The Claremont Colleges: Pitzer College

Expert Guide to Pitzer College | Claremont Colleges Consortium

Pitzer College

Pitzer College, a private liberal arts college was founded in 1963. Pitzer College is known for its commitment to social justice, sustainability, and intercultural understanding. The college’s curriculum is designed to foster critical thinking, creative expression, and interdisciplinary exploration. Whether students are pursuing a career in business, politics, education, or the arts, Pitzer College provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to engage with the local community and to take an active role in shaping the world around them. Pitzer College is a dynamic and innovative institution that provides students with a well-rounded education and prepares them for a lifetime of meaningful engagement and leadership.


Pitzer College is located in Claremont, California, which is a suburban community about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Claremont is part of the larger Pomona Valley, which is situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. The college campus is nestled in a residential area, surrounded by leafy trees and spacious lawns. The campus is relatively small, covering just over 30 acre. The campus is known for its environmentally sustainable design and features several LEED-certified buildings.

Student Cohort Size

 Pitzer College has 1,168 undergraduate students. The admitted students represent 43 states and 28 countries. 30.4% of students are men and 52.8% are women. 41% of admitted students are in-state and Pitzer College has 59% out–of–state students.

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college. Pitzer College’s first-year retention rate is 93%. This means that 93% first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 6-year graduation rate is 88%. This implies that 88% students were able to graduate after 6 years. The extra semesters or years you take to graduate increases the cost of your degree.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The student-to-faculty ratio at Pitzer College is 12:1 with an average class size of 16 students. The classes are collaborative and students are able to have meaningful discussions in class. This results in close interpersonal relationships with other students and faculty. Professors at Pitzer College are dedicated mentors and advisors for the students. A very interesting aspect of Pitzer College is that many courses are co-taught by two professors of different fields of study. Hence, the students are able to learn the same topic from two incredibly different perspectives.


Acceptance Rate

Pitzer College is a highly selective college with an 18% acceptance rate. There are 3,680 aspiring applications and only 700 students were admitted.

Acceptance GPA

Pitzer College is a highly selective college; most accepted students have a high school GPA higher than 4.05.

Types of Admission

The students can apply through the Early Decision and Regular Decision cycle. Early Decision is an opportunity for students to show that Pitzer College is their number one choice. Early Decision is a binding process and it implies that the students should attend Pitzer College if accepted. The acceptance rate for Early Decision was 47%. In 2022, Pitzer admitted 166 of the 350 students who applied early decision.

The students also have the option to apply through the Regular Decision process. Regular Decision may be right for you if you need more time to get your application ready. Many more students apply for Regular Decision than Early Decision.

Application Components

Complete the Common Application.
High School Transcript: The high school transcript should include the mid-term grades from the senior year.
Standardized Test Scores: Pitzer College is test optional. 51.1% of students submitted their test scores. The accepted students had an SAT score of more than 1340 and an ACT score of more than 30. 48.9% of students did not submit their scores.
School Report should be submitted by your counselor
Counselor Recommendation
One Teacher Recommendation Letter: The recommendation letter should come from a teacher who has taught you during your junior or senior year in a core academic subject.
Essays: Pitzer Writing Supplement:
The required Pitzer Writing Supplement section of the Common Application has a maximum length of 650 words. You will choose from one of the following prompts:
At Pitzer, five core values distinguish our approach to education: social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement and environmental sustainability. As agents of change, our students utilize these values to create solutions to our world’s challenges. Please answer only ONE of the following prompts:
Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one of Pitzer’s core values?
Describe what you are looking for from your college experience and why Pitzer would be a good fit for you.
As of Fall 2022 Pitzer will offer a new optional 100-word essay that applicants are able to answer via the Common Application. It is not required but can give students additional space to write in their application. Please see the new prompt below:
Two of our favorite murals on campus have quotes that read, “Be your own weird” and “You are of this place – it is changing you”. If you could add an inspirational quote or art piece to our campus, what would it be and why?


Majors and Minors

At Pitzer College, field groups (similar to a discipline or department) organize major requirements and courses. The students can choose from a range of 40 majors and 20 minors. Students can complete single, combined, or double majors for their degree.

Most Popular Majors at Pitzer College
Environmental Science
Political Science and Government
Organizational Behavior Studies
Studio Arts

Special Academic Programs

W.M. Keck Science Department: As a part of this program students and faculty explore a range of scientific disciplines and conduct research that builds on their knowledge of the world. Keck Science encompasses the subject areas of biology, chemistry, and physics. The program offers 15 discrete degree programs:

Self-Designed Majors: The students have the opportunity to consult faculty members and design their own majors. Some recent self-designed majors were:

  • Global Health and Community Development

  • Global/Local Community Engagement through Soccer

  • Climate Toxicology

  • Documentary Activism

  • Urban Justice Studies

New Resources Program: Pitzer College established the New Resources program in 1974 to bring the small, liberal arts college experience to students of non-traditional college age.

International Scholars/Foreign Language Pedagogy/Culture Studies: Courses in International Scholars Program focus on English language and culture to help international students develop the sophisticated level of English needed to actively participate in the challenging liberal arts education at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges.

The Munroe Center for Social Inquiry: The Munroe Center for Social Inquiry at Pitzer College promotes interdisciplinary research and public discussion of important issues concerning society, cultures, and public policy.

Critical Action & Social Advocacy: Community Engagement and Cultural Immersion Program: Critical Action & Social Advocacy (CASA, formerly known as Pitzer in Ontario) is a justice-oriented, interdisciplinary, community engagement and cultural immersion program focused on community-based research.

4+1 Bachelors/Masters Program: Claremont Graduate University (CGU) offers selective undergraduate students at The Claremont Colleges the opportunity to work simultaneously toward the completion of their undergraduate degree requirements and a master’s degree in selected academic fields.

Combined Bachelor/ Medical Degree Program with Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (“Pitzer-WUCOMP” linkage program): This is a unique linkage program between Pitzer and Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WUCOMP) in nearby Pomona, California, allows students to complete the BA degree from Pitzer and the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree in seven years. This program is highly selective and only 8 to 10 students get admitted to this program. The students are given preference if they have completed a rigorous curriculum in high school with challenging courses including Honor/AP/IB biology, Honor/AP/IB chemistry, Honor/AP/IB physics, and Honor/AP/IB calculus. The students are also expected to show community involvement in health care.

Combined BA/BSE in Management Engineering: Combined BA/BSE in Management Engineering is a five-year program that gives students the opportunity to receive both a bachelor of arts Degree in Management Engineering from Pitzer and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from the second institution.

Independent Study: Independent Study gives students the opportunity to explore an area in more depth. They plan and execute projects of their own and acquire the skills to pursue research and writing beyond what is required by the regular courses of instruction.

Internships: Pitzer College students get the opportunity to do internships during the academic year and over the summer. Experiential learning enhances their profile and helps students achieve their post-graduation goals.


Student Senate charters student clubs and organizations and are open to all Pitzer students. There are more than 30 active clubs and organizations at Pitzer College. Some of these clubs are:

Baking Club
Orange Jam
Pitzer Chess Club
Pitzer Outdoor Adventures
Tutors for a Cause

Pitzer College students are involved in sustainability clubs that focus on environmental issues. Some of these clubs are:

Ecology Center
Garden Club
Green Bike Program
Pitzer Food Recovery Network
Pitzer Green Initiative Fund

The students can also participate with students in other Claremont colleges through the 5C Clubs. Some of the 5C clubs are:

5C Community Club
5C Dance Company
5C Hack
5C Pickle
5C Plant-Based Mission

Cost of Attendance

On Campus:

Tuition $62,392
Fees $300
Housing & Food $21,374
Books & Supplies $1,100
Personal Expenses $1,300
Average Loan Fee $50
Total $86,516


Tuition $62,392
Fees $300
Housing & Food $16,432
Books & Supplies $1,100
Personal Expenses $1,300
Average Loan Fee $50
Total $81,574

At Home:

Tuition $62,392
Fees $300
Housing & Food $10,124
Books & Supplies $1,100
Personal Expenses $1,300
Average Loan Fee $50
Total $75,266

Fun Facts

Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival: Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival is celebrated since 1974. The Kohoutek Comet was meant to collide with Earth in 1974. Pitzer students organized an epic end-of-the-world party–  with music, food, and dancing galore to celebrate their last days. However, the world didn’t end but the Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival lives on, thanks to the student organizers of Pitzer College. The festival features many student bands along with artists like Princess Nokia, Phony Ppl, and The California Honeydrops.

In conclusion, Pitzer College is a unique and dynamic institution that offers students an exceptional liberal arts education with a strong commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. The college’s small size, personalized attention, and innovative curriculum allow students to explore their interests and passions while preparing them for successful and meaningful lives.

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