Campus Life for Undergraduate Students
Residential Life and Dining
Attending CMC usually means living at CMC and 97 percent of CMC students live on campus and take an active part in residence hall activities and campus events. Students may live off-campus with the permission of the dean of students. Campus living is convenient, and the dorms are comfortable: all rooms are good size with ample closet space, and are furnished with a bed and mattress, trash and recycling cans, bureau, shelf, desk and desk chair for each student. All 13 residence halls have lounges for meetings and social activities.
Rooms in Appleby, Boswell, Green, and Wohlford Halls are doubles; there are singles and doubles in Auen, Beckett, Benson, Berger, Claremont, Fawcett, Marks, Phillips, and Stark
Housing for returning students is also available in the CMC student apartments. There are 33 four-person apartments, which house 132 students in single rooms, and six studio apartments with one or two students each. The four-person units have four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Each unit is furnished and has a fully-equipped kitchen.
Each year, the dean of students selects one responsible junior or senior to serve as the Resident Assistant (RA) for each residence hall. RAs are responsible for the general welfare of students in the hall – giving them yet another opportunity to develop leadership skills.
All students living in the residence halls must contract for meals in Collins Dining Hall; this contract also allows students to take meals at any of the other Claremont Colleges’ dining halls. Students living off-campus may also purchase a meal plan or pay for individual meals in Collins Hall.
In addition to the dining halls, students have access to The Hub, in the Emett Student Center, where students can purchase a sandwich, salad,burger or snack from the short-order grill and snack bar, and dine with friends in the dining room or on the outside patio. Other colleges also have coffee shops and dining halls for students.
Student self-government has been the norm at CMC almost since the school’s founding, being considered a highly appropriate way for students to develop the leadership skills they will need in their professional careers.
Advisory power is delegated by the CMC administration to the student body, and vested in its student governing agencies. Through those agencies, the College receives advice on such issues as buildings, grounds, and curriculum, although final decision-making authority rests with the faculty and administration.
All CMC students are members of The Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC), a corporation. The Executive Council is responsible for administering student activities. It formulates the annual budget, authorizes expenditures from the student body treasury, and appoints committees. The Student Senate considers recommendations concerning policy from its members, the Executive Council, or any CMC student, and makes appointments to student posts.
Clubs and Organizations
CMC students can participate in more than 70 CMC and Claremont-wide clubs and organizations. Activities include club sports, organizations for students and faculty in academic disciplines, forensics, community service, music and theater, and literary activities.
CMC participates in several periodicals or newsletters, whose staffs include CMC students. Some of these are:
- CMC’s yearbook, The Ayer, is a permanent record of campus activities; it is completely published by students.
- The Forum is an on-line newspaper published by CMC students; it covers events, activities, and issues on the CMC campus.
The orientation program, which precedes the beginning of the academic year in the fall, is aimed at helping new students transition into life at CMC. It includes an introduction to residential life and college policies, information about the curriculum, assistance with course selection, discussions with faculty members, as well as social events and opportunities to meet students from all of The Claremont Colleges. Orientation is required for all new students. During the first day there is also an orientation program for parents.
Prior to orientation new students are invited to participate in the Wilderness Orientation Adventure (W.O.A.). W.O.A. is a student-run program designed to welcome new students to CMC and to ease the transition into college life. Through a shared experience in the best of California’s wilderness, students begin forming long-lasting friendships that provide a great starting point for the first year. Current students, faculty, administrators, or alumni lead W.O.A. participants to a wide variety of wilderness destinations. All trips are coed with both male and female student leaders.
International Place provides a special orientation program for international students, which includes a homestay component, prior to CMC’s new student orientation.
Community Service and Volunteerism
CMC students are strongly encouraged to volunteer for community service programs and activities. Opportunities to tutor school children are available through several tutorial programs coordinated by CMC.
The Dean of Students Office (DoS) employs student community service coordinators to identify and create short- and longer-term projects for students. CMC offers community service opportunities throughout the year for students to get involved. Most community service/volunteer opportunities are made available through:
- The CMC Community Service Program coordinated by the student community service coordinators in the DoS;
- Student service organizations such as CIVITAS and Circle K, which identify, plan and coordinate a number of one-day projects each semester; and
- Participation by CMC students in programs sponsored or coordinated by the Office of the Chaplains.
The new student orientation program each fall includes a major community service project for all CMC students and staff who participate in orientation. For further information, please contact Dean James Nauls.
The development of each student is a key goal of the educational philosophy at CMC, and all staff members, including the president, the deans, faculty, and administrators, are available to students for counseling and advice. Faculty and administrators are encouraged to meet either formally or informally with students.
The formal academic advising program is coordinated by the dean of the faculty and academic advising of both majors and undecided students is the responsibility of the faculty. Students are encouraged to select a faculty advisor with academic interests similar to their own and should change advisors if they officially declare a new major or change majors. Students may change advisors with permission of the new advisor.
Prior to their arrival on campus, new students are assigned faculty advisors, usually in the area of their preferred major, with whom they meet for counsel and advice during orientation. During their first year at the College most students continue to consult with their orientation advisors about registration and other academic issues.
Graduate Student Life at CMC
Despite living off-campus, CMC graduate students are fully integrated into campus life through classes, co-curricular programming, campus resources, meals and athletics. Graduate students are subject to CMC regulations and policies and should refer to the CMC Graduate Student Handbook for additional information. Assistance with nearby off-campus housing is available through the CUC Real Estate office at www.cuc.claremont.edu/realestate.
Student Code of Conduct
CMC’s code of conduct is designed to maintain an environment that promotes its educational mission. The College expects all students to respect the persons and property of all members of the College community, and to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules of its educational and administrative processes. A detailed explanation of the code of conduct and CMC’s judicial procedures is provided in The Basic Rule of Conduct and Judicial Procedures, which is available in the Dean of Sudents section of the College website.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors may park a vehicle in designated CMC parking lots with valid registrations. Freshmen are not permitted to have cars on campus. All motor vehicles must be registered with the Campus Safety Department during college registration, or within three days after the vehicle is brought to Claremont; the fee for registration is $50 per semester. To register, students must furnish evidence of liability insurance. For temporary use (two weeks or less), students may obtain temporary permits from the Campus Safety Department; there is no fee for these permits, but permits must be obtained within three days of bringing the vehicle to Claremont. When vehicles are registered, students will receive information on College parking regulations and state and local laws. Students are required to display college registration tags in their vehicles any time they are parked on the CMC campus. CMC students may park only in lots designated for CMC students. The City of Claremont does not allow residents to park vehicles on any city streets overnight.
Failure to comply with any motor vehicle regulation is a violation of the Basic Rule of Conduct. The penalty may be a fine, booting, towing, loss of campus driving privileges or suspension. Out-of-state students who are under 18 (or over 18 and intend to work full-time), who wish to drive in California must, within 20 days after entering the state, contact a local office of the state Department of Motor Vehicles to verify the validity of their driver’s license and the adequacy of their insurance. Mopeds must be registered with Campus Safety and may not be operated on the interior of the campus (sidewalks, athletic fields, etc.). Bicycles must be registered with the City of Claremont; Campus Safety may conduct this registration on the student’s behalf.
Campus Resources and Services
In a setting that welcomes visitors as if they were guests in CMC’s home, the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum (MMCA) is a gathering place that is unique in American higher education. The facility serves as an informal meeting place for students, as well as the official site for more formal gatherings of students, faculty, and distinguished guests. The Athenaeum also hosts lunch and dinner meetings for academic classes, student organizations, and official functions of the College, giving students and faculty an opportunity to integrate their academic and social lives.
The Athenaeum features distinguished speakers who join students and faculty for dinner or lunch every Monday through Thursday during the semester. Following dinner or lunch, each guest speaker presents a lecture and engages in discussion with students and guests. The lectures and discussions are open to members of all The Claremont Colleges, as well as the general public. Two Athenaeum student fellows, along with the Athenaeum Advisory Committee made up of students and faculty, assist the Director in planning the program series.
Distinguished guests from the 2010-2011 academic year include:
- Gloria Feldt, former CEO and president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
- Manning Marable, author, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (2011)
- Louise Leakey, paleontologist; co-director, Koobi Fora Research Project
- Louise Glück, U.S. Poet Laureate (2003-2004)
- Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor (1993-1997)
- Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California
- Paul Farmer, co-founder, Partners in Health
- Beatriz Paredes Rangel, former president (2007-2011), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Mexico
- Michael Eisner, former CEO, The Walt Disney Company
- Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
- William Kristol, editor, The Weekly Standard
- Frank Deford, sports commentator and author
- Michael Gottlieb, M.D., discovered AIDS
- Erwin Chemerinksy, founding dean, University of California, Irvine, School of Law
- Andrew Ross Sorkin, author, Too Big to Fail
- Devashish Dey, Hindustani classical vocalist
Please refer to the Athenaeum website to learn more about the numerous scientists, economists, historians, musicians, and CMC alumni who have contributed to the richness of Athenaeum programs (www.claremontmckenna.edu/mmca).
Technology and Media Services
CMC students enjoy technology services through the efforts of the department of Information Technology Services (ITS). ITS hosts an extensive wired network, which connects all dorms, classrooms, and offices, and a wireless network available in most spaces across the campus. Students at CMC are provided with a College E-mail account and receive free access to network facilities from all dorm rooms via both wired network ports and high speed wireless access points, which link them both to the Internet and to campus resources, such as high-quality printers and network storage drives.
ITS delivers TV channels to students over CMC’s network infrastructure. All residents of CMC dorms and apartments are able to view TV channels KCBS (Channel 2), KNBC (Channel 4), KTLA (Channel 5), KABC (Channel 7), KCAL (Channel 9), FOX (Channel 11), and KCOP (Channel 13).
Direct support services are provided to CMC students through the Student Technology Assistant Team (STAT) of ITS. Each residence hall is served by a Resident Technology Assistant (RTA) who is available to provide on-site computer assistance to dorm residents through drop-in sessions, office hours, and by appointment.
CMC’s student computing resources are extensive. Poppa Lab, the primary campus computing facility, hosts 33 PC’s and four Macintosh workstations, and is open 24 hours per day. Poppa Lab provides students with access to high-capacity black-and-white and color laser printing, as well as resources for scanning and video editing. South Lab, located on the first floor of Stark Hall and also open 24/7, hosts 14 PC workstations and a high-capacity black-and-white printer. The Ryal Residential Lab is located in Phillips Hall; its 18 workstations and laser printing are available 24/7, and this lab features a richly landscaped outdoor courtyard with high-speed wireless access and accessible power outlets for a more comfortable and social laptop computing environment. The Poppa Family Technology Classroom in the Kravis Building is open most evenings as a student lab, with 32 PCs and a black-and-white printer, and offers students the opportunity to work collectively on group projects.
All teaching spaces at CMC are connected to the campus network, and all classrooms are “smart,” with full multimedia presentation and data access capabilities. These rooms offer the latest in instructional technology, including video and computer projection, video conferencing, closed-circuit classroom sharing, and a broad range of related features. There are two primary computer teaching labs. The Poppa Family Technology Classroom is used for smaller classes and the Fletcher B. Jones classroom, a larger lecture hall in Roberts North Hall, has individual workstations for 46 students.
ITS also provides a wide range of media services, designed to support both production and distribution of audio-visual materials. Digital cameras and DV camcorders are available free of charge for students to check out for generating their own films. Once projects have been filmed, students have 24-hour access to digital video editing facilities in Poppa Lab, where they can produce a finished product.
The Center for Writing & Public Discourse
Hosting a staff of trained writing consultants, the Center for Writing & Public Discourse coordinates with the academic departments of the College to provide targeted support for any writing a student does at CMC. Sessions at the Center offer support with all phases of the writing process from brainstorming to revision to final editing. Consultants are available by appointment or drop-in six days a week, as late as 10:00 pm. Some services of the Center include:
- Support for writing assignments, applications, journalism, and creative writing
- Support for Spanish, French, German, Korean, and Chinese writing
- Workshops and speakers on various writing topics
- Writing reference library
- Special support for the senior thesis
- Computer facilities for writing, research, and printing
In general, consulting sessions at the Center for Writing & Public Discourse focus on structure, argumentation, and analysis – though assistance with grammar and other mechanical issues is also available as needed. For more information, please go to: www.claremontmckenna.edu/writing.
CMC offers a broad, balanced program of regular physical education, ranging from personal conditioning on weight-training equipment or the climbing wall, to a full range of intramural, recreational, and club sports. CMC students are also welcome to take advantage of physical education courses and activities at the other undergraduate colleges. For further information, see Physical Education in Undergraduate Courses of Study and Programs Offered at Claremont McKenna College .
CMC students, together with students from Scripps College and Harvey Mudd College, compete on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) teams in intercollegiate competition in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), as a member of NCAA Division III.
Current intercollegiate teams include:
Track and Field
Track and Field
CMC’s athletes bring the same drive for excellence to the playing fields as they bring to the classroom: for 22 of the last 26 competitive seasons, the intercollegiate athletic program took the All-Sports Trophy in SCIAC. This award is symbolic of athletic excellence in all sports as points are awarded on the basis of Conference standings in each sport. The following fourteen athletic teams either won conference titles, or were represented at the NCAA National Championships:
2010-11 SCIAC record/place: 11-3/1st (tie)
2010 SCIAC record/place: 7-0/1st
NCAA Championships: 19th
2010 SCIAC record/place: 7-0/1st
NCAA Championships: 20th
2011 SCIAC points/place: 36.5/3rd
NCAA Championships: 1 participant
2011 SCIAC record/place: 10-0/1st
NCAA Championships: 17th (tie)
2010 SCIAC record/place: 10-2-2/2nd
SCIAC Tournament Champions
NCAA Championships: 33rd
2011 SCIAC record/place: 19-5/1st (tie)
NCAA Championships: 31st (tie)
Swimming & Diving (men’s)
2010-11 SCIAC record/place: 6-1/1st
NCAA Championships: 17th
Swimming & Diving (women’s)
2010-11 SCIAC record/place: 7-0/1st
NCAA Championships: 7th
2011 SCIAC record/place: 8-0/1st
NCAA Championships: 5th (tie)
2011 SCIAC record/place: 9-1/1st (tie)
NCAA Championships: 5th (tie)
Track & Field (men’s)
2011 SCIAC record/place: 6-1/2nd
NCAA Championships: 27th (tie)
Track & Field (women’s)
2011 SCIAC record/place: 6-1/1st (tie)
NCAA Championships: 60th (tie)
Water Polo (men’s)
2010 SCIAC record/place: 7-3/1st
Career Services Center
Career planning is part of an individual’s self-development. CMC students are encouraged to utilize the various services and take advantage of the activities and programs provided by CMC’s Career Services Center (CSC), located on the second floor of Heggblade Center (www.cmc.edu/csc). The CSC provides individual counseling, workshops, and employer and graduate/professional school information. The Center also offers help with resume writing, cover letter preparation, interviewing skills, job and internship search strategies, networking, internet access and research, and international opportunities. In the Center’s Resource Library are print and electronic career-related materials, including periodicals, newspapers, trade and professional journals, books, directories, and information sources on employers, industries, non-profit organizations, and graduate/professional school programs.
Career information is provided to CMC students through the CSC Career Guide, group presentations, regular e-mail messages, an electronic newsletter, Facebook, and other outreach activities. Student career consultants are trained to serve as peer advisors and help students with advice, information and basic career planning skills.
Beyond the formal services offered by the CSC, all members of the CMC community support students’ career development through teaching and service. Students are encouraged to use their classroom and co-curricular activities to explore career choices and seek opportunities to work and learn. Faculty often invite career-related speakers to classes, host dinners focusing on work-related topics, and network with graduates to whom they may refer current students. The CSC supports these efforts by helping to plan and publicize them.
Under the Claremont University Consortium Career Services Programs agreement, all of The Claremont Colleges cooperate in providing opportunities to all students. CMC students are encouraged to use the career services resources on the other Claremont campuses whenever those resources are more available or more relevant to the student’s needs. Joint programs such as on-campus recruiting, workshops, and career fairs provide students with a wide variety of career information.
Thanks to CMC’s strong scholastic reputation, our curricular offerings, and the success of our graduates, we attract a large number and variety of top-quality employers who advertise full-time employment and internship opportunities and interview on campus each year. The Career Services Center maintains a list of organizations that recruit at CMC; see CMConnect (NACElink/Symplicity at the webpage www.cmc.edu/csc/employers/.
Graduate and Professional Schools
A large percentage of CMC graduates attend graduate or professional schools, either immediately following graduation or within five years of graduation. Many CMC graduates pursue J.D. or M.B.A. degrees, and others seek advanced degrees in the social sciences, humanities, sciences, or medicine. The CSC helps these students by maintaining information about graduate/professional schools, and by hosting presentations by admission representatives. Both faculty and CSC staff provide graduate and professional school advising.
Since CMC considers internships an integral part of students’ learning experiences, CMC students are strongly encouraged to identify and obtain internships during their undergraduate years. The CSC helps students seek and obtain internships by helping them research opportunities in their area of interest, soliciting internships, and maintaining directories and databases with hundreds of internship listings.
Career Services Career Services also coordinates the Sponsored Internship Program, which provides funding for summer internships in the U.S. and abroad and is comprised of these programs: The McKenna International Internship Program, Uoroboros Fellowship, KLI International Internship Program, Peter Adams International Internship Program, Community Service Internship Program, KLI Social Sector Internship Program, Non-Profit Internship Program, and The Political Education Fellowship. For more information on internships, see Special Academic Programs. For complete descriptions of the sponsored internship programs, please visit the Sponsored Internship website.
Alumni Career Services
CMC’s career support does not end when a student graduates. The CSC offers career services to alumni, including counseling, assessment, web-based job search privileges, and access to alumni networking opportunities.