Claremont McKenna College
500 E 9th St, Claremont, California 91711
Claremont, California 91711
(909) 621-8088
Accrediting Agency:
Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Founded in 1946, Claremont McKenna College is one of the highest-rated liberal arts schools in the United States. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranked it the ninth best liberal arts college in the country and the 36th best value school in its 2012 Best Colleges rankings. The college is a member of the Claremont University Consortium, a group of seven universities that cooperate to offer a wide range of classes to students of all of the schools. Each college offers a different focus; Claremont McKenna College places an emphasis on economics, government, and international relations.

Programs Offered

Claremont McKenna College offers 32 undergraduate degrees, including accounting, Arabic, biochemistry, history, physics, film studies, and economics. Because it’s a member of the Claremont University Consortium, a student can register for more than 2,000 classes at any of the nine universities and have them count toward their major. The college also offers a master’s degree in finance, which is the school’s only graduate-level program.


Claremont McKenna College has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities since 1949. The other six schools in the Claremont University Consortium are also accredited by the same organization.


Admissions into Claremont McKenna College’s undergraduate program is selective. For the academic year 2011 to 2012, 4,481 students applied and 623, or 14%, were accepted, according to the college. There is no grade point average (GPA) requirement for admission; instead, an applicant is judged based on extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation, and standardized test scores. The college suggests that incoming freshman take the most challenging classes possible to increase their chances for admission. There are also minimum high school requirements, including four years of English, three years of mathematics, at least three years of a foreign language, at least one year of history, and at least two years of science.

Transfer students are judged in a similar fashion. The college says there is no GPA requirement, which means that a high GPA does not guarantee admission. That being said, the college recommends a minimum college GPA of 3.3. The admissions committee will consider other factors, such as course selection, recommendations, writing ability, and personal circumstances. To enter the master’s program, a student needs to send undergraduate transcripts, a resume, a cover letter of no more than 400 words, a photo, and two letters of reference. Admissions applications for freshman, transfer, and graduate students can be done online.


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