Application Instructions for Transfer Applicants

Use the links below to learn more about CMC's application process for transfer students. Please contact the Office of Admission at with any questions. The Admission Committee looks forward to reviewing your application.

Claremont McKenna College considers a transfer applicant to be any student who has enrolled in a U.S. or international college or university after high school graduation or completion, regardless of courses taken or credits completed. This excludes students who have only taken college courses during the summer session after high school graduation or completion. 

Application Checklist
  • Common Application

  • Required academic credentials:

    • College Report from most current or recent institution attended

    • One Academic Evaluation/Recommendation

    • Official College Transcript(s) from all post-secondary institutions attended

    • Official final High School transcript or proof of high school equivalency. 

  • FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (if applying for financial aid)

  • There is no fee associated with transfer applications

CMC is test-optional for transfer applicants, which means standardized test scores are not required for admission. Please review the test score section below for more information about our test-optional policy.

Keep in mind that your application will be incomplete until we have received all required application components. Within 48 hours of submitting your Common Application to CMC, you will receive access to your CMC applicant portal where you can confirm that we received your required academic credentials. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all materials are received by the Office of Admission. Please contact the Office of Admission if you have questions about missing application components.

Common Application

CMC accepts the Common Application for transfer admission. Applications can be submitted online at Add CMC to your Common Application colleges list.

Application Review

Admission to CMC is based on a holistic review process that considers a broad range of factors, including a prospective student’s academic and leadership achievements, commitment to CMC’s values, and potential to benefit from and contribute to CMC’s mission.

American Honors Transfer Network

CMC is a member institution with the American Honors Transfer Network. If you are a community college student in the American Honors Program and have questions about applying to CMC, please contact Jennifer Sandoval-Dancs at

Military and Veteran Assistance

CSAAVE is the state approving agency for Veterans Education Program Approval.

Academic Record and GPA

Competitive applicants present a record of academic achievement that indicates the ability to do successful work at CMC. There is no minimum GPA required for admission, nor is there any GPA that will guarantee admission. Your grade point average (GPA) is evaluated within the context of the institution that you attend and the rigor of the curriculum you have taken. You should have at least a 3.3 GPA to receive serious consideration. Most successful applicants to CMC have earned a 3.5 or higher. We prefer to see that you have been enrolled full time, unless there are extenuating circumstances, and have no unexplained withdrawals on the transcript. 

Applicants for transfer will not be considered if they have already completed a bachelor's degree from another institution in the U.S. or abroad.

Official Transcripts

CMC requires all applicants to submit an official transcript from each college or university attended, as well as a final high school or secondary school transcript or official documentation of high school equivalency (i.e. GED).

We recommend reviewing the transfer credit policies for transfer students before applying to CMC. A grade lower than 'C' will not earn transfer credit at CMC. 

College Report

Please have your College's Dean, Academic Affairs official or Registrar complete this form and send it to CMC. The form is available on the Common Application website. You can also download the Common Application College Report here.

One Academic Evaluation/Recommendation

This form should be completed and submitted by a faculty member or teacher who taught you in a course, such as a professor, lab instructor, or graduate teaching assistant.

Mid-Term College Grades

Please have your current professors and teachers complete the mid-term report form with mid-term grades and send it to CMC. While this form is not a required application component, we encourage all students to submit their mid-term grades. This is especially encouraged if you are in your first semester or year at your current institution.

The Mid-term Report forms are available on the Common Application website. You can also download the Common Application Mid-Term Report here.

Test-Optional Admission Policy

CMC’s interim test optional policy is extended to applicants applying for the Fall 2025 entry term. This policy permits students to choose whether to submit SAT or ACT results for admission consideration as part of their academic record. Students will not be asked to disclose why they are not submitting scores and will not be disadvantaged in our process if they do not submit scores. 

Some international transfer applicants may still be required to submit English proficiency test scores. Please review our International Transfer Application Instructions for more information about English proficiency requirements.

Reporting Test Scores

CMC will accept official and self-reported test scores. CMC does not require the SAT Essay, ACT writing, or SAT subject tests.

Applicants may submit test scores in one of the following ways:


  • Send scores directly from the College Board or the ACT.

Self-reported—choose one of the following options:

  • Enter your test scores in the testing section of the Common Application.
  • Submit scores through the self-reporting form in your CMC applicant portal. This form will be available once you have submitted your application.
  • Submit a copy of the score report as a PDF to
Change Test-Optional Preference Policy

After submitting their application, applicants will have seven (7) days to change their test-optional preference. They can access a form in their CMC applicants portal to report the change. Applicants can change their test-optional preference once within the seven-day grace period. 

Superscore Policy

CMC will continue to superscore the ACT or SAT. This means we will accept the highest scores from each section of the ACT or SAT, regardless of the test date. We do not superscore across test types. Students must self-report all subsections from each test date. For example, if an applicant would like to use the superscore of two ACT test dates, the applicant must provide scores for all sections taken in both testing dates. CMC will then superscore self-reported and official scores, and include the superscore in the application review.

Verification of Self-Reported Test Scores

Enrolling students who chose to include test scores in the application must send official test scores prior to their entering term at CMC. The Admission Office will compare self-reported scores with official test scores. Students will be contacted in the event of any discrepancies. 

Beyond Academic Promise

CMC actively recruits a diverse group of students from around the world. In the application process it is important to provide information that helps us understand your personal background as well as your academic preparation. As a selective college we are interested in knowing who you are, what is important to you, and what you have accomplished outside of the classroom. Your essay, extracurricular activities, short answer response, interview, and/or video response are perfect opportunities to highlight these aspects and show us how you can contribute to and benefit from the CMC community and mission.


While interviews are not required, they are highly recommended. Interviews for CMC are evaluative and are a part of your application. The interview allows you to tell us more about your personal background, as wells as your accomplishments, talents, and goals. The interview process also provides you with a valuable opportunity to understand the CMC experience through a one-on-one interview with an Admission Officer, Senior Interviewer or alumni interviewer. If possible, we recommend scheduling an interview on- or off-campus. Interviews typically last about 30 minutes. To schedule an interview, please visit

Interviews are only offered before the transfer application deadlines and can be completed before you submit your application for admission. If you are unable to schedule an interview we strongly encourage that you consider submitting the option video response. Applicants who interview may submit the video response as well.

Supplemental Essay Prompts

The CMC admission office would like to know a bit more about you and how you see yourself connecting with our campus as a student. The following are required supplemental essay prompts found in both the Common Application and Coalition Application:

  1. CMC’s mission is to prepare students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions. With this mission in mind, please explain why you want to attend Claremont McKenna College. 
  2. A critical part of fulfilling our mission is living out the commitments of CMC’s Open Academy: Freedom of Expression, Viewpoint Diversity, and Constructive Dialogue. We want to learn more about your commitment to listening and learning from others with different viewpoints, perspectives, and life experiences from your own.
    Describe a time when engaging with someone about a specific topic resulted in you changing your attitude, belief, or behavior, or you changed the belief or behavior of someone else. What was the change that occurred for you, and what facilitated that change? What did you learn from that experience, and how has it informed how you engage with others?
Optional Video Response

After submitting your application, you will receive instructions by email from the CMC Admission Office on how to submit an optional two-minute video. Similar to interviews, the optional video response gives you an opportunity to tell us more about yourself beyond the information you provided in your application. The most compelling video responses have a genuine voice and highlight your thoughtfulness and authenticity.

While the video response is not required, if you were unable to schedule an interview, the video response is a great opportunity for you to tell us about yourself beyond what you provided in your application.

Video response prompts all transfer applicants:

  1. Claremont McKenna College is a special community because it is composed of talented people who individually and collectively contribute to improving the life of the College.  How do you hope to contribute to the CMC community?
  2. The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum represents the intellectual mantelpiece of the Claremont McKenna College community, bringing students, faculty, and staff closer together through active engagement and discussion on a daily basis. Knowing that diversity of thought and respectful dialogue are vital elements to the Athenaeum’s mission, who is someone you would want to hear speak at the Athenaeum in order to better understand a diverse perspective or experience from that of your own?
  3. Developing a personal narrative is key to understand one’s own values and unique voice. Instances of personal adversity are key markers when determining an individual’s character, resoluteness, and sources of inspiration. When was the last time you were moved to great emotion and how did you positively respond from that moment in time?
  4. People support each other and their communities in various ways.  How do you support those around you and how has this shaped your unique perspective.
Deadlines for Transfer applicants

CMC reviews transfer applicants for admission for Spring or Fall admission. Please follow the deadlines below to ensure your application for admission is reviewed.

Admission Deadlines

Spring Admission 

Begin Accepting Applications on September 1
Admission Application Deadline November 1
Notification Date by December 15
Candidate's reply is due in early January 

Fall Admission

Begin Accepting Applications on September 1
Admission Application Deadline March 15
Notification Date by May 15
Candidate's reply is due June 1

Admission at CMC is need-aware, meaning an applicant’s ability to pay may be factored into the admission decision for transfer applicants. If you are applying for financial aid you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Board's CSS Profile forms no later than March 22 for the academic year beginning in the fall. For mid-year transfer you may use the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications submitted for the current year. If the CSS Profile was not required for the college the student currently attends, it must be filed as soon as possible.

For more information on Financial Aid, visit their website at The Office of Financial Aid can be reached by phone at (909) 621-8356 or by email at

Spring Admission

CSS/Financial Aid Profile due November 8
FAFSA due November 8
Award notification by December 15

Fall Admission

CSS/Financial Aid Profile due March 22
FAFSA due March 22*
* If you are a California resident you may be eligible for the Cal Grant (check eligibility requirements here). If you meet the Cal Grant eligibility requirements, the FAFSA or CADAA and the Cal Grant GPA Verification for (if applicable) must be submitted by March 1. 
Award notification by May 15

How many credits do I need in order to transfer?

Any student who has enrolled in a U.S. or international college or university after high school graduation completion is considered a transfer applicant, regardless of courses taken or credits completed. This excludes students who have only taken college courses during the summer session after high school graduation or completion. There is no minimum number of units required to transfer to CMC. However, transfer students may not transfer in more than 16 CMC units. Review CMC's transfer credit policies for transfer students here

Applicants for transfer will not be considered if they have already completed a bachelor's degree from another U.S. or international college or university.

How will my credits transfer?

Each course at CMC is equivalent to 4 semester units or 6 quarter units and students need to have completed 32 courses in order to graduate. There are general education requirements that must be completed as well as specific requirements for the major.

In order for a course to transfer to CMC from another college there must be an equivalent course offered at CMC or one of the other Claremont Colleges. Courses with grades of C- and below will not be transferable. When talking to an admission officer or the registrar, be sure to ask about credit you received at your current college for AP or IB tests. The policy for accepting these scores may be different at CMC.

CMC does not accept CLEP credits, online or web based courses, or distance learning courses. There may be additional restrictions on other non-traditional courses or courses taken in a non-traditional setting (such as military service). Please consult the registrar regarding the specifics of your situation.

For more information review our Transfer Credit for Transfer Students, and contact the following offices with additional questions.

We recommend that you keep all your course syllabi and descriptions in case there is a need for additional information.

What emphasis is placed on my high school record?

The question is best answered on an individual basis. In general terms, more emphasis is placed on the college record. However, individual circumstances may determine how the admission committee regards the high school transcript. If the applicant had an excellent record in high school, then there is no need to be concerned. Some transfer applicants to CMC have had poor high school records, but in college have earned excellent grades. These students should not be discouraged from applying to CMC. However, students who did not have a strong high school record may need to spend more time at another college establishing a pattern of strong academic performance than students who had strong high school records.

Will my present college GPA transfer to CMC?

The grades you earned at your other institution(s) will always be present on your transcript. However, your grades from other institution(s) will not be figured into your CMC grade point average.

What about housing?

Housing is not guaranteed for transfer students. However, CMC has had a record in recent years of being able to house on campus most transfer students who have made the request. Once students are housed on campus, they are guaranteed on-campus housing for the rest of their time at CMC. Students may live off-campus if they wish.

Could I live off-campus instead of in the residence halls?

Since housing is not guaranteed, transfer students may find off-campus housing if they wish. Please note, however, CMC is a residentially oriented campus and students who only come to campus to attend class will miss out on a large part of campus life. CMC is also looking for students who seek to be a part of the campus community beyond just the classroom. Students who choose to live off-campus are strongly encouraged to find housing close to campus.

How many students apply to transfer and how many get in?
Application Year Number Applied Number Admitted
Fall 2021 287 23
Spring 2021 76 20
Fall 2020 334 37
Spring 2020 49 4
Fall 2019 346 34
Spring 2019 50 16