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Lists / Claremont Colleges: What Are They and How Are They Different?

Claremont Colleges: What Are They and How Are They Different?

Created by College Confidential

The Claremont Colleges is a consortium of seven small but highly-regarded liberal arts colleges that share a campus in the town of Claremont, CA, just thirty miles from Los Angeles in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The small tree-lined suburb mostly revolves around the colleges, earning it the nickname "The City of Trees and PhDs." The consortium, which is sometimes referred to as the 7C's, was founded in 1925. It was inspired by Oxford University in England and designed so that colleges could share resources. Now, there are roughly 8,500 students attending Claremont Colleges, and over 3200 faculty and staff. Five out of the seven colleges (the 5C's) are top-ranking liberal arts schools that serve undergrads. The 5C's include Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Harvey Mudd, and Scripps. The other two schools – Claremont Graduate Institute and Keck Graduate Institute – only offer graduate degrees. Though the schools share their 69-acre campus, each has slightly different personality and academic focus. Each school is unique, so it's impossible to really rank them, but they are ranked below by selectivity. So which one of the Claremont Colleges is right for you? Read on to find out more about the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges.

1. Pomona College

  • Pomona College
    Claremont, CA 4-Year, Private
    Acceptance Rate7%
  • Founded in 1887, Pomona is the oldest, largest, and the most-selective of the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges. Pomona offers need-blind admissions, which means it does not take an applicant's ability to pay into consideration when making admissions decisions. Around 54% of students from the U.S. identify as people of color, and one out of every four students was valedictorian of their high school class. Pomona offers 48 majors and a prelaw and prehealth tracks, but the majority of Pomona students choose majo sciences, followed by the humanities.

    2. Claremont McKenna College

  • Claremont McKenna College
    Claremont, CA 4-Year, Private
    Acceptance Rate10%
  • After Pomona, Claremont McKenna is the second largest and most-selective of the Claremont Colleges. Claremont McKenna is known for its expertise in economics and government, thriving social scene, and focus hands-on learning and research opportunities. Around 90% of undergrads complete an internship before graduation. A large percentage of Claremont McKenna graduates go on to earn graduate degrees, most often a Law degree or an MBA.

    3. Harvey Mudd College

  • Harvey Mudd College
    Claremont, CA 4-Year, Private
    Acceptance Rate13%
  • Harvey Mudd is one of the best liberal arts schools with a focus on engineering, science, and mathematics. All ten of the majors offered at Harvey Mudd are science-related, but students can choose to take some classes at the other Claremont Colleges. Harvey Mudd has the highest starting salary of any of the Claremont Colleges. The median starting salary for 2021 graduates is $117,00 a year. It is also the most expensive of the Claremont colleges, and one of the most expensive colleges in the nation. The total estimated cost, including tuition, room and boardbut the college is committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for students through grants, scholarships, and loans.

    4. Pitzer College

  • Pitzer College
    Claremont, CA 4-Year, Private
    Acceptance Rate18%
  • Pitzer is the newest of the Claremont Colleges. It was founded in 1963, and now enrolls just under 1000 students. Pitzer students are known for being engaged with issues of social justice. The school lists its core values as: Social Responsibility, Intercultural Understanding, Interdisciplinary Learning, Student Engagement and Environmental Sustainability. The most popular majors are psychology, environmental analysis, and economics. Many students also choose to self-design their major. Pitzer's current President, Melvin L. Oliver, is the Claremont Colleges first black president, and a leading expert on racial and urban inequality.

    5. Scripps College

  • Scripps College
    Claremont, CA 4-Year, Private
    Acceptance Rate28%
  • Scripps is the only all-women's school that is part of the Claremont Colleges. The college enrolls just over 1000 students. The most popular majors are biology and life sciences, social sciences and psychology, and communications and journalism. All students at Scripps start their education with a three-semester core academic program that provides the foundation for the rest of their college education. Before graduation, students are required to complete a senior thesis or project demonstrating deep knowledge of their chosen area.

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