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

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

woman with books and backpack in library

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

If you’re a prospective student looking for a top-tier liberal arts education, you’ve likely heard about Claremont McKenna College and Scripps College. Both are members of the prestigious Claremont Colleges consortium, known for their rigorous academics and vibrant student life. In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth comparison of Claremont McKenna vs Scripps based on various factors.


Scripps College is a women’s college with a focus on the liberal arts and an emphasis on empowering its students. The campus is located in Claremont, California, a suburban city with easy access to Los Angeles. Scripps is a highly selective college, with an acceptance rate of 28%.

At Scripps, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including over 50 student-run clubs and organizations. These range from academic clubs, such as the Scripps College Democrats and Model United Nations, to cultural clubs, such as the Asian American Student Union and the Black Student Union. Additionally, Scripps has a strong emphasis on community service, with many students participating in volunteer work both on and off campus.

Academic Offerings: A Side-by-Side Comparison: Claremont McKenna vs. Scripps

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps Colleges offer excellent academics, but there are some key differences between the two schools. Claremont McKenna is known for its strong programs in economics, government, and international relations, as well as its focus on leadership development. Scripps, on the other hand, offers a wide range of majors in the liberal arts, emphasizing interdisciplinary studies and critical thinking skills.

Claremont McKenna also has a unique dual-degree program with Harvey Mudd College, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Mudd and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Claremont McKenna. Scripps offers a joint BA/MIA program with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, allowing students to earn both a bachelor’s degree from Scripps and a master’s degree in international affairs from Johns Hopkins.

Another notable difference between the two colleges is their approach to undergraduate research. Claremont McKenna emphasizes research opportunities for students, with a variety of research centers and institutes on campus, including the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and the Kravis Leadership Institute. Scripps, on the other hand, places a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with opportunities for internships, community engagement, and study abroad programs. Both approaches provide valuable experiences for students, but they offer different paths for students to explore their academic interests and gain practical skills.

Student Life: What to Expect at Claremont McKenna and Scripps

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps have active and engaged student populations. At Claremont McKenna, there are over 60 student-run organizations, including clubs for sports, politics, music, and the arts. Scripps also has over 50 student organizations, including clubs for activism, spirituality, and community service.

Some students are doing some community service.

Scripps is known for its strong sense of community among students and faculty. Each student is assigned a faculty mentor who provides academic and personal support throughout their time at the college. Claremont McKenna has a similar mentorship program but also emphasizes leadership development through the Kravis Leadership Institute.

Both colleges offer a variety of opportunities for students to get involved in research and internships. Claremont McKenna has the Roberts Environmental Center, which provides students with hands-on experience in environmental policy and sustainability. Scripps has the Laspa Center for Leadership, which offers internships and research opportunities in fields such as public policy, social justice, and entrepreneurship. These programs allow students to gain valuable experience and make connections in their chosen fields.

Admissions Requirements: Claremont McKenna vs. Scripps

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps have highly competitive admissions processes. For both schools, applicants should have excellent academic records, strong test scores, and impressive extracurricular activities.

Claremont McKenna also requires applicants to complete an interview with an admissions representative, while Scripps requires a personal essay. Both schools offer need-based financial aid and merit scholarships to eligible students.

In addition to the standard admissions requirements, Claremont McKenna and Scripps also value diversity and seek to enroll students from a variety of backgrounds. Both schools have programs and resources to support underrepresented students, including first-generation college students and students from low-income families.

Furthermore, both Claremont McKenna and Scripps have a strong commitment to community service and civic engagement. They encourage applicants who have demonstrated a passion for making a positive impact in their communities through volunteer work or activism.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: Claremont McKenna vs. Scripps

Claremont McKenna and Scripps are committed to making a high-quality liberal arts education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial situation. Both schools offer need-based financial aid and merit scholarships to eligible students.

Claremont McKenna has a generous financial aid program, with over 50% of its students receiving need-based aid. The school also offers a number of merit-based scholarships, including the Kravis Scholarship, which covers full tuition and fees.

Scripps has a similar financial aid program, with about 60% of its students receiving need-based aid. The school also offers merit-based scholarships, including the Scripps College Scholarship, which covers up to half of tuition costs.

Additionally, both Claremont McKenna and Scripps offer work-study programs to help students offset the cost of attendance. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus, allowing them to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. Students can use their earnings to pay for tuition, books, and other expenses.

Career Services: What Opportunities Are Available at Claremont McKenna and Scripps?

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps have strong career services programs, focused on helping students navigate the job market and achieve their career goals. Claremont McKenna’s Career Services Center offers career counseling, resume workshops, and networking opportunities. Scripps has a similar program, with a strong emphasis on internships and experiential learning opportunities.

Both schools also have active alumni networks, providing students with opportunities to connect with successful graduates in their fields of interest.

Additionally, Claremont McKenna offers a variety of career-related events throughout the year, such as career fairs and employer information sessions. These events provide students with the chance to meet with potential employers and learn more about different industries.

Scripps also has a unique program called the Career Planning and Resources (CP&R) Fellows Program, which pairs students with alumni mentors who provide guidance and support throughout the job search process. This program has been highly successful in helping Scripps students secure internships and job offers.

Athletics: A Look at Sports Programs at Claremont McKenna and Scripps

Claremont McKenna and Scripps are members of the NCAA Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Both schools offer a wide range of sports programs, including baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming, and tennis.

Claremont McKenna has a strong tradition in athletics, with its men’s tennis team winning 11 NCAA Championships. Scripps also has a competitive athletic program, with its women’s basketball team winning the SCIAC Championship in 2019.

In addition to the traditional sports programs, both Claremont McKenna and Scripps offer unique athletic opportunities. Claremont McKenna has a nationally recognized Ultimate Frisbee team, which has won multiple championships. Scripps offers a popular equestrian program, where students can participate in horseback riding and compete in intercollegiate competitions.

Campus Diversity: Analyzing the Student Populations of Claremont McKenna and Scripps

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus environment. At Claremont McKenna, students come from all 50 states and over 70 countries, with about 47% of the student body identifying as students of color.

Diverse group of happy students

At Scripps, about 47% of the student body identifies as students of color, and the college has a strong commitment to promoting gender and sexual equity. The school also has a number of affinity groups for students of different backgrounds, including the Black Student Union, Latinx Student Union, and Queer and Trans People of Color Collective.

In addition to these affinity groups, Scripps also offers a variety of resources and support for first-generation college students, including a dedicated First-Generation Program. The program provides mentorship, academic support, and networking opportunities for students who are the first in their families to attend college. This commitment to supporting diverse student populations is a key aspect of Scripps’ mission to provide a transformative education that prepares students to make a positive impact in the world.

Alumni Network: How Graduates of Claremont McKenna and Scripps Succeed in the Real World

Graduates of Claremont McKenna and Scripps are highly sought after by employers and graduate schools. About 75% of graduates from both schools pursue advanced degrees, including law, medicine, and business.

Claremont McKenna’s graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of industries, including finance, consulting, technology, and government. Scripps’s graduates have pursued careers in education, the arts, social justice, and public policy.

Many alumni of Claremont McKenna and Scripps have also become successful entrepreneurs, starting their own businesses in various fields such as healthcare, fashion, and entertainment. These alumni have credited their liberal arts education for providing them with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to succeed in the competitive world of entrepreneurship.

In addition to their professional achievements, graduates of both schools have also made significant contributions to their communities through volunteer work and activism. Many alumni have become leaders in non-profit organizations, advocating for causes such as environmental sustainability, human rights, and access to education. Their dedication to making a positive impact on the world is a testament to the values instilled in them during their time at Claremont McKenna and Scripps.

Faculty Profile: Comparing the Teaching Staff of Claremont McKenna and Scripps

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps have distinguished faculties, with many professors recognized for their scholarly achievements and teaching excellence.

Claremont McKenna has a highly selective faculty, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1. The school emphasizes small class sizes and interactive, discussion-based learning. Scripps has a similar approach to teaching, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. The school also emphasizes mentoring relationships between students and faculty.

Young teacher talking to a group of students.

Despite their similarities, there are some notable differences between the faculties of Claremont McKenna and Scripps. For example, Claremont McKenna has a larger percentage of professors with PhDs, while Scripps has a higher percentage of female faculty members. Additionally, Claremont McKenna has a stronger focus on economics and political science, while Scripps has a stronger focus on the humanities and social sciences.

Campus Safety: Ensuring a Secure Environment for Students at Claremont McKenna and Scripps

Both Claremont McKenna and Scripps are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for their students. The colleges have a number of safety measures in place, including 24/7 security, emergency response protocols, and regular safety training for students and staff.

In recent years, both schools have also taken steps to address issues of sexual assault and harassment on campus, including increased training for faculty and staff, campus-wide education campaigns, and the creation of support resources for survivors.

With their top-tier academics, dynamic student life, and commitment to inclusivity and excellence, both Claremont McKenna and Scripps are excellent options for students seeking a liberal arts education. By carefully comparing the two schools based on your priorities and interests, you can determine which is the right fit for you.

Additionally, both Claremont McKenna and Scripps have implemented COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure the health and well-being of their students and staff. These protocols include mandatory mask-wearing, regular testing, and social distancing measures in classrooms and common areas. The colleges have also provided resources for students who may need to quarantine or isolate due to exposure or illness.

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