Robert Day School

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The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance
RDS Vertical Logo (June 2010).jpg
Motto Crescit cum commercio civitas
Established 2007
Type Private
Endowment $200 million
Dean Brock Blomberg
Academic staff 30
Location Claremont, California, USA
Nickname RDS
Affiliations Claremont McKenna College Claremont Colleges

The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College (also known as RDS) is an economics school, and the only graduate program at Claremont McKenna College. It is home to a master's program in finance, undergraduate programs in economics and economics-accounting, and the Robert Day Scholars program, a fellowship program for undergraduate and graduate students who pursue coursework combining economics, accounting, finance, and leadership studies. The Robert Day Scholars program also offers a co-curricular program with leadership development workshops.


In 2007, the founder and Chairman of Trust Company of the West and Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Claremont McKenna College, Robert A. Day (’65), made a $200 million individual gift, the largest donation ever made to a liberal arts college at the time, to Claremont McKenna College for the purpose of creating a one-year graduate program that would emphasize finance, accounting, organizational behavior and leadership as well as a scholarship for seniors at the Claremont Colleges. While both programs share the same name, the master’s program is an addition, rather than a change, to the established undergraduate program which offers majors in both economics and economics-accounting as well as a financial economics sequence that students can earn in addition to any major.

While the undergraduate program, which shares its name as part of the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, was already in existence, this donation prompted the creation of the first postgraduate program at CMC. The master's program accepted the first students, 20 members of the class of 2010, in the beginning of 2009.


RDS emphasizes coursework that blends theory and practice. The school's faculty has 30 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members in residence. Faculty offer courses in the primary fields of economics. In contrast to any other liberal arts college, the offerings include a broad spectrum of core and elective courses in finance and accounting. Students have many opportunities to conduct research with faculty through the Research Institutes.

Located in Claremont, California, CMC is one of seven colleges in the Claremont Colleges consortium. Each college has its own administration, curriculum, and admission process, but allows cross-registration in classes. Together the colleges offer numerous activities for all consortium students and for the community. The colleges are within walking distance to the Claremont Village.

Academic programs[edit]

RDS offers a variety of academic programs. For undergraduates, the school offers either an economics or an economics-accounting focus, along with the financial economics sequence, the leadership sequence, a BA/MA program (in conjunction with Claremont Graduate University, the Drucker School), a 4+1 BA/MBA program and the Robert Day Scholars program. For graduate students, the school offers the master's program in finance.

Historically, there are between 20 and 25 students pursuing the master's degree in finance through the one-year program. Following graduation, students have continued on to get their PhDs or to work at firms in investment banking, private wealth management, and others.

The undergraduate programs build on theoretical foundations of microeconomics and macroeconomics, and stress applications of theory to a variety of topics, as reflected in over 40 upper-level courses. Many students choose to double major in subjects such as mathematics, psychology, or history. Another popular option is to augment the major with a sequence. Students may participate in research with faculty, sponsored by the various research institutes on campus, and all students conduct their own research with a faculty advisor that culminates in a thesis in their respective major, which is a requirement for graduation.

Research institutes[edit]

Three of the ten research institutes at Claremont McKenna College are affiliated with the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance. The Berger Institute, the Financial Economics Institute and the Lowe Institute provide Claremont McKenna College students with graduate-level research opportunities in conjunction with the College's faculty.


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