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Pomona and Wesleyan

JackytJackyt 200 replies23 threads Junior Member
edited June 2013 in Pomona College
So I’ve been accepted as a sophomore transfer student from NYU Paris. I’m currently deciding between Pomona and Wesleyan for Earth Sciences or Studio Art (weird mix I know). I know that both colleges are on par with each other academically and I’ve looked at the threads that were posted before.

I want to know specifically what makes the two environments of the colleges different. Besides the ‘laid-back Pomona’ and ‘artsy Wesleyan’ and the weather is there really any difference between the two? Would I be happy at either? Socially, I party occasionally, but I also wouldn’t mind staying in a doing something else. Also as a transfer how does the vibe of NYU compare to Pomona? What are people's thoughts?
edited June 2013
13 replies
Post edited by Jackyt on
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Replies to: Pomona and Wesleyan

  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom 1298 replies49 threads Senior Member
    Pomona is a notch above Wesleyan academically- it has smaller classes (1% of Pomona classes are 50 students or more, compared to 5% of Wesleyan classes), it has an academically stronger student body, and it has far more money per student.

    Pomona is part of the Claremont Consortium, which makes for a more vibrant life than that a stands-alone liberal art college has. Pomona students have access to 2200 classes, 7 dining halls, 225 clubs and organizations, and countless events offered all of the 5C's. It's in a better location, located in quiet and scenic Claremont and an hour's drive to LA, mountains, beaches, Disney Land, and countless places to intern at or explore.

    Pomona attracts a more diverse student body in terms of personalities, extracurricular interests, and geographic location- there is no typical Pomona student (the laid-back reputation isn't really correct, but people do tend to be collaborative here). It's hard to find a school that offers the same individual attention as Pomona.

    There really isn't a comparison- Pomona is either better or tied with Wesleyan in a variety of factors. Unless you are of the Wesleyan type, have better financial aid there, or want to be on the East Coast, Pomona is a more endowed and balanced school in a better location. Pomona students place higher than Wesleyan students in terms of graduate placement. However, for your specific interests: Pomona's geology program is top notch, but studio arts could be better, while Wesleyan's studio arts are top notch, but its geology offerings could be better.
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  • warblersrulewarblersrule 10046 replies172 threads Super Moderator
    Pomona's geology program is top notch, but studio arts could be better, while Wesleyan's studio arts are top notch, but its geology offerings could be better.
    I suspect you have it backwards. Wesleyan has the better geology program, though Pomona has the more geologically interesting location. Pomona is the only Claremont college with geology, so the normally useful consortium is of relatively little benefit. CMC does offer environmental policy, which is nice if you're interested in that kind of thing. Both colleges are good enough for any undergraduate's purposes, however, and there are graduates from both in the program here at UCLA.

    I know nothing about studio art, so I can't comment on that.
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  • PAGRokPAGRok 548 replies9 threads Member
    Both are great schools, with Pomona being a bit more "clean", meaning it has more funds for students, a better groomed campus IMO (though I liked Wesleyan's campus much more), more super top students with amazing stats. The one thing that I think Wesleyan may have over Pomona is a certain vibe of creativity. Students at Wes aren't trying to be anything or impress anyone, and I'm not sure you can say the same about part of the student body at Pomona. That's just the feeling I got from the schools. Pomona has more resources, likely a happier environment, but I loved Wes (and Vassar) for their "artsy" feel.

    Pomona might also be slightly more academically focused than Wes, but my view might be skewed by a strange tour guide at Wes during a break and bymy sister who is just graduating from Pomona.

    All in all, the schools are very similar but the feel of the campus and the type of student who attends is different. People have made analogies that Pomona is to Stanford as Wesleyan is to Brown.
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  • Little MotherLittle Mother 1866 replies24 threads Senior Member
    FWIW, D's BF majored in studio art at Pomona (double major) and seems to have gotten a lot out of it.
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  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom 1298 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I suspect you have it backwards. Wesleyan has the better geology program, though Pomona has the more geologically interesting location. Pomona is the only Claremont college with geology, so the normally useful consortium is of relatively little benefit. CMC does offer environmental policy, which is nice if you're interested in that kind of thing. Both colleges are good enough for any undergraduate's purposes, however, and there are graduates from both in the program here at UCLA.

    Pomona's geology major offers more tracks: Program: Geology Major - Pomona College - Acalog ACMS?

    There is general geology, environmental earth science, earth planatary and space science, public policy in geology, and geochemistry.

    For environmental analysis, tracks include: Environmental Science Concentration (Pomona) ? Environmental Analysis
    Society and the Environment Concentration (Pomona) ? Environmental Analysis

    Environmental Science, Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Geology Analysis, Mathematical Environmental Analysis, Environmental Physics and Engineering, Environment on Society, Sustainability in the Built Environment, Environmental Economics, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Gender and the Environment, Human Behavior and the Environment, and Society, Development and the Environment.

    There is also a PPA focus on Environmental Science.

    Wesleyan's EES focuses more on the environment and less on geology. The tracks Wesleyan offers include geology, environmental science, environmental chem, environmental ecology, and planetary geology.

    As you yourself says, Pomona is in the better location for geology- the diversity of landscapes within California means more possibility for field trips (Field Trips | Geology Department)

    The biggest difference is that Pomona has a stand-alone geology program along with a stand-alone environmental science program, whereas Wesleyan combines them.
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  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom 1298 replies49 threads Senior Member
    The facilities for studio art can definitely be improved, and Pomona is not as "artsy" as Wesleyan. Pomona is however building a new studio arts building (Pomona College Plans a Vibrant New Center for Studio Art - Pomona College) slated to be complete around early-mid 2014.
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  • nostalgicwisdomnostalgicwisdom 1298 replies49 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure you can say the same about part of the student body at Pomona.

    Pomona students are some of the most modest, laid-back, and "hidden-smart" students out there. Anyone who tries to stand out for the sake of impressing others is usually shunned.

    There is a significant proportion of Pomona students who are the "artsy" types you'd meet at Wesleyan and Vassar, but like any other type of student here, not representative of the student body as a whole. Music, dance, theater, studio production, and arts are all really big here! There is something in the arts happening just about everyday at Pomona, and nearby artsy Scripps and Pitzer expand these opportunities.
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  • GvaMomGvaMom 226 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Have you visited both campuses? Weslyan certainly has a feel to it that is particular. For both of my sons, it totally turned them off, while Pomona had an open accepting feeling. Unless you feel something very strong for the East Coast, or you felt an immediate connection at Weslyan, Pomona is heads and shoulders above Weslyan for the academic opportunities, expanded opportunities through the consortium both academically and through the mingling of the very different 5 college student bodies!

    When you ask to compare it to the NYU vibe, I would ask, what is the NYU Paris vibe like? Neither of the schools you are choosing from are in a big city, so there is a different vibe for both of them just because of the huge difference in location. Certainly Pomona is very close to LA, but LA is a city totally unlike either NY or Paris. However saying that, there are a lot of cultural opportunities and it certainly offers a lot of opportunities to explore both your artistic bent as well as the geological opportunities that certainly are not there at Weslyan except in the academic sense. I think that at Pomona, there is the opportunity to make a vibe in the way that best fits you, but you need to be part of what drives that vibe.
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  • PAGRokPAGRok 548 replies9 threads Member
    Pomona is not "head and shoulders" above Wes in academic opportunities nor diversity of student body. Urgh I loathe that verbatim too. Wes is a larger school, has a different vibe, has some graduate programs, a far different location, it has a personality to it more than I think Pomona does. Its not in as much of a ritzy town, its not as close to a large city, it has a quite quirky, gritty, liberal attitude. Pick based on fit of the school, not the "prestige".
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  • GvaMomGvaMom 226 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Sorry about the wording that you loathe, but I stand by my statement, the five college consortium adds a lot more academic opportunities in my opinion than Wesleyan, even if it is larger than the one school. Not only does the consortium provide more academic opportunities, but it also offers, five different 'vibes' because I do not believe that any of the schools in the consortium has a similar vibe to the other. Please note that the academic opportunities are based on the schools in the consortium not the prestige of one school. (In addition, there are graduate schools opportunities at The Claremont Colleges as well, though that doesn't really have much bearing on the OP's question.)

    I also find it interesting you would call Claremont a 'ritzy' town. Have you been there? In my eyes, it is a retirement town that happens to have the Claremont Colleges in the middle of it. If you go very far either way, you are in pretty industrial locations as well.

    But, I do agree with your final statement, you definitely have to pick the school based on the fit.
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  • JackytJackyt 200 replies23 threads Junior Member
    Thanks everyone! After some thought and some school stalking, I'm going to go with Pomona! I the 'artsy' feel that everyone was associating with Wesleyan is more or less what I was trying to get away from in NYU Paris. I'm from Colorado so quite honestly the general attitude in California is less of a stretch from me. Academically, I want to focus more on geology and less on environmental studies (which is what NYU only offers) and I'm fine with a smaller arts program (actually, a small pretentious streak in me probably prefers it to be like that). All in all, I think that both schools are great and really appreciate all this help seeing that I couldn't visit the colleges in time (school ended just a few days ago).

    I'll leave with a poem.

    Sunny days are here again.
    In three months I'll be a Pomo-an!

    Again, thanks everyone!
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  • kathieh1kathieh1 646 replies12 threads Member
    Congrats on your choice Jackyt. I hope you'll be very happy at Pomona and can't imagine you won't be.
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 3376 replies169 threads Senior Member
    (In addition, there are graduate schools opportunities at The Claremont Colleges as well, though that doesn't really have much bearing on the OP's question.)

    You're right, it doesn't pertain to the OP's question, but it's worth pointing out that the Claremont Consortium is not above hiring Weslyan University alumni for leadership positions when the need arises, including a past president of the Graduate School of the Humanities and the current president of CMC.
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