Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Admission

What is the minimum GPA needed for admission?

Simply put, there is no minimum GPA required. High school grades are an excellent predictor of success in college, but CMC admission officers can spot a “cake” class on a high school transcript from a mile away. Or so it’s rumored.

But if you have A's and high B's in a good, solid college-preparatory program, you're generally "in the ballpark" for admission. We also consider your class rank, the number and level of classes you took, and the academic reputation of your school.

What are the minimum acceptable SAT scores?

Again, no minimum here, but the SAT range for the middle 50% of the freshman class is about 1300-1500.

We view standardized tests--particularly SAT's and ACT's--as valid indicators of scholastic aptitude, but they certainly cannot stand alone. While good SAT’s may support a strong application for admission, our admission counselors look for students who represent the “whole package,” not just one strength or another. Please submit only official scores from the testing agency for consideration. For more information click here.

What are my chances of being admitted?

Frankly, no one knows the answer until all the applications are in. There is no standard “formula” for admission.

While the College has grown only slightly in the past few years (from about 1,000 to 1,300 students), the number of applications we’ve received has risen dramatically during that time. In the past, roughly 14% of our student applicants have gained admission. Clearly, though, it’s getting more competitive to secure a spot in CMC’s freshman class each year.

How important are extracurricular activities in the admission decision?

Very important. The College derives much of its strength from its active and diverse student body--so, naturally, we recruit students whom we think will be active contributors at CMC. Generally, students who have committed themselves to meaningful extracurricular activities in high school are more likely to be considered than those who haven’t.

Are sons and daughters of alumni given special consideration?

Only in case of a “tie” between applications. If two acceptable applicants have similar qualifications and one is the son or daughter of an alum, preference is given to the son or daughter of the alum.

How many applications does CMC receive?

The numbers have risen steadily since 2005, and CMC consistently receives more than 4,000 applications a year. In 2012, the College received 5,058 freshman and over 300 transfer applications, respectively.

Is a personal interview required?

No, it is optional. While an interview will help us get to know you, it will also help you get to know the College. The Office of Admission is open year-round for personal interviews from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please schedule online in advance to set up an interview appointment.

Alumni interviewers are also available in some regions. Please look at the Alumni Interviewers section of the web site or call the Admission Office for more information.

If you have additional time for your visit to CMC, we strongly encourage you to arrange for an information session and a tour--if you haven't already. While you're here, spend the night on campus to get a true slice of residential life. You must schedule an overnight online. Please let us know well in advance about when you plan to stay.

How many students are in your typical freshman class?

We generally aim to enroll 300 freshmen per year.

What percent of the student body comes from out-of-state?

Approximately 65%. Although we seek diversity in the student body, we have no quotas for geographical distribution--and indeed, we have no quotas of any kind.


Office of Admission and Financial Aid

Claremont McKenna College
888 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8088
Fax: (909) 621-8516

Campus Location

Kravis Center
888 Columbia Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711