take classes and participate in programs at any other Claremont College. In fact, students can take up to 2/3 of their classes at any other college and can even choose a major from another college if the major isn’t offered at CMC. The Claremont University Consortium also enhances student life as students get the opportunity to meet and interact with students from all seven colleges.
The underlying mission of the consortium is to provide students the resources of a larger university without giving up the benefits of attending a small, liberal-arts schools.
| Admission Office |
890 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711-6425
Fax: (909) 621-8516
Contact: Richard Vos
Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid
| Main Address |
500 East Ninth Street
Claremont, CA 91711
| Size |
Total undergrads: 1,211
First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 320
Degree-seeking undergrads: 1,211
Large town (10,000 – 49,999)
| Application Fee|
College has an application fee: Yes
Regular application fee: $60
Online application fee: $60
| Enrollment Rates |
Percent applicants admitted: 22%
Percent of students who return for sophomore year: 98%
Tuition & Fees
|Estimated Expenses for Academic Year||2008-’09||2009-’10||2010-’11||2011-’12||% change 2010-’12|
|Tuition and fees||$35,190||$37,060||$38,510||$40,230||+4.47%|
|Books and Supplies||$900||$900||$900||$900||0.00%|
|Living Arrangement – On Campus|
|Room and Board||$11,330||$11,930||$12,524||$13,000||+3.80%|
|Living Arrangement – Off Campus|
|Room and Board||$0||$0||$0||$0||0.00%|
|Total Expenses||2008-’09||2009-’10||2010-’11||2011-’12||% change 2010-’12|
|In-state On Campus||$48,520||$50,990||$52,934||$55,330||+4.53%|
|In-state Off Campus||$36,090||$37,960||$39,410||$41,130||+4.36%|
|In-state with Family||$36,090||$37,960||$39,410||$41,130||+4.36%|
|Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students|
|Type of Aid||Students||Percent||Amount||Average Per Student|
|All students financial aid||181||57%|
|Grant or scholarship aid||167||52%||$4,891,705||$29,292|
|• Federal grants||35||11%||$171,345||$4,896|
|• Pell grants||35||11%||$138,220||$3,949|
|• Other federal grants||32||10%||$33,125||$1,035|
|State and local government grant or scholarships||25||8%||$237,846||$9,514|
|Institutional scholarships or grants||167||52%||$4,482,514||$26,841|
|Student loan financial aid||46||14%||$264,454||$5,749|
|• Federal student loans||26||8%||$106,804||$4,108|
|• Other student loans||34||11%||$157,650||$4,637|
All Degrees and Programs
|Program Completions for Most Recent Year||BA/BS||MA/MS||Doctor||AA/AS||CERT|
|Grand Total of All Programs||304||20||–||–||–|
|Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies||3||–||–||–||–|
|American/united States Studies/civilization||1||–||–||–||–|
|Hispanic-american, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-american/chicano Studies||1||–||–||–||–|
|Near and Middle Eastern Studies||1||–||–||–||–|
|Biological and Biomedical Sciences||18||–||–||–||–|
|Biology/biological Sciences, General||11||–||–||–||–|
|Cell/cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other||–||–||–||–||–|
|Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services||20||20||–||–||–|
|Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs||1||–||–||–||–|
|Communication and Media Studies, Other||–||–||–||–||–|
|Mass Communication/media Studies||1||–||–||–||–|
|Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services||1||–||–||–||–|
|Engineering Technology, General||5||–||–||–||–|
|English Language and Literature/letters||14||–||–||–||–|
|English Language and Literature, General||14||–||–||–||–|
|Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics||6||–||–||–||–|
|Chinese Language and Literature||–||–||–||–||–|
|Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General||1||–||–||–||–|
|French Language and Literature||2||–||–||–||–|
|German Language and Literature||–||–||–||–||–|
|Russian Language and Literature||1||–||–||–||–|
|Spanish Language and Literature||2||–||–||–||–|
|Mathematics and Statistics||7||–||–||–||–|
|Multi-/interdisciplinary Studies, General||26||–||–||–||–|
|Multi-/interdisciplinary Studies, Other||25||–||–||–||–|
|Natural Resources and Conservation||7||–||–||–||–|
|Geology/earth Science, General||–||–||–||–||–|
|Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics||–||–||–||–||–|
|International Relations and Affairs||36||–||–||–||–|
|Political Science and Government, General||35||–||–||–||–|
|Visual and Performing Arts||5||–||–||–||–|
|Art History, Criticism and Conservation||2||–||–||–||–|
|Drama and Dramatics/theatre Arts, General||–||–||–||–||–|
|Fine/studio Arts, General||1||–||–||–||–|
Above data represent first majors only.
(-) Indicates that Indicates that program is not offered at this award level.
|Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies|
African Studies B
African-American Studies B
American Studies B
Asian American Studies B
Asian Studies B
European Studies B
Gay/Lesbian Studies B
Hispanic-American Studies B
Latin American Studies B
Pacific Area/Near Rim Studies B
Regional Studies B
South Asian Studies B
Southeast Asian Studies B
Spanish/Iberian Studies B
Western European Studies B
Women’s Studies B
Arts, Visual & Performing
Art – General B
Drama/Theater Arts B
Music – General B
Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Molecular Biology B
Business, Management, & Marketing
Accounting/Business Management B
Business/Managerial Economics B
Communications & Journalism
Mass Communications/Media Studies B
Computer & Information Sciences
Computer Science B
Engineering – General B
English Language & Literature
English Language & Literature – General B
Foreign Language & Literature
Health Professions & Clinical Sciences
History – General B
Law & Legal Studies
Law & Legal Studies – General B
Mathematics – General B
Mathematics/Computer Science B
Natural Resources & Conservation
Environmental Science B
Environmental Studies B
Philosophy & Religion
Religion/Religious Studies B
Psychology – General B
International Relations B
Political Science/Government B
| Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:|
B = Bachelor’s degree
C = Certificate or diploma