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Reviews 379 total reviews with an average rating of 3.9

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4 College Senior

Academics: Academics are very good. Many professors are fantastic, and almost all professors really care about students and will go out of their ways to help you. All classes are taught by professors rather than by TAs. Our Philosophy department is particularly fantastic, and I believe it's the best department at CMC. Our government and economics departments are good, but overrated. There's not a lot of diversity in either department (mostly older conservative white men, many of whom are not great teachers), though they are getting better. That said, many individual professors in those departments and others are fantastic.

About half of students study abroad (or go to programs in Silicon Valley or DC), though it feels like more, and I would recommend doing this.

I would not come here to study science or engineering unless I'm also majoring in the humanities or social sciences, since our joint science department (shared with Scripps and Pitzer) is overcrowded and underfunded. There are no performing or visual arts programs to speak of, although you can take classes at the other schools, especially Pomona and Scripps. In general, being able to take classes at the other schools is a great thing. Many CMCers take introductory computer science at Harvey Mudd, one of the best engineering schools in the country.

3 College Senior

Diversity: Diversity is not great, especially racial and socioeconomic diversity. The majority of students are upper or upper-middle class and white, and you may not feel supported if you are non-white or from a lower income background (though some folks from these backgrounds have great experiences at CMC). There has been a lot of activism over the past year on issues of class and race at CMC, and things seem to be getting better. People are more aware of the diversity of experiences on campus, at the very least.

LGBT folks are generally accepted, though there's a significant proportion of the CMC population for whom old masculine habits die hard (e.g. calling things you dislike gay). Most people are non-religious, although no one really judges you if you are.

Political diversity at CMC is fantastic compared to basically any other college. People are predominantly liberal, but there are a fair number of conservatives on campus due to CMC's history, including the professors. Students and professors are almost always respectful of others' political beliefs and enjoy engaging on political issues in a rational way.

4 College Senior

Drug Safety: Some people drink too much freshman and sophomore year, though you generally learn how to handle yourself by the time you're an upperclassman. I see this as a good thing, because my friends at CMC are now a lot more responsible with alcohol than many of my friends from home who go to schools with more restrictive policies. A lot of people smoke weed, though it's not really an issue (some people don't like the smell, I guess). Some people do harder drugs, though I've never actually seen it, so it's avoidable unless you go out of your way to find it.

5 College Senior

Health & Safety: Campus is incredibly safe. Every once in a while a bike gets stolen if you leave it unlocked, though it's usually fine. Sexual assault is as much a problem as at any other college, although students here are very aware of it and active on issues of sexual assault. As a man, I can't speak much more on this, although I know some survivors haven't felt very supported by the administration.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Many professors are very good, although some are quite mediocre, especially in the government and economics departments (a lot of old white guys who have been around forever). They're making some progress on hiring younger, more diverse (read: women) faculty, including a few in the government department who are fantastic.

I've taken some great classes. Philosophy is our best department, and I would recommend that anyone who comes to CMC take a philosophy class. Most classes are a combination of lecture and discussion, and classes are fairly small (usually under 20 people, though some have around 30). Course variety is not very good, though the ability to take classes at the other colleges helps in this regard (and I recommend everyone should do it). The government department is very theory/political philosophy-focused. I would not come here if I wanted to major in science or engineering alone, although I might if I wanted to dual major or take a lot of classes in the humanities or social sciences alongside that. I also would not come here looking to major in the visual or performing arts, because you can't really do that.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Student career prospects are quite good, although the lack of name recognition can make it harder to get your foot in the door than if you go to, say, Stanford. In some ways I think that can be a good thing, because it forces us to be more intentional about what we want. Consulting, accounting, and investment banking firms recruit heavily on campus, and many people work in those industries after graduating. If you want to, you probably can.

Technology companies are getting more interested, and a lot of people go to San Francisco/Silicon Valley to work in semi-technical or non-technical positions these days. It can be very tough to land good government and political jobs, I think because of the lack of name recognition. Career services is OK. The alumni network is not very large, but incredibly active, and alumni will go out of their way to help you way more than is the norm at other (larger) colleges.

5 College Senior

Campus Housing: Dorms are excellent. Like others have said, North Quad (motel suite style) is more for partiers and bros. South Quad (tower suite style) is fairly quiet and many people don't drink, especially in Stark, the substance-free dorm. I am a huge fan of Mid Quad, which has the most recently renovated dorms and a great residential culture because of the more traditional hall-style dorms. It's somewhere in between NQ and SQ in terms of noise and how much people party.

On campus housing is expensive, but almost no one lives off campus. There are not many options, and you miss out on a lot of the community when you live off campus.

3 College Senior

Athletics: Some athletics teams are great (golf and tennis come to mind). Others are pretty mediocre (football). No one goes to football games. People generally don't go to basketball games either, except the rivalry game against Pomona-Pitzer, which is super high-energy and a great experience (Greg Popovitch called playing at CMC's old basketball court the most intense coaching experience he's ever had when he coached Pomona-Pitzer back in the day).

Athletic facilities are pretty mediocre right now, but a huge new $50,000,000 athletic center is about to open, so they should get a lot better starting in the spring of 2016.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: I've had some great classes and experiences at CMC, and a few that weren't so great. Anyone coming to CMC should be aware that the social scene is pretty centered on alcohol and partying (though there is a substance free dorm with a strong culture, and a surprisingly high number of people who don't drink/go out). Thankfully, the parties are on campus, hosted by the student government, and open to everyone. There isn't a whole lot of the sketchiness or exclusivity that usually comes with frat parties at larger schools, since parties are open to everyone. I see this as a huge benefit of the school, though I no longer regularly attend parties.

It's really easy to get involved in things you're interested in, whether that's student government, a club, or research. Research opportunities are probably more available for Econ majors than others, and in the sciences/engineering you won't have the same kind of research experiences you would at a school that has real researchers.

We have some great professors here. Philosophy is by far the best, and there are some excellent professors in probably all of our other departments as well. In my opinion as someone majoring in both, our government and economics departments aren't deserving of the reputations they have. I wouldn't come here looking to study science, engineering, or pre-med, unless I'm also really interested in studying the humanities/social sciences. Classwork is generally reasonable, though challenging. People are motivated, but not super competitive with each other or stressed out, which is great.

Many CMC students are smart, motivated, and interested in their academic subjects. Others are more interested in partying. Many are a mix of both. People are not particularly artsy or creative; if you are, you might feel that side of yourself slipping away over your four years here (though we're getting better and now have a dedicated music space on campus). It can feel small after 4 years, but overall great!

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The RA's are super chill. You can rip a bong in North and no one will do anything about it. Be wary of leaving paraphernalia out all of your dorm, because the building attendants will sometimes report these possessions to the administration while cleaning rooms. If you're not completely reckless, dorm life at CMC is a great time, no matter which quad you live in. I will say, North and Mid are much more social than South, but there is definitely an option for every taste of noise-level, party abundance, and proximity to various other campus buildings.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Our varsity sports teams are not all amazing, but participation in athletics is very common at this school. Many CMCers are student-athletes, but generally, academics are above and beyond more important to these students. Sporting events are attended and are fun, but I would compare them more to high school games than college events. While not everyone attends sporting events and some do not participate in varsity or club sports, intramural sports are popular and effortless to get involved with. Overall, school spirit here is about much more than sports team pride. Sco stags and athenas!

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Claremont McKenna has already opened so many doors for pursuing my interests in and out of the classroom. I have met some of the most interesting people in my life during my time here and have experienced a diversity of views and backgrounds. The school does a fantastic job of orienting students to campus life through a stellar orientation program and continues to offer unmatched resources especially in the Career Services Center. While CMC is a phenomenal institution that adequately prepares its students for the professional world, its multitude of activities and clubs create a positive residential campus community, which is conducive to academic success as well as student happiness. Finally, CMC is part of the Claremont Consortium, which offers CMCers access to dining halls, classes, and social events across the 5 colleges and 2 graduate schools. I could not picture myself loving any other school as much as I love CMC.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Very engaging professors with very engaging classes. Most are discussion based. Appropriate amount of work. Great class selection and prof selection

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I always feel safe on campus, whether I'm walking around with friends in the middle of the day or alone from the library at 2 am.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Crown hall is by far the nicest dorm on campus. But regardless, all the dorms are very nice, spacious, and clean. We have dorm janitors that come every day and clean the halls. They also clean our rooms every week

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: About one-third of students here are varsity athletes. It is fun to be on a team, but since CMC is an academic institution above all, the emphasis is placed on grades rather than sports. We support out teams, but sporting games aren't the largest attraction.

We have Robert's Pavillion soon to be completed, a $50 million athletic center, which will be the nicest D3 athletic center in the country

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: CMC is the best school I could have asked for. The small class sizes are amazing. In large classes, it is hard to stay focused, and there is not a big incentive to attend class. With classes of under 20, you really get to know everybody - including your professors - really well.

All the parties are inclusive. Nobody is denied from them, really emphasizing the sense of community on campus.

There are 3 different quads to live in. North is where the social action is, mid is pretty typical run-of-the-mill - not too many parties, but pretty social. South quad is a lot quieter, but still very social. I wanted to live in mid, but I was placed in the south. This turned out to be great because I am best friends with the kids on my floor, and I have a quite place to go after the party. In the north quad, the party seems to never end.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: I love it. Everyone is so supportive!

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Overall it's good. But the campus is not as diverse as you think. There's a big difference between North quad and South quad.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: People call it Camp Claremont because it literally is like a camp. You will have the best time of your life here. You get the state school party scene (seriously, we love to party :D) with the prestige and academics of one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: About 95% of the student population lives on campus, mostly because it's so much more convenient and you get just as much freedom as living off campus. And the off campus housing isn't great.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: It all depends if you have a car. If you don't, you can only go into the village to dine off campus, and eventually it gets repetitive because there isn't THAT much.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: At first, the party scene is amazing. There's always something to do. But then, after a year and a half, you realize that they're all the same. You start to long for some variety. Truthfully, there are parties for every interest, but they aren't as easy to find as the big parties that are always the same.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Administration: Honestly, the administration here is very lenient, but at the moment they are reevaluating this. Some students are getting upset about new rules, but if you think about it, this school is unbelievably chill with things most other schools would not be. We're quite lucky. But there are a number of administration issues, that's almost inevitable.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: I love the food here. It's delicious and easily accessible. I especially love Collins, which I know a lot of my fellow students wouldn't agree with. But I don't understand why, Collins is delightful. The only reason I'm giving the rating "it's okay" is because of the meal times. They're very restrictive and there aren't a lot of options if you miss a meal, ESPECIALLY on a weekend. If you miss brunch on the weekend (which many people do, since it's only open until noon), there are literally no on campus food options until dinner at 5.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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The overall experience for most people at CMC is positive—provided they know what they are getting into. CMC is truly a unique school: this quality makes it heaven for some and extremely limiting and frustrating for others. CMC is not a liberal arts school; it’s a preprofessional school with a lot of general education requirements.

While technically you can major in something “liberal artsy” such as literature or history, CMC students are constantly thinking about jobs and their future and mostly stick to government and economics. Haters and lovers alike are happy with their professors and classes at CMC; professors are dedicated to teaching and truly want their students to work hard and challenge themselves. For the most part, if you can’t find a class or an activity at CMC, you can head over to one of the other 5Cs. That said, anyone interested in the arts or music should be aware that CMC has no art/music program of any sort, and it can be difficult to get into these classes on others campuses.

CMC students like to have fun. But, for them, having fun involves talking about the economy and a keg. Most social activities involve alcohol and copious amounts of it. While the other 5Cs help spice up the social scene, if you don’t like to drink, CMC will be a difficult adjustment for you. CMC has decent diversity on paper, but when it comes to life goals, CMCers are relatively homogenous. Everyone at CMC is intelligent, driven, and focused on becoming rich and successful. The vast majority of students know what's expected from CMC before they get into it and love it; the few that don’t usually didn’t understand what they were getting into. CMC is a blend of academia and the professional world, of serious and fun. CMCers love their school for a reason; there truly is nothing comparable.

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