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Claremont McKenna vs Amherst: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A female student looking for her university

Claremont McKenna vs Amherst: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task, but it’s important to consider all factors before making a decision. In this article, we will compare Claremont McKenna vs Amherst to help you determine which school is the best fit for you.

Location and Campus Features: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Claremont McKenna College is located in Claremont, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. The campus covers 69 acres and includes both historic and modern buildings, as well as academic and residential spaces. Amherst College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a small college town in Western Massachusetts. The campus spans 1,000 acres and features colonial-era buildings and modern facilities.

Both campuses offer beautiful outdoor spaces, with well-maintained lawns, gardens, and athletic fields. However, the California weather at Claremont McKenna provides more opportunities for outdoor activities year-round.

Claremont McKenna College is known for its strong emphasis on economics and political science, with a number of notable alumni in these fields. The college also offers a range of majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Amherst College, on the other hand, is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum, with a focus on critical thinking and interdisciplinary studies.

Both colleges have active student communities, with a range of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in. Claremont McKenna is part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, which includes five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools. This provides students with access to a wider range of resources and opportunities, including shared academic programs and social events.

Academic Programs: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Claremont McKenna is known for its strengths in economics, political science, and international relations. The school offers 32 majors and 10 interdisciplinary programs. Amherst offers 40 majors and has strong programs in English, Biology, and Political Science. Both schools emphasize a broad-based liberal arts education, but Claremont McKenna has a slightly greater focus on social sciences compared to Amherst’s strengths in the humanities.

Liberal Arts Education

Additionally, Claremont McKenna boasts a new science center and a strong engineering program, while Amherst has an excellent Center for Creative Writing.

It is worth noting that both Claremont McKenna and Amherst have strong study abroad programs, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives. Claremont McKenna has partnerships with universities in over 20 countries, while Amherst offers programs in over 50 countries. These study abroad opportunities provide students with the chance to immerse themselves in different cultures, learn new languages, and gain valuable skills that will benefit them in their future careers.

Admission Requirements: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Both Claremont McKenna and Amherst are highly selective schools and require strong academic backgrounds, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. Claremont McKenna has a slightly higher acceptance rate of 11%, compared to Amherst’s 9%. The average SAT score at Claremont McKenna is 1420, while Amherst’s average SAT score is 1440.

Applicants should also note that Claremont McKenna is a test-optional school, meaning students do not have to submit SAT or ACT scores if they do not wish to.

It is important to note that both Claremont McKenna and Amherst have holistic admissions processes, meaning they consider a variety of factors beyond just grades and test scores. They also value diversity, leadership, and community involvement. Therefore, it is important for applicants to showcase their unique qualities and experiences in their application materials.

Student Life at Claremont McKenna and Amherst: What to Expect

Claremont McKenna has a student body of around 1,400 students, while Amherst has a larger student body of around 1,900. Both schools have small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1 at Claremont McKenna and 7:1 at Amherst.

Claremont McKenna has a strong emphasis on leadership and service, with many clubs and organizations dedicated to community service and politics. Amherst has a more traditional campus feel, with a vibrant campus center, arts programs, and a wide variety of clubs and organizations.

Both schools have a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with mentorship programs, support for first-generation and low-income students, and ongoing initiatives to promote social justice on campus.

Social justice and equality law in campus

One unique aspect of student life at Claremont McKenna is the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, which hosts daily events such as lectures, performances, and dinners with guest speakers. This provides students with the opportunity to engage with experts in various fields and expand their knowledge beyond the classroom.

At Amherst, students have the opportunity to participate in the Five College Consortium, which allows them to take classes and access resources at nearby colleges such as Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This expands the academic and social opportunities available to students beyond the boundaries of their own campus.

Faculty and Staff: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Both Claremont McKenna and Amherst have accomplished and highly qualified faculty members, most of whom hold PhDs or other advanced degrees in their fields. Faculty members at both schools are approachable and invested in their students’ success.

Additionally, both schools have small class sizes, which allow for more personalized attention and engagement in the classroom. The student-to-faculty ratio at Claremont McKenna is 8:1 and 7:1 at Amherst.

However, there are some differences between the faculty and staff at Claremont McKenna and Amherst. At Claremont McKenna, there is a greater emphasis on faculty members who have experience in the business world, as the school has a strong focus on economics and government. On the other hand, Amherst has a more diverse range of academic disciplines, with faculty members who specialize in fields such as anthropology, art history, and music.

Another difference is the level of diversity among the faculty and staff. While both schools have made efforts to increase diversity, Amherst has a higher percentage of faculty members who identify as people of color. In addition, Amherst has a greater number of faculty members who are women, particularly in STEM fields.

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid Options at Claremont McKenna and Amherst

As of the academic year, the tuition and fees at Claremont McKenna are $60,715, and the cost of attendance at Amherst is $64,100. However, both schools offer need-based financial aid, as well as merit scholarships, to help offset the cost of tuition.

 

Approximately 60% of students at Claremont McKenna receive some form of financial aid, while at Amherst, 53% of students receive need-based aid, with an average award of $57,000.

Claremont McKenna and Amherst also offer work-study programs to help students earn money to pay for their education. At Claremont McKenna, students can work on campus or in the local community, and earn up to $2,500 per year. Amherst offers a similar program, where students can work on campus or in the surrounding area, and earn up to $2,000 per year.

In addition to need-based aid and work-study programs, both schools also offer merit scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement or talent in a particular area. At Claremont McKenna, the Presidential Scholarship is awarded to a select group of incoming students each year, covering full tuition and fees for all four years. Amherst offers a range of merit scholarships, including the National Merit Scholarship, which covers full tuition and fees for four years, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, which provides full tuition, fees, and a stipend for students who demonstrate a commitment to social justice and community service.

Career Opportunities for Graduates: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Graduates of both Claremont McKenna and Amherst are highly sought after by employers, graduate schools, and professional programs. Both schools have strong career centers that provide students with resources and support for exploring career paths, networking, and job search strategizing.

Jobs for graduate students

Claremont McKenna has a strong focus on preparing students for the business and political worlds, with many alumni going on to careers in finance, consulting, and politics. Amherst graduates also go on to successful careers in business and finance, but the school has a greater emphasis on careers in the arts and education.

However, it is important to note that both schools offer a wide range of majors and minors, allowing graduates to pursue careers in various fields. Claremont McKenna offers majors in economics, government, and international relations, while Amherst offers majors in English, psychology, and biology, among others. Graduates from both schools have also found success in fields such as technology, healthcare, and law.

Athletics Programs at Claremont McKenna and Amherst: A Comparative Analysis

Claremont McKenna and Amherst are both members of the NCAA Division III and have competitive athletics programs. Claremont McKenna is part of the Claremont Colleges Consortium, which houses shared athletic facilities and offers students access to additional athletic programs and opportunities. Amherst has a long history of success in athletics, with a strong emphasis on basketball, lacrosse, and squash.

Both schools offer a variety of sports teams, as well as intramural sports and fitness programs, to promote physical wellness and community building.

However, there are some differences in the way athletics is approached at these two schools. Claremont McKenna places a strong emphasis on individual sports, such as tennis and swimming, and has a dedicated coaching staff for each sport. Amherst, on the other hand, focuses more on team sports and has a larger coaching staff to support these programs.

Alumni Network Strengths: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Alumni networks at both Claremont McKenna and Amherst are strong, with many graduates going on to successful careers and making significant contributions to various fields and industries. However, Claremont McKenna has a strong alumni presence in finance, politics, and law, while Amherst has a strong network in the arts and education.

Furthermore, both schools offer extensive resources and support for alumni through networking events, mentorship programs, and other initiatives.

Another factor that sets Claremont McKenna apart is its strong alumni network in the technology industry. Many graduates have gone on to work for major tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook, and the school has established partnerships with these companies to provide internship and job opportunities for current students and recent graduates.

On the other hand, Amherst has a strong alumni presence in the non-profit sector, with many graduates working for organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, and Amnesty International. The school also offers a variety of resources and programs for students interested in pursuing careers in social justice and public service.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at Claremont McKenna and Amherst: A Comparative Study

Both Claremont McKenna and Amherst prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses. Claremont McKenna has a strong focus on community engagement, intentional dialogue, and building a welcoming and inclusive campus culture. Amherst has various centers and programs dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, such as the Center for Diversity and Student Leadership and the Queer Resource Center.

Both schools have ongoing initiatives to address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses and in society as a whole.

Happy friends from different races.

One of the initiatives at Claremont McKenna is the Inclusive Excellence Fellows Program, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the curriculum and classroom. The program provides faculty members with resources and support to integrate diverse perspectives and experiences into their teaching. Similarly, Amherst has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan that outlines specific goals and strategies for creating a more inclusive campus community. The plan includes initiatives such as increasing the diversity of faculty and staff, providing training on cultural competency, and expanding support for underrepresented students.

Student Success Rates: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Claremont McKenna and Amherst both have high graduation rates, with an 88% and 94% graduation rate respectively. In terms of post-graduation success, graduates of both schools go on to successful careers, graduate programs, and other endeavors.

A recent survey found that 92% of Claremont McKenna graduates are employed, in graduate school, or pursuing other opportunities within six months of graduation, while 94% of Amherst graduates are employed or in graduate school within the same time frame.

However, when it comes to the average starting salary of graduates, there is a significant difference between the two schools. According to data from PayScale, the average starting salary for a Claremont McKenna graduate is $62,400, while the average starting salary for an Amherst graduate is $57,900. This could be due to a variety of factors, including the majors and industries that graduates from each school tend to pursue.

Another factor to consider is the student experience at each school. Claremont McKenna is known for its strong emphasis on leadership and entrepreneurship, with many opportunities for students to develop these skills through clubs, internships, and other programs. Amherst, on the other hand, is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and close-knit community, with a focus on intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. Depending on a student’s interests and goals, one school may be a better fit than the other.

Internship Opportunities for Students: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Both Claremont McKenna and Amherst offer robust internship programs, providing students with opportunities to gain real-world experience and build professional networks. At Claremont McKenna, students can participate in the Kravis Leadership Institute, which offers various internships, fellowships, and leadership programs. Amherst has an impressive number of alumni engagement programs and partnerships with organizations in the fields of science, law, and technology.

Additionally, Claremont McKenna has a strong partnership with the Silicon Valley Internship Program, which provides students with internships at top tech companies in the Bay Area. This program allows students to gain valuable experience in the tech industry and make connections with professionals in the field.

On the other hand, Amherst has a unique program called the “Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning,” which offers career counseling, job search assistance, and networking events for students. This center also provides funding for students to pursue unpaid internships in fields such as the arts, public service, and non-profit organizations.

Community Engagement Efforts: Claremont McKenna vs. Amherst

Claremont McKenna and Amherst both prioritize community engagement and social responsibility. At Claremont McKenna, students can participate in a variety of service projects and volunteer work through programs such as CMC Serves, Project Connection, and Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault. Amherst has programs such as the Community Engagement and Service Office and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion that offer a range of opportunities for students to get involved in local and global service initiatives.

However, there are some differences in the community engagement efforts of Claremont McKenna and Amherst. Claremont McKenna has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, with programs such as the Green Initiative Fund and the Sustainability Integration Office. On the other hand, Amherst has a greater emphasis on social justice and advocacy, with programs such as the Social Justice Leadership Project and the Center for Community Engagement.

Campus Safety Comparisons between Claremont Mckenna and Amherst

Both Claremont McKenna and Amherst take campus safety and security seriously. Both schools have their own Public Safety departments that provide 24/7 safety and security services on campus. Crime rates on both campuses are low, with few incidents reported each year.

Emergency alert systems in campus

Claremont McKenna has taken additional steps to improve campus safety in recent years with the installation of new security cameras and an increased campus presence of Public Safety officers. Amherst has implemented various safety initiatives such as Safe Ride and Escort Programs, and the CEPO’s “Run, Hide, Fight” active shooter response training.

It is important to note that while both schools have low crime rates, the types of crimes reported on each campus differ. At Claremont McKenna, the majority of reported incidents are related to theft and alcohol violations, while at Amherst, incidents of sexual assault and harassment have been reported at higher rates. Both schools have taken steps to address these issues, with Claremont McKenna implementing bystander intervention training and Amherst establishing a Sexual Respect and Title IX Office.

Conclusion

Comparing Claremont McKenna and Amherst reveals two highly respected liberal arts colleges with different strengths and campus cultures. Claremont McKenna has a strong focus on leadership, social sciences, and business, while Amherst has a strong emphasis on the humanities and arts.

Both schools are highly selective and require strong academic backgrounds, extracurricular involvement, and community engagement. Additionally, both schools prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion, and have excellent support systems in place for underrepresented students and various affinity groups.

Ultimately, the decision of which college to attend is a personal one and depends on a variety of factors. Students should consider both the academic programs and campus experiences that each school offers, as well as the financial requirements and overall fit with the student’s personal goals and values.

It is worth noting that both Claremont McKenna and Amherst have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable resources and connections for students after graduation. Claremont McKenna’s alumni network is particularly strong in the fields of finance, consulting, and politics, while Amherst’s alumni network has a strong presence in academia, the arts, and non-profit organizations.

Furthermore, both schools offer unique study-abroad opportunities that allow students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives. Claremont McKenna has partnerships with universities in Europe, Asia, and South America, while Amherst has its own study abroad program in which students can spend a semester or year studying in countries such as China, India, and Ghana.

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