The Claremont Colleges are a prestigious American consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate schools of higher education located in Claremont, California, a city 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown Los Angeles and 25 miles (40 km) west of downtown San Bernardino. Unlike most other collegiate consortia, such as the Five Colleges Consortium in Massachusetts and the Tri-College Consortium in Pennsylvania, the Claremont College campuses are adjoining and within walking distance of one another. Put together, the campuses cover roughly 1 square mile (2.6 km2).
Known colloquially to students as the 7Cs—or the 5Cs, when referring only to the undergraduate institutions—the Claremont Colleges were founded in 1925 when the all-graduate Claremont University College (now Claremont Graduate University) was established in addition to the older all-undergraduate Pomona College. The purpose of the consortium is to provide the specialization, flexibility and personal attention commonly found in a small college, with the resources of a large university. Their compartmentalized collegiate university design was inspired by Oxford University and Cambridge University. With more than 6,300 students, about 700 faculty, and approximately 1600 staff and support personnel, the colleges offer more than 2000 courses to students. The Claremont Colleges are a unique consortium that the Fiske Guide called "a collection of intellectual resources unmatched in America."
The five undergraduate colleges are:
- Pomona College (founded 1887), a small, coeducational, liberal arts college which offers majors in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Pomona College is the founding member of the Claremont Colleges.
- Scripps College (founded 1926), a small, liberal arts, women's college, which offers 35 majors in both the sciences and humanities.
- Claremont McKenna College (founded 1946), a small, coeducational, liberal arts college which specializes in economics, political science, international relations, and public policy. It also maintains a broad set of majors in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Claremont McKenna College is also home to the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, which offers both an undergraduate program and a Master's Program in Finance.
- Harvey Mudd College (founded 1955), a small, coeducational college specializing in engineering, mathematics, computer science, and the physical and biological sciences but also includes coursework in the humanities and social sciences.
- Pitzer College (founded 1963), a small, coeducational, liberal arts college offering an alternative curriculum, noted for interdisciplinarity. It also has a particular emphasis upon social justice and social responsibility. Pitzer is part of the SAT optional movement among liberal arts colleges.
The five undergraduate Claremont Colleges are commonly referred to as the "5Cs," while "7Cs" is used to refer to all the colleges, including the two graduate institutions. In mid 2008, the Consortium began talks with the National University of Singapore to build a sixth undergraduate Claremont College, off-site, in Singapore. However, as of October 2009, the Singaporean Ministry of Education has put off funding plans. The partnership would have been the first of its kind for a liberal arts college.
The two graduate universities are:
- Claremont Graduate University (founded 1925), awards master’s and doctoral degrees in 31 disciplines: arts, humanities, social sciences, behavioral & organizational sciences, management/executive management, psychology, educational studies, religion, mathematical sciences, information systems & technology, community & global health, and botany.
- Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (founded 1997), a biomedical graduate school offers professional Master of Bioscience (MBS) degree and PhD in Applied Life Science for MBS graduates. It also offers a Postdoctoral Professional Masters (PPM) and a joint PhD program in Computational Biology with Claremont Graduate University.
According to the American Liberal Arts College rankings released by U.S. News & World Report in fall 2013, the "5Cs" were ranked among the top 40 liberal art colleges in the United States: Pomona College (#4), Claremont McKenna College (#9), Harvey Mudd College (#18), Scripps College (#25), and Pitzer College (#35). U.S. News & World Report also releases individual graduate program rankings for the Claremont Graduate University, with several of its programs ranking in the top tier of graduate programs nationwide.
Each college is independent in that, for example, students receive their degrees from the one college in which they are enrolled, and administration and admissions departments are independent. However, large or expensive facilities and programs are shared. The seven-institution Claremont Colleges system is supported by the Claremont University Consortium. CUC provides centralized services, such as a library, student health, campus mail, financial and human resource, telecommunications, risk management, real estate, physical plant maintenance, and other services, for those colleges.
Shared facilities include the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges, Campus Safety, the Tranquada Student Services Center (which houses Baxter Medical Center, Monsour Counseling Center, and the Health Education Outreach), McAlister Center (home of the Office of the Chaplains and the Claremont Card Center), Huntley Bookstore, all dining facilities and several sports facilities. The Claremont Colleges Library is an example of the level of cooperation in terms of support services. The library collection ranks third among the private institutions in California, behind only Stanford and USC, and it is clearly larger than any one of the schools could afford to own on its own.
Shared academic departments include the Intercollegiate Women's Studies Center, the Intercollegiate Department of Chicano Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Black Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Religious Studies, the Intercollegiate Department of Media Studies, and the Five-College Theater Department.
Shared intercollegiate programs include the European Union Center of California, the Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center, the Office of Black Student Affairs, the Office of the Chaplains, Hillel, the Asian American Resource Center, the Queer Resource Center, and the Women's Union.
In addition, three of the Claremont Colleges—Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, and Scripps College—share a single science program. These three colleges pool their resources to create the largest academic department in Claremont, the Joint Science Department. Many research projects and courses utilize the Robert J. Bernard Field Station, an 86-acre (34.8 ha) natural area which consists principally of the rare Coastal Sage Scrub ecosystem.
I cannot but believe that we shall need here in the South [of California] a suburban educational institution of the range of Stanford. My own very deep hope is that instead of one great undifferentiated university, we might have a group of institutions divided into small colleges — somewhat on the Oxford type — around a library and other utilities which they would use in common. In this way I should hope to preserve the inestimable personal values of the small college while securing the facilities of the great university. Such a development would be a new and wonderful contribution to American education. Now the thing which would assure this future institution to Southern California is land... It is now or never. To save the needed land for educational use seems to me to guarantee to Southern California one of the great educational institutions of America. Other hands through the centuries will carry on the project and perfect it. But never again can there come so fundamental a service as this.
Athletics teams from Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College compete as one team. Male athletic teams are called the Stags, and women's teams are called the Athenas. The teams participate in the NCAA's Division III and in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Pomona College and Pitzer College compete together in the SCIAC. Their team is called the Sagehens.
In addition to the Stag/Athenas and the Sagehens, there are several prominent 5C club sports teams, including roller hockey, men's and women's rugby union, both of whom attended Division II Nationals in 2004 and 2006, the men's team winning the Division II national championship in 2010, men's lacrosse, field hockey, crew, cycling, women's ultimate, who reached Nationals in 2004, 2011, and 2013, and won the tournament in 2012, and men's ultimate frisbee, 2008 Southern California Sectional champions and 2011 Division III National champions.
The Claremont Roller Hockey Club, the Claremont Centaurs, has also been one of the more successful Claremont Consortium clubs, winning the Division 3 Championship of the WCRHL (West Coast Roller Hockey League) in 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012.
-  The Washington Post, "At the top of the U.S. News rankings, a five-way tie," 2011.
- James A. Blaisdell, the creator of the Claremont Colleges, declared in 1923 "My own very deep hope is that instead of one great, undifferentiated university, we might have a group of institutions divided into small colleges—somewhat of an Oxford type—around a library and other utilities which they would use in common. In this way, I should hope to preserve the inestimable personal values of the small college, while securing the facilities of the great university."
- Claremont University Consortium
-  The Claremont Difference
- Claremont Port Side: Five, For Now
- National Liberal Arts College Rankings U.S.News & World Report, 2013.
-  U.S. News & World Report, 2014.
- Intercollegiate cooperation
- CUC Land Use Statement
- Robert J. Bernard. An Unfinished Dream: A Chronicle of the Group Plan of the Claremont Colleges. The Castle Press. 1982. pg. 702
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Claremont Colleges.|
- Claremont Colleges Photo Archive in the Claremont Colleges Digital Library
- Claremont Colleges website