Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA, USA

Reviews

Claremont McKenna College
4.50 Average Rating

Clevelander at CMC

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Claremont McKenna is a place for the bold, adventurous, and ambitious. If you are serious about getting something done, in many cases there is funding and support available. It's just a matter of having the courage and strength to know what you want and work for it!
Tips for prospective students
Don't decide not to come to CMC simply because you aren't a gov or Econ major. I am pre-med at CMC and it's not always easy but there is plenty of support for people off the beaten path!
Dorm Life
I made some of the most amazing friends living in one of the least sought after dorms on campus. Sometimes less is more!
Food and Dining
Collins is has a lot of healthy options and it's very convenient to be able to meet friends from all 5Cs at your and their dining halls.
What to do for fun
Join a club! Go to the trivia quiz on Thursday nights! Go to a movie showing on Friday! Check out a big party or a small get together.
Bang for the buck
I'm on a very generous scholarship and what I do pay for I feel is worth it for what I get back! But many students I know who pay full tuition are equally happy with the school.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
If its your birthday and you don't like being thrown in a fountain in the middle of the night wearing all your clothes, either don't come to CMC or hide on your birthday! (like I did)
Great for these types of students
Ambitious, goal-oriented, fun, good humor, intelligent, ready to work hard and play hard too!
Greek Life
Doesn't so much exist at CMC but there are some organizations in the 5C community.
Campus Safety
I've never felt scared of anything or anyone on campus, the security is always around and generally don't interfere in your life or bother you except if you need help.
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Mia from Carmel, IN

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Welcome to a school where everyone there truly wants to be your best friend. Filled with dedicated and courageous undergraduate students, Claremont McKenna is not only a place of top-notch academics, but a haven of fun and adventure. With a student body that will make you feel at home, there is a good reason Claremont McKenna College was voted 2015's happiest college in America.
Tips for prospective students
Most incoming freshman are new and come from all over the United States and abroad, so meeting knew people is a guarantee. Don't be afraid to try new things- everyone is new, so just put yourself out there! If you are looking to work hard, play hard, and have fun while attending one of the most rigorous schools in the country, CMC is the place for you.
Academic Rigor
The classes at CMC are difficult but the professors are truly there to make sure that you learn and to help you out.
Dorm Life
There are many different kind of dorm that you can choose to live in. There is a dorm for everyone and you usually live with other people that fit your personality type. North quad for those who like to go out on the weekends, mid quad for those who like to go out but want to return to a quiet sleeping environment, and south quad for those who like to live in a very quiet and remote environment.
Food and Dining
As far as dining hall food, it is VERY good, with many healthy options. Because it is located on a consortium you can eat at any of the 7 dining halls.
What to do for fun
The school throws hundreds of events each month that all students are invited to participate in. There are themed parties on the weekends as well as sponsored events in the week. During finals and midterms they have puppies to de-stress, as well as other fun activities. Because CMC is located on a campus with 4 other schools, there are always new places to visit and new friends to make. You will never be bored from the intramural sports to the themed parties and 5C events.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
On your birthday it is tradition to throw you into the fountains at midnight- so good luck if your birthday is in the winter months because it will be cold!
Great for these types of students
Ambitious dedicated go-getter students that aren't afraid to throw themselves out there and work for what they want.
Clubs and Activities
There are tons of clubs and intramurals to join. If there isn't a club you want, you are welcome to create your own- the school will fund it for you!
Greek Life
There is no greek life. The absence of greek life makes the community feel closer and is in most respects more fun.
Campus Safety
The campus is VERY safe in a safe town. You can always call campus security if you need someone to walk you back to your dorm but I have NEVER felt unsafe at campus, even walking back to my dorm at 2 am.
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Taylor from Lake Forest, CA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
CMC is an Ivy League tier college that boasts professors that worked in their fields, not only academia, a state of the art gym, and the benefits of a college consortium. Claremont McKenna is unique since, instead of most liberal arts colleges, it makes a point of practical preparation for the professional world. Furthermore, due to its selectivity and small class population, Claremont McKenna has a tight knit community where most of its students share the same professional and recreational interests.
Tips for prospective students
Prospective students should be aware that CMC is geared toward extroverted students, whether in the classroom or in social life. Small class sizes make it easier to interact with the teacher and other students, and it makes it more difficult to hide from the teacher. Furthermore, students should be prepared for more rigor than in high school; everyone was near the top of their class in high school, so the academics have been adjusted accordingly.
Academic Rigor
Classes are difficult, but fair; as long as you take thorough notes and read your materials, you should do fine in your classes. Since CMC is a liberal arts college, a general education requirement must be fulfilled, and you will be expected to play outside of your strengths; fortunately, most classes are very practical; even philosophy courses instruct on how to improve the quality of your own life or to use fundamental argumentative skills that may be used in most any field of work.
Dorm Life
The campus is divided into 3 sections: South Quad, Mid Quad, and North Quad. South Quad has 3 towers, favors a quieter lifestyle, and stands right next to Robert's Pavilion, CMC's new gym. North Quad is where the majority of parties are hosted, boasts a louder lifestyle, and stands the closest to the classrooms. Mid Quad stands between North Quad and South Quad, and features a hybrid between the two lifestyles. Furthermore, Mid Quad is located the closest to Collins Dining hall. Only the North Quad dorm rooms don't have air conditioning, but this is hardly an issue given the moderate Southern California climate. The campus is relatively compact since the only thing dividing North Quad and South Quad is Parent's Field, which is a soccer field where rugby games and campus-wide parties are also held.
Food and Dining
Not only is Collins Dining Hall a superb place to eat, but since CMC is part of the Claremont Consortium, students will have access to every other college's dining halls and cafes. Each hall has its own distinct personality, and is bound to satisfy any student's needs on any given day. For example, CMC's dining hall favors a diet conducive to building muscle and exercise; I maintained the same workout schedule as at home, and managed to build 7 lbs of muscle in the 1st semester due to the abundance of protein in the grill section and carbs in the spaghetti/pasta bar. In contrast, Scripps College has a dining hall with a heavier emphasis of salads, boasting a staffed salad bar. Furthermore, the Athenaeum, which is where CMC hosts speakers from Monday to Thursday night, serves gourmet food at a sit-in, not buffet, style.
What to do for fun
Students have ample opportunity to join athletic or recreational clubs, attend speaker talks at the Athenaeum, or even hang out in their friends' rooms. There are regular parties every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night, and some ASCMC organized parties as well. After classes at around 3pm to 4 30pm, there is Athenaeum Tea, where anyone could pop in for coffee, iced tea, and baked treats, or a student could be in Stark Lounge or the Hub playing Pool or Foosball. There are also plenty of football and basketball games that students can attend, and plenty of intramural games as well.
Great for these types of students
CMC is a very political school since 3 of its biggest departments are the Philosophy, Government, and Economics departments. CMC is largely a centrist college, with an administration devoted to the protection of free speech and civil discourse. The students themselves tend to lean either center right or center left, and the far-right and far-left are generally looked down on. It is not uncommon to see either American flags or rainbow flags in dorm buildings, so it can definitely be said that the CMC community is tolerant of both sides of the aisle.
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Christina from Los Angeles, CA

researching this school
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I enjoyed the atmosphere while I visited the campus. I thought the campus was nice and fit what I am looking for in a college. I was able to talk to representatives and thought they gave me great information for the admission process and any other questions I had.
Academic Rigor
I was able to talk to students and they said the course work was rigorous yet fulfilling.
Dorm Life
I liked the look of the dorms when I was given my campus tour.
Food and Dining
My tour guide told me the food at the cafeteria is good and there are other places around campus you are able to take advantage of.
Campus Safety
The campus seemed extremely safe during my visit
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Sarah

a current student here
20 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Claremont Mckenna College is an amazing community with wonderful students and professors. It's extremely difficult to not fall in love with the college, even students that consider transferring in the beginning change their minds. The education that you get here is invaluable.
Tips for prospective students
The weather is amazing here, but it still gets cold so don't forget the sweaters. You might be thinking, well I don't really want to go to a small school, but let's not forget that CMC is a part of the Claremont colleges and you're able to use resources from all 5Cs.
Academic Rigor
We don't exactly have that much homework, but come exam time and the library is packed with students trying to focus. Everyone is very self-motivated and it's not as easy to be at the top of your class anymore. However, the relationship that you're able to develop with your professors makes it all worthwhile.
Dorm Life
Dorms aren't separated by class, there's a 10% reserve for freshmen in each dorm. Everyone is extremely welcoming, you'll often find doors propped open for people to just come by and say hi. There are also lounges in every dorm for socializing.
Food and Dining
Everyone says the food at the 5Cs are amazing, but it might get a bit boring after a while. Scripps' fresh baked cookies are always amazing and Frank is quite a walk but well worth it.
What to do for fun
Parties? TNC (Thursday Night Club) is popular for those that like to party. Even if you don't want to participate in drinking you can always fill your red cup with soda. No peer pressure. Otherwise, the village is a fun place to just hang out with friends. It might be difficult to get off campus as a Freshmen since you're not allowed to have a car on campus. But, you can always use Claremont Dial a Ride to get to the mall or around Claremont.
Bang for the buck
I mean, you get paid internships over the summer, an amazing career services center, wonderful professors, and friendly classmates. What more could you ask for? Seriously though, it's a lot of work and a lot of fun.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Beware! You will get ponded (thrown into a water fountain) on your birthday.
Campus Safety
Extremely safe. Claremont is essentially a college town, nothing much really happens around here. The worst thing that could happen is getting things stolen if you leave it out or forget it.
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Karissa from Walnut, CA

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Claremont is a diverse school that brings out the drive and passion in every student. Although notorious for being a rigorous school, each professor is willing to take the time to make sure that the students succeed and are prepared adults for the future. With the easy access to the other Claremont Colleges surrounding Claremont McKenna, the student is never bored with their environment and can actually broaden their interests in therms of taking classes offered at the other colleges.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be intimidated by the fact that there are five colleges located within the Claremont Colleges. Each college has its own personality and the smaller size of Claremont McKenna gives a homey atmosphere. I feel safe knowing that I don't have a far distance to walk at night from my friends dorm to my dorm. Also, be sure to take advantage of the wonderful Wilderness Outdoor Adventure trip in the summer because you meet tons of incoming freshmen and make many new friends.
Academic Rigor
Claremont is one of the most prestigious private colleges in the country. For that reason, there are high expectations from the student to be determined for that high GPA, driven to form their own research projects, become a leader or activist in a club, and still be a team player in the Claremont family. Some students are overwhelmed by the focus on leadership because not everyone is capable of having such skills. However, these values and rigorous course loads are what push each student to become better leaders for the future.
Dorm Life
The fact that there are only two substance-free halls is bothersome. Having such a high percentage of the dorms that allows substances can lead to peer pressure of drinking or smoking, which could have been avoided by having more substance-free halls. One of the luxuries, however, of these college dorms is the maid service.
Food and Dining
The food at Claremont McKenna is amazing. There is no such thing as fast food there. Everything is cooked like a meal that mom makes at home. There is always fresh salad and vegetarian options in addition to the wide selection of food already presented at each meal. Also, you can always get up and get more food unlike some colleges where what you have on your plate is all you get.
What to do for fun
Personally, the 5K Color Run is a great way to gether people from all of the Claremont Colleges, have fun, and run for a cause. There are hundreds of clubs to choose from, whether they be theater or sports-related, there is an activity for everyone. About 33% of the students who attend Claremont McKenna are athletes so a fantastic way to make new friends is through sports.
Bang for the buck
To be honest, Claremont McKenna is one of the most expensive private colleges there is. However, that large price tag isn't there for no reason. The personalized professor-student office hours where a student can either ask for help or just have lunch with their teacher, endless buffet of gourmet meals and desserts, and beautifully landscaped campus are among the many bonuses of this college. There is also a guarantee that you will receive your Bachelor's Degree in four years, unlike state funded universities which are now having their students graduate in an average of five years.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is a special glass room located just outside of the main office where students can study, relax before their next class, or hang out with friends. It is a beautifully designed structure that is even cooler to look at on the inside. It is conveniently located in the center of campus and there is Wi-fi, air conditioning, and comfty chairs.
Great for these types of students
Claremont McKenna is a great supporter of sports and there is even underwater basket weaving. If you are an athlete, the professors are understanding of your demanding work schedule and the hours that you dedicate to practice. At times they are willing to be more lenient and help the students not feel overwhelmed with the work load.
Clubs and Activities
There are clubs for dancer, actors, writers, activists, animal-lovers like me and so much more. The beauty of having so many clubs is that as a student I do not feel limited to just a certain activity that I was used to participating in during high school. Now I can even try Salsa dancing classes and broaden my horizons.
Greek Life
Unfortunately, there are no sororities or fraternities on the campus. The benefit of this is that all of the students mingle together and there is no division amongst the students. No one feels superior or inferior, which is great.
Campus Safety
There are round-the-clock guards that are friendly and make sure that you feel safe. They are also willing to walk you to your dorm during anytime of day. Also, Claremont McKenna is located in an area of low crime and has even been nicknamed to have a bubble of safety surrounding the school.
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Jessica from Claremont, CA

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Claremont McKenna places a high emphasis on leadership and ethics. The school is designed for students to actively learn and participate in activities they genuinely enjoy. Their motto is work hard, play harder.
Tips for prospective students
Focus on your leadership abilities and how you can develop them at Claremont McKenna.
Academic Rigor
Classes are tough but it is possible to get straight A's if you work hard.
Dorm Life
Most students live in dorms for all four years. As a current senior, I prefer to live on-campus than off-campus. Not only will you be closer to the classrooms, but the dining hall will be minutes away as well as free access to computers/internet/printing.
Food and Dining
AMAZING FOOD. You will never get bored of the food. Even if you do, you have four-five other dining halls to choose from at the other colleges.
What to do for fun
There are many IM sports, clubs and weekend festivities for you to have fun.
Bang for the buck
The experiences you get at Claremont McKenna are invaluable. Consider this: you get a speaker every day of the week at the Athenaeum, you get tea time in the afternoon and snack time at night. These are the icing on the cake of being at Claremont McKenna.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
On your birthday, prepare to be ponded in the fountain at midnight. Attend Donald McKenna's birthday party and have the chance to win a free trip to Scotland. Win a trip to Paris at Monte Carlo.
Great for these types of students
Fun, out-going, hard-working and laid-back.
Clubs and Activities
Visit http://cmcclubs.com/
Campus Safety
Very safe! There are emergency phones all around campus. You are given the campus security's number at orientation so in case anything happens, you know who to call.
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Student

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Academic Rigor
You can expect classes to be challenging, but interesting. Since all classes are small (generally no more than 15-25 students) you can expect one on one time with the professor whenever you need it.
Dorm Life
The dorms are okay. Generally you can expect to live all 4 years on campus. They are all centrally located and only a short walk to wherever you are headed.
Food and Dining
Great all you can eat food at all 7 of the 5-C dining halls. The best college food in the country!
Bang for the buck
CMC is expensive, but there is financial aid available if you qualify. CMC graduates enjoy one of the highest starting salaries of any university in the country.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
You get ponded (thrown into one of the fountains) on your birthday.
Great for these types of students
Academic, Athletic, and Outgoing.
Greek Life
There is no greek life at CMC. In my opinion this is great because we have parities every week that everyone can go to. We also have massive 5-C parties that are legendary. (FOAM at Mudd, Pirate Party at CMC, EuroTrash at Scripps, Harwood Halloween at Pomona)
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