O's Notes

Blog Home

Pomona College: Strong Social Sciences and Physical Sciences in a California Liberal Arts Setting

By Officialpomonacollege [<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>], from Wikimedia Commons
By Officialpomonacollege [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Pomona College is a very well regarded liberal arts college in the Claremont Consortium of colleges. Located in SoCal, Pomona college shares its campus, students, and majors with Claremont McKenna, Scripps, Pitzer, and Harvey Mudd.

Every year nearly 400 students graduate from Pomona. According to its students and their families, Pomona emphasizes analytical thinking, and writing and communication. The college is strong across the board in most liberal arts subjects from economics, sociology to sciences such as physics, math, neuroscience, and even computer science as can be seen in the chart below.

Pomona Majors
Graduates by major at Pomona (2016-17). IPEDS data presented by O's List.

As reported by Pomona, most of their students who graduate go onto jobs and graduate schools. If you are interested, check out their student outcomes page.

What do students think of Pomona?

Recently Ahana, a current sophomore there chatted with us about life on campus.

What made her decide to apply to Pomona?
Pomona is a small college with small class sizes with a strong focus on both humanities and sciences. As she was unsure about her choice of major, Ahana felt that a liberal arts college would be a good fit, a place where she could discover her path.

Was she undecided on her major for the application or did she choose a general interest?
In her application, while not specifying an exact major, Ahana mentioned that she was interested in communication and social change.

Has she chosen a major?
After her freshman year courses, she realized that she really enjoyed learning about world events and social structures and thus will be pursuing a major in History.

Classroom Experience:
The first year general ed classes usually have 20-40 students in a class. While the faculty-student interaction can be variable across the different courses, Ahana has found the faculty to be involved and open to communication, with accommodating office hours.

Cross registration:
Ahana has taken a history course at nearby Claremont, which is possible because of the consortium. It is quite easy to cross register for certain courses, but not all courses across the Claremont campuses. Students can request for a special case of cross registration if a course is not open to students from other campuses.

What makes Pomona a great experience for her?
Ahana enjoys the classes and the campus extracurricular activities. She is involved with the South Asian community and with the mentorship programs which host social and politically minded events. She also runs an Art and Critique magazine, a club activity that dovetails nicely with her interest in journalism and writing. Ahana feels that her extra curricular activities round out her educational experience. As she enjoys creative writing, being a tutor at the campus writing center allows her to contribute to the community and build on her social experiences.

Summer and Post College Options:
Many students are interested in graduate school. Most students take advantage of a mix of internships, summer work, and other opportunities that the school offers. Pomona states on its student outcomes pages that over 30% of the graduating students go onto their first job and nearly 15% of their alumni head to graduate school.

Last words:
Ahana says that, as with most things in life, Pomona is what you make of it. There is a vibrant student body and the general atmosphere is enriching. There are lots of activities and clubs. However, you will have to search and figure out for yourself what it is that you enjoy and to find the right opportunity.