The mission of the Silicon Valley Program (SVP) is to provide the students of the Claremont Colleges with an off-campus study alternative that marries the liberal arts to challenges facing technology firms in Silicon Valley. Students on the program will explore theoretical organizational structures and will apply classroom lessons to the daily tasks associated with an internship in technology. Students will meet corporate executives—and early-career professionals—who will provide less formal insights into current challenges.
The SVP is rooted in the mission of Claremont McKenna College’s Evans ITAB Networking Trip, a one-week networking immersion trip held annually in Silicon Valley the week prior to the spring semester. This trip has introduced more than 175 CMC students to careers in one of the most innovative regions of the world, and, more importantly, has inspired an understanding of how their liberal arts education will serve them well in future endeavors.
The Silicon Valley Program is centered in the greater Mountain View, CA area. Currently our SVP courses are held at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale. Program staff secures housing for students in Mountain View; while students with internships in San Francisco may seek housing in the City. Please click here for information on housing.
Alumni and parents who lead successful careers in Silicon Valley serve as mentors and internship sponsors at scores of Silicon Valley companies. Internships will vary depending upon the needs of the sponsoring organizations and the skills of the students. Generally speaking, internships will be secured in marketing, human resources, product development, customer service, finance, engineering, and other corporate functions. Many internships feature significant quantitative and analytical duties. All internships must provide students with the types of experiences that would be afforded to early-career professional staff.
Students are encouraged to identify qualified companies of their choosing for potential internship opportunities and work with the Program Director for introductions to hundreds of interested contacts. Click here for a list of potential partners as well as previous internship sponsors by semester.
The curriculum includes four courses presented by the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance at Claremont McKenna College. Courses will be taught by faculty from the Robert Day School. Students’ independent study may be supervised by faculty from their home campus. Students from some campuses may not earn credit for the internship. For more information, visit the courses and faculty pages.
Students on the SVP semester will be afforded opportunities to meet informally with corporate executives in a number of companies, as well as recent graduates who can provide insights into how Silicon Valley works. The CMC Alumni Association’s Silicon Valley Chapter has adopted the SVP students, and will organize networking and social functions. The program director will reach out to the alumni offices of the other four colleges as their students participate in the program.
All students of the Claremont Colleges are eligible to participate, so long as they have completed ECON 050 CM or an equivalent course Juniors, first-semester Seniors, and second-semester Sophomores will be considered. Students must have attained at least a 9.0 cumulative GPA. Exceptions to these criteria may be made by the Executive Director of the Robert Day School. Students from Pomona, Scripps, Harvey Mudd, and Pitzer colleges must consult with their home campus' off-campus study professionals.
The program operates on the same schedule as the Claremont Colleges. It includes a three-day orientation session prior to the start of the internship / classes. The program operates in the fall and spring semesters. For more information, please see the SVP calendar.