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The Classroom and Beyond

Cutting-edge Learning and Research

State-of-the-art labs provide the tools needed for cutting-edge learning and research opportunities.

The Brackett Observatory

Gaze at the stars: Built in 1908, the Brackett Observatory is continually updated with new equipment, including computer-controlled 14" telescopes and modern electronic CCD cameras.

By the Numbers
15 Average Class Size
8:1 Student-faculty ratio
2,200 Approximate number of classes available each year through the consortium

Academic Excellence at Pomona

Among the most important relationships you’ll make at Pomona are the ones you'll form with your professors. These extraordinary teachers and scholars have chosen Pomona—and Pomona has chosen them—because they have a talent and a passion for teaching bright undergraduate students, combined with a sophisticated command of their disciplines. Their involvement in research, writing and creative expression translates into fresh, lively instruction in the classroom and laboratory.

Small Classes and Close Relationships

Most classes are taught as seminars, in which the professor serves not as the source of all knowledge, but as a participant in a common search for understanding. In the lively discussions that are the heart of these classes, you will be free to draw your own conclusions and express and defend your own ideas. Those interactions will begin during your very first semester at Pomona with the Critical Inquiry seminar. As a first-year student, you'll choose from a list of 25 to 30 interdisciplinary courses on such varied topics as “Dangerous Books,” “Malfunction of the Mind,” “Blood and Belonging: The Global Politics of Identity,” and “Why We Get Sick: The Evolution of Health and Disease.”

With a student-faculty ratio of 8:1 and an average class size of 15, Pomona students get to know their teachers very well. About 85 percent of our faculty members live within five miles of the College, so their time on campus isn't limited to office hours. You'll find professors and students in every discipline working together on research projects in the classroom and the lab.

You'll also find them interacting in many other settings. Physics Professor Alma Zook ’72 plays in a woodwind quintet with three students and a recent alumnus. It’s common to see professors cheering on students at football games or applauding their performance with the Glee Club or in a play. Most professors regularly invite individual students or whole classes to their homes to share a meal or a holiday or—in the case of Biology Professor Andre Cavalcanti—to watch Brazil compete in the World Cup.

A Small School in a University Setting

Our students have the advantages of a small school along with the opportunities offered by a larger university setting of more than 5,000 students. The founding member of The Claremont Colleges, Pomona is one of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions that make up this unique consortium. Unlike other consortial arrangements, the campuses are contiguous, and a walk of only a few minutes will take you from one to another. Although each institution is autonomous, academic calendars and registration procedures are coordinated to make cross-enrollment easy.

Pomona students may supplement the College’s already comprehensive curriculum by taking classes at any of The Claremont Colleges, including some courses at Claremont Graduate University. With more than 2,000 courses available to them, students may choose from more than 230 English and literature courses, 140 mathematics courses or courses in any of 12 different languages.

Beyond the Classroom

The Los Angeles area offers rich and diverse possibilities for field study, community-based learning and internships. Geology students study deposits of volcanic rock in the local mountains; art history students go to L.A. to examine the work of Chicano muralists first hand; and photography students learn about satellite imaging at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Of course, field study isn’t limited to Los Angeles or even Southern California. Some students travel much further afield—to remote areas of Utah to look at pristine records of the Ice Age or to the Arctic to spend a month at the Polish Polar Station studying seabirds.

Public policy majors participate in an internship program, where they spend about 16 hours a week working in courtrooms, health clinics, community organizations and other private and public settings. And students in every discipline can take part in the Pomona College Internship Program, which not only offers a wide range of opportunities—from studying carbon credits to working with the media at Clippers games—it also pays an hourly wage, making it possible for everyone to participate.

About 58 percent of students choose to study abroad. A leader in international education, Pomona offers 49 programs in 32 countries, and every continent except Antarctica. All programs carry academic credit and no extra cost for tuition or room and board. In fact, students receive an extra stipend for travel. Those who receive financial aid may apply the full amount to any Pomona study abroad program.