The fact is, all of the colleges in the Consortium are fantastic institutions with great professors. Just because a class is at Pomona means it will be more difficult or intense than a Pitzer course; on the contrary, I have heard quite the opposite at times.
You will obviously realize that you are in a different element, but these are all small liberal arts college courses.
So again, I would say for the most part, Pitzer students do not feel like outsiders.
I was a bit surprised to see that the only foreign language taught at Pitzer is Spanish, and the Asian languages are at Pomona. Would a Pitzer freshman be able to register for Japanese right away? Also, Pitzer offers Asian-American Studies rather than Asian Studies as a major. Does anyone know anything about these course options?
@pixeljig- I am a Pitzer student, and I think that Pitzer students are able to do well despite competition from the other colleges. And I've definitely heard from other Claremont College students that they have had Pitzer classes that are tougher than their, say, Pomona classes.
I think to a certain extent students from any Claremont College, will feel kind of like an 'outsider' for the first class session or two, this is usually the case if you are taking a class on another campus that is not your own, just because it will likely be dominated by students of that school, but it really isn't an issue, because when it come down to it, it is all about what you learn and take from the class, and if anything you will make new friends! Because the Claremonts are so small, everyone will get to know each other sooner or later.
Pitzer is a great college, and it's only getting better! If you get the chance please come and visit! The weather is beautiful, currently sunny and mid 70's!
@FrogMom- Technically we offer Latin every other semester too, but it switches between Pitzer and Scripps. Anyways...onto your question.
When you student gets to Pitzer, during Welcome Week, if they want to take a language higher than intro, they will have to take a placement exam. I came to Pitzer with the plan of taking Chinese at Pomona, I placed into a higher level Chinese class, and was able to register for it as a freshman.
As long as there are open spots, you child should be able to register for Japanese right away. If not, they can go to class the first couple days, and email the professor, and the professor should let them in.
On a side note, a lot of Pitzer students take their language off campus if they are not taking Spanish.
Pitzer offers Asian-American Studies, which is a 5C major. But Asian Studies is also a 5C major, but for some reason is not offered at Pitzer. I think, as my sources have told me, that Pitzer once offered Asian Studies, but when we introduced International and Intercultural Studies (IIS), with an emphasis on East Asia, we got rid of the Asian Studies major to emphasize IIS more. However, you can still do Asian Studies through Pomona or Scripps, you will just have to get an advisor from one of those schools for the major, and then have an advisor at Pitzer.
5C major= a major that is not specific to one school, where a majority of those classes would be. Your classes for a 5C major are spread out across the schools, and you can take them at any Claremont College, not just one or two.
@Panda, thanks very much for your answers. You've cleared up some of our concerns, and Pitzer's ISS major would probably appeal to my son. I'm impressed with how much Pitzer students seem to love the school.
Thank you Panda for your Feedback. We live in Asia so will visit in the summer. Son is a junior in HS. From what I have read so far Pitzer seems to be a good fit for him. He loves Spanish and will come in with an AP credit, hopefully he can continue with it. Also loves history and physics. So he could minor in Physics or Computer science? I have heard CS at Pomona is good.
Why do outsiders have the impression that Ptizer is a party school or a hippie school? I think it is unfair to judge a college based on stereotypes, hence my question. My son does like to dress in causal shorts and t-shirts since we live in the tropical weather. He is definitely not the preppy type.
I'm really interested in Pitzer but I heard it's a bit radical and has a real activism reputation. I consider myself liberal but more on the moderate side and even though I do like to take action, I don't feel as if I'm an activist like most Pitzer students seem to be. Will Pitzer still be a good fit for me?
@pixeljig- He can definitely minor in physics through Joint Science (the science facility shared by CMC, Scripps and Pitzer), as well as minor in CS through Pomona, CMC, or Harvey Mudd.
I think the party school stereotype comes from the fact that we are a small liberal arts college? However, I think that some of the other Claremonts are more party schools than Pitzer is.
The hippie stereotype comes from our core values and the time period of our founding. Pitzer was founded in 1963, and was set up to be a womens school, however it expanded to be coed a few years later, and focuses more on the social and behavioral sciences such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc. Pitzer also emphasizes social responsibility and intercultural and interdisciplinary learning.
We are also unlike many other LAC because we have students that sit on committies, panels, etc. that help decide how the school is run (ie. when hiring faculty, deciding which bands come to campus, etc.).
It is definitely not fair to judge a school based on sterotypes, that, for the large part are not true. I think that Pitzer is slowly moving away from the hippie stereotype, but still and always will retain its core values, and its individualism.
I also think we have a good mix of students at Pitzer, in the sense that we get a bit of all the other Claremont Colleges, because we do have accounting majors (CMC), and IR majors (CMC/PO/SC), we have dance majors (PO/SC), engineering majors (Joint Science Dept), science majors (JSD), etc. We also have a lot of Econ majors (PZ), Psych (PZ), Soc/Anthro (PZ), etc. So you can kind of get a little bit of each Claremont at Pitzer
@singing314- You can choose to be as active or as inactive as you would like to be. Just because we have that sort of 'activist' reputation, does not mean you have to partake. The nice thing that I really like about Pitzer is that people aren't going to pressure you into doing things, except for maybe professors who are pushing you to achieve more. People will accept your decision to be an activist or not, to smoke or not, to drink or not, etc., and even if you decide not to, they will still be your friend, and still want to hang out with you.
I can tell you that I am definitely not an activist, and I think most Pitzer students aren't either. The best way to tell if Pitzer will be a good fit for you is by coming to campus, spending a few hours here, attending classes, and even spending the night.
Oh, I have a question about the class schedules at Pitzer.
Do you have any advise for an incoming first year student on how to decide what classes to take? I recently received a letter from Pitzer asking me to start consider what classes I want to take next year (I was admitted and plan to go). Are there certain classes I should take as a first year? Also, how do the freshmen seminars work? Are they like a regular class?
Take a variety of things that interest you, just to kind of test the waters to see if that is the field you want to go into. When I came in, I focused on completing grad reqs., but they are pretty easy to fulfill in general so you don't necessarily need to work on those.
A freshman seminar is a class that you will take in your first semester here, and is a writing intensive course where you will write aproximately 25 pages. You will get to choose from about 15 first year seminars. It is a class that is not like your conventional english or writing class, they are generally topics about professors personal interests, like mine was American Car Culture, so we went to LA to car museums, went to autoshows, learned about car culture in America, etc.