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The Claremont Colleges

Harvey Mudd College is a member of The Claremont Colleges, a collective of five undergraduate and two graduate schools. Each institution has its own mission, administrative policies, facilities, student body and unique campus culture.

The partnership among the member colleges gives students access to many of the resources at each institution. A few benefits include being able to take classes at any of the colleges (including select courses at the Claremont Graduate University), enjoy meals at each of the seven dining halls and have access to four fitness centers and five swimming pools. The Claremont University Consortium provides a number of shared on-campus resources and services for students.

Benefits of the Claremont Colleges

A distinguishing feature of The Claremont Colleges is the geographic proximity of the institutions. The five undergraduate colleges and the Claremont Graduate University share a campus that covers less than a square mile. It takes all of 15 minutes to walk from the northernmost points at Pitzer College or HMC to the southern extreme at Pomona College. There are about 7,000 students, but any class taken at The Claremont Colleges will contain only 15-30 students and be taught by professors. With more than 2,000 classes to choose from each year, HMC students have a more extensive course catalogue at their disposal than a student attending most technical colleges or programs.

This partnership also broadens an HMC student’s extracurricular and social options. Over half of the clubs and organizations are open to students regardless of the college that student attends. The Claremont Colleges regularly play host to concerts, guest lecturers and speakers, cultural events, art exhibits, film screenings, career fairs, plays, sporting events and more that are open to students from each of the colleges. Together, The Claremont Colleges provide students with the opportunities and resources of a larger university setting while still maintaining the benefits and qualities of a small college.

Member Institutions

The Claremont Colleges are highly regarded in the world of higher education. Each of the undergraduate institutions (known as the 5-Cs) are ranked among the nation’s academically elite liberal arts colleges.

The member institutions in order of their founding are:

Pomona College

Established in 1887 as the founding member of The Claremont Colleges. With a student enrollment of about 1,500 men and women, Pomona offers a comprehensive and well-balanced liberal arts curriculum with an equal distribution of students across its various majors.

Claremont Graduate University

Founded in 1925, CGU offers graduate degrees in arts, education, organizational and behavioral sciences, politics and economics, information science, humanities and management. CGU currently enrolls about 2,000 students.

Scripps College

Founded as a women’s college in 1926. It holds the distinction of being the lone remaining single-sex institution in the consortium, enrolling about 900 women. Scripps is well known for its Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities.

Claremont McKenna College

Originally founded as Claremont Men’s College in 1946, CMC seeks to educate leaders in business and public affairs and is known for taking a practical approach to the liberal arts. Co-educational since the 1970s, CMC has an enrollment of about 1,300 students.

Harvey Mudd College

Founded in 1955 as a co-educational liberal arts college of engineering, science and math. Students are required to take courses in the humanities, social sciences and arts so they have an understanding of the impact of their work on society. HMC’s enrollment is about 750 students.

Pitzer College

Founded in 1963, Pitzer is dedicated to building community through student engagement and autonomy. Students are leaders in sustainability, intercultural understanding, global study and student-designed academic majors. Pitzer enrolls around 1,000 students.

Keck Graduate Institute

Founded in 1997, KGI is the youngest member of The Claremont Colleges. With an enrollment of about 100 students, it is the first U.S. graduate school dedicated to the emerging fields of applied life sciences, offering professionally oriented master’s degrees.

Other Claremont Higher Educational Institutions

Other institutions that are located in Claremont and more loosely affiliated with The Claremont Colleges are the Claremont School of Theology, the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity and the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Claremont University Consortium

The Claremont University Consortium serves as the central coordinating and support organization for The Claremont Colleges. Centrally located on campus, the CUC provides 28 vital services and programs for The Claremont Colleges and operates the programs and central facilities on behalf of the member colleges. These include:

Claremont Colleges Library

A library system with more than two million volumes and 6,000 subscriptions

Huntley Bookstore

The official bookstore of The Claremont Colleges. It is the place to buy textbooks, school supplies, HMC clothing and other items.

Campus Safety Office

The first responding agency on campus. They are on call 24/7 and are responsible for patrolling the campuses and responding to emergencies.

Student Health Services

The main health care facility for students, offering free office visits and a wide range of medical services and testing.

Office of Black Student Affairs

OBSA serves students of African descent at The Claremont Colleges by providing academic support, social and emotional development and assistance in strengthening cultural understanding.

Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center

CLSA provides support programs and services that enhance the academic success and personal development of Chicano/Latino students at The Claremont Colleges.

Queer Resource Center

QRC serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied community at The Claremont Colleges.

International Place

I-Place is a resource for international students. In addition to being a “home away from home” for students from abroad, it serves as a center for cultural exchange and educational programming on key global issues.

Office of the Chaplains

Serves the spiritual needs of all religious denominations at The Claremont Colleges. Staff includes a Jewish rabbi, a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister.

Hillel

Hillel aims to build and nurture a pluralistic Jewish community, to provide opportunities for Jews on campus to meet one another and explore the various meanings of Jewish identity.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for and take courses at the other colleges?

Cross-registration is a very easy process. It does not cost anything extra. Virtually all HMC students will go “off-campus” for some of their courses. All the data systems used by the registrars at each college are coordinated, so students are able to register for off-campus courses at their home campus.

Classes are intentionally offered at the same times across campuses. It generally takes about 10 minutes to get from one set of classrooms on one campus to classrooms on another campus, and so there is a break of about 10 minutes between class times to allow travel. Finals schedules are also coordinated across campuses.

There is no limit on the number of off-campus courses students can take, but Core courses must be completed at HMC, half of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts (HSA) courses at HMC, and most, if not all courses in your major will be at HMC. A reasonable estimate might be five to seven courses completed at neighboring colleges, with room for variations on individual cases.

Do I take all my courses outside of math and science at the other Claremont Colleges?

No. The Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts (HSA) department is the second-largest department on HMC’s campus. Students will be required to take at least five HSA courses at Mudd (although Scripps music courses count as Mudd courses through a special arrangement). Students from neighboring schools say that their Mudd courses in subjects such as psychology, economics or literature are among their favorites. This happens much more frequently than most people expect.

As an HMC student, can I take a major or minor at one of the other Claremont Colleges?

The answer is yes, with two additional points to note: HMC typically does not offer a minor, but requires a “concentration” of at least four courses in a field outside of STEM. We offer this in lieu of a minor, except when a student majors in a non-science field at a neighbor college. In such cases, the student must complete a minor in a STEM discipline. Read more about the HMC Curriculum to learn about policies on declaring a minor, off-campus major or double major.

Can I get involved in research at one of the other Claremont Colleges?

Yes, though this is less common. On rare occasions, a Mudd student might have a research thesis advisor at a neighboring college. Students from the other Claremont Colleges sometimes join HMC Clinic teams.

Do students ever transfer between colleges?

This is extremely rare, and policies about transfer to another college in the consortium vary depending on  the receiving college. Since each college has a distinct culture, and since one can actually major in a discipline at another college, a transfer would be necessary only if the student in question felt that the atmosphere at the home school no longer fit. Again, this is rare.

Would I identify more as a Claremont College student or a Mudder?

Definitely as a Mudder. You could not ignore the other colleges – even if you were passive about interacting with the people from the other colleges, you would still be confronted on a daily basis with opportunities to do things that mix students from various member schools. But most of your close friends and most of your classes will be at HMC.

What if a club I am really interested in is only offered at another Claremont College?

Join them! It happens regularly that certain clubs or organizations meet on one campus but are open to memberships from students at all five undergraduate colleges. In some cases, the club leadership migrates from one college to another. There is a wide range of options. There are few organizations that are designed for only one campus, but those few often deal with things like student governance or policy-making bodies.

Why not just make The Claremont Colleges one university?

There are many reasons we could give: our values and philosophies; our traditions and practices; our independence and individual identity; and, more. Probably the most compelling reason is a desire to continue to shower the undergraduate students with the attention of our professors and to offer a more diverse and deeper blend of courses than could happen if we were governed under one umbrella. A simple cost-benefit analysis would suggest that the Colleges would be giving up far more than they would stand to gain.

Is everything coordinated among the college members?

Not at all.Many times one college will offer programs or events that are intended for its own campus and community, but often people from neighbor schools can join in. We agree to work together, and have significant responsibilities to the whole.This essentially makes this consortium work well. The presidents of each college meet on a regular basis, as do the chief officers for all main administrative branches: deans of students; deans of faculty; registrars; deans of admission, VPs for finances; directors and VPs for computing, etc.

The computer science faculty members at all the undergraduate colleges  often attend the departmental meetings of the CS Department at HMC, and the mathematics faculty across the various colleges are on especially friendly terms. Since the boundaries between the member colleges are fairly permeable, it is important that we communicate well among neighboring institutions. Think of it as a family of colleges. We have many responsibilities to the family, but each is its own entity and has to preserve some autonomy for its own benefit. But we all recognize that we are enhanced by the whole.

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