Claremont McKenna College

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School Overview

Claremont McKenna College, locally referred to as Claremont Mckenna or “CMC”, is a private, four-year men and women’s liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, just 35 miles east of Los Angeles. The college is a member of the American consortium of Claremont Colleges which includes five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools.

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 History

Following 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”.


Claremont 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 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 Rankings

Claremont 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 Aid

With 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 Housing

Every 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.


Along 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 Consortium

The 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.

General Information

Admission Office

890 Columbia Avenue

Claremont, CA 91711-6425

(909) 621-8088

Fax: (909) 621-8516

Contact: Richard Vos

Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid
Main Address

500 East Ninth Street

Claremont, CA 91711

(909) 621-8088

Total undergrads: 1,211

First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 320

Degree-seeking undergrads: 1,211


Suburban setting

Large town (10,000 – 49,999)

Residential campus

Degrees offered:

Admissions Information

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%
Other $1,100 $1,100 $1,000 $1,200 +20.00%
Living Arrangement – Off Campus
Room and Board $0 $0 $0 $0 0.00%
Other $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%

Financial Aid

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
Asian Studies/civilization
European Studies/civilization
Hispanic-american, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-american/chicano Studies 1
Near and Middle Eastern Studies 1
Russian Studies
Women’s Studies
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 18
Biochemistry 1
Biology/biological Sciences, General 11
Cell/cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other
Molecular Biology
Neuroscience 6
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 20 20
Accounting 19
Finance, General 20
Non-profit/public/organizational Management 1
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 1
Communication and Media Studies, Other
Mass Communication/media Studies 1
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 1
Computer Science 1
Engineering 4
Engineering, Other 4
Engineering Technology, General 5
Engineering/industrial Management 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
History 13
History, General 13
Mathematics and Statistics 7
Mathematics, General 7
Multi-/interdisciplinary Studies, General 26
Human Biology 1
Multi-/interdisciplinary Studies, Other 25
Natural Resources and Conservation 7
Environmental Studies 7
Physical Sciences 5
Chemistry, General 2
Geology/earth Science, General
Physics, General 3
Psychology 26
Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
Psychology, General 26
Social Sciences 143
Economics, General 71
International Relations and Affairs 36
Political Science and Government, General 35
Sociology 1
Visual and Performing Arts 5
Art History, Criticism and Conservation 2
Drama and Dramatics/theatre Arts, General
Film/cinema/video Studies
Fine/studio Arts, General 1
Music, General 2
Above data represent first majors only.
(-) Indicates that Indicates that program is not offered at this award level.

Undergraduate Majors

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
Dance B
Drama/Theater Arts B
Music – General B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Biochemistry B
Biology B
Molecular Biology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

Accounting B
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

Chinese B
Classics B
French B
German B
Italian B
Japanese B
Russian B
Spanish B

Health Professions & Clinical Sciences

Premedicine B


History – General B

Law & Legal Studies

Law & Legal Studies – General B
Prelaw B


Mathematics – General B

Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

Mathematics/Computer Science B
Neuroscience B

Natural Resources & Conservation

Environmental Science B
Environmental Studies B

Philosophy & Religion

Philosophy B
Religion/Religious Studies B

Physical Sciences

Chemistry B
Physics B


Psychology – General B

Social Sciences

Economics B
International Relations B
Political Science/Government B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

Claremont McKenna College Highlights

School Information

Phone Number: (909) 621-8000
Type of School: 4-year, Private non-profit
Apply Online:
Address: 500 E 9th St, Claremont, CA 91711-6400
Setting: Suburb: Large
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 1,346
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 90%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 8 to 1
Distance Learning Programs:
Distance Learning Students*: 1,346 (100% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered: Bachelor's, Master's

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition: $56,475
Out-of-state Tuition: $56,475
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 52%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $49,354

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Claremont McKenna College Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at Claremont McKenna College.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 7
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 5
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 21
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 1
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 1
Engineering 1
Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related Fields 1
English Language and Literature/Letters 1
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 3
History 1
Legal Professions and Studies 1
Mathematics and Statistics 1
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 7
Natural Resources and Conservation 2
Philosophy and Religious Studies 2
Physical Sciences 3
Psychology 3
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 1
Social Sciences 6
Visual and Performing Arts 6
Grand total 551

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at Claremont McKenna College and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $56,475
Out-of-state $56,475
Books and supplies $1,200

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $62,616
Out-of-state $62,616

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 167 52%
Grant or scholarship aid 147 45% $49,354
Student loan aid 99 31% $4,702

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 615 46% $44,066
Federal student loans 295 22% $4,776

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for Claremont McKenna College. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled Claremont McKenna College students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 6,066 2,872 3,194
Percent admitted 100% 10% 10%
Percent admitted who enrolled 5% 5% 5%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

Claremont McKenna College Enrollment, Fall 2020

Total Enrollment 1,346
Undergraduate enrollment 1,343
Graduate enrollment 3

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Claremont McKenna College Accreditation

This institution is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission

Specialized institution accreditations:

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

If you work for a school and would like to update your data please contact us.

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