Frequently Asked Questions on Orientation
Orientation activities for first year students officially begin on August 22, 2021 and run through August 29, 2021. International student orientation will take place a few days before from August 19-21, 2021.
Limited time is available on Sunday, August 22, 2021, for shopping. It is recommended that you take care of these items beforehand.
All new students are expected to participate in all Orientation activities. Orientation is a time to learn about the College and how it functions, student life, academics, and to begin making friends. All students will participate in a W.O.A.! trip (Welcome Orientation Adventure), and many students have found that they have made friends within the first two weeks of school that last them at least the next four years. Also, Orientation activities include mandatory academic advising and technology sessions that each student must complete.
Driving directions are available here. If you are arriving by plane, we recommend that you fly into Ontario International Airport. The airport is about twenty minutes away from The Claremont Colleges, and a taxi to CMC (with tip) will cost approximately $30.
If you will be booking a return airplane flight home at the end of the semester, remember that you must sit for your final exams on the days they are scheduled. Because you will not know which days your finals are until you register for classes, we strongly suggest that you purchase a ticket that you can reschedule with low change fees. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for exam dates. Important Residential Life dates (e.g., when the residence halls open and close) can be found through the Residential Life section of the Dean of Students web page.
The correct address for mail and shipping is:
Your First & Last Name - Box # (Unidentifiable mail will be returned to sender)
742 N. Amherst Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711-6430
Please follow this format. Your mailbox number will be provided with your housing assignment. Boxes, trunks and luggage may be sent directly to Story House, but should not be shipped before August 15. All shipping must be prepaid or the item will be returned to sender. Boxes, trunks, and luggage are shipped and stored at your own risk; the College does not assume responsibility for them. Please note: Large furniture items cannot be accepted for delivery at Story House.
Dress at the College is generally casual, although a number of evening and special campus functions (especially those at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum) may call for more formal attire. For such functions, it is not uncommon to wear suits, button down shirts, dresses, blouses or slacks. Before the end of your first year, it is entirely possible that you will need business interview attire as you prepare for summer internships or jobs.
There are washing machines and dryers in every residence hall, and there are several dry cleaners/laundries within walking distance, including an outsourced service located in Honnold-Mudd Library. There are no coin-operated laundry machines; all machines take debit or credit cards.
You should anticipate spending approximately $1,200 per year for books, and you should arrive on campus prepared to spend more than half of this amount in the first month. You can visit the Claremont Colleges’ Huntley Bookstore online. Other personal expenses are likely to run about $1,000 or more for the academic year.
Many banks serve the Claremont area, and we do not endorse any particular one. Several banks have branches within walking distance, including Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and US Bank. The Claremont Chamber of Commerce website has member listings for other businesses and services within the city.
You will be assigned an academic advisor during Orientation. All advisors are members of the CMC faculty. You may be assigned a professor according to your major, or in cases of undeclared majors, you will be assigned by similar interest. Once you declare a major, you may select a new advisor. Advisors help students pick a course of study, and can assist with most academic questions their advisees have. You must meet with your advisor at least once a semester to discuss which courses you should take the next semester, but many students meet with their advisors more frequently. You may change advisors as many times as you want.
In every department, there are help sessions and tutors available. Also, each professor is generally available even beyond office hours, in person or by email, to assist with questions their students have. You should consult your professors directly about trouble you are having, and talk to your advisor or a counselor if there is a larger problem contributing to your academic difficulties.
Some professors take attendance, or scan the classroom in order to see who is there and who is not, but it is for their own grading purposes, not to monitor your activities. You are held personally accountable for your class attendance, and each professor makes it very clear at the beginning of each semester what their expectations are about missed classes.
No. Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all students enrolled at a school past the high school level, and over the age of 18, have sole access to their grades. Most CMC students share their progress with their parents of their own accord. You can learn more about FERPA online.
The Soll Center for Student Opportunity sends out email updates with opportunities for students to look into, but students are encouraged to visit the Center on their own and work with one of their staff to find internships that best suit them as individuals.
Yes, you must maintain at least a C or 6.0 GPA to renew your financial aid. You must also complete a minimum of three courses per semester and have academic standing consistent with CMC requirements.
At the beginning of each calendar year, all students on financial aid must renew their FAFSA and CSS Profile reports, as well as submit copies of their families' tax records to the IDOC service. This must be done within the first few months of the calendar year.
Financial aid awards always include living expenses. However, these expenses depend on where a student lives. If you move off campus, live in a student apartment, or at home, your financial aid award may change. Students who live off campus or in the student apartments generally incur similar room and board expenses as students living on campus. Therefore, a financial aid award most likely will not change. However, if a student moves home, living expenses are still considered when determining a student's financial aid award, but the living cost is less. Therefore, the financial aid award will be adjusted and reduced accordingly.
On campus jobs (work-study and non-work-study) are available in most academic departments, administrative offices, and research institutes, as well as the Athenaeum, the bookstore, and the library. Students may apply to various jobs on campus through the Soll Center for Student Opportunity portal, called Handshake. Also, you will receive email bulletins regularly about job opportunities. There are more than enough on-campus work-study jobs for all who want one, but you may also use the resources at the Soll Center for Student Opportunity to find off-campus jobs.
Housing & Residence Hall Information
Your residence hall room comes equipped with a bed, mattress, desk, desk shelf, desk chair, dresser, trash/recycling can, and and a micro-fridge combination. You will need to bring your own linens (CMC beds require extra-long twin sheets), blankets, bedspreads, towels, study lamps (non-halogen), and personal effects. You are responsible for making your own bed.
Air conditioners are not allowed in residence hall rooms and will be confiscated if found. The provided closet space is sufficient for most students' needs; limited storage is provided in some of the residence halls only while classes are in session.
CMC beds are twin extra-long. If you are particularly tall you may contact Facilities at Story House to request an extra-extra-long bed and linens, at no extra charge. Most students buy twin extra-long sheets at any place linens are available (e.g., Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond).
Each new student is asked to fill out a housing form as candidly and honestly as possible. The form provides insight about your preferences regarding study times, level of messiness, music tastes, etc. The Dean of Students office staff uses these forms to match roommates. For the most part, freshman roommates are very successful pairings. Check out the DOS Residential Life page for additional information on campus life and housing. Go to the New Student Portal to complete the housing questionnaire.
It is very uncommon for students to change roommates. If you have a problem concerning your assigned roommate, you should go to your Resident Assistant for advice. Communication and flexibility are important when living with a fellow student in the residence halls. If you are unable to resolve the issues on your own or through mediated discussion, you may request a room reassignment. Reassignments are made based on the situation and housing availability.
North Quad dorms have gender-specific eight-person suites. Though residence halls and some floors in the Mid and South quads are co-ed, there are separate gender-specific bathrooms in most buildings. Beckett, Benson, Berger, Claremont, and the first floor of Marks Hall are gender inclusive and have gender-inclusive bathrooms.
No. Small oscillating fans and/or box fans help keep rooms cool in those buildings without central air conditioning.
Closet space is sufficient for most students' needs; however there is limited storage in the residence halls while classes are in session and during winter break. During the summer, you must move all of your possessions out. Public storage units are available for rental from nearby establishments and information regarding summer storage is sent to students via email during the spring semester.
Yes. All residence halls have wireless access to high-speed internet.
Yes. Resident Technology Assistants are available in each residence hall to help you set up wireless access, and it is available almost everywhere on campus. Should you desire wireless access at Claremont University Consortium locations such as the library, you can request help setting that up directly from the Technology Assistants in the computer lab. The College thanks Ryal Poppa '57 GP'08 for funding the wireless network. Additional information about computing is available on the ITS website.
You may ship packages to campus one week before you arrive on campus. Anything sent before one week will be returned to sender. Packages may be mailed to: Story House, 742 N. Amherst Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Your name and box number should be included in the shipping address; you will receive your box number with your housing assignment in early August.
It may be beneficial to ship clothing and pack heavier items, because it could be more cost-effective, depending on how much you are bringing. Make sure to pack less than you think you need, and pick up anything you've forgotten on your next visit home! We do not recommend shipping appliances or furniture. Please seek approval from the Student Mailroom (email@example.com) for beds, appliances, or packages over 65 pounds. Due to the large volume of mail received in the first few weeks of school, there is limited space to store these items. You may find our checklist useful to pull together what you need.
Certain bulky items may not be worth bringing, and you can easily purchase them during your first days at school. Clothing hangers, drying rack, iron, laundry hamper and detergent, small shelving units for snacks and toiletries, shower supplies, fan -- these are just some of the things that should be purchased in California, if you intend to use them at all. You may also order items through Bed, Bath & Beyond and have it shipped to the local store for pick-up. You can download this PDF for more information on local shopping options.
During fall, Thanksgiving, and spring breaks, you are allowed to stay in your residence hall room. Dozens of students stay on or near campus during summer break, because they have jobs here or have chosen to take summer courses. During winter break all students except those living in the on-campus apartments must vacate the residence halls. In the past, students who have not been able to go home during that time have made accommodations to stay with friends or relatives nearby. International students can contact the International Place of the Claremont Colleges if they have any questions. CMC's academic calendar is viewable here.
Health & Safety
The Claremont Colleges share the Student Health Center, Health Education Outreach, and the Monsour Counseling & Psychological Services. Visits to Student Health that are made by appointment are free of charge, and any additional costs (e.g., prescriptions, physical exams, X-rays) are a fraction of the average cost. Mounsour offers free counseling sessions (8 per academic year) as well as psychiatry appointments for medication management. Additionally, Claremont McKenna offers a limited number of on-campus counseling sessions to its students through partnerships with local clinicians. Students interested in this option should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. All students also have access to the on-call therapist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (909-621-8202). If you require any ongoing medical treatment or counseling, the Consortium services are prepared to refer you to affiliated local doctors.
Most students use the Student Health Center for the majority of their medical care, but if a student requires emergency care past first aid (which RAs and Campus Safety can take care of), there are local hospitals and urgent care centers such as Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona and Montclair Hospital Medical Center.
California law treats all medical and counseling services as confidential matters between the health care providers and their patients unless you submit your bill to your parents' insurance plan or you sign a release of information form. Also, if the counselor believes you are at risk in some way, the counselor may communicate with your listed emergency contacts.
CMC has developed and maintains a comprehensive safety and emergency management system that is designed to protect from, prepare for, and respond to a wide range of threats. As part of this system, regular training and exercises are conducted to ensure that everyone on campus knows what to do in the event of an emergency. In the event of a large-scale disaster the College is equipped to be self-sustaining for a number of days. Please see the CMC Emergency Preparedness web page.
To ensure the protection of students, officers from the Claremont Colleges Department of Campus Safety patrol the seven campuses at all times in order to make sure there are no crimes being committed or suspicious people wandering the campuses, and that students are not in distress. Students are encouraged to download LiveSafe to their phones. LiveSafe is a free personal safety mobile application for students, staff, faculty, and the community to engage in two-way conversation with Campus Safety. Through the app, community members are able to report information, request assistance or a safety escort, notify emergency contacts, and view a safety map.
CMC also has a dedicated Public Safety staff patrolling our campus. Public Safety are first responders to emergency calls and provide security at social gatherings and special events. The officers work proactively with students and student organizations to plan safe events, deter crimes and petty thefts of bikes, skateboards, or other personal property. They identify trends and environmental conditions that warrant attention (low lighted areas, unsafe conditions of physical structures, etc.), and they provide trainings on theft prevention, bystander intervention techniques, emergency response, and other safety interventions.
Every residence hall has at least one Resident Assistant, who is trained in safety and emergency procedures, and regularly briefed on any security issues that may arise. CMC has a dean on-call for after-hour emergencies who can be contacted through the Campus Safety department.
The College has developed and maintains a robust emergency communication program that enables emergency warnings and information to be distributed to students in the following ways: text message, email, CMC's website, CMC's emergency page, and phone. You should make sure the Dean of Students office has your current cellphone number; your CMC email address will be used for email messages.
Perhaps the most significant factor in the safety of students is the expectation of respect for people and property as outlined in CMC's Basic Rule of Conduct. Students who violate this or other College policies are subject to CMC's discipline procedures. The Guide to Student Life, which includes the Basic Rule of Conduct, nonacademic policies, and emergency procedures, is available online at https://www.cmc.edu/dean-of-students/policies-and-procedures.
Freshmen are not permitted to bring cars to campus. We believe that new students should spend more time on campus, developing friendships and settling in. Although about half of returning sophomores, juniors, and seniors bring cars to campus, it is not a necessary part of the CMC experience. Plenty of students ride bicycles or skateboards to get food or run small errands nearby, or even to get to class, but none of these things are necessary. All classes are within easy walking distance, except in rare instances when two classes on different campuses are scheduled too closely together.
CMC has a student-run Bike Shop, located in the basement of Wohlford Hall. Bikes are available for students for free for a short rental period. A $5 late fee is applied daily to bikes returned after the rental period. Lost, stolen, or badly damaged bikes will require a reimbursement cost of $350. The Bike Shop helps patrons put together new bikes and fixes bikes free of charge. They are also able to help with new parts for just the cost of the equipment. Students may also bring their own bikes in for repair and services, including inflating or replacing tires, adjusting seats and gears, and replacing brake pads and cables. The Bike Shop is open during the school year from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., seven days a week. Times may be subject to change.
Freshmen are not permitted to have a vehicle on campus. It is a violation of College policy to attempt to register a car under someone else's name or to register a car for someone else. Transfer students may register their vehicles with Campus Safety.
There is no such monitoring of students at most college campuses, and certainly not at CMC. One of the most important aspects of college life is gaining independence, and it is your responsibility to manage class attendance, academic progress, proper health and nutrition, sleep habits, etc. If you are absent from a number of classes, your faculty member may contact one of the staff in the Dean of Students office and request that we follow up with you.
Student safety and well-being are extremely important to us; therefore, CMC employs several measures to discourage the use of controlled substances and to encourage responsible behavior when students of legal drinking age choose to drink. The College works with student government and groups of students who wish to register campus events where alcohol will be present to make sure that ID cards are checked and safety measures are in place. We think it is incredibly helpful when parents and students talk openly about substance use, and we hope you will do this before you set off to CMC. To view the alcohol and drug policy, see the Guide to Student Life.
Because CMC students do not tend to go off campus to drink, we have almost no problems with drunk-driving, and the College has a very low rate of alcohol- or substance-related emergencies compared with other schools. Freshman Orientation includes informational and discussion sessions concerning such behavior so that you know from the beginning that the College views substance abuse as unacceptable. Should an emergency arise, Resident Assistants are trained to recognize and respond when students are in danger, both in first aid and in contacting medical personnel if necessary. We also have a substance-free residence hall in which many students choose to live for their entire time at CMC.
CMC's dining services offer regular meals in Collins Dining Hall. The services are managed by Bon Appétit, which uses fresh ingredients and makes as many products as possible from scratch. Bon Appétit also has a program called "Farm-to-Fork," which includes foods that are entirely organic, vegan, and locally grown. Finally, through a cooperative agreement, students may eat at any of the dining halls at the other Claremont Colleges. The meal program offers variety, flexibility, and quality.
All students living in the residence halls are required to select one of the CMC meal plans. The residence halls are not set up for cooking meals. Students living off campus or in the student apartment complex have the option of whether or not to select a meal plan.
Students living on campus must be on the 8, 12, 14, or 16 meal plan, which allow for that many meals per week and include $80, $120, $140, or $200 of "Board Plus Dollars" per semester, respectively. The most popular tends to be the 12-meal plan. More information about the meal plans is available online.
CMC recognizes that our students take classes at all of the other undergraduate colleges in our Consortium, are involved in activities across campus lines, and sometimes just want a change of environment. For these reasons, the College participates in a cross-dining agreement in which students may enjoy meals at any of the other college dining halls.
Board Plus Dollars, also known as “flex,” are included in each meal plan as an allotment of Board Plus dollars per semester. Each Board Plus dollar is equivalent to one dollar in cash and is tracked electronically on the student's ID card. Board Plus dollars may be used at any of the cash operations at the undergraduate colleges in lieu of cash for food and beverages. Students may also use Board Plus dollars to bring a guest into the dining halls. Unused Board Plus dollars do not roll over to the next semester.
Claremont Cash can be used to purchase food and non-food items throughout the Claremont Colleges and selected merchants in Claremont. All students have a Claremont Cash account established when they receive their ID cards. Funds may be deposited into this account. Unused funds will roll over from one year to the next. A full refund of unspent funds can be requested when you graduate or withdraw from the College.
There are vegetarian and vegan options at all of the dining halls, but because the dining hall kitchens are not kosher-certified, strictly kosher meals are not available.
In case of a food allergy or other dietary need, you are encouraged to discuss the dining hall menu with the chef or dining hall manager.
During the summer, the CMC Alumni Association sponsors new student parties in various locations around the world where you and your parents will have the opportunity to meet classmates, current upperclass students, alumni, and parents. These events are a great opportunity to meet new people, exchange contact information, and ask questions. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (909) 621-8097.
Most cellphone service providers offer coverage in the Claremont area, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and Nextel. Be sure to confirm the coverage area and quality of service of any cellphone provider that you may contract with.
We'd like you to get started as soon as you are ready. Our Center for Student Opportunity offers skills assessment, counseling, workshops, employer and industry discussions, on-campus interviews, and many other services.
The College does not assume responsibility for students' personal property, other than the loss of or damage to items by a College employee acting within the scope of their duties. Losses incurred by theft, fire, interruption of utilities, and other causes are your responsibility. You should have property and theft insurance. Many students are covered by their parents’ homeowner's or renter's insurance. You should inquire whether your belongings would be protected under the terms of such a policy while you are at the College.
There will be one active phone jack in your room (double or single), but only if you (or your roommate) have requested it. No phone instrument will be provided. You may either bring a phone with you or purchase one locally upon your arrival. If you will be bringing a cordless phone, please be aware that 1) it will take hours to fully charge the phone and 2) that if it is not working immediately it probably has not been fully charged. You will receive an email at your CMC address with your phone number (the last five numerals will be your extension) along with information on setting up free voice mail service. For phone activation/deactivation requests contact the Dean of Students Office.
All campus phones may be dialed directly from off campus. The campus switchboard at (909) 621-8000 is staffed Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Incoming calls can be transferred; however, student phone numbers are not released by the switchboard staff.
There are two options for student long-distance dialing: 1) purchase a prepaid calling card available through local merchants, 2) your cellphone.
For questions regarding the campus telephone service, please contact the CUC Office of Information Technology at (909) 621-8297, e-mail Laura McWilliams, or visit the web page .
For additional questions, please feel free to call or email the following individuals:
- Student Orientation: First Year Programs Intern, email@example.com, (909) 607-8300.
- Housing: If you have questions regarding housing assignments, changes to room or board plan and billing, or furnishings, contact Lyn Hughes at (909) 607-7950 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Residential Life: If you have questions regarding Resident Assistants or Residence Hall programs, contact Jenny Guyett, Assistant Dean and Director of Residential Life, email@example.com, (909) 621-8258)
- Parent and Family Orientation: Parent Relations Office, at (909) 621-8098.
- Any additional questions can be directed to the Dean of Students Office at (909) 621-8114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent and Family Orientation is a welcome program designed specifically for parents and guardians of new students. This day program consists of special presentations designed to help family members assist with their student's transition to college by becoming familiar with the College and its many resources. Parents will become acquainted with various aspects of the College's academic, residential, and student life. Emphasis will be on the transitions and adjustments new college students and their parents typically experience. You will have an opportunity to visit with and ask questions of members of our faculty, administrative staff, students, and other parents.
Parents are not required to attend, however attending can help them learn more about CMC and gain a greater understanding of what their student will be experiencing in their first year and beyond. The program for parents is separate from the student program.
Yes. However, all of the sessions for parents are geared toward parents, and children may be uninterested.
Yes. We encourage parents to register in advance so that we can ensure that each guest has a packet and name tag. It also helps us to know how many people plan to attend so we can provide for catering needs.
Yes, you may register when you arrive on campus; however, it will help us welcome you if you register in advance.
You will receive a confirmation, either by email or mail, once your registration has been processed. Please allow one week for your registration to be processed and confirmation sent. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (909) 621-8097.
The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations has groups of rooms blocked at several hotels; here is a list of those hotels. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee rooms will be available, so please book early.
If you need special accommodations because of a disability, please call us prior to Parent and Family Orientation at (909) 621-8097. During Parent and Family Orientation, visit the check-in/hospitality room located in The Hub at the Emett Student Center for assistance.
The closest airport to Claremont McKenna College is Ontario International Airport, located about 10 miles from campus. International students can contact International Place at The Claremont Colleges for additional information and arrival assistance.
During Parent and Family Orientation, you are welcome to park in any available legal parking space on the CMC campus. Parking permits are not needed during Orientation. Vehicles that are parked in a manner that may impede the flow of traffic or response by emergency vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense without prior notification. Campus Safety will not ticket non-registered cars on move-in day. There are some cases where they may ticket, such as a car parked in a space for the handicapped with no placard. If someone is actively unloading a car in a red zone, they will not ticket, but if a car is left unattended in a red zone or parked there, they may ticket it. The city of Claremont can issue tickets for illegal parking on city streets or in fire lanes. CMC's parking policy and a parking lot map are available online.
Fall sport athletes who are invited to participate in pre-season activities will arrive before the start of Orientation depending on their NCAA allowable start date. Check with individual coaches for exact dates before making plans.
New students and parents may check in on Sunday, August 23, 2020, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Keys will only be issued to students. Early arrivals are limited to athletes approved through their coaches to be on campus for scheduled pre-season activities.
Following Move In, Parent and Family Orientation will continue the rest of the day. A full day of orientation seminars and activities are planned, including lunch and the official College welcome. The Food Truck Dinner ends at 7:00 p.m. after which all parents are expected to depart from campus.
If your student has set you up as an authorized user to their student account on CASHNet, you can view the current statement, check the account balance, make a payment, or view the account transaction history.
No. Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all students enrolled at a school past the high school level, and over the age of 18, have sole access to their grades. Most CMC students share their progress with their parents of their own accord. You can learn more about FERPA online.
The best way to keep informed of your student's progress (academic, social, etc.) is to maintain contact with them. You will not be contacted about your student's academic progress by the school unless the situation gets to the point where disciplinary action will have to be taken.
It is important to stay involved in your student's life without hindering their college experience. Encourage your student to keep in touch with you, but be mindful that especially the first few weeks of freshman year are incredibly busy with schoolwork, bonding activities, and meeting new people. Students always appreciate a care package or encouraging note in the mail, and hopefully your student will be comfortable sharing news about classes and their well-being.
The CMC Parent Network is your link to remaining involved in your student's educational community. It is our mission to provide resources, information, and opportunities for parents to become partners with CMC in the educational experiences of their students. You can stay up to date by visiting the Parents Gateway. There are also regional activities in which all parents and alumni can participate. Parents of all current students and alumni are automatic members of the Parent Network, and other family members are welcome to join. There are many volunteer opportunities in which parents can participate regardless of where they live. Parents are encouraged to participate in activities organized by the CMC Alumni Association.
Family Weekend registration packets will be mailed in January and event information will be available online. Continue to visit the parent gateway for updated information as well as hotel accommodations.