Silicon Valley FAQs

GENERAL

What is the Silicon Valley Program?
The Silicon Valley Program (SVP) is a semester-length off-campus study option for students from the Claremont Colleges. Students may earn three-to-four units of credit, while developing work-experience at a full-time internship.

What will my schedule be?
Students focus on their internship experience 36-40 hours between Monday and Friday, with courses mostly taken on Saturdays (9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Some course sessions are taught on Fridays, so that students can also enjoy time-off to explore the Bay Area. See the program semester calendar for more details.

Where will I live?
Silicon Valley Program secures apartments in Redwood City, CA. All students are required to live in program-secured housing. Please see more details on the program's housing page.

Is local transportation provided?
No. SVP participants will be responsible for getting themselves to and from work via public transportation, private vehicle, carpooling, or, if available, participating in company van pools. Likewise, participants are responsible for transportation to and from classes.

What if I get sick or need a doctor?
Students will have access to primary health care through their regular health insurance. Students without health insurance through their families will be required to have CMC health insurance. The Office of Global Education can assist with these issues.

Who can I contact for more information?
Please contact the SVP Director, Andy Ceperley, aceperley@cmc.edu


APPLICATION & ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible to apply?
Students from CMC, Scripps, Harvey Mudd, and Pomona are welcome to apply. The selection committee seeks full-time undergraduate students who will be:

  • second-semester sophomores
  • juniors
  • first-semester seniors

We encourage applicants to have at least a 9.0 (B) cumulative grade point average. Principles of Economic Analysis (ECON 050 CM) or equivalent is a pre-requisite. Please see our courses page for other course prerequisites. Permission for exceptions to these requirements will be determined by the Silicon Valley Program Academic Director.

What if I'm not a CMC Student?
Pomona Students: Pomona will not grant course credit for the internship. Pomona students should receive the other three units of credit. Check with the Pomona College Registrar or contact the SVP Program Director for more information.

Scripps Students: Scripps College is taking petitions on a case-by-case basis. Deadlines for Scripps College petitions are well in advance of the application deadline for SVP. Consult with the Scripps College Study Abroad and Global Education staff.

Harvey Mudd Students: Please consult with the SVP Program Director.

Pitzer Students: Pitzer students are not eligible to apply. Please consult with the Pitzer College Office of Study Abroad and International Programs for additional information.

Can I apply even if my GPA is not quite 9.0?
Yes. Students with a GPA slightly below 9.0 may apply, but the application process is competitive and the selection committee will be looking for other qualities that compel them to move such candidates forward.

Can I apply even if I am applying or have participated on the Evans ITAB Networking Trip?
Yes. Because the Evans ITAB Networking Trip is separate from SVP, students are eligible to apply for either or both. Each will have its own applications and deadlines.

I am an international student. May I attend the SVP?
Yes. International students must take an additional step to ensure that they apply for their Curricular Practical Training (CPT) prior to the beginning of their semester in Silicon Valley. There are only two requirements: 1) submit your offer letter from your internship sponsor, and 2) submit proof that you are enrolled in an internship. Consult your international student advisor or the SVP Program Director for more details.

The U.S. government imposes restrictions on international students from working in certain fields. Government / military contractors may not be able to hire international students. The banking industry requires a Social Security Number, which takes months to acquire only after an offer is extended. Other restrictions may apply. International students with and without a Social Security Number have successfully secured an internship in technology firms and have experienced outstanding internships. Please consult with the SVP Program Director for more information.

How do I apply?
Students must complete the SVP Application, which includes personal information, short answer questions, two recommendation requests, a current transcript, and a current resume. Students whose applications pass the first round of review will be interviewed by the SVP selection committee. The application can be found online.


INTERNSHIPS

Where will I intern?
Students may intern at a variety of corporations or organizations in the area. View potential employers. View companies that have hosted interns in prior semesters..

I already have an internship. Does this mean I will have priority acceptance to the program?
No. While students may have contacts in the area and/or already have internship offers, CMC does not grant priority acceptance into the program.

I want to find my own internship. Can I?
Yes! We expect students to identify and pursue their own internships. The program staff will also assist you in your search. As you move forward with the process, please consult with the SVP Program Director to make sure the “fit” is right and to ensure the desired internship meets all expectations for SVP credit.


CLASSES & CREDITS

Will my courses and internship count towards my major requirements?
It depends on your college and your major. CMC Economics majors may count Econ 65 and ECON 98 as a level-I major elective course or they may count Econ 165 and ECON 198 as a level-II major elective course. Credit for the internship will be counted as an elective towards graduation for CMC students. CMC students with other majors and students from the other Claremont Colleges should consult with their respective Registrar prior to committing to the Program. See the Courses page for more details.

I'm not a CMC Economics major. Can I still apply?
Yes. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.

Can I get major elective credit if I'm not a CMC Economics major?
Possibly. Non-CMC Economics majors are encouraged to consult with their major department chair to determine whether they may satisfy any major requirements on this program. Both the internship and the full-credit independent study course can possibly fulfill credit in a different department.

What if I have already taken Economics 065/165? Can I still apply?
No. Because all students must enroll in the full course load while on the SVP and CMC does not award credit for taking the same course twice. If you have already completed Econ 065/165, you are not eligible for the program.

Can I take my courses credit/no-credit?
Please consult the Courses page for relevant information.

Will my grades be calculated into my GPA?
More than likely. Non-CMC students should consult with the Registrar at their home campus for specific information about course credits, grades, etc.


COSTS & COMPENSATION

How much will the program cost?
Check the Program Costs page for more details.

Will I receive my financial aid while I'm on the program?
SVP is an approved off-campus CMC program option. Therefore, CMC students receive their current financial aid package for the SVP based on a semester of CMC tuition, fees, and room and board costs. Any excess funds can be used by the student to pay for on-site meals and transportation. Students from other Claremont Colleges should consult with the SVP Program Director and their College's off-campus study office.

Will my internship be paid or unpaid?
Most firms are prepared to pay you for your internship, but compensation is not guaranteed. CMC students will receive academic credit for their internship. Other college policies may prohibit students from receiving both course credit AND compensation. Check with your registrar.

How do I pay rent and utilities?
Rent and utilities are included in the housing fee listed on the Program Costs page. You must only budget for books, food, transportation, and entertainment expenses. 


FACULTY & STAFF

Who will teach the courses?
We hire Claremont Colleges faculty to teach Silicon Valley Program courses. Some courses may incorporate guest lecturers and business practitioners from time to time. For more information, visit the program’s Courses page.

Will there be an on-site Program Director?
Yes. CMC has hired a Program Director and a Program Coordinator to facilitate student integration into the area, assist with housing, manage the orientation including safety and health information, oversee extra-curricular activities, and supervise the independent study course. View faculty and staff bios.