Claremont McKenna College (CMC) is a private, coeducational liberal arts college and a member of the Claremont Colleges located in Claremont, California
Founded as a men’s college in 1946, Claremont McKenna College became co-educational in 1976. Its 69-acre campus is located 35 miles (56 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles. The college focuses primarily on undergraduate education, but in 2007 it established the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, which offers a masters program in finance. As of 2013, there are 1,254 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students.
Claremont McKenna is ranked tied for eighth out of all liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. The Princeton Review rated Claremont McKenna 2nd in the nation for happiest students; The Daily Beast placed Claremont McKenna as one of the top 25 most rigorous colleges in the nation; and College Factual has Claremont McKenna as the 14th most selective college in the nation.
The college, which operates on a semester system, has 12 academic departments, 10 research institutes and 32 majors, the most popular of which are economics, government, psychology, and international relations. The student to faculty ratio is 9:1 and 82% of the classes have fewer than 20 students. The four-year graduation rate is 84%, and the freshman retention rate is 96%.
Students must complete calculus, two science courses, two humanities courses outside of their major and three social science courses outside of their major. They must also achieve proficiency in a foreign language, which they can do by passing a proficiency test or by completing the third semester of the language. Freshmen are required to take a humanities seminar and a writing seminar. All students must complete a senior thesis, which can be either one-semester in length or, to receive departmental honors, two semesters. Students who are not on a sports team must complete three semesters of non-credit physical education classes.
Claremont McKenna’s curricular emphasis is on its social sciences, particularly economics, government, international relations, and psychology. About forty percent of CMC students major in either government or economics. CMC also offers an Oxford-style Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major with two separate tracks of 14 students each. Other multi-disciplinary majors include management engineering, philosophy and public affairs, science and management, econ-accounting, biology-chemistry, and environment, economics, and politics (EEP). CMC also offers the Robert A. Day 4+1 BA/MBA, in which students receive both their BA from Claremont McKenna and their MBA from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in 5 years. In September 2007, Claremont McKenna College announced the largest gift ever to a liberal arts college – $200 million – donated by alum Robert A. Day (Chairman, TCW Group), to create the Robert Day Scholars Program, which has both an undergraduate and graduate component. Undergraduate Scholars, representing a variety of majors, pursue courses in economics, accounting, finance, and psychology, and upon completion, have the Robert Day Scholars designation noted on their transcript. Graduate Scholars, who already enter the Program with a solid foundation in economics, accounting, finance, and organizational psychology, take one year of advanced courses in corporate finance, econometrics, investments and valuation, culminating in a Master of Arts in Finance. All Robert Day Scholars are provided significant scholarship support and participate in a variety of co-curricular activities, including networking trips and private dinners with prominent guest speakers.