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Claremont McKenna College

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  • Statistics

    Claremont, CA
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    Acceptance Rate:
    14 %
    Tuition and Fees:
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  • Summary

    Claremont McKenna may not receive as much national attention as other small liberal arts colleges in the northeast, but its students know that they’ve found a well-hidden gem.

    CMC is one of the “5Cs,” a group of colleges located in Claremont, California. Eventhough the undergrad population is only slightly more than 1,000, students can take advantage of the classes, facilities, and student organizations that neighboring institutions offer, as well. Set in laid-back Southern California rather than chilly New England, CMC’s standards are more rigorous than at most other liberal arts schools: Students must complete eleven courses in four disciplines and meet foreign language and physical education requirements before graduation. The college’s

    challenging academics are highly regarded by those in the know – especially the economics department, which is no surprise, considering that 28 percent of students are econ majors. Classes are notable for their intimacy: 79 percent have fewer than 20 students. The drinking culture at the school is unique in the sense that it is tacitly accepted (in its legal form) by the administration; students report that on-campus events are known to use school activity funds on alcohol. The student body is more diverse than many other similar schools, and most enjoy living on campus for four years.

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  • Additional Info

    In 1946, Claremont Men’s College was established as a liberal arts school placing particular emphasis on preparing students for leadership in the fields of economics, government, and public affairs. The institution became coeducational in 1976 and changed its name to Claremont McKenna College in honor of one of its founding trustees, Donald McKenna. Claremont McKenna and its fellow 5C schools are modeled after the Oxford/Cambridge model of a planned academic consortium.

    CMC is located adjacent to the other 5C schools (Pitzer, Harvey Mudd, Pomona, and Scripps). The 50-acre campus sit near the foot of the scenic San Gabriel Mountains. Ninety-five percent of students live on campus, with the North Quad serving as the center of student social life.

    The CMC campus’ premier building is the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, commonly known at the Ath, which hosts more than 100 dinner and lecture events every year for students and faculty, as well as a daily tea.

    Claremont is a residential town in California’s Los Angeles County. It is a relatively small city with approximately 35,000 residents. The Village is Claremont’s commercial center, conveniently located adjacent to the Claremont schools and containing a number of small stores, galleries, and restaurants. The city’s concentration of foliage and medical professionals has earned it the nickname “the City of Trees and PhDs.” Fittingly, Claremont has been awarded the National Arbor Day Association’s Tree City USA designation for 23 consecutive years.

    Freshmen participate in a student-run orientation program called the Wilderness Orientation Adventure, or “W.O.A!” Activities might include camping in Yosemite, canoing in the Colorado River, and beach camping at Catalina Island. Each trip is led by current students and one or more faculty members.

    Some students get “ponded,” or thrown into one of the two fountains on campus, by friends on their birthday.

    At noon on thesis due-dates, seniors turn in their completed work to the registrar and are then given a bottle of champagne by the class president.

    The medieval-themed “Madrigal Feast,” complete with authentic garb and musical performances, is held every year at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

    Michael Arrington (1992) is the founder of TechCrunch.

    Ken Cheuvront (1983) is a member of the Arizona State Senate.

    Michael S. Jeffries (1966) is chairman and CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, Co.

    Tom Leppert (1977) is the mayor of Dallas, Texas.

    Peter Thum (1990) founded Ethos Water and is a vice president at Starbucks.

    CMC-ers share sports teams with students from Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College. The men’s teams are known as the Stags, and the women’s teams are the Athenas. The CMS Athletics programs compete in NCAA Division III and in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The CMS teams’ main rivals are the cross-campus PP (Pomona-Pitzer) teams.

    In 2007, 16 percent of applicants were admitted to Claremont McKenna, the lowest acceptance rate in the college's history.

    CMC is one of 46 colleges that practices need-blind admissions.

    The Wall Street Journal has listed CMC as the eighth-best “feeder” school into grad schools for law, business, and medicine.

    Newsweek named CMC the “Hottest for Election Year” due to its concentration of students majoring in government or international relations (around 40 percent) and a roster of recent guest speakers including President Bill Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    CMC’s dorms are divided into three regions: North Quad, Mid Quad, and South Quad. Seniors also have the option of living on the eastern edge of campus. Dorm rooms are cleaned by the housekeeping staff every other week. North Quad: Each of these dorms open to the outdoors rather than opening into an interior hallway. -Appleby -Boswell -Green -Wohlford

    Mid Quad: These dorms contain double and single rooms and long interior hallways. -Beckett -Benson -Berger -Marks -Phillips

    South Quad: The dorms here are known as “the Towers” and are the tallest on CMC’s campus. -Auen -Fawcett -Stark

    The senior apartments are divided into four buildings numbered 651, 661, 671, and 681.