Pitzer vs CMC for ED

I was wondering which school would be the better choice for ED based on the information below:

My career goal at the moment is to do non-profit work/public policy/govt work- just something meaningful to evoke social change in one way or another. I’m not 100% set on this but I can’t see my career straying far from the social sciences. Hence the choice of CMC & Pitzer- both of which specialize in the social sciences. Do many people at CMC end up in this type of career? Or are people more career and money-driven?

I’ve been in contact with the CMC coach and although I haven’t committed to being on her team so she won’t be using a slot on me, she said the admissions office having seen my name during the Athletic pre-read may make a difference. And I have some good leadership positions and internships that I think make me a good candidate at CMC. As for Pitzer I’m not as confident because I didnt spend a large amount of time in high school doing like community service/environmental sustainability type stuff that I know they look for. I also know I’m academically qualified for both based on my stats so that’s not a concern. Finances also don’t make a difference.

So basically I’m pretty set on CMC but I just wanted some concerns addressed in regards to if it’s really the right place for me career-goals-wise and student body wise. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks everyone!

(And before anyone says don’t ED unless you have a definite top choice, I am doing all the research and asking all the questions I can to decide, there’s a huge advantage in applying ED esp this year so I’m not going to waste that opportunity. )

With your interest in public service and non-profit work, you sound like more of a Pitzer person to me. Pitzer has a markedly activist/progressive culture, whereas CMC tends more pre-professional. Of course, whichever one you attend, you will have access to the whole consortium, although, at Pitzer, you’d be on the Pomona Pitzer side of the athletic programs.

@tkoparent thanks! yes that is the vibe I’ve gathered from Pitzer through my research, I’m just wondering if I’d have equally as successful of career outcomes at CMC, and as happy of a time there. Like am I making out their differences to be way bigger than they actually are?

Maybe check with people on the CMC threads to get their thoughts. I am more familiar with Pitzer and Pomona. I would think that from a career outcomes perspective, CMC should be at least as good, so it would be more a question of overall atmosphere, both academic and social. When we visited Pitzer, the “personality” of the school came through quite strongly in both the information session and the campus tour, and it was clear the school prides itself on its progressive culture. As an example, when we visited a library that is shared by the consortium colleges, we were told, jokingly, that “those students over in the corner making protest posters, you know they’re from Pitzer.” In our case, that was the moment my son decided he would not be applying to Pitzer, as he wanted to be in a less politically-charged environment, but for someone with interests like yours, it might be a perfect fit. Physically, it is an interesting school, with modern buildings, a pool and community kitchens, desert plantings, etc.

@tkoparent got it, thank you! and yeah I’ve posted it on the CMC forum too but am still waiting for responses ?

CMC’s and Pitzer’s strengths in social sciences tend to follow different branches. CMC offers notably strong programs in economics and government. Pitzer would make an excellent choice for psychology, sociology, or cultural anthropology. You will note some overlap in academic programs and opportunities as well, however.


D’21 is a senior at CMC and takes a fair number of gov and policy classes. My impression is that CMC is 100% about helping you toward a successful career in whatever you would like to do. Check out its Source, a student run consulting resource for local non profits! The main consideration should be fit. CMC students are constantly looking for opportunities to gain the skills to be ready for what they want to do after CMC. CMC students will engage with anyone they meet about what they do, where they are going and how to get there. You will see students in professional clothes on campus a lot. When networking opportunities arise, they are all about it, (picture droves of students descending on alumni events, for example.) Most importantly, the mantra ‘Learning to do, doing to learn,’ is no joke. If you have a skill or a research opportunity you would like to acquire, approach faculty and it happens. Incorporating what you are learning in a paid job is on campus where no such job existed before is a CMC phenomenon. You have to step up and say what you want though, no one is going to make sure you have your turn—-so if you are reserved, you will be challenged to jump in or be left out. Another factor that may or may not be important to you is that CMC is perhaps the most politically diverse of the Claremont Colleges.* A premium is placed on hearing all sides of an issue. Does everyone at CMC embrace that value? No. But, I would say more so than elsewhere in Claremont.
CMC has more financial resources than Pitzer, a factor that may be extremely important in the coming 5 years as LACs head for tough times. Definitely reach out to current students about party and dorm culture because I get the impression that they are quite different but have some common threads. Admission to CMC is a tough game, so if you have an in, I say grab hold and don’t let go…if CMC is the school for you.
One final thought…sadly, the Claremont Consortium is not what it used to be. Registering for campuses is more difficult that ever as many are restricted to students at that campus.
So it may seem I am only a CMC person. Not so! Pomona grad here—Go Sagehens!

  • Not sure about HMC, do they talk about politics? Surely they must.

Depends upon the type of person you are.

In my experience, @tkoparent’s post #3 is spot on.

Pitzer students fall more into the SJW (social justice warrior) category than not.

CMC kids are ambitious & social.

Based on the tone & content of your post, I suspect that CMC might be the more suitable option for you.

My D’s recent participation in the Perspectives on Pomona program gave her an opportunity to talk for hours with current students, and the difference between 5Cs, also in terms of the campus vibe, was a prominent topic.
The CMC students are generally perceived as the most conservative of the consortium, while Pitzer students are at the opposite end of the scale. Considering how far left the consortium is as the whole, @Onlineschoolworkstoo seems to say exactly the same thing, in somewhat different words.