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Very Hard
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4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: They really try to give you opportunities

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a Spanish and Psychology major (double major). Psychology is a very popular major and because of that it is exceedingly hard to get the classes you want. Also, because we are a small school, a lot of classes are seminars so they fill up quickly. It seems that in order to complete your major on time, you have to give up a few of your first choices for psychology and take the other ones (which might be pretty mind-opening and awesome). Spanish is a great major. The workload is heavy and the students are VERY knowledgeable but with hard work it is doable. Also, there are chances to know the professors and to get more involved in the Spanish Department. I am a sophomore and am a Spanish Liaison-which is usually held by juniors. So with ambition, you can take advantage of great opportunities to network and become integrated into the program.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: ABSOLUTELY GREAT!!! You can take classes at the other Claremont Colleges and they still count towards your degree. One bad thing though is that it is exceedingly hard to get into classes as a first or second year.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 7th
    Best Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 16th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 22nd
    Most Caring Professors
  • 33rd
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 75th
    Smartest Professors

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Classes at Pomona aren't just small—they're intimate. If you are afraid of intimacy, be warned; you will be expected to participate at Pomona. You won't be listening to tape-recorded lectures in a hall full of 500 disinterested students. Classes are largely discussion based, and if you don't keep up, you won't just be threatened with grade penalization, your peers might think less of you, as well! Remember, academic discussion is like a multi-fronted battle, and you must defend your position, crushing your opposition until you stand alone and victorious over your foe's slaughtered, rhetorical remains! Actually, discussion classes at Pomona are more like a friendly meeting than a battle. Students and professors tend to be very accepting of diverse and diverting ideas (occasionally even to a fault). As for professors, they are accessible, interesting, and generally at least as engaged in their teaching duties as they are in trying to get their latest academic treatises published. They are wonderful resources and guides when a student is self-motivated, but they tend to do little to inspire the chronically apathetic—many say that Pomona makes it too easy for the lazy to slide by.

Overall, what you'll find at Pomona is a bunch of professors with varied expectations for their students; some are easy graders, some are not; some will push you, and some will do everything in their power to make sure you don't have to work a lick. Then again, when you stay up drinking every night, skip half of the assignments, and still pull down a solid B+/A- in every class, something might be a little fishy.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 73%
  • 20 to 49 students: 26%
  • 50 or more students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Economics and Econometrics: 6%
  • Mathematics, Algebra, and Geometry: 5%
  • Neuroscience: 4%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 3%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Computer literacy
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Other Academic Offerings
  • 3-2 combined bachelors in engineering with Wash U (St. Louis)
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • Honnold Library
  • The Quad
  • Smith Campus Center
Tips to Succeed
  • Butter up the professors. This may seem cheap, but most people do it, and if you want your GPA to keep up with all the other GPAs, you'd be wise to play along. This mainly applies in the humanities; in the sciences, there is somewhat more objectivity. Of course, Pomona professors are a bundle of sharp cookies (pardon my metaphor mixing), and they don't respond well to the traditional sycophant. The best way to get on their good side is to show seemingly genuine interest in their subject matter; it's generally profound and overlooked, and they want recognition as much as any of us. Then again, if you aren't interested in the subject, why are you taking it?
  • Decide early what you want to do and go about accomplishing it in a driven manner. It's too easy to dither away your time at Pomona, and while this can be very pleasant, you will likely find yourself regretting that you didn't find that internship or do that project with such and such a professor. There's always time to dither. There isn't always time to lay some serious groundwork for your future.
Did You Know?
  • Pomona College offers the lovely and often-used P/NC option, which is short for Pass/No Credit. If previous to the P/NC deadline, which generally falls a month or so into the semester, it becomes evident to you that you are in big trouble in, say, "Advanced Calculus," just P/NC it. As long as the class wasn't for your major, if you fail it, there is no permanent mark on your transcript. If you pass it, then you get the credit, and it doesn't affect your GPA.
  • Acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace ("Infinite Jest," "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men") joined the Pomona College faculty in the fall of 2002 as a full-time creative writing professor. The position was created with a grant from Roy E. Disney (son of Walt Disney) specifically designed to land Pomona a distinguished author on the faculty.
  • The average Pomona student's GPA hovers around the B+/A- range. This is due to either exceptional students or grade inflation. You make the call.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 18 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 20 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.


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