What Are the Claremont Colleges?

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Formerly known as the Claremont Consortium, the Claremont Colleges is the term for a group of seven institutions in Southern California. The Claremont Colleges include five undergraduate and two graduate campuses. Although the colleges exist as independent entities, students who are admitted to one of the seven schools can take classes at any of the other six. In total, Claremont students can choose from around 2,500 different courses.

Which Colleges Are Part of the Claremont Colleges?

The following colleges and universities make up the Claremont Colleges:

Pomona College

The founding school in the consortium, Pomona College was established in 1887. Today, Pomona is known for its impressive liberal arts programs and small class sizes. In fact, the average course boasts just 15 students. These excellent academics and resources have earned Pomona recognition: In 2018-2019, it ranked No. 5 in U.S. News & World Report’s National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings.

Claremont Graduate University

Founded in 1925, Claremont is a graduate school that allows students to pursue research in a wide range of fields. The university is known for its graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences—in particular English, History, Fine Arts, Math, Psychology, Economics, and Political Science.

Scripps College

The only all-female school in the Claremont Colleges, Scripps boasts an intimate student body of 900. Founded in 1926, the school, which is known for its humanities programs, is tied for the No. 30 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best National Liberal Arts Colleges. 

Claremont McKenna College

Established in 1946, Claremont McKenna College is known for its highly ranked programs in government and economics. Other popular majors at this LA-area school include philosophy and international relations; Claremont also offers strong science and math majors. Claremont McKenna ranked No. 9 on the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-2019 National Liberal Arts Colleges list.

Harvey Mudd College

Part of the Claremont Colleges since 1955, Harvey Mudd is a small college with a big reputation. In particular, Harvey Mudd is known as the STEM-focused school in the Claremont Consortium. Its scientists, engineers, and math majors take advantage of the extensive research opportunities available to Claremont College students.

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Pitzer College

Established in 1963, Pitzer is renowned for its top-notch programs in the behavioral sciences. Popular majors include sociology, psychology, and political studies. Additionally, Pitzer tied for the No. 35 slot on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the nation’s Most Innovative Schools.

Keck Graduate Institute

Founded in 1997, Keck is the newest college in the consortium. The school offers a range of master’s degrees in STEM fields like molecular biology and chemistry; Keck graduates go on to pursue careers ranging from healthcare to life sciences to engineering.

What do High School Students Need to Know About the Claremont Colleges?

Students considering the Claremont Colleges will find that this group of schools offers a big upside. Students enjoy dining privileges on all of the Claremont Colleges campuses; they also can participate in sister schools’ extracurriculars, organizations, and athletics. In this sense, Claremont Colleges attendees enjoy both small-school advantages, like intimate classes and personalized attention, and the increased resources that come with attending a larger university. The schools also share a centralized library and various safety services. Furthermore, CC students enjoy graduate-level research opportunities at 11 centers, including the Financial Economics Institute and the Keck Center.

 

High school students should also keep in mind that each Claremont College has a separate application. Furthermore, each individual school issues its own degrees. Students must fulfill the degree requirements specified by school that they attend, even if they take courses at many of the other Claremont schools. Because requirements will vary from school to school—even for the same major—high school students should review each college’s website to consider which academic programs best fit their interests.

 

Notably, the schools that make up the Claremont Colleges enjoy a strong national reputation. In addition to employing more than 3,000 internationally recognized faculty, the schools are highly selective. For example, in 2017, Claremont McKenna College had an acceptance rate of just 10.35%; the rate at Pomona College was only 8%. Selectivity does vary across the Claremont Colleges, so applicants should carefully consider which school best fits their academic profile.

 

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
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A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.