Claremont McKenna College strongly encourages its students to study off-campus during their college career. Whether off-campus study occurs abroad or within the U.S., the College regards it as an extension of the on-campus educational experience, and expects the courses for which students receive academic credit to be in a field characteristic of the liberal arts and comparable to courses offered at The Claremont Colleges. Students participating in off-campus study often return to Claremont with stronger research skills, advanced language levels, a greater focus on major studies, and a greater sense of accomplishment and preparation for life after CMC.
CMC students who return from international study express the same sentiment: study abroad is a life-changing experience. They return to campus with fresh perspectives on international, political, economic, and environmental issues. To help students learn first-hand about global issues, CMC is affiliated with universities and select programs around the world, giving CMC students a chance to choose from a multitude of program options in over 45 countries.
The programs with which CMC is affiliated vary in field of study and format. Many are one semester in length, but some cover the full academic year. The Off-Campus Study Committee (OCSC) has jurisdiction over all aspects of CMC’s study abroad and off-campus programs. The Committee makes policy, reviews programs, authorizes credits, and approves applicants. Students select a program from a list of approved options. In exceptional circumstances, students may attend other programs with special permission.
Currently CMC is affiliated with (one or more) programs in the following countries:
Applications for Study Abroad
Study abroad is open to second semester sophomores and to juniors. Students select a program in consultation with the faculty and the Center for Global Education staff; students must begin the planning process a year in advance.
Requirements for Study Abroad
CMC has the following requirements for study abroad:
- To apply for study abroad, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 9.00 for fall or academic year study abroad programs and 8.50 for spring programs (in special cases, exceptions may be made by the Global Education Committee (GEC).
- Students must be registered full-time at CMC during the semester prior to leaving for study abroad.
- Once approved by the GEC, students must maintain the required cumulative GPA of 9.00 or 8.50 for fall or spring respectively prior to leaving for their program abroad.
- While abroad, all CMC students are required to study the host language.
Course Load for Study Abroad Programs
Students are expected to take the regular full-time course load while abroad - this can mean between three and seven courses, depending upon the program and the credit value of the courses. Students are also expected to complete all coursework for a letter grade by the end of the semester in which they study abroad (no incomplete grades, no late withdrawals, no exam-re-sits, no pass/fail or credit/no credit).
Course Credits for Study Abroad Programs
The maximum amount of credit CMC students may earn abroad is eight courses for an academic year, and four courses for one semester. Students who complete an internship while abroad may receive up to one-half CMC course credit, provided the internship meets the criteria set by the Study Abroad Committee.
Academic credit will not be granted for study abroad completed while students are on leave from or have withdrawn from CMC.
Costs of Study Abroad
CMC students participating in study abroad or international exchange programs through CMC are charged CMC on-campus tuition, and a study abroad fee equivalent to one semester room and board for each semester abroad. The Associated Students fee is not charged. Students on financial aid continue receiving all aid while abroad. CMC pays the study abroad or international exchange program tuition and fees, including room and board. In addition, CMC provides a meal allowance for students participating on programs which do not include meals, as well as round-trip travel allowance or airline ticket from LAX to the study abroad destination for each semester abroad. An allowance for local transportation and for international health insurance is also frequently provided as determined by program needs.
For further information, see Financing Off-Campus Study and Financial Aid and Study Abroad below.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
Students on financial aid continue to receive all financial aid while abroad, including state and federal aid, as well as private and merit scholarships. Students with CMC grants-in-aid will also continue to receive their grants.
For further information on financial aid for off-campus study and scholarship opportunities including The Mary and Richard Butler Award for Study Abroad , the Wagener Family Award for Sophomore Study Abroad, the National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, and program-specific scholarship opportunities, see Financing Off-Campus Study .
The Washington Program is a semester-length program administered by CMC since 1972. Participants in the program enroll in a full-time internship in the Washington, D.C. area, two regular courses, and an independent research course, all supervised by CMC faculty members, for a total of four (4) CMC course units. Students discuss contemporary political issues and how they relate to and affect the public and private sector, various branches of government, Capitol Hill, non-profits, and mass media. The full-time internship allows students to become immersed in their work environment where many are considered junior staff members, while the seminar courses and research paper provide a coherent academic framework for the semester.
In consultation with CMC faculty and staff, students accepted to the program obtain their own internships in the semester prior to program arrival. CMC students have interned for members of Congress, at the White House and executive branch agencies, at think tanks, in the mass media, for advocacy groups, at international organizations, and in the private sector.
For information, call CMC’s Center for Global Education at (909) 621-8267, or access the CMC Washington Program web page.
Application and Qualifications
The Washington Program is open to second semester sophomores and juniors from The Claremont Colleges. At the time of application students must have a cumulative GPA in Claremont of at least B (9.00), and successfully completed at least one introductory course in American government. All majors are welcome.
Costs of the Washington Program
Washington interns pay CMC tuition and the CMC student activity fee. These amounts cover the costs of the academic program, special events, field trips, and a travel allowance reimbursement towards the cost of the round-trip economy airfare to Washington, D.C. Participants find and rent their own apartments in Washington, D.C. Students on financial aid continue to receive all financial aid while on the program, including state and federal aid, as well as private and merit scholarships. Students with CMC grants-in-aid will also continue to receive their grants. Instead of paying CMC room and board, students on aid may receive a portion of their financial aid to cover housing and meals while in Washington. For further information on costs of the Washington Program as well as the Margaret Martin Brock Internship Award , the Claremont McKenna Internship Award , and the Dreier Roundtable Scholar Award , see Financing Off-Campus Study .
Silicon Valley Program
Claremont McKenna College’s Silicon Valley Program (SVP) provides students of the Claremont Colleges with an off-campus study semester that combines a full-time internship, related coursework, and professional development and networking opportunities in Silicon Valley. Students receive course credit for the internship and a set of related professional development activities. In addition, students are registered for two onsite courses and an independent study, all supervised by CMC faculty members, for a total of four (4) CMC course units. The coursework focuses on innovation, and the courses and the internship each leverage each other: the insights from the courses are often applicable in the student’s internships, and the internships are like laboratories for applying the concepts and tools covered in class.
Students seek and obtain internships at a variety of Silicon Valley companies. Ideal employers are focused on innovation, technology, or a related activity (such as venture capital, consulting, etc.) Internship roles and tasks vary depending upon the needs of the sponsoring organizations and the skills of the students: internships can be secured in engineering, finance, human resources, product development, customer service, marketing, and other corporate functions. All internships must provide students with the types of experiences that would be afforded to early-career professional staff.
Application and Qualifications
The Silicon Valley Program is open to sophomores, juniors, and first-semester seniors from The Claremont Colleges. At the time of application students must have a cumulative GPA in Claremont of at least B (9.00). The program normally requires successful completion of ECON 050 CM or an equivalent course, but will consider exceptions on a case by case basis. All majors are welcome.
Costs of the Silicon Valley Program
Silicon Valley Program interns pay CMC tuition and a Silicon Valley housing fee. These amounts cover the costs of the academic program, special events, and field trips. Silicon Valley Program staff secure housing for students in the mid-peninsula, equidistant between San Francisco and San Jose. Students on financial aid continue to receive all financial aid while on the program, including state and federal aid, as well as private and merit scholarships. Students with CMC grants-in-aid will also continue to receive their grants. Instead of paying CMC board, students on aid may receive a portion of their financial aid to cover meals while in Silicon Valley.
For information, call CMC’s Center for Global Education at (909) 621-8267.
Financial Aid and the Washington and Silicon Valley Programs
CMC students receiving financial aid will continue to receive their CMC award as well as their awarded aid from outside sources. The total financial aid award package for students on the Washington program will include a moderate increase to reflect the higher cost of living in Washington, D.C. For further information, see Financing Off-Campus Study .
U.S. Exchange Programs
In addition to the Washington Program, CMC offers its students the opportunity to spend one semester on domestic exchange at Haverford College in Pennsylvania or at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.