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Pomona Profile

Students talking in Mason Hall

The College

Small classes, top-notch facilities and distinguished professors who work closely with students are key elements of a Pomona education. Established in 1887, Pomona College is widely regarded as one of the premier liberal arts colleges in America.

The college is located in Claremont, California, a charming town 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Pomona is the founding member of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of seven independent institutions blending the intimate atmosphere of small colleges with the academic and social resources of a university. Famous beaches, ski resorts and Los Angeles' many cultural offerings all are within easy driving distance of the campus.


About 1,560 students are enrolled, of whom roughly half are men and half women. For the class entering in Fall 2012, median SAT scores were 720 in critical reading, 720 in math, and 730 in writing. Ninety-one percent of the first-year students ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes.

Prestigious academic awards bestowed upon Pomona students include Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall and Watson scholarships. Pomona students come from 46 states, the District of Columbia and 22 foreign countries. In a voluntary self-report, 9.2 percent of the class of 2016 identified themselves as Black, 13.7 percent as Latino, and 19.7 percent as Asian. Roughly 9.5 percent are foreign students. Approximately 90 percent of entering freshmen receive degrees from Pomona after completing eight semesters of enrollment.


The Pomona faculty is made up of accomplished teacher-scholars. Professors, not graduate assistants, teach all classes, including laboratory sections in the sciences. The student-faculty ratio is 8 to 1, and the average class size is 15.

The College has a 191 full-time instructional faculty. Virtually all faculty with a rank of professor, associate professor or assistant professor hold doctoral degrees or appropriate terminal degrees. The College has 65 endowed professorships. Pomona professors are accessible outside the classroom, whether engaging students in cutting-edge research or sharing a casual meal with them at the cafe.


Pomona offers 47 majors in the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences and fine arts. Students may also take courses at any of the other Claremont Colleges. The most popular majors over the past five years have been Economics, English, Politics, Psychology, Biology, History, Neuroscience, International Relations, Media Studies, Mathematics, Public Policy Analysis, and Chemistry. Also common are interdisciplinary majors, double majors and individual special majors, crafted by the student with guidance from faculty.

Whatever the major, Pomona's curriculum is designed to train the mind broadly and deeply. First-year students delve into a Critical Inquiry seminar to develop skills in critical thinking, analysis and writing. The College offers 600 classes each year, and students also have access to the more than 2,500 classes at The Claremont Colleges.

The Campus

Pomona’s 140-acre campus has 83 buildings, including 18 residence halls housing nearly all students in attendance. Seven buildings are shared by The Claremont Colleges, including dining halls, the student services center, library and bookstore. Among Pomona’s outstanding facilities are:

  • Bridges Hall of Music, one of the West’s most beautiful concert halls, fully renovated in 2001 and equipped with a three-manual C.B. Fisk pipe organ.
  • Carnegie Building, a blend of classic architecture and state-of-the-art technology, serves, along with the Hahn Building, as home to Pomona’s Social Sciences.
  • Lincoln and Edmunds buildings house a number of departments, including the disciplines of the brain and mind--neuroscience, linguistics and cognitive science, computer science, and psychology. The buildings earned a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
  • Rains Center for Sport and Recreation, a modern athletic center including multiple courts for basketball and volleyball; squash and racquetball courts; and fitness and cardiovascular centers.
  • The Richard C. Seaver Biology Building, opened in 2005, was Pomona's first facility designed using the sustainability guidelines of the LEED program, earning a silver rating.
  • Seaver Theatre, a comprehensive theatre complex featuring a 350-seat auditorium and a 100-seat experimental theatre space.
  • Smith Campus Center, by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern, opened in 1999 with a second-phase of construction completed in 2007. It serves as a focal point for activities involving the campus community, with two restaurants, a recreation room and a student store.

Study Abroad

Study abroad for qualified Pomona students is available through 49 programs in 32 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China (PRC), Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan. More than half of Pomona students study abroad before graduating.


Pomona is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. The College offers 10 intercollegiate sports for men and 11 for women. Additionally, 13 club teams and 17 intramural sports provide an extensive array of competitive opportunities, and all students have access to Pomona's top-notch fitness facilities.

The Claremont Colleges

The Claremont Colleges is a consortium of five undergraduate and two graduate institutions, each autonomous and all but one located on adjacent campuses, with a combined enrollment of about 7,000 students. In addition to Pomona College, the cluster includes Claremont Graduate University (established 1925), Scripps College (1926), Claremont McKenna College (1946), Harvey Mudd College (1955) and Pitzer College (1963). The seventh member of the consortium, the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (1997), is located nearby. The seven institutions jointly support central facilities, including libraries; share a common academic calendar; open their courses to one another’s students; and cooperate in sponsoring special programs. This allows students to enjoy the intimate atmosphere of a small, residential college while still having access to the resources of a larger university.

Libraries and Academic Resources

Two libraries comprise the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges: Honnold/Mudd Library (social sciences, humanities); Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library at Harvey Mudd (science and engineering); and Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps (humanities, fine arts, women’s studies). Resources of the Libraries include nearly 1.5 million volumes, as well as online access to articles in more than 50,000 journals, magazines and newspapers. Other affiliated libraries include the George C. Stone Center for Children’s Books (CGU) and the libraries of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the Claremont School of Theology. In addition, the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College maintains an extensive film and documentary video archive.

Information Technology

Pomona College maintains a state-of-the-art computer network with high-speed Internet service via a fiber optic cable backbone connecting virtually all buildings on campus. All dorm rooms have “one-port-per-pillow” network connections. Wireless connectivity is being deployed campus-wide, and is already available in a number of locations. Although most students own computers, they also have access to two general-purpose computing labs and one multi-media lab 24 hours a day. The labs feature both Macintosh and Windows computers, as well as variety of printing, graphics, scanning, digital editing and other services. Technology-enabled classrooms and labs are located throughout the campus.

Cultural Offerings

Each year, a wealth of art exhibitions, theatre productions, concerts, and public lectures is offered to the campus and wider community.

The Pomona College Museum of Art mounts a variety of historical and contemporary exhibitions, including faculty and student shows. In addition to concerts by student ensembles and individual students, the Music Department sponsors performances featuring faculty and guest artists who explore a broad spectrum of classical, jazz and ethnic music. The Theatre and Dance Department produces a variety of classic, contemporary and experimental pieces.

Distinguished lecturers on campus range from Nobel-laureate scientists to noted authors, political figures and academicians.


Fall semester 2012
Tuesday, September 4 - Wednesday, December 21

Spring semester 2013
Tuesday, January 22 – Friday, May 17

Commencement 2013
Sunday, May 19

Academic Calendar Details

Commencement Information


Tuition for 2012-13: $41,120
Room and board for 2012-13: $13,526
Fees: $318

Financial Aid

Pomona is one of only a handful of institutions in the nation still committed to need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid. These policies enable Pomona to choose its students solely on the basis of educational considerations such as talent, promise and ability to contribute to the campus learning environment. This ensures that the best students can attend, regardless of financial wherewithal. As of fall 2008, Pomona eliminated loans from its financial packages, replacing them with scholarships.

During 2011-12, $31.5 million will be awarded to more than 800 Pomona College students in the form of need-based financial aid. The average scholarship award is $38,100.

College Finances

Total budget for 2010-11: $147,070,000

As of June 30, 2010:
Market value of endowment fund balance for the College: $1,458,974,000
Total assets: $2,105,313,000


In a setting that is as intimate as it is challenging, students are quick to make friendships and embark on intellectual quests that change the courses of their lives. Alumni take great pride in their Pomona degrees, and many maintain lifetime ties to the campus community.

Pomona has about 24,651 living alumni. Of those in the work force, 23.8 percent are in business and finance; 23.5 percent in education, 10.4 percent in law and government, 9.9 percent in health and medicine, 4.3 percent in science and technology, 5.1 percent in arts and media, and 23 percent are in other fields.

Geographically, 30.2 percent live in Southern California, 18 percent in Northern California, 22.4 percent in other states west of the Mississippi, 26.2 percent east of the Mississippi, and 3.3 percent overseas.

In addition to alumni events and gatherings on campus and around the greater Los Angeles area, alumni programs have been held throughout California, the United States and the world, including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, Tucson and Washington, D.C., as well as in Canada, Europe and Asia.