2011-2012 Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies & Procedures

College Policies

Basic information on Claremont McKenna College’s academic policies is provided in this Catalog. Additional details of CMC’s policies and procedures as well as information on expected academic standards, responsibility, and academic dishonesty is included in the Statement of Academic Policy and Statement of Academic Integrity. All new students and new faculty receive a copy of this publication when they enter the College. For further details on CMC policies, please consult this publication.

The regulations referring to the bachelor of arts degree are designed for undergraduate students; graduate students must refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for information on degree requirements and other policies.

Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each CMC student to be aware of and to meet the catalog requirements for graduation, and to adhere to all other rules, regulations, and deadlines published in this catalog, the Statement of Academic Policy and Statement of Academic Integrity, the Graduate Student Handbook, and the information provided to each student with (pre-) registration materials, including the semester Schedule of Courses.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

CMC students must complete the following requirements to qualify for a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College.


32 semester courses of academic work, together with the required work in physical education, are required for graduation. This means an average of four courses per semester for graduation in four years. A course at CMC is considered the equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours. Each class typically meets for 150 minutes per week, although the number of actual hours spent in class or in the laboratory varies according to the subject matter and the level of the course. Students are expected to study a minimum of two to three hours for every hour in class but this may be much more depending upon the subject matter and preparation for the course.

General Education Requirements

The general education requirements provide opportunities for students to develop their writing, speaking, analytical, and interpretive skills, and to familiarize themselves with important divisions of knowledge. Only the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) can waive a general education requirement.

Individual departments determine which courses meet the general education requirements in their discipline. Normally general education requirements are completed at Claremont McKenna College. Students must obtain approval from the appropriate department chair to use a non-CMC course toward a general education requirement. General education requirements in humanities and social sciences must be met by courses outside a student’s major(s). Students with off-campus, individualized, or interdisciplinary majors, except for Management-Engineering, Economics and Engineering, and Science and Management majors, must complete at least six general education requirements in the humanities and the social sciences. Students with dual or double majors in the humanities or social sciences will usually be required to complete an additional course for general education requirements in appropriate disciplines.

Students entering the College as freshmen may not complete more than four general education requirements through transfer credit, including summer school, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate examinations, study abroad etc. Transfer students must consult the registrar if they wish to complete any general education requirements off-campus after enrolling at CMC. An overview of CMC’s current general education requirements is provided in the chart below, followed by additional information on each requirement.

Chart of the General Education Requirements

Students entering CMC may use the chart below as guide for their general education requirements. The course numbers refer to CMC or Joint Science department (JSD) courses, and the rules and numbers do not apply to courses at the other Claremont colleges.

GENERAL   Courses to be completed by all students

FWS 010 CM    Freshman Writing Seminar
Must be completed within the first or second semester

FHS  010 CM    Freshman Humanities Seminar
Must be completed within the first or second semester

Foreign Language   3rd college semester of a foreign language
This requirement may be waived based on a placement exam

Mathematics or
Computer Science
  Any CMC mathematics or computer science course

Lab Science  
One laboratory science course offered by the Joint Science Department or elsewhere within the Claremont Consortium
This requirement must be satisfied by the end of the second year at CMC

Physical Education   3 physical education activity courses, or 2 seasons of a sport

Senior Thesis   To be completed in the senior year; related to the student’s major(s)



HUMANITIES   Courses in two areas outside the student’s major(s) are required

Foreign Literature   The 4th semester of a European or classical language,
the 5th semester of Korean or Arabic, or the 6th semester of Chinese or Japanese

Literature   Any CMC literature course numbered 50 or above

Philosophy   Any CMC philosophy course numbered below 60

Religious Studies   Any CMC religious studies course numbered 180 or below


SOCIAL SCIENCES   Courses in 3 areas outside the student’s major(s) are required

ECON 050 CM    Principles of Economic Analysis

GOVT 020 CM    Introduction to American Politics

History   Any CMC history course numbered under 170

Psychology   Any CMC psychology course numbered under 100



Description of the General Education Requirements

  • Freshman Writing Seminar
    This one-semester requirement is met by completing FWS 010 CM - Freshman Writing Seminar , and must be taken during the first year. Students who earn a score of 5 on one of the English Advanced Placement (AP) exams may seek permission from the chair of the Literature department to take another CMC literature course numbered 60 or higher to fulfill this requirement. Students who receive approval to substitute another course for FWS may not double count it for any other general education or major requirement.
  • Freshman Humanities Seminar
    All CMC students are required to take the foundational course FHS   010 CM - Freshman Humanities Seminar . The courses of the FHS program give new students an introduction to some of the questions fundamental to individuals in their relationship to society and the world. Sections are offered by faculty members teaching in the different disciplines at CMC. Students must complete this course at CMC during the first or second semester in residence at the college.
  • Foreign Language
    This requirement is met by passing the third college semester of a foreign language. The foreign language requirement can also be completed by earning a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) examination (or a score of 6 or 7 on a Higher Level International Baccalaureate (IB) examination in a foreign language. Students who earn a score of 650 or higher on a College Board SAT Subject Test in French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, or Spanish will also have completed the foreign language requirement. Students cannot complete the foreign literature requirement through tests or competency.

    All new students, except for students who have provided the registrar with official copies of appropriate AP, IB, or SAT test scores, take a language placement examination designed by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures prior to registration. Students who through this examination are placed in the fourth semester (or higher) of a foreign language will have completed the foreign language requirement. These students are encouraged, but not required, to continue their language study. The placement exam is only given to new students prior to enrollment at CMC. Students who have studied a foreign language not offered at The Claremont Colleges should contact the chair of the Department to arrange for testing.

    International students from non-English speaking countries who completed their secondary education in their home country at a high school where English was not the primary language of instruction, may request a waiver of the foreign language requirement, but not of the foreign literature requirement. Students who speak a language other than English at home but attended a secondary school where English was the language of instruction will be required to take a language test to ensure they have the expected reading and writing skills.
  • Mathematics/Computer Science
    Any course offered by the CMC department of Mathematical Sciences may satisfy the general education requirement. Students may take a pre-calculus course either in Claremont or off-campus for credit towards graduation but not for the general education requirement in mathematics. All new students, except for students who have provided the registrar with official copies of AP test scores in calculus, take a mathematics placement examination prior to registration in the Fall. The mathematics placement test may be taken online.
  • Science
    Every CMC student must complete one laboratory science course offered by the Joint Science Department or elsewhere within the Claremont Consortium by the end of the second year at CMC.
  • Senior Thesis
    The senior thesis should serve as a capstone experience to a student’s undergraduate education. Students must complete a senior thesis in at least one of their majors, under supervision of a faculty reader who teaches within that major, unless granted a special exception. CMC students with an off-campus major may register for a senior thesis in that major under the appropriate course (number) at the major’s sponsoring college. CMC students may use this thesis in lieu of the senior thesis at CMC. If the off-campus major does not offer a senior thesis under its own course number, students must register for the senior thesis at CMC. Students who have a CMC major and an off-campus major may choose to complete the senior thesis in one or both majors. Students who wish to do a two-semester, two-course project register for a senior research course in the first semester and for senior thesis in the second semester. Neither the senior thesis nor the research course may be counted as a course for the major.
  • Physical Education
    The College requires all students to complete three semesters of physical education. Two seasons of participation in a team or club sport will also fulfill the physical education requirement. All students are expected to complete this requirement during their first two years, except for those excused by the Chair of the Department of Physical Education for medical reasons or because of prior military service.
  • Humanities
    For the general education requirement in the humanities, all students must complete a designated course in two of the following four fields of study outsider of their major(s): literature in a foreign language, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. Students who major in one or more of these fields must complete courses in three of the four fields.
  • Social Sciences
    For the general education requirement in the social sciences, students must complete at least one designated course in three of the following fields outside of their major(s): economics, government, history, and psychology. Students majoring in one or more of these fields must complete an appropriate course in each of the four fields.


All undergraduate students must complete the requirements for a major or majors. Regardless of the discipline(s) of the major(s), CMC grants students a Bachelor of Arts degree. For further information, see Majors below.


Courses taken in addition to major and general education requirements are counted as electives toward graduation. Students are encouraged to select elective courses from the wide range of subjects offered at The Claremont Colleges.

Grades and Grade Points

CMC students must earn a final cumulative grade point average of at least “C” (6.00), based on all grades received in courses taken while enrolled at CMC during the regular academic year. Students must also earn a “C” average (6.00) in the senior year, and a “C” average (6.00) in all courses in the major(s). An explanation of the grading system is included in Grades and Credits below.

Residence Requirement

Students must spend at least two years, including the senior year, and successfully complete at least 16 courses while in residence at Claremont McKenna College. “In residence” is defined as being registered as a full-time student (at least three full courses) at CMC or in one of its sanctioned off-campus programs.

Meeting Degree Requirements

Students must satisfy the general education and major requirements required in the year they enter the College. If requirements are changed in subsequent years, students may choose to satisfy either the requirements that were in effect when they entered the college – provided the requirements can still be completed at CMC - or all of those in effect after the change. An exception to this rule concerns students who are not registered at the College for three or more years. These students must satisfy the requirements in existence when they reenter the College.

It is best for students to complete all general education requirements, except for senior thesis, by the end of the second year at CMC. FWS 010 CM - Freshman Writing Seminar , and FHS   010 CM - Freshman Humanities Seminar , must be completed by the end of the first year. Students who do not complete their general education requirements by the end of the second year risk failing to graduate on time. Students planning to participate in off-campus study must plan accordingly.

It is the responsibility of students to ensure they complete all requirements for graduation, and students are required to review their graduation requirements with their faculty advisor prior to pre-registration. The registrar issues one notice to each student about their progress towards completion of graduation requirements, usually two semesters before anticipated graduation.

Courses taken off-campus may be used to meet general education or major requirements when students have received written approval of the chair of the appropriate department. Students are responsible for obtaining such approval and for giving a copy to the registrar.

Majors and Sequences


All undergraduate CMC students must complete a major. The requirements for CMC majors are listed under Courses of Study and Programs Offered at Claremont McKenna College . Students should select a major no later than the second semester of their sophomore year.

CMC students may complete single, dual, or double majors for their degree. It is also possible for students to devise their own major (individualized major), or to select a major not offered at CMC but part of the curriculum at one of the other Claremont Colleges (off-campus major). Students may not complete a dual and a double major for inclusion on the transcript. One course may not be counted toward more than one major requirement. No changes in majors (or sequences) can be made after the tenth day of classes of a student’s last semester at the College (usually at the end of January of the senior year) without permission of the registrar.

  • Single Majors
    Students with a single major must fulfill all requirements of a particular major as outlined in the appropriate section of this catalog and earn at least a “C” (6.00) average in that major.
  • Double Majors
    Students who elect a double major must complete all requirements for each of two major fields. No double counting of courses is allowed for a double major. If the two disciplines of a double major require the same course, students must complete a substitute course for one of the majors. Students with a double major must earn at least a “C” (6.00) average in each major.
  • Dual Majors
    Dual majors allow students the opportunity to combine two disciplines without being required to complete all requirements for two full majors. A dual major combines courses from two disciplines in which conventional majors are offered. A dual major requires at least 14 courses, but may require many more because only up to two courses may be waived from each discipline. Students must complete at least six courses in each discipline. Department chairs usually waive completion of one or two elective courses for students with a dual major but, depending upon the combination of disciplines, other course requirements may be waived. Some academic programs at CMC, including Film Studies and Legal Studies can only be completed as part of a dual major. These dual majors require completion of at least eight courses in the other discipline of the major (for a total of at least 14 courses). Students with a dual major must earn at least a “C” (6.00) average in the combined parts of the major.
  • Individualized Majors
    Students may develop their own major, choosing courses in two or more disciplines in a coherent way, with the approval of three CMC faculty members from at least two disciplines. This option is intended to provide students with academic interests that cannot be met by existing CMC or off-campus majors with the opportunity to pursue their interests. The combination of disciplines should be distinctive and include an appropriate distribution of introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in the different disciplines. The option is not intended to replace or reduce requirements for existing interdisciplinary or dual majors.

    The minimum number of courses required for an individualized major is ten courses. More courses may be required to ensure quality exploration of the combined disciplines. Students interested in an individualized major must submit the proposed major, including a complete list of courses together with some alternate courses, and its rationale for approval to the Curriculum Committee via the dean of the faculty at least 90 days prior to the completion of 24 courses (normally before February 15 of the junior year). All proposals for individualized majors must be presented for review to the registrar prior to submission to the dean of the faculty. CMC does not grant honors in the major for individualized majors.
  • Off-campus Majors
    Students wishing to major in a field not offered at CMC, but offered at one of the other colleges in Claremont, must consult with their CMC advisor and a department member at the other college and, under their direction, fulfill the requirements for a major at that college. At least a “C” (6.00) average is required in the major. Dual majors including an off-campus major are not feasible if the other college cannot make appropriate arrangements. Students with off-campus majors may be granted honors by the College where they are completing the major. To be eligible, CMC students must meet the minimum requirements for honors in the major set by CMC (see Honors in the Major for details).


Sequences offer CMC students the opportunity to take courses in an approved area of study where CMC does not offer a major. Sequences are completed in addition to at least one regular major. Sequences consist of a series of courses related to a subject, and selected from different disciplines offered at CMC or the other Claremont Colleges. CMC offers sequences in Asian American Studies ; Computer Science ; Ethics ; Financial Economics ; Gender Studies ; Human Rights, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies  ; Leadership ; and Scientific Modeling . It is possible to double count a course for a major and a sequence, or for a sequence and a general education requirement, but not for both. A notation indicating completion of one sequence is listed on a student’s final transcript after graduation. Students can only complete one sequence for inclusion on the transcript.

Registration Information

Course Load

The standard course load for graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in four years is four courses per semester. The College usually limits the number of courses students may carry to four and one-half, exclusive of physical education classes or other non-credit courses. Students who have earned a 10.50 grade point average or better in the preceding semester may petition to register for more than four and one-half academic courses. There is no extra charge for more than four courses. The minimum full-time academic load is three courses per semester. Students who wish to register for fewer than three courses per semester must petition the Academic Standards Committee for permission to attend the College on a part-time basis. Part-time students are charged per course. See Part-Time Student Tuition  for details.

Pre-registration and Registration for Courses

Pre-registration for courses scheduled for the following semester is conducted late in each semester on specified days and times based upon the class standing for each student. Students must consult their assigned faculty advisor prior to pre-registration, and obtain their approval to register. All registered students are expected to participate in pre-registration. The College may prevent students from preregistering for the following semester if they have failed to meet financial or other obligations.

During the first ten days of the semester, CMC students may add courses with permission of the instructor. Dropping courses does not require instructor permission during the first ten days of the semester. Before making any changes students are urged to seek advice from their faculty advisor. Registration is not complete until appropriate registration transactions are completed and students have paid (or made arrangements to pay for) tuition and other fees. Students are enrolled only in those courses for which they are formally registered. Deadlines for adding and dropping courses are listed on the academic calendar.

If a student fails to attend the first two meetings of a course (or one course meeting for courses meeting only one time per week) and the absences were not approved in advance by the instructor, the faculty member of record may ask the registrar to drop the student from the course. However, students will not automatically be dropped from a course they do not attend. The registrar may permit reinstatement into a dropped course when documented circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the student from attending the course and communicating his absences with the instructor.

After the tenth day of the semester, but before the final date to withdraw, students may drop courses without a grade penalty. Requests for permission to drop a course after the withdrawal deadline will only be approved by the ASC under unusual circumstances. See Statement of Academic Policy for further information.

The College reserves the right to refuse registration to any students for unsatisfactory scholarship and/or other reasons as determined by the ASC.

Cross-Registration: Enrollment in Courses Offered by Other Claremont Colleges

Academic interchange among the undergraduate colleges and between an undergraduate college and The Claremont Graduate University provide opportunities for curricular enrichment and active membership in the wider community of The Claremont Colleges. Registration for courses that are part of joint or cooperative CMC programs is not considered cross-registration for CMC students. A list of joint and cooperative programs is included with CMC pre-registration materials. CMC students register on their own campus for courses open to them at the other Claremont Colleges, subject to the following conditions:

  • Freshmen or sophomores may register for one course per semester outside their college of residence.
  • Juniors or seniors may register for one-half of their total program in any one semester outside their college of residence.

Independent Study

Qualified students with junior standing and in at least their third year of study at CMC (or the equivalent) may design their own course in an area of study not covered in the regular curriculum as an independent study project. Students interested in this option must prepare a full syllabus of their intended program of study, including a bibliography and an outline of the research or study planned. Independent studies must be approved and supervised by a faculty reader, who must meet with the students on a regular basis and supervise the work. Registration procedures and deadlines for independent study are identical to those of regular courses. Independent studies may be for a full or for one-half credit. Only students with a GPA of “B” (9.00) or higher during the previous semester may petition for an independent study. Independent studies are taken for a letter grade unless the supervising faculty reader requires otherwise. For further information, see the Statement of Academic Policy.

Repeated Courses

Students may only repeat a course if they receive a grade of “F”, “NC”, or “W” the first time. Both grades will be listed on the transcript and factored into the student’s grade point average. Students who repeat a course for which they already received credit, or who take a course which is a prerequisite for a course previously completed, will not receive credit for the second course. The Claremont Colleges do offer some courses that may be repeated for credit without penalty, including music lessons, debate, physical education courses, as well as some special topics courses.

Grades and Credit

Final Grades

Final grades are determined by the instructor in each course, and may be based on class recitation, class participation, written work, midterms, final examinations, or other assignments.

Grade Point Average

A student’s CMC cumulative grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the sum of the grade points earned by the number of courses attempted (with grade points). Grade points are only assigned to courses taken by students while enrolled at Claremont McKenna College during the regular academic year. There are some exceptions for courses completed at The Claremont Colleges during the summer.

Grading System

The College uses the twelve point grading system under which grade points for full courses are assigned as follows:

A 12 points   B- 8 points   D+ 4 points  

A- 11 points   C+ 7 points   D 3 points  

B+ 10 points   C 6 points   D- 2 points  

B 9 points   C- 5 points   F 0 points  


Grade points for one-half credit courses with a grade are adjusted in accordance with the credit granted for the course. For information on other grading options, such as Credit-No Credit CR/NC), Pass-Fail (PA/FA) grades, In Progress (P) grades, Late Withdrawals (W), and Incomplete (I) grades, please refer to the Statement of Academic Policy.

Grade Changes

Grades may be changed only to correct errors on the part of the instructor. No grade recorded for a student at Claremont McKenna College or for a course taken at Claremont McKenna College shall be changed after a period of one year dating from the end of the semester in which the course was taken. A faculty request to change a grade that affects any decision made by the Academic Standards Committee must be approved by that Committee.

Grade Disputes

The instructor is the person best qualified to determine the quality of work in a course and is responsible for submitting the final grade at the end of the semester. However, if a student believes that a grade does not fairly reflect the quality of the work completed, the student may request a review of the work through a grade dispute procedure. A grade dispute involving a course at one of the other Claremont Colleges is handled by the procedures of the college sponsoring the course unless the student is charged with academic dishonesty. For information on grade dispute procedures for CMC courses and for courses taken at the other Claremont Colleges during the academic year, see the Statement of Academic Policy.

Low Grades

In order to provide an early indication of students’ performance in a course, instructors are encouraged to submit low grade notices to the registrar at the midpoint of the semester. Low grade notices are normally given to students whose cumulative work in a course is at a level of “C-” (5.00) or below. Instructors are not required to submit low grade notices and in some courses students may not have submitted enough work by the middle of the semester for meaningful evaluation. Students receiving low grade notices are expected to consult with their academic advisors and the course instructor(s) concerning any problems related to their marginal performance.


Examinations and Written Reports

Course examinations are given at the discretion of the instructor with or without previous announcement. It is the students’ responsibility to be present at all examinations and to submit reports as scheduled, unless excused by the instructor in advance. During the semester, examinations can only be made up with the permission of the instructor. No tests or examinations may be scheduled during the last week of classes, except for graduating seniors in May. The instructor cannot change the date or time of final examination (see below).

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given in the last week of the semester and students should expect a final examination in all of their courses. Final examinations are not given at the regular class meeting times and students must make sure they are on campus during the entire week of final examinations. Final examination schedules are published in the (pre-)registration materials and online at http://www.cmc.edu/registrar/finals.php.

Final examinations cannot be changed by the instructor. Only the dean of the faculty may change the dates or times of final examinations.

Seniors expected to graduate in May cannot take the regularly scheduled finals at the end of the spring semester because of the early due date for senior grades. Instructors may require these students to take final examinations during the last week of classes. Non-graduating seniors and other students in the course must take the regular final exam and cannot take the earlier exam.

Challenge Examinations and Other Examinations

New students from high schools without an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) program, or with limited programs, may petition the Academic Standards Committee to take a challenge examination and receive credit for college-level high school courses similar to AP or higher level IB courses. Challenge examinations are comprehensive examinations at the introductory level, but students may only request to take a challenge examination in subjects for which CMC grants AP or IB credit. Students who received low scores on AP or IB exams, and students who completed an AP/IB course in high school but did not take the exam, are not eligible for credit through a challenge examination. Students must petition for a challenge examination during their first year at CMC.

Academic Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal

Academic Probation

Students who earn a semester grade point average or a cumulative grade point average of less than “C” (6.00) are placed on academic probation for their subsequent semester at the College. Students may also be placed on academic probation for other kinds of unsatisfactory academic performance as determined by the Academic Standards Committee. Students are expected to remove themselves from probation after at most two consecutive semesters. Failure to do so may result in academic suspension. Students can remove themselves from academic probation by taking a full course load (equivalent of four full CMC courses) with letter grades and earning a semester GPA and a cumulative GPA of “C” (6.00) or better.

Suspension for Poor Scholarship

CMC students may be suspended for poor scholarship for any of the following reasons:

  • The student’s grade point average for the preceding semester was lower than “D” (3.00); or:
  • The student has been on academic probation for two successive semesters, and would be placed on probation for the subsequent semester; or
  • The student fails two or more academic courses in one semester.

Suspensions are normally for a period of one year. During this time, students are not eligible to register for classes at CMC. The Academic Standards Committee normally requires suspended students to attend another academic institution during their absence, and to meet certain academic requirements before they are eligible to return to CMC. Transcripts of suspended students carry a notation of the action of the Academic Standards Committee

Dismissal for Poor Scholarship

Students who have been suspended for poor scholarship on a prior occasion and are faced with a second suspension for poor scholarship will be dismissed for poor scholarship. This action is recorded permanently on the students’ transcripts.

Suspension for Academic Dishonesty

Cheating on examinations, plagiarism (including improper or unethical use of internet material), or any other violations of academic integrity usually result in suspension from the College for academic dishonesty. Suspensions for academic dishonesty are for a specific period of time, and such suspended students are not eligible to register for classes at CMC. In addition, academic work completed at other institutions during the period of suspension is not transferable to CMC. Students suspended for academic dishonesty may petition the Academic Standards Committee for readmission to the College after the term of suspension has expired. Transcripts of suspended students carry a notation of the action of the Academic Standards Committee.

Dismissal for Academic Dishonesty

Students may be dismissed from the College for reasons of academic dishonesty. This action is recorded permanently on their transcripts. Students found to have committed academic dishonesty twice will be dismissed from the College. Students may be dismissed on a first offense in particularly egregious cases.

Disciplinary Suspension and Dismissal

Disciplinary issues are handled by the dean of students and information on disciplinary suspension or dismissal is available from the Office of the Dean of Students.

Other Academic Regulations

Athletic Eligibility

To meet the eligibility requirements established by the College and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), students who intend to participate in intercollegiate athletics must be enrolled in a minimum full-time program of study, maintain good academic standing, and sustain satisfactory progress toward a degree. All CMC students enrolled in three or more courses (twelve semester units) meet these requirements.


With permission of the instructor, full-time students at Claremont McKenna College, their spouses, alumni, and members of the local community may audit CMC courses without fee. No registration or other academic record is kept of auditors and audited courses. Courses with special fees, including physical education courses, may not be audited.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend regularly all classes in which they are enrolled. Instructors have the privilege of establishing regulations regarding attendance in their classes.

Completion of Work

To be counted as work completed in a course, and calculated in the final grade, all papers, reports, etc., must be turned in to the instructor by the last day of classes and before the scheduled day of the final examination.

Class Standing or Academic Classification

Academic classification or academic class standing for CMC students is determined as follows: students who have successfully completed seven courses or received the equivalent of seven CMC credits are classified as sophomores; 15 courses as juniors; 23 courses as seniors. Students who have completed fewer than seven courses have freshman standing.

Withdrawal from the College

Information on voluntary withdrawal from the College, leave of absence, and readmission procedures is available in the Statement of Academic Policy.

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit Policies

For purposes of calculation of transfer credit, one course at CMC is considered the equivalent of four semester units or six quarter units. Department/program chairs determine which non-CMC courses may be used to meet a general education or major requirement. A course must be the equivalent of at least three semester units or four quarter units to meet a general education or major requirement.

To be considered for transfer credit, courses must be comparable to courses offered by The Claremont Colleges during the regular academic year. Courses in which students earn grades below “C” (including “C-”) will not be considered for transfer credit. To earn college credit, students must attend regular courses with degree-seeking college students and the courses must be taught by college faculty members on a college campus. No credit will be given for college courses taught at high schools for high school students and other non-degree candidates, or for open-door college courses at community centers. Courses must be taken at accredited academic institutions. Grade points earned at other academic institutions will not be calculated into the CMC grade point average, with the possible exception of courses taken by CMC students in the summer at one of The Claremont Colleges.

Students entering CMC as freshmen may not complete more than four general education requirements through summer school, study abroad, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB), or other college-level work prior to entrance. Transfer students who wish to transfer in further credit to CMC must consult the registrar.

Students wishing to receive transfer credit from CMC for summer school courses must obtain prior approval from the Registrar’s Office to assure that the work can be granted credit toward graduation. For courses in their major(s), or for general education requirements, students must obtain written approval from the appropriate department chairs. Summer school courses must be taken for a letter grade, with grade points. Courses taken at two-year institutions will not be considered for transfer credit once a student has junior standing (more than 14.5 courses completed). The minimum requirement for transferability of courses from junior or community colleges is transferability to the University of California (not just the California State University system) or comparable out-of-state academic institutions.

Students will only receive credit for study abroad during the regular academic year if they have been approved for study abroad by the appropriate CMC officials and committees. For additional details on transfer credit policies and procedures, including summer study abroad and summer independent studies, please refer to the Statement of Academic Policy.

Veterans/Military Credit

Upon receipt of official documentation of honorable separation from the U.S. Armed Forces, CMC will grant one course credit for enlisted service of at least two years and three credits for officer status. These credits are not granted in addition to credit for courses in military science.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams: Credit and Placement

At CMC, credit and/or placement of AP/IB examinations is evaluated on a subject-by-subject basis by the appropriate departments and is subject to final approval by the faculty. In some subjects, students will receive credit for AP scores of 4 or 5, and IB (higher level exams only) scores of 6 or 7, in other subjects they may receive placement. The maximum amount of credit students may receive for AP or IB examinations is the equivalent of four CMC courses. Students cannot receive credit for more than one course or examination covering the same subject matter and students lose credit for an AP course if they repeat the same or a lower-level course. CMC does not grant credit for exams in subjects not offered at the College. For CMC’s credit and placement policies, see Advanced Placement Summary below.

If CMC grants credit, students receive an elective course credit towards graduation. In these cases students may or may not also receive a waiver of a general education or major requirement. If CMC grants placement, students are placed in a higher level course, and may or may not receive credit for a lower level course. If the placement involves a general education requirement or major requirement, the higher level course may be used as a substitute for the lower course and thus meet the requirement; it does not involve a waiver of a requirement. Finally, if CMC grants a waiver, students do not have to complete a required course; however, they do not receive credit for the waived course.

Official copies of AP/IB transcripts or reports must be received by the CMC registrar no later than the first semester of the junior year to be considered for credit or waiver.

Advanced Placement Summary

CMC awards up to 4 course units for AP scores of 4 or 5 in the following areas


Science Chemistry or Physics with
score of 4 or 5
One unit of elective AP credit for each subject (no additional credit for multiple exams in one subject)

Math Calculus AB with score of
4 or 5
Placement in MATH 031 CM ; no AP credit awarded

Calculus BC with score of 4 or 5 Placement in MATH 032 CM ; no AP credit awarded

Computer Science Any exam with score of 4 or 5 Placement in CSCI 062 CM ; no AP credit awarded

English Literature (any exam) with
score of 5
No AP credit awarded, but students may request permission to satisfy their
FWS 010 CM  general education requirement with a CMC Lit course numbered 60 or above.

Economics Microeconomics and Macroeconomics with
combined scores at least 9
No AP credit awarded, but students may place directly into
ECON 101 CM  or ECON 102 CM .

Language French (any exam) with
score of 4 or 5
AP Credit for FREN 033 CM , placement in FREN 044 CM 

Spanish (any exam) with
score of 4 or 5
AP Credit for SPAN 033 CM , placement in SPAN 044 CM 

German (any exam) with
score of 4 or 5
AP Credit for GERM 033 SC, placement in GERM 044 SC

Latin (any exam) with
score of 4 or 5
AP Credit for Classics 100, placement in Classics 110

Psychology Psychology with score of 5 AP credit equivalent to PSYC 030 CM 

History Any exam with score of 4 or 5 One unit of elective AP credit for any single exam (no
additional credit for multiple exams). Students may elect
any CMC history course to satisfy the general education

Statistics Statistics with score of 4 or 5 No AP credit awarded, but students may waive the statistics
pre-requisite for ECON 125 CM .

International Baccalaureate Program

CMC treats Higher Level exam scores of 6 and 7 in the same way as AP scores of 4 and 5. Students do not receive credit for the same subject matters in both AP and IB.

Scholastic Honors, Awards, and Prizes

Dean’s List

Dean’s List honors are awarded at the end of each academic year to CMC students with grade point averages in the top 15 percent of all degree-seeking students enrolled at CMC for that academic year. To be eligible for the Dean’s List, students must complete four full courses for four letter grades during each semester they are enrolled at CMC. Students whose grades include a “F,” “I,” or “NC,” on June 15th of the academic year are not eligible for Dean’s List.

Phi Beta Kappa

A chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau of California, a national honor society honoring academic excellence primarily for undergraduates, is chartered at CMC. The chapter annually nominates and elects qualified students (and a small number of alumni) to membership. Students must have completed the fourth college semester of one foreign language and CMC’s mathematics requirement before they are eligible for nomination. Normally the chapter will elect no more than ten percent of a graduating class. When considering candidates for membership, the chapter weighs the quality of work completed in the major, as well as the number, variety, and balance of liberal arts courses taken outside the major. For further information, contact Elizabeth Morgan.

Other Honor Societies

For information on other academic honor societies, see the departmental listings in Courses of Study and Programs Offered at Claremont McKenna College .

Academic Honors at Graduation

Latin Honors

Degrees with distinction, cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, are awarded in recognition of an excellent academic record, based on the student’s cumulative grade point average, in work done while enrolled at CMC during the regular academic year. Latin honors may be awarded to up to 30 percent of the graduating class; cum laude honors may be granted to 22 percent of the graduates, magna cum laude to six percent, and summa cum laude to two percent. The dean of faculty will make appropriate recommendations to the faculty.


The graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average at the time the faculty approves nominees for May graduation is elected as the valedictorian of the class. To be named valedictorian a student must have taken at least 24 courses while enrolled at Claremont McKenna College, not counting CR/NC courses.

Honors in the Major

Students may be recommended for graduation with honors in the major on the basis of requirements set by each department or advisory group for the major, providing they have maintained a minimum grade point average of “B+” (10.00) in all courses in the area of their major.

Students with a dual major are eligible for honors if they meet all requirements for honors in both academic disciplines of their major, except for the number of courses required for full majors (e.g. a dual major in economics and psychology is eligible for honors if the student is awarded honors in both economics and psychology). They may also be eligible for honors in one discipline of the major if they have completed all requirements, including the required number of courses, for a full major in that discipline.

CMC students with off-campus majors may be granted honors by the College in Claremont where they are completing the major. To be eligible, CMC students must meet the minimum requirements for honors in the major set by CMC. Students with off-campus dual majors must be eligible in both areas of their major in order to earn honors, or complete a full major in one area and receive honors in that area. Awards granted by the other Colleges in Claremont are not recognized in the CMC commencement program or at the CMC awards banquet. They may be recognized at the College granting the honors.

Students with intercollegiate majors are in most cases not eligible for honors in the major. For further information, check appropriate catalog listings for each major. CMC does not grant honors in the major to students with individualized majors.

Departmental Awards

Every year, departments have the option to nominate students for awards. Departmental recognition for best overall performance and for the best senior thesis is bestowed at the annual awards and honors banquet in May.

Other Student Awards

A number of academic and non-academic honors are awarded to students each year at CMC’s annual awards banquet.

Faculty Awards 

The College grants three faculty awards:

  • The Roy P. Crocker Award for Merit is given to a professor selected by the faculty for outstanding service to the College;
  • The Glenn R. Huntoon Award for Superior Teaching is given to the faculty member voted by the student body as the most effective teacher; and
  • The G. David Huntoon Senior Teaching Award is given annually to a full professor selected by a Huntoon Senior Committee.

Other faculty awards may be granted by the College.