General Education Requirements

CMC students

General education (GE) requirements focus on the development of writing, speaking, analytical, and interpretive skills. In these courses, students will have ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with foundational divisions of knowledge.

General education requirements are discipline specific, so each department determines which courses are needed. Normally, students complete their GE requirements at Claremont McKenna College, but a non-CMC course can be used with approval from a department chair.

General Education Requirements Chart

The chart below is an overview of CMC’s general education requirements for entering students. The course numbers refer to CMC and Keck Science Department courses only, so the course numbers will not apply to courses at the other Claremont Colleges.

CORE GEsCourses to be completed by all students
Freshman Writing SeminarFWS 010 CM. Must be completed within the first or second semester
Freshman Humanities SeminarFHS 010 CM. Must be completed within the first or second semester
Foreign LanguageCompetency at the 3rd college semester level of a foreign language. May be waived based on a placement exam or demonstrated native proficiency
Mathematics or Computer ScienceAny CMC mathematics, or calculus or computer science course offered within The Claremont Consortium
Lab ScienceOne laboratory science course offered by Keck Science Department or elsewhere within The Claremont Consortium. Must be completed by the end of the second year at CMC
Physical Education3 physical education activity courses, or 2 seasons of a sport. Must register for activities and sports to count
Senior ThesisTo be completed in the senior year; related to the student’s major(s)


For the general education requirement in the humanities, all students must complete a designated course in 2 of the following 4 fields of study outside 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 3 of the 4 fields.

HUMANITIESCourses in two areas outside the student’s major(s) are required
Foreign LiteratureThe 4th semester of a European or classical language, the 5th semester of Korean or Arabic, or the 6th semester of Chinese or Japanese
LiteratureAny CMC literature course
PhilosophyAny CMC philosophy course numbered under 60
Religious StudiesAny CMC religious studies course numbered 180 or under

Social Sciences

For the general education requirement in the social sciences, students must complete at least one designated course in 3 of the following 4 fields of study 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 4 fields.

SOCIAL SCIENCESCourses in three areas outside the student’s major(s) are required
ECON 050 CMPrinciples of Economic Analysis
GOVT 020 CMIntroduction to American Politics
HistoryAny CMC history course
PsychologyAny CMC psychology course numbered under 100

For more detailed information about CMC's General Education Requirements, please visit CMC Catalog.

“When I arrived at CMC I was fully committed to majoring in psychology. It was my favorite class in high school and nothing could deter me from pursuing a career in that field. However, I had to take certain classes to fulfill CMC’s general education requirements, and taking Gov. 20: Introduction to American Politics was a game-changer. I discovered a passion for politics and law I did not know I had and ended up majoring in government and legal studies, not psychology. The GE requirements introduced me to interests I do not think I would have discovered otherwise. Because of a single GE class, I am attending Columbia Law School. Another GE, the senior thesis requirement, helped me prepare for the academic rigor law school poses. My senior thesis explored the constitutional validity of state and federal anti-discrimination statutes that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of public accommodations. It culminated into 150 pages of legal arguments, research, history, and analysis. The skills I gained through this process are going to be of great value at Columbia.” Victor Lopez ’17 Government and Legal Studies Chicago, IL