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.
The Off-Campus Study Committee (OCSC) has jurisdiction over all aspects of CMC’s study abroad and off-campus programs, with the exception of the Washington Program and summer 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.
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 44 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.
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 Office of Off-Campus Study staff; students must begin the planning process a year in advance.
Applications are due approximately eight months prior to leaving campus. Contact the Office of Off-Campus Study for specific deadline dates.
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 OCSC).
- Students must be registered full-time at CMC during the semester prior to leaving for study abroad.
- Once approved by the OCSC, 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.
- Students wishing to study in non-English-speaking countries must complete at least one semester of the host foreign language at The Claremont Colleges before studying abroad, provided the language is offered at The Claremont Colleges.
- 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 OCSC.
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 a travel allowance towards the cost of the round-trip airline ticket from LAX to the study abroad destination for each semester abroad. An allowance for local transportation and for international health insurance may also be provided.
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 , see Financing Off-Campus Study .
National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Undergraduate Merit Scholarships
NSEP Boren Scholarships provide support to U.S. undergraduates pursuing the study of languages and cultures currently underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. national security (including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East). NSEP emphasizes the importance of language study as a major component of a study abroad program, but for many countries previous knowledge of the language is not required.. This merit scholarship provides up to $10,000 per semester ($20,000 for a full academic year). Preference is given to full year study. NSEP has a one-year service requirement stipulating that an award recipient must work in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or the Intelligence Community in a position using the language or regional expertise acquired during their study abroad.
The CMC deadline for these merit scholarships is at the end of the fall semester for the following academic year. The scholarship is especially appropriate for students interested in a career in foreign service or the challenges of a global society, including sustainable development, environmental concerns, global hunger or disease, population growth, economic development, etc.
Established in 1972, the Washington Program is a semester-length program administered by CMC. Participants in the program work full-time as interns in the Washington, D.C. area; in addition to the internship, students enroll in two courses taught by CMC faculty, and complete a research paper under faculty supervision, for a total of four (4) CMC course credits.
In consultation with CMC faculty and staff, students accepted to the program obtain their own internships in the semester prior to program arrival. In recent years, 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.
Application and Qualifications
The Washington Program is open to second semester sophomores and juniors from The Claremont Colleges; priority is given to juniors. 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, a travel allowance towards the cost of the round-trip airline ticket from LAX to Washington D.C. Washington interns find and rent their own apartments in Washington, D.C. 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. 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 , see Financing Off-Campus Study .
Silicon Valley Program
Modeled after the long-standing, successful Washington Program, the semester-length Silicon Valley Program (SVP) is rooted in the mission of Claremont McKenna College’s Silicon Valley Networking Trip, a one-week networking immersion trip held annually the week prior to the spring semester. This trip has introduced nearly 100 CMC students to careers in one of the most innovative regions of the world, and, more importantly, has inspired an understanding of how their liberal arts education will serve them well in future endeavors. Participants in the program work full-time as interns in the Silicon Valley area; in addition to the internship, students enroll in two courses taught by CMC faculty, and complete a research paper under faculty supervision, for a total of four (4) CMC course credits.
Alumni and parents who lead successful careers in Silicon Valley will serve as mentors and internship sponsors at scores of Silicon Valley companies. Internships will vary depending upon the needs of the sponsoring organizations and the skills of the students. Generally speaking, internships will be secured in engineering, finance, human resources, product development, customer service, marketing, and other corporate functions. Many internships will feature significant quantitative and analytical duties. All internships must provide students with the types of experiences that would be afforded to early- career professional staff. Internship sponsors may include but are not limited to: Applied Materials, Atlassian, Box.net, Bloom Energy, BVI Networks, eBay / PayPal, Electronic Arts, Google, FibroGen, Hewlett- Packard, Intuit, YouTube, and Zynga.
Application and Qualifications
The Silicon Valley program is open to 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 ECON 101 CM - Intermediate Microeconomics or a related course. All majors are welcome.
Costs of the Silicon Valley Program
Silicon Valley interns pay CMC tuition, room, and the CMC student activity fee. These amounts cover the costs of the academic program, special events, field trips, a travel allowance towards the cost of the round-trip airline ticket from LAX to a local airport in Silicon Valley. Interns are placed in CMC housing in Silicon Valley. 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.
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.