Silicon Valley FAQs






What is the Silicon Valley Program?
CMC launched this innovative undergraduate internship program in Silicon Valley, whose overall governance is based in the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance. The Silicon Valley Program (SVP) is a semester-length off-campus study option for students from The Claremont Colleges.

Students may earn four units of credit for this program as follows:

  • A full-credit seminar courses in Economics - Innovation Management / Industrial Organization (ECON 65/165 CM)
  • A full-credit seminar course in Special Topics in Silicon Valley (SV 100)
  • A full-credit independent research course in either Organizing for Innovation / Economics of Innovation (ECON 98 CM / 198 CM), Data Science (ECON 128 CM), or New Venture Development (ECON 199 CM) 
  • A full-credit internship at a corporate or nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley or in San Francisco (INT 30). Pomona students do not earn this credit.

What will my schedule be?
ECON 65/165 and SV 100 will be taught on Saturdays (9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.), allowing students to focus on the internship experience during the work week. See the program semester calendar for more details.

Where will I live?
The 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 Saturday 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 Off-Campus Study can assist with these issues.

Who can I contact for more information?
Please contact the SVP Director, Andy Ceperley via email



Who is eligible to apply?
Students from all 5 Claremont Colleges are welcome to apply. The selection committee seeks full-time, 5C, undergraduate students who will be juniors/3rd year, first-semester Seniors, or second-semester sophomores and who have at least a 9.0 (B) cumulative grade point average.  Principles of Economic Analysis (ECON 50) or equivalent is a pre-requisite for ECON 65 and Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON 101) or equivalent is a pre-requisite for ECON 165. Please see our courses page for other course pre-requisites. Permission for exceptions to these requirements will be determined by the Silicon Valley Program Academic Advisor.

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 the SVP program. In addition, the Scripps College Office of Study Abroad and Global Education is requesting that interested students apply for SVP only in the Spring semester. Consult with the Scripps College Study Abroad and Global Education staff.

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

Pitzer Students: Pitzer will not grant course credit for paid internships. Pitzer students must be approved by the Pitzer College Office of Study Abroad and International Programs prior to applying for the program.  Per agreement, there are some restrictions on numbers, so 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. We encourage you to remain in Claremont, raise your GPA, and apply again for a later semester.

Can I apply even if I am applying or have participated on the ITAB Networking Trip?
Yes. Because the ITAB Networking Trip is separate from the SVP, students are eligible to apply for either or both. Each will have its own applications and deadlines. Priority for the ITAB trip or the SVP will not be given based upon participation in the other program.

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, one essay, one letter of recommendation, 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 here.



Where will I intern?
Students may intern at a variety of corporations or organizations in the area. To view potential employers by sector, click here. To see which companies have hosted interns in prior semesters, click here.

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 Program Director to make sure the “fit” is right and to ensure the desired internship meets all expectations for SVP credit.



Will my courses and internship count towards my major requirements?
CMC Economics majors may count Econ 65 as a level-I major elective course or Econ 165 as a level-II major elective course, and Econ 198 as a level-I 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 and all of the Claremont Colleges 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 research course can possibly fulfill credit in a different department.

What if I have already taken Economics 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 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?
Yes. Students should consult with the Registrar at their home campus for specific information about course credits, grades, etc.



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 office of Off-Campus Study.

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. 



Who will teach the courses?
The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance hires 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 research course. Bios and contact information may be found here.