Claremont Colleges

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Clockwise from top: Pomona College, Keck Graduate Institute, the Honnold-Mudd Library, Pitzer College, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont McKenna College.

The Claremont Colleges are an American consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate schools of higher education located in Claremont, California, a city 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown Los Angeles and 25 miles (40 km) west of downtown San Bernardino. Unlike most other collegiate consortia, such as the Five College Consortium in Massachusetts and the Tri-College Consortium in Pennsylvania, the Claremont College campuses are adjoining and within walking distance of one another. Put together, the campuses cover roughly 1 square mile (2.6 km2).

Known colloquially as the 5Cs, (or 7Cs when including the graduate institutions) the Claremont Colleges were founded in 1925 when the all-graduate Claremont University College (now Claremont Graduate University) was established in addition to the older all-undergraduate Pomona College. The purpose of the consortium is to provide the specialization, flexibility and personal attention commonly found in a small college, with the resources of a large university.[1] Their compartmentalized collegiate university design was inspired by Oxford University and Cambridge University. With more than 6,300 students, about 700 faculty, and approximately 1,600 staff and support, the colleges offer more than 2,000 courses to students. The Claremont Colleges are a unique consortium that the Fiske Guide called "a collection of intellectual resources unmatched in America".[2][3] For the Class of 2020 admissions cycle, four of the five most selective liberal art colleges in the U.S. by acceptance rate were among the Claremont Colleges, while Scripps College had the second lowest acceptance rate among women's colleges, preceded by Barnard College.[4]


The five undergraduate colleges are:

The five undergraduate Claremont Colleges are commonly referred to as the "5Cs", while "7Cs" is used to refer to all the colleges, including the two graduate institutions.

The two graduate universities are:

The Claremont School of Theology (founded 1885) (and thus Claremont Lincoln University) is affiliated with the consortium, but is not a member.


According to the American Liberal Arts College rankings released by U.S. News & World Report in fall 2017, the "5Cs" were ranked among the top 40 liberal art colleges in the United States: Pomona College (#6), Claremont McKenna College (#8), Harvey Mudd College (#12), Scripps College (#26), and Pitzer College (#33). Additionally, all of the undergraduate colleges are categorized as "Most Selective".[5] Forbes ranked the 5C's among the top 60 undergraduate colleges (including universities and military academies) in the nation and within the top 25 liberal art colleges for its 2017 report: Pomona College (#10 overall, #1 LAC), Claremont McKenna College (#11 overall, #2 LAC), Harvey Mudd College (#18 overall, #5 LAC), Scripps College (#43 overall, #16 LAC), and Pitzer College (#59 overall, #23 LAC).[6] Niche listed all of the undergraduate colleges within the top 30 small colleges in the United States as measured by surveys rating various components of the undergraduate experience: Pomona College (#2), Harvey Mudd College (#5), Claremont McKenna College (#10), Scripps College (#22), and Pitzer College (#29).[7] U.S. News & World Report also releases individual graduate program rankings for the Claremont Graduate University, with several of its programs ranking in the top tier of graduate programs nationwide.[8]

Shared facilities, programs, and resources

Each college is independent in that, for example, students receive their degrees from the one college in which they are enrolled, and administration and admissions departments are independent. The seven-institution Claremont Colleges system is supported by The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS), which provides centralized services, such as a library, student health, financial and human resources, telecommunications, risk management, real estate, physical plant maintenance, and other services, for those colleges.

Shared facilities include the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges, Campus Safety, the Tranquada Student Services Center (which houses Baxter Medical Center, Monsour Counseling Center, and the Health Education Outreach), McAlister Center (home of the Office of the Chaplains and the Claremont Card Center), EmPOWER Center (which works to address sexual violence), the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity (The Hive), the Huntley Bookstore, all dining facilities, and several sports facilities. The Claremont Colleges Library is an example of the level of cooperation in terms of support services. The size of the library collection ranks third among the private institutions in California, behind only Stanford and USC.[9]

Shared academic departments include the Intercollegiate Women's Studies Center, the Intercollegiate Department of Chicano Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Black Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Religious Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Media Studies, and the Five-College Theater Department.

Shared intercollegiate programs include the European Union Center of California, the Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center, the Office of Black Student Affairs, the Office of the Chaplains, Hillel, and the Queer Resource Center.

In addition, three of the Claremont Colleges—Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, and Scripps College—share a single science program. These three colleges pool their resources to create the largest academic department in Claremont, the Joint Science Department. Many research projects and courses utilize the Robert J. Bernard Field Station, an 86-acre (35 ha) natural area which consists principally of the rare Coastal Sage Scrub ecosystem.

Many clubs are open to students from all the undergraduate colleges. The Student Life newspaper covers all 5C's and publishes a weekly print edition as well as online content. KSPC 88.7 FM is the non-profit community radio station associated with the Claremont Colleges. Students from the colleges host KSPC shows and help run the station.

The Robert Day School at Claremont McKenna College is open to students from all five undergraduate colleges.

Comparison of undergraduate colleges

Claremont McKenna[10] Harvey Mudd[11] Pitzer[12] Pomona[13] Scripps[14]
Students 1347 829 1089 1660 1057
Faculty 162 103 116 241 122
2016 endowment[15] $790 million $272 million $127 million $1.98 billion $296 million
2016 cost of attendance[16] $70,523 $73,550 $70,025 $68,790 $70,497
Domestic White, non-Hispanic students 41.9% 35.6% 44.8% 37.7% 52.2%
Domestic students of color 35% 48.5% 39.3% 45.65% 36.5%
International students 17.2% 11.1% 8.6% 11% 4.9%
Receiving financial aid 45.3% 71.9% 40.9% 56.3% 42.1%
Male/female ratio 52:48 55:45 45:55 49:51 0:100
2017 acceptance rate[17] 10.3% 13.9% 15.6% 8.2% 33.4%
2016 transfer acceptance rate 6.7% 4.5% 9.3% 8.8% 22.1%
Yield 54% 40% 47% 54% 30%
Six-year graduation rate 93% 93% 88% 97% 92%
Retention rate 93% 98% 94% 97% 92%
Enrolled SAT 25-75% range 1990-2240 2090-2340 1300-1450 (CR+M only) 2010-2310 1950-2173
Enrolled ACT 25-75% range 31-33 32-35 29-32 31-34 28-32
Ranked in top 10% of HS class 68% 88% 54% 92% 67%
Ranked in top 25% of HS class 100% 95% 80% 99% 90%
Percent of classes under 10 students 5% 29% 15% 22% 19%
Percent of classes under 20 students 85% 61% 71% 70% 82%
Percent of classes over 50 students 1% 5% 0% 0% 1%


In October 1923, President James A. Blaisdell of Pomona College wrote to Ellen Browning Scripps describing a vision of educational excellence he had for the future Claremont Colleges:

I cannot but believe that we shall need here in the South [of California] a suburban educational institution of the range of Stanford. My own very deep hope is that instead of one great undifferentiated university, we might have a group of institutions divided into small colleges — somewhat on the Oxford type — around a library and other utilities which they would use in common. In this way I should hope to preserve the inestimable personal values of the small college while securing the facilities of the great university. Such a development would be a new and wonderful contribution to American education. Now the thing which would assure this future institution to Southern California is land... It is now or never. To save the needed land for educational use seems to me to guarantee to Southern California one of the great educational institutions of America. Other hands through the centuries will carry on the project and perfect it. But never again can there come so fundamental a service as this.[18][19]


Claremont-Mudd-Scripps athletics teams from Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College compete as one team. Male athletic teams are called the Stags, and women's teams are called the Athenas.[20] Pomona College and Pitzer College compete together as Pomona-Pitzer. Their teams are called the Sagehens.[21] The teams participate in NCAA Division III in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). In the Division III Final Standings for the 2016-2017 year, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps ranked 4th nationally, while Pomona-Pitzer ranked 29th; both were the top two performers in the SCIAC.[22]

Club and intramural sports

In addition to the Stags/Athenas and the Sagehens, there are several 5C club sports teams, including roller hockey, men's and women's rugby union, both of whom attended Division II Nationals in 2004 and 2006, the men's team winning the Division II national championship in 2010, men's lacrosse, field hockey, crew, cycling, women's ultimate, who reached Nationals in 2004, 2011, and 2013, and won the tournament in 2012, and men's ultimate frisbee, 2008 Southern California Sectional champions and 2011 Division III National champions.

The Claremont Roller Hockey Club, the Claremont Centaurs, has also been one of the more successful Claremont Consortium clubs, winning the Division 3 Championship of the WCRHL (West Coast Roller Hockey League) in 2009–2010, 2010–2011, and 2011–2012.


  1. ^ James A. Blaisdell, the creator of the Claremont Colleges, declared in 1923 "My own very deep hope is that instead of one great, undifferentiated university, we might have a group of institutions divided into small colleges—somewhat of an Oxford type—around a library and other utilities which they would use in common. In this way, I should hope to preserve the inestimable personal values of the small college, while securing the facilities of the great university."
  2. ^ "About CUC". 
  3. ^ [1] The Claremont Difference
  4. ^ "Ivy League Admissions Stats & Acceptance Rates, Class of 2020". Retrieved 2016-07-12. 
  5. ^ National Liberal Arts College Rankings U.S.News & World Report, 2013.
  6. ^ "Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges 2017". 
  7. ^ "2017 Best Small Colleges in America". Niche. 
  8. ^ [2] U.S. News & World Report, 2014.
  9. ^ "History of The Claremont Colleges". 
  10. ^ "CMC CDS 2016" (PDF). 
  11. ^ "HMC CDS 2016" (PDF). 
  12. ^ "Pitzer CDS 2016" (PDF). 
  13. ^ "Pomona CDS 2016" (PDF). 
  14. ^ "Scripps CDS 2016" (PDF). 
  15. ^ "2016 Endowments" (PDF). 
  16. ^ "College Cost Calculator". CNN. 
  17. ^ Rod, Marc. "5Cs Release Admission Decisions for Class of 2021". TSL. 
  18. ^ CUC Land Use Statement
  19. ^ Robert J. Bernard. An Unfinished Dream: A Chronicle of the Group Plan of the Claremont Colleges. The Castle Press. 1982. pg. 702
  20. ^ "CMS Quick Facts". 
  21. ^ "The Athletic Program". Archived from the original on 2009-01-24. 
  22. ^ "2016-17 Learfield Directors' Cup Division III Final Standings" (PDF). 

External links

  • Claremont Colleges Photo Archive in the Claremont Colleges Digital Library
  • Claremont Colleges website
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