Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Claremont McKenna College

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Acceptance rate
9.4% (2016)

709.1 million USD (2016)

Stag, Athena

Hiram Chodosh

Undergraduate tuition and fees
47,395 USD (2015)

+1 909-621-8088

Maroon, Gold

Former names
Claremont Men's College

Crescit cum commercio civitas (Latin)

Motto in English
Civilization prospers with commerce

888 Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711, USA

Notable alumni
Robert Addison Day, Henry Kravis, David Dreier, George R Roberts, Mike Jeffries


A day in the life claremont mckenna college cmc

Claremont McKenna College (CMC) is an independent, coeducational, and private liberal arts college with a curricular emphasis on economics, government, and public affairs. CMC is also a member of the Claremont Colleges located in Claremont, California, United States.


Founded as a men's college in 1946, CMC became coeducational in 1976. Its 69-acre campus is located 35 miles (56 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles. The college focuses primarily on undergraduate education, but in 2007 it established the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, which offers a master's program in finance. As of 2016, there are 1,344 undergraduate students and postgraduate students.

Forbes ranks CMC as the 31st-best college in the nation, the 13th-best liberal arts college, and the 3rd-best college in the West in its 2016 rankings. CMC is tied for 8th with Carleton and Haverford in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 ranking of liberal arts colleges.


Claremont McKenna College was founded as Claremont Men's College after the end of World War II. Many of its first students were war veterans attending college on the G.I. Bill. CMC was founded with the mission to foster leadership in its students in the fields of government, economics, and international affairs.

The school became coeducational in 1976 and was renamed after Donald McKenna, a founding trustee, in 1981. The name change allowed the college to keep its popular acronym, "CMC". The college's motto is "Crescit cum commercio civitas", or "Civilization prospers with commerce".

On October 31, 1989, a striptease took place in CMC's dining hall that was arranged as a birthday present for a male student. The incident sparked discussion about CMC's student culture and the sexist attitudes some students perceived it to have.

On the evening of March 9, 2004, visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology Kerri Dunn reported that her car had been vandalized and painted with racist, sexist and anti-semitic slurs. In response there was a series of demonstrations, candlelight vigils and community meetings. The investigation by the City of Claremont's police department and the FBI revealed that Dunn had slashed her own tires and applied the insulting phrases to her own vehicle. She was found guilty of filing a false police report and attempted insurance fraud. She was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay a fine of approximately $19,000 in restitution.

On September 27, 2007, the College announced a $200 million gift from alumnus and trustee Robert Addison Day to create the "Robert Day Scholars Program" and a master's program in finance. CMC literature professor Robert Faggen sent a letter signed by several other literature professors to CMC president Pamela Gann, saying they were concerned that the gift will "distort the college into a single focus trade school."

On January 30, 2012, Gann announced that a senior admissions officer had been inflating SAT scores reported to the U.S. News & World Report by 10-20 points over the previous six years. However, in 2013, Time reported that "such a small differential could not have significantly affected U.S. News & World Report rankings."

In November 2015, the College's dean of students resigned after students protested what they called a lack of institutional resources for marginalized students; the dean had implied in an email that minority students didn't fit the "CMC mold," and her response to an incident of allegedly culturally appropriative Halloween costumes was seen as lacking. These protests closely followed and were associated with the 2015 University of Missouri protests.

Organization and administration

CMC is chartered as a private, non-profit organization and is a member of the seven-institution Claremont Colleges consortium. Students can take classes at any of the member colleges, and the colleges share libraries, a bookstore, athletic facilities, and various student services. The privately appointed, 40-voting-member board of trustees elects a president to serve as chief executive officer of the college. Hiram Chodosh is CMC's fifth president. The president has a senior staff of 8 vice presidents, including a Dean of Students and Dean of the Faculty.


U.S. News & World Report's 2015 rankings rated Claremont McKenna as tied with Haverford and Carleton for 8th-best liberal arts college in the nation. Forbes 2013 America's Best Colleges Rankings removed Claremont McKenna from its list as the college found that the admission dean had provided falsified data from 2004 to 2012. In 2016, Forbes ranked Claremont McKenna as the 31st-best college in the nation, the 13th-best liberal arts college, and the 3rd-best college in the West. Washington Monthly ranked the school 33rd in its 2016 liberal arts college rankings.

Money ranked Claremont McKenna 19th in the country out of the nearly 1,500 schools it evaluated for its 2015 Best Colleges ranking.

The Princeton Review's 2015 rankings placed Claremont McKenna 2nd in the nation for "Happiest Students." The Daily Beast ranked Claremont McKenna in 2014 as one of the top 25 most rigorous colleges in the nation." College Factual's 2014 report rated Claremont McKenna as the 14th-most selective college in the nation. Kiplinger's Personal Finance places Claremont McKenna 25th in its 2015 ranking of best value liberal arts colleges in the United States.

Newsweek ranked it among the top 25 schools in America in several top-25 categories in 2011. It was ranked 20th in "Most Desirable School", 8th in "Most Desirable Suburban School", 7th in "Most Desirable Small Schools," 24th in "Brainiac Schools", 17th in "Stocked With Jocks", and 7th in "Great Education, Great Tan." Claremont McKenna was ranked the 460th top college in the United States by Payscale and CollegeNet's Social Mobility Index college rankings.


For the incoming class of 2020, CMC accepted 599 applicants (9.4%) from a pool of 6,342. The middle 50% range of SAT scores for enrolled freshmen was 650-740 for critical reading, 670-750 for math, and 670-750 for writing, while the ACT Composite range was 31–33.

Financial aid

Tuition for the 2016-2017 school year is $50,945 ($25,472.50 per semester) for a full-time student, and room and board is on average $15,740 ($7,870 per semester), for a total annual cost of attendance of $69,385 with other expected costs included. CMC admits students on a need-blind basis and guarantees to meet the financial need of all its students as determined by the FAFSA and the College Board's CSS Profile. For the 2016-2017 year, CMC awarded a total of $27,021,024 in financial aid. 38.9% of students received need-based financial aid with an average total grant aid package of $42,445, while 5.8% of students received merit aid, with an average award of $15,744.

The college, which operates on a semester system, has 12 academic departments, 11 research institutes and 33 on-campus majors, the most popular of which are economics, government, psychology, economics-accounting, and international relations. However, as a member of the Claremont Colleges, students at CMC also have the option to study any major that is not offered at CMC given that one of the other colleges has such a major. A popular example is computer science, which is offered by both Harvey Mudd College and Pomona College. The student to faculty ratio is 8:1 with an average class size of 18. 85% of the classes have fewer than 19 students. The six-year graduation rate is 93.3%, and the freshman retention rate is 92.7%.


About one third of the classes students complete are general education requirements. These include a humanities seminar and a writing seminar their first year, three semesters of a foreign language or demonstrated proficiency, a mathematics or computer science course, one laboratory science course, and three semesters of a P.E. course or two seasons on a sports team. In addition, students must complete at least two humanities courses and three social science courses, all in areas outside the student's major. All students must complete a senior thesis, which can be either one-semester in length or, to receive departmental honors, two semesters.

Claremont McKenna's curricular emphasis is on its social sciences, particularly economics, government, international relations, and psychology. About 40% of students major in either government or economics. CMC also offers an Oxford-style Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major with two separate tracks of 14 students each. Other multi-disciplinary majors include management engineering, philosophy and public affairs, science and management, econ-accounting, biology-chemistry, and environment, economics, and politics (EEP). CMC also offers the Robert A. Day 4+1 BA/MBA, in which students receive both their BA from Claremont McKenna and their MBA from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in 5 years.

CMC's science program is offered through the Joint Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges. The Joint Science Department offers a double year-long introductory science class to allow more flexibility than the former 3 year-long introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses that most science majors must complete.

Nearly half of CMC students study abroad. Another popular option for off-campus study is participating in one of two domestic programs, one in Washington, D.C., and the other in the Silicon Valley. In both of these programs, students complete a full-time internship with a business or government department, remaining full-time students taught at night by CMC professors stationed in the two locations."

More than 75% percent of students attend graduate school within five years of graduation, and those who choose to go straight to the workforce average a starting salary of $57,156 for the class of 2014, with average signing bonuses averaging $7,905. Of those CMC graduates applying to medical school, 80% get into their first or second choice institutions. According to a 2009 PayScale report, CMC ranked first among all liberal arts colleges in the nation for highest starting salary.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum hosts more than one hundred dinner and lecture events with speakers each year, serving as the college's central intellectual and social hub. Students enjoy getting to know their professors at wine and cheese receptions and formal dinners preceding lectures. The Athenaeum hosts speakers four nights a week, and also serves daily afternoon tea in its library, featuring chocolate-covered strawberries and pastries. Afternoon tea is free to students, faculty, and staff. The Athenaeum has hosted such speakers as former President Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, authors Gore Vidal and Salman Rushdie, cybernetics expert Kevin Warwick, former Attorney General Janet Reno, filmmaker Spike Lee, environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, U2 frontman and activist Bono, CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, retired US Army General Stanley A. McChrystal, and former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.


As a residential community, student life is centered on campus with 94% of students living at the College and four years of housing is guaranteed. Claremont's dorms are divided into three regions: North Quad, Mid Quad, and South Quad. In addition, the student apartments sit on the East edge of campus, and are occupied primarily by seniors. All dorm rooms are attended to by housekeeping staff every week. North Quad is made up of Appleby, Boswell, Green, and Wohlford Halls, which were the campus's first dorms. In north quad, every room opens to the outdoors instead of opening to an interior hallway. North quad rooms are all doubles grouped into suites of four rooms that share a bathroom.

CMC's Mid Quad is home to Beckett, Berger, Phillips, Crown, Marks and Claremont Halls, which feature long interior corridors, double and single rooms, large shared-bathroom facilities, and all-dorm lounge areas.

The tallest buildings in Claremont are "The Towers," Auen, Fawcett, and Stark Halls, which make up South Quad. Each tower has seven floors with approximately twelve students per floor. Each floor has a common area and a large shared bathroom, and there is an all-dorm lounge area on the ground floor. Stark Hall, the newest of the South Quad dorms, is substance-free. Auen and Fawcett underwent complete interior renovations in the summer of 2008.

The Senior Apartments lie to the east of the college's athletic facilities and to the west of Claremont Boulevard. Each apartment is divided into four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Until recently, half the apartments were reserved for men and half for women, and apartments were allotted based on credits. In any given year, most of CMC's 260–300 seniors can live in the apartments.

Living in the apartments is considered highly desirable amongst CMC's senior class. Seniors get the chance to live with three friends of their choice, and they also have the option to stay on a meal plan and eat at one of the 5-C dining halls, or cook for themselves. Apartment dwellers do not get the maid service of the dorms, but they do get a cable television hookup. Noise levels are more manageable, and tend to be quiet during much of the week and in the days leading up to thesis, and loud from Thursday to Saturday. Most parties and social events at the apartments take place between buildings.

Student journalism

CMC attracts many students with an interest in journalism. Its student publications include the following:

  • The CMC Forum: The Forum is the official publication of Claremont McKenna College and the oldest publication on campus. It features campus news, opinion and lifestyle articles. Although originally a newspaper, the Forum is now solely an online news source funded in part by the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College.
  • The Claremont Independent: Founded in 1996, this magazine of conservative and libertarian writers has frequently produced stories about the political culture of the Claremont Colleges that have been picked up by national conservative media outlets and drawn intense criticism from many students. It is funded entirely through private donations.
  • Traditions

  • All incoming freshmen participate in W.O.A!, or "Welcome Orientation Adventure" W.O.A! is a student-run pre-orientation program. Options have included backpacking, camping, and rock-climbing at Yosemite, canoeing down the Colorado River, and community service in Los Angeles. Each trip is led by current students and a member of the faculty or alumni. W.O.A.! allows incoming students to develop friendships and get a sense for the college community before the formal beginning of their college careers.
  • The "Madrigal Feast" was an annual dinner held in the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. Both current students as well as alumni typically attended. Guests were treated to a medieval-themed feast, complete with wassail, and a spirited musical performance put on by other students in medieval dress. This 26 year tradition was suspended in 2009.
  • Secret Society: CMC has a secret society called The Strangers. The society zealously keeps secret its rituals, meeting places, constitution, official history, organizational structure, members’ names and finances. It is said to date back to CMC's founding years.
  • Several of Claremont McKenna College's traditions are water-related:

  • It is a tradition for students to get ponded (thrown into one of the two fountains located on campus) by their peers on their birthday.
  • At noon on the due dates of senior theses, the students turn in their theses to the registrar, after which they are given a bottle of champagne by the registrar. In recent years, the class president has provided the champagne. The students spend the remainder of the afternoon in the fountains at the school, drinking, singing, celebrating and enjoying the warm California sun.
  • The Consortium

    All seven colleges are part of the Claremont University Consortium, also known as "the 7-Cs." Together the campuses cover over 300 acres (120 ha) and enroll over 6,000 students. In addition there are over 3,500 faculty and staff and more than 2,500 courses available.

    Student life revolves around the colleges as they interact socially and also share seven dining halls, four main libraries, and other facilities spread throughout the campuses. Notable facilities include:

  • Honnold/Mudd Library and the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges, the largest collection of any liberal arts college
  • Bridges Auditorium and Concert Hall
  • Scripps Performing Arts Center and Seaver Theater Complex
  • W.M. Keck Science Center
  • Monsour Counseling Center
  • Huntley Bookstore
  • Students attending Claremont McKenna can enroll in up to 2/3 of their classes at the other undergraduate colleges, and can also major at any of the other colleges if the major is not offered at CMC. This is the general academic policy at the schools, and is meant to give students the resources of a larger university while still maintaining the qualities of a small, liberal-arts college.

    Research institutes

    CMC sponsors eleven different on-campus research institutes and centers. They seek to produce new research and publications while involving undergraduate students in rigorous academic work.

  • The Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children
  • The Financial Economics Institute
  • The Center for Human Rights Leadership
  • The Family of Benjamin Z. Gould Center for Humanistic Studies
  • The Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies
  • The Kravis Leadership Institute
  • The Lowe Institute of Political Economy
  • The Roberts Environmental Center
  • The Rose Institute of State and Local Government
  • The Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World
  • The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Athletics

    Athletes from CMC, Harvey Mudd College, and Scripps College compete under one program – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athletics. The mascot for the men's team is Stag, and that of the women's teams is Athena. The 21 teams participate in the NCAA's Division III and in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

    The Biszantz Family Tennis Center opened in 2009 and has hosted the NCAA Division III Championships. The facility offers locker-rooms, offices, restrooms, an adjacent parking lot and a "championship court". It is located south of Sixth Street at Brooks Avenue.

    Over the years, a rivalry has formed between the opposing sports teams CMS (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) and PP (Pomona-Pitzer).

    According to the Division III Fall Learfield Director's Cup Standings for the 2016-2017 year, CMS ranks 12th among all Division III programs, and first among SCIAC colleges. The Claremont McKenna golf team ranked first among NCAA Division III teams according to Golf Digest, and 17th overall (including Division 1 schools). The rankings are based on the "Balanced" category which is "for students who place equal emphasis on school and sports."


    Claremont McKenna completed the largest fundraising campaign ever initiated by a liberal arts college, raising $635 million. The campaign for Claremont McKenna fulfilled for commitments in five priorities:

  • $110 million for students: need-based financial aid and merit scholarships, internships, research, speaker series, and other experiences
  • $110 million for faculty: chairs, research, and new curricula
  • $100 million for facilities: new buildings, renovations, and master planning projects
  • $200 million for the Robert Day Scholars Program
  • $80 million for The Fund for CMC: operating costs
  • As part of the campaign, the college built the Kravis Center, an academic building that includes classrooms, faculty offices and research areas. The building, designed by Rafael Viñoly, was completed in 2011. It is named after alumnus Henry Kravis '67 of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts who donated $75 million for the building.


  • George C.S. Benson, founding president (1946–1969)
  • Howard R. Neville (1969–1970)
  • Jack L. Stark (1970–1999)
  • Pamela Gann (1999–2013)
  • Hiram Chodosh (2013–present)
  • Notable alumni and faculty

    Notable alumni include:

  • Co-founder of Ethos Water and Vice President of Starbucks, Peter Thum '90
  • Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Michael S. Jeffries '66
  • Former President and CEO of Toys "R" Us Robert C. Nakasone '69
  • California Congressman David Dreier '75
  • Governor of the State of Montana Steve Bullock (Montana) '88
  • Founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) Henry Kravis '67
  • Founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) George Roberts '66
  • Former Chairman and CEO of Trust Company of the West Robert Day '65
  • Serial Killer Randy Steven Kraft '68
  • Founder of Perella Weinberg Partners and former head of European Markets at Goldman Sachs, Peter Weinberg '79
  • Founder of TechCrunch and Co-founder of CrunchFund, Michael Arrington '92
  • Far-right internet troll Charles C. Johnson
  • Actor Robin Williams (did not graduate)
  • Notable faculty include:

  • Senior Economist at the Presidential Council of Economic Advisers Eric Helland
  • Presidential speechwriter and comedian Mort Sahl
  • Political scientist Minxin Pei
  • Arabic scholar Bassam Frangieh
  • Author Jamaica Kincaid
  • References

    Claremont McKenna College Wikipedia

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