Application Instructions for First-Year Applicants

Please use the links below to learn more about CMC's application process. The Office of Admission looks forward to reviewing your application. 

Application Checklist
  • Common Application or Coalition Application

  • $70 application fee or fee waiver. Fee waivers are available through The Coalition Application and Common Application systems. 

  • Additional academic credentials:

    • School report and counselor recommendation

    • 一道本不卡免费高清Two teacher recommendations

    • 一道本不卡免费高清Official high school transcript(s) from all secondary schools attended

    • 一道本不卡免费高清Official SAT or ACT scores (sent directly from the testing agency)

  • FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (if applying for financial aid)

  • 一道本不卡免费高清Early Decision Agreement (required for ED1 and ED2 applicants only)

Common Application and Coalition Application

一道本不卡免费高清CMC accepts the Common Application and the Coalition Application for first-year admission, without preference for one over the other. Applications can be submitted online at .

一道本不卡免费高清If you are applying as a Questbridge National Match applicant, please visit for more information.

Application Review

Admission to CMC is based on a holistic review process that considers a broad range of factors, including a prospective student’s academic and leadership achievements, commitment to CMC’s values, and potential to benefit from and contribute to CMC’s mission.

School Report, Transcript and Counselor Recommendation

一道本不卡免费高清Please have your school’s college counselor send the school report, a counselor recommendation, and official high school transcript reflecting work completed through your junior year. If you attended multiple high schools, please submit all secondary school transcripts.

一道本不卡免费高清The school report and counselor recommendation provide the Admission Committee with important context about your high school. Understanding the context of your high school helps us best assess your academic preparation for CMC.

While there is no minimum GPA requirement, competitive candidates for admission pursue the most demanding coursework possible and receive strong grades. We strongly recommend taking advantage of honors and advanced placement coursework when available. Many competitive applicants often go beyond the minimum recommended program listed below.

Minimum Recommended High School Program
  1. Four years of English

  2. Three (preferably four) years of mathematics

  3. At least three years of a foreign language (this can be three total years or up to the third level)

  4. At least one year of history

  5. At least two years of science 

Two Teacher Recommendations

一道本不卡免费高清Recommendations should be completed by teachers who have instructed you in core academic areas (English, mathematics, foreign language, science, or social sciences).

一道本不卡免费高清Teacher recommendations are important in giving the Admission Committee insight into your engagement in classes, collaboration with peers and ability to manage rigorous class work. We recommend asking teachers who can speak to your strengths and progress academically and personally throughout high school.

Mid-Year High School Transcript

Please have your school’s college counselor submit an official transcript when seventh-semester or tenth-trimester grades are available.

Standardized Tests

CMC requires the SAT or the ACT for domestic, first-year admission and does not prefer one test over the other. We superscore both tests. Standardized test scores must be submitted directly to CMC by the appropriate testing agency. Scores received via any other means (i.e., fax or high school transcript) will not be considered official.

NOTE: As of November 2018, CMC no longer requires the essay section of the SAT or the writing section of the ACT for domestic students or for students whose primary language of high school instruction is English. These sections will not be considered in the application review process. 

一道本不卡免费高清If the payment associated with requesting your scores from the ACT or The College Board poses a financial hardship for you, please email us at to request assistance with the payment.


一道本不卡免费高清ACT middle 50% range: 31-34


SAT Reading/EBRW middle 50% range: 670-730

SAT Math middle 50% range: 680-770 

SAT Subject Tests

一道本不卡免费高清The Admission Committee does not require that you take the SAT Subject Tests. Homeschooled students, however, are required to submit scores from two exams. One of the scores submitted must be from a math Subject Test.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and SAT with Essay or ACT with Writing

International students whose native language is not English are required to submit official results from the optional essay section of the SAT or the writing section of the ACT in addition to the TOEFL or IELTS. A minimum score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL exam or a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based TOEFL exam is required. For the IELTS, a minimum band score of 7.5 is required.

Beyond Academic Promise

CMC actively recruits a diverse group of students from around the world. In the application process it is important to provide information that helps us understand your personal background as well as your academic preparation. As a selective college, we are interested in knowing who you are, what is important to you, and what you have accomplished outside of the classroom. Your essay, extracurricular activities, short answer response, interview and/or video response are perfect opportunities to highlight these aspects and show us how you can contribute to and benefit from the CMC community and mission.


While interviews are not required, they are highly recommended. All homeschooled applicants are required to interview. Interviews for CMC are evaluative and are a part of your application. The interview allows you to tell us more about your personal background, as well as your accomplishments, talents, and goals. The interview process also provides you with a valuable opportunity to understand the CMC experience through a one-on-one interview with an Admission Officer, Senior Interviewer or Alumni Interviewer. If possible, we recommend scheduling an interview on- or off-campus. Interviews typically last about 30 minutes. To schedule an interview, please visit

Interviews for first-year applicants are offered May through mid-December and can be completed before you submit your application for admission. Early Decision I applicants should plan to interview by mid-November. 

If you are unable to schedule an interview by mid-December, we strongly encourage that you consider submitting the option video response. Applicants who interview may submit the video response as well.

Supplemental Essay Prompt

The CMC admission office would like to know a bit more about you and how you see yourself connecting with our campus as a student. The following are required supplemental essay prompts found in both the Common Application and the Coalition Application:

一道本不卡免费高清1. Why do you want to attend Claremont McKenna College?

2. What is intellectual courage?

Optional Video Response

一道本不卡免费高清After submitting your application, you will receive instructions by email from the CMC Admission Office on how to submit an optional two-minute video. Similar to interviews, the optional video response gives you an opportunity to tell us more about yourself beyond the information you provided in your application. The most compelling video responses have a genuine voice and highlight your thoughtfulness and authenticity.

While the video response is not required, if you were unable to schedule an interview, the video response is a great opportunity for you to tell us about yourself beyond what you provided in your application.

Video response prompts for all first-year applicants:

1.   Claremont McKenna College is a special community because it is composed of talented people who individually and collectively contribute to improving the life of the College.  How do you hope to contribute to the CMC community?

2.   The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum represents the intellectual mantelpiece of the Claremont McKenna College community, bringing students, faculty, and staff closer together through active engagement and discussion on a daily basis. Knowing that diversity of thought and respectful dialogue are vital elements to the Athenaeum’s mission, who is someone you would want to hear speak at the Athenaeum in order to better understand a diverse perspective or experience from that of your own?

一道本不卡免费高清3.   Developing a personal narrative is key to understand one’s own values and unique voice. Instances of personal adversity are key markers when determining an individual’s character, resoluteness, and sources of inspiration. When was the last time you were moved to great emotion and how did you positively respond from that moment in time?

4.   People support each other and their communities in various ways.  How do you support those around you and how has this shaped your unique perspective?

First-year applicants for whom CMC is clearly their first choice may apply under an Early Decision (ED) option. The applicant, parent, and college counselor must electronically sign this form. Candidates who are admitted under Early Decision are expected to enroll at CMC, to withdraw all other college applications, and not to initiate new ones. The admission decision is binding. Students for whom CMC is not a clear first choice should apply under the Regular Decision option.

Merit-based scholarships一道本不卡免费高清 are available for first-year applicants and are determined by the Office of Admission through the application review process. If you would like to be considered, your application for admission must be submitted by December 1 and all supporting credentials must be submitted no later than January 5. There is no separate application process for CMC scholarships.

For more information about merit-based scholarships please visit Scholarships page. For more information about need-based financial aid, please visit the Financial Aid Office.

Deadlines for First-Year Admission

To be considered for Regular Decision admission, you must submit your application and all supporting credentials by January 5. You will be notified of our admission decision by April 1.

Admission Deadlines

Application due Nov. 1
Merit application due Nov. 1
Decision notification by Dec. 15
一道本不卡免费高清Candidate's reply due early January

Application due Jan. 5
Merit application due Dec. 1
Decision notification by Feb. 15
Candidate's reply due early March

Application due Jan. 5
Merit application due Dec. 1
Decision notification by April 1
Candidate's reply due May 1

Financial Aid Deadlines

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE due Nov. 1
FAFSA due Nov. 1
Award notification by Dec. 15

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE due Jan. 5
FAFSA due Jan. 5
一道本不卡免费高清Award notification by Feb. 15

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE due Jan. 5
FAFSA due Jan. 5
Award notification by April 1

Deferring Enrollment to Claremont McKenna

Students may wish to defer their enrollment (also known as taking a gap year) to Claremont McKenna for a year, up to two years, after admission. We want to assist when considering that option.

If you decide to defer your matriculation to Claremont McKenna for a year, please follow these steps:

  1. Submit your enrollment deposit by May 1.
  2. Complete detailing your plans by Monday, May 4, 2020. 
  3. You will need to verify on the deferral form that you will not enroll in a degree-granting program at another institution or apply to other colleges during your time off. Should you do so, you may have to reapply as a transfer student.
  4. Contact Jennifer Sandoval-Dancs regarding your intention to defer. Deferral  approval is not guaranteed, so it is important to follow the steps outlined above.

Should you find yourself pondering your gap year options, we encourage you to consider Global Citizen Year. 

CMC Partnership with Global Citizen Year
3 photos of students experiencing international culture and scenery.
Global Citizen logo

At CMC, we believe that learning extends beyond the classroom, and that hands-on global experience is a critical component of a wayanyasa.comcation. We therefore fully support incoming students who wish to gain valuable global skills and experience before arriving on campus.

We are excited to announce a partnership with : an eight-month global immersion and leadership development program in Brazil, Ecuador, India, or Senegal.
Global Citizen Year Fellows live with a host family and apprentice to a local organization working in education, health, or the environment. We are happy to grant admitted students a deferral to join Global Citizen Year, as we believe this experience helps CMC students develop the skills and perspectives to become the changemakers that our world so urgently needs.

If you are interested in this opportunity, we encourage you to .
For consideration for Fall 2020, Early Decision candidates should apply by April 1, 2020.
For consideration for Fall 2020, Regular Decision candidates should apply by May 15, 2020.

If you indicate on your application that you are also applying to CMC, Global Citizen Year will fast-track your Global Citizen Year application, guarantee you a final interview, and consider you for their generous pool of need-based financial aid. If you are accepted to both CMC and Global Citizen Year, our Admission team will defer both your admission offer and financial aid package for one year to allow you to participate.

Toluwani Roberts'22
Toluwani Roberts
Class of ‘22
GCY Ecuador ‘18
Contact info:
Major: Africana Studies
"In 2017, I arrived in Imbabura, Ecuador with GCY. I became (or in some cases, discovered that I already was) a teacher, an animal lover, an adventurer, una hija, una hermana, and a friend to many more people. I left in April 2018 with an understanding of Ecuadorian culture and myself that pushed me to view the struggle for equality and liberation as a global one. And although my body left in April of 2018, my heart did not; through language and love, I am forever connected to esa tierra."