Scripps College is a rigorous and academically supportive women’s college in the Claremont Consortium in Claremont, California. It is a very small college situated within a larger academic environment; overall, the Claremont Consortium is comparable to a medium sized university. Students at Scripps benefit from a tight-knit social environment and alumnae network, access to high quality educational opportunities across the whole Consortium, and a personalized and intimate learning environment with small classes and engaged professors. Scripps is also known for its excellent on-campus dining options.
The Scripps campus is a series of connected courtyards and gardens, lush with trees and plant life, surrounding a central quad at the heart of the Claremont Colleges. Campus buildings are designed in a nationally-recognized Spanish revival style, framed to the north by the San Gabriel Mountain foothills. The area enjoys year-round sun, blue skies, and warm temperatures.
As a women’s college, Scripps only considers applications from women. This definition includes both students whose legal sex is female, students who self-identify as women (transwomen), and non-binary students assigned female at birth. Scripps does not consider applications from students whose legal sex is male and who self-identify as men, but already-enrolled transmasculine Scripps students are supported through their transition and allowed to continue studying at and graduate from Scripps.
A federation of eight schools, including five undergraduate colleges, two graduate schools, and one affiliated school of theology. The undergraduate colleges are Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Pitzer College, and Harvey Mudd College.
A shorthand referring to the five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools of the Claremont Consortium, usually used in the context of services offered to students at all schools, such as Student Health Services.
A shorthand for the five undergraduate colleges of the Claremont Consortium, usually used in the context of academic programs available to students at any of the five colleges.
Claremont McKenna-Mudd-Scripps, the three-college athletic partnership in which Scripps students compete.
Students who thrive
Scripps College offers a strongly interdisciplinary educational program with a broad Core Curriculum in the humanities (see Academics). Although the school is also known for awarding a high percentage of STEM degrees relative to other women's colleges, often through its partnerships with the other Claremont Colleges, its primary educational focus is in the humanities and liberal arts. The college offers a rare combination of high academic rigor and a supportive and collaborative learning environment.
As a part of the Greater Los Angeles Area, Claremont’s climate is hot and dry most of the year. Students who want warm weather, clear blue skies, and a low proportion of rainy days will fit in well here. As a result of the favorable weather, students spend lots of time outside, at cafés dotted around the Consortium campus, including Scripps’s Motley Coffeehouse, and in the numerous courtyards, plazas, and lawns among Scripps’s Spanish Revival classrooms and lecture halls. For a better understanding of how Scripps fits into the larger Consortium campus, the colleges offer an interactive campus map.
Scripps students live and study close to Claremont Village, Claremont’s cute and walkable downtown area. Students who want a college-town feel in the local community off campus will find it here. The Village offers a health food market, pharmacy, movie theatre, restaurants, ice cream parlors, salons, doctors’ offices, and a Metrolink train station connecting the campus to Downtown LA.
Scripps College is a trans-inclusive women’s college: eligible applicants include anyone whose legal sex is female, as indicated on the Common App, or who self-identifies as a woman. That means that transwomen, and nonbinary persons who were assigned female at birth, are included in the eligible applicant admission pool. In addition, Scripps supports transmasculine students who transition while enrolled at Scripps, allowing such students to retain full student status and complete their degree program. Persons whose legal sex is male and who self-identify as men will not be considered eligible for admission. Scripps does not require any form of government-issued documentation to verify sex or gender identity. See First Year Applicant FAQs (at the bottom of the linked page) for the policy.
Students who may have challenges
Scripps is a very small college, with only 1,100 students in total, so students who are looking for a large campus experience may want to look into other options as well. However, Scripps students do have access to a larger campus community, dining options, academic and sporting opportunities, and social experiences than students at comparably-sized liberal arts colleges elsewhere, due to Scripps’ integration within the larger Claremont Consortium. See the Academics and Social Life sections below for more.
Although there are sporting opportunities at Scripps and the Claremont Colleges, the Consortium is not strongly sports-oriented in the way that larger universities tend to be. It also does not support or offer Greek Life, so Scripps students do not have the option of joining a sorority. Students looking for a high-spirit, gameday-centric social experience may not be happy at Scripps.
Scripps and the Consortium are also located in a very highly developed, suburban, inland part of the Los Angeles metro region, putting it a good distance away from Downtown LA, the Westside beach communities, and the Orange County coast. Students have access to Metrolink for occasional trips into LA, but the distance will make it hard for Scripps students to visit the beach or participate in an urban lifestyle while enrolled. Wilderness access is also limited, though students may have the chance to explore the San Gabriel Mountain foothills, just north of campus, while here.
As a women’s college, Scripps may not be right for everyone. Students who want a traditional, co-ed college experience will be able to get some of that as a result of the proximity to and integration with other Claremont Colleges, particularly if they enroll in classes hosted at other colleges, but on a day-to-day basis, including in the residences, students will interact primarily with other women.
Scripps is a rigorous, though supportive and collaborative, college with a strong focus on interdisciplinary studies. Scripps students tend to be high-achieving academically and motivated in their fields of study, as well as compelled by the broad range of subjects they will be expected to study during their time here. As a result, lower-performing students may find the coursework to be too challenging, while students who are highly committed to a particular field of study may find the academic requirements to be distracting and broad. See Academics for more information.
Scripps College admits high-achieving, academically-successful applicants. Admits have an average high school weighted GPA of 4.28, and 75% have at least a 4.0. As a test-optional college, applicants are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores, but of those who do, 75% have over a 1400 on the SAT composite and 85% have over a 30 on the ACT composite. Scripps uses a waitlist in some admission years, depending on the characteristics of each particular class, but Capstone does not recommend relying on it. With a 30% admission rate, Scripps is a fairly selective college, but it is also an achievable option for students with strong academic records.
Although Scripps does not evaluate demonstrated interest, in general, as part of its admissions process, it does offer interviews and recommends that applicants sign up for them. Signing up for an optional interview is a great way to show your commitment to the college, impress your interviewer with your familiarity with the college’s academic and social offerings, and ask questions to determine your own level of interest in the college. If you are interested in attending Scripps, Capstone strongly recommends that you sign up for an interview and be prepared when your interview date arrives.
Because Scripps is such a small college, the availability of space for transfer students varies dramatically year-to-year. It can therefore be difficult for potential transfer students to count on Scripps as an option. For those who are able to transfer in, Capstone strongly recommends signing up for the optional interview, because this will show Scripps that you are committed and ready to enroll. Otherwise, the transfer requirements are similar to the first-year requirements, but transfers are also required to submit a transcript and letter of good standing from the college where they are currently enrolled.
How the application process handles majors
Scripps uses the Common App, and so students are asked to report their intended major as part of the admissions process. However, as an interdisciplinary, humanities-oriented liberal arts college, Scripps does not require students to apply into a major. Instead, students apply to the college, and select a major once enrolled and upon reaching a threshold of credits.
Prospective majors in Art, Music, Dance, or Theatre have the opportunity to submit a portfolio for consideration along with their application. The portfolio is not required, and can only be submitted after the main application has been completed and submitted.
Scripps College has a strong, interdisciplinary academic program with a primary focus on liberal arts and humanities and a secondary, but important, focus on STEM fields, as well as strength in visual and performing arts. Much of the core academic program, including the Core Curriculum, and many degree programs are structured to promote interdisciplinarity. Scripps has the distinction of awarding the highest proportion of STEM degrees per graduating class of any women’s college in the United States. The very small size of the campus allows Scripps to offer a personalized and personal learning experience for all its students, including small class sizes and a low student to teacher ratio.
While Scripps offers numerous courses in the humanities on campus, STEM students benefit from the opportunity to take courses at any of the undergraduate colleges of the Claremont Consortium. Science students, in particular, take classes at the intercollegiate W.M. Keck Science Department, encompassing Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Pitzer Colleges. In addition to a range of STEM programs found at most colleges, the Department offers specialized majors in Neuroscience; Organismal Biology; Environment, Economics & Politics (EEP); Management Engineering; and Science Management. Engineering students can take an Economics & Engineering course hosted by Claremont McKenna College or apply into a 3-2 Engineering program at Scripps. In the 3-2 program, admitted students complete a three-year bachelor’s at Scripps, before matriculating into a two-year bachelor’s program at a partner engineering school. Both degrees are awarded simultaneously at the end of the fifth year.
Scripps students can also take advantage of several other 5C degree programs hosted by the different Claremont Colleges, such as Computer Science at Harvey Mudd or Pomona, Economics-Accounting at Claremont McKenna, Linguistics at Pitzer or Pomona, or Organizational Studies at Pitzer.
Scripps hosts the EU Center of California, and through it offers a unique degree program in European Union Studies.
The Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities is the most involved of Scripps College’s graduation requirements. It is divided into three Cores to be taken in sequence. Core I (Community) is a short program for new students exploring questions of community structure, formation, transformation, and history. Cores II and III are structured around the Histories of the Present.
In Core II, students may choose from a very wide variety of courses in the interdisciplinary humanities, including Arts & Literature in Zen Buddhism, Constructions of (Dis)Ability, Capitalism & Work, Poetry of Revolution, Plantation Empires, and many more.
Core III is a small seminar program designed to promote intellectual innovation and collaboration between students and faculty, culminating in a self-designed project exploring a particular topic related to the theme of Histories of the Present. The project may involve research, internships, fieldwork, exhibits, performances, conferences, or multimedia projects. Some past topics have included Animal Rights & Speciesism; Cyberculture & the Posthuman Age; a Foreign Language Culture & Teaching clinic; Snapshots, Portraits, Instagram; and Wilderness in American Life, among many others.
The Senior Thesis is a capstone writing project required of all Scripps students. Students work closely with two faculty supervisors to develop a project, and plan and execute the research and writing needed to bring it to fruition. You can browse and read past theses on the Scripps website.
The top fields by enrollment at Scripps are: social sciences, with nearly 20% of students; life sciences with 18%; psychology with 10%; and area, ethnic, and gender studies with 8%.
Scripps students have access to high-quality, free tutoring in any course—including those they may be taking at another of the Claremont Colleges. Find out more on the Scripps website.
The Modern Language Resource Center is a space for Scripps students to study language, practice conversation, review skills, and find resources for the languages they’re studying. Language consultants offer tutoring, and the Center offers quiet space to study and foreign language films to watch. Students can also practice language skills at Pomona College’s Language Tables, where native and advanced speakers join novices for a meal and conversation in their language of choice. Language Tables are also a great way for Claremont students to build community across colleges and within academic interest groups.
The Writing Center at Scripps helps students with a wide range of projects at all skill and experience levels. The Center offers workshops, multilingual student support, and a Core Buddies program that pairs a senior working on the Senior Thesis with a tutor for the duration of the writing semester. In addition, the Center offers help interpreting assignment prompts, brainstorming ideas, strengthening arguments, structuring essays, developing points, and processing revisions.
Support for learning differences
Students with disabilities or learning differences can take advantage of a long list of accommodations at Scripps. Of particular note is an assignment extension accommodation, which is rarely offered in a formal capacity at colleges and universities. Beyond this, students have access to peer note-taking services, extended test time, proctored exams, reduced distraction testing environments, breaks, early access to readings and registration, assistive technology, use of word processors and calculators on exams and in class, and part-time enrollment. Students may be eligible for additional accommodations depending on circumstances as well. Housing accommodations can be made for students with specific, housing-related needs, especially those affecting mobility.
Comprehensive documentation is required to establish disability status, but most students who have received a diagnosis or received accommodations in high school will already have this documentation available.
Additionally, the Disability Illness Difference Alliance (DIDA) out of Pomona College provides students with peer support and socialization in the disability community on campus. The Disability Mentoring Network, a 5C group, also provides peer mentoring in a range of academic areas.
Scripps is overall a good choice for students with disabilities or learning differences, who otherwise believe they would fit in with the social and academic environment here. Accommodations are comprehensive, and the small campus community may make it easier for many students to develop strong social connections with other students and community members. Health services are also strong and cover a wide range of issues, including full-service, free outpatient psychiatry with medication prescription and management (see Health below for more information).
Scripps is an expensive private college, but will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for students who can’t afford the full cost of education. In order to be eligible for financial and merit aid, students are required to submit both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile.
All first-year applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships worth $15,000-$28,000 per year, renewable for four years. The largest scholarship offered, the James E. Scripps Scholarship, covers half of tuition, approximately $30,000 per year. The list of merit scholarships available at Scripps is not published publicly; if you’re interested in knowing more about them, contact the Scripps admission office. Other scholarships, fellowships, and grants are also available to Scripps students.
Continuing students who demonstrate academic excellence are eligible for Academic Awards in their chosen fields.
Housing & transportation
Almost all Scripps undergrads live on campus all four years. First-years are required to live on campus. Only about 5% choose to live off-campus at any point during their time at Scripps. The college offers dorms for first-years, and dorms and apartments for continuing students. It also offers special housing accommodations for students with mobility-related disabilities.
Residential vibrancy is an important theme of residential life at Scripps College. Students take part in community dinners, outings to Claremont Village, and movie viewing parties with their dorm-mates. For continuing students (sophomores and up), Scripps offers the opportunity to live in themed communities, including learning communities built around shared academic interests, living communities built around shared lifestyle interests and choices, and thematic communities for students with common identities.
Scripps is known for its excellent on-campus dining. Students regularly rate Scripps’s dining halls as the best in the entire Claremont Consortium.
It’s very easy to walk, bike, or scooter around Scripps and the Claremont Consortium. Scripps itself is small; it only takes a couple minutes to get from one side of campus to the other, and the Claremont area is quite flat. The Consortium is larger, but still walkable, especially between Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Harvey Mudd, which all lie adjacent to each other in between Pitzer and Pomona. From the Scripps campus, it is a 15-20 minute walk to Claremont Village, where students can find lots of local amenities in the college town.
From a station in Claremont Village, students can take the Metrolink train one hour to Downtown Los Angeles, where they will find connections to the Metro light rail network servicing Hollywood, Pasadena, Santa Monica, and more. Students who want to venture to Los Angeles will want to set aside a whole day, because traveling around the sprawling metro region takes a lot of time.
The nearest airport is Ontario Airport, 20 minutes east of campus by car or an hour by public transport. Starting in 2024, it will be possible to travel from LAX to Claremont entirely by rail, but the journey is likely to take over 2.5 hours with two train connections, at Expo/Crenshaw and Union Station.
Scripps students can participate in over 30 student organizations structured around academic interests, extracurricular activities, cultural identities, and more. Claremont Village, at the southwest corner of the Consortium, offers a cute and vibrant college town atmosphere for students to enjoy off-campus, including several restaurants, ice cream parlors, markets, and a Laemmle's movie theatre. Metrolink, a regional rail service in Greater Los Angeles, has a station in Claremont Village.
For recreational sports, Scripps students can participate in intramurals, club sports, and unstructured activities along with other Consortium students at any of the colleges’ numerous facilities. See Athletics below for more information.
Laspa Center for Leadership is a signature program at Scripps offering civic and community engagement initiatives, a financial literacy program, leadership summit, fellowship program, leadership institute, and more. Its goal is to advance gender equity by creating leadership development opportunities for the women of Scripps College.
There is no Greek life at Scripps or the Claremont Colleges, so students do not have the option of joining a sorority. Army ROTC is offered at Claremont McKenna College; Air Force ROTC is offered at USC.
Scripps offers competitive athletic opportunities in partnership with Claremont McKenna College and Harvey Mudd College—the CMS athletic group. CMS fields 11 varsity women’s teams in the NCAA Division III SCIAC, who compete as the Athenas (men’s teams of students from Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd compete as the Stags).
Intramural and group fitness offerings, as well as several recreational sports facilities, are shared among the CMS colleges. Roberts Pavilion is a fitness and events center for CMS programs, including intercollegiate sports, intramurals, and physical education classes. Students interested in club sports play and compete in a 5C program alongside students from each of the other four undergraduate colleges.
Sallie Tiernan Field House is a state of the art, 24,000 square foot athletic facility dedicated to exercise and wellness at Scripps College. It houses a 25 meter (82 foot) heated swimming pool, aerobics studio, strength training room, cardio room, and group classes in pilates, zumba, cardio kickboxing, and more.
Scripps requires students to carry health insurance while enrolled. Students have the option of subscribing to the Claremont College Student Health Insurance Program for $2,900 per year, or waiving it in exchange for a private health plan of equal or greater coverage.
Health services for Scripps students are offered through the Consortium-wide Student Health Services, which serves students at Claremont’s five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools, as well as the affiliated Claremont School of Theology. Student Health Services offer a wide range of medical services, from physicals and general exams to minor surgeries, biopsies, sexual health counseling, and more. A telehealth service called 7C Health provides 24/7 virtual care to all Claremont Students.
Monsour Counseling & Psychological Services (5C) provides mental health care for students at Claremont’s undergraduate colleges. The center offers counseling services, groups and workshops, and screening and referral services. Rarely among American colleges, the center also offers free, full-service outpatient psychiatry, including prescriptions and medication management. Students from traditionally-marginalized communities, including APIDA, Latinx, Black, and Queer students, have access to tailored drop-in sessions as well.
The Wellness Room at Sallie Tiernan Field House offers additional mental and emotional wellness opportunities and supplies, including therapy dogs, peer health educators, and regular wellness programming.
Scripps requires all students to complete an extensive program with an emphasis on liberal arts and interdisciplinary humanities. This program includes the Core Curriculum, Senior Thesis, Breadth of Study requirement, a 3-semester foreign language series, and one course each in writing, mathematics, Race & Ethnic Studies, and Gender & Women’s Studies.
To complete Breadth of Study, students must complete one course each in Fine Arts, Letters, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The Senior Thesis requires a minimum of a D grade for graduation, and the Core Curriculum promotes interdisciplinary learning in three stages throughout the Scripps undergraduate career. See Academics above for more information on the senior thesis and Core Curriculum.
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Motto: Incipit Vita Nova
(Here begins new life)
Mascot: La Semeuse
NCAA Division III SCIAC
Private liberal arts college
99 full-time faculty
10:1 student-faculty ratio
78% of classes <20 students
100% of classes <40 students
32 acre campus
Two 15-week terms per year
Temperate climate with hot summers, warm winters, and mostly sunny days
High school GPA
Character & personal qualities
Letters of recommendation
Talent or ability
Race or ethnicity
SAT/ACT scores (optional)
Does not evaluate
*Interview is an evaluated form of demonstrated interest
High school transcript
Essay or personal statement
Statement of good standing
Does not require
Early Decision I
ED I Financial Aid
Early Decision II
ED II & RD Financial Aid
Art, Music, Dance, Supplements
Early Decision I
Early Decision II
Spring Financial Aid
Fall Financial Aid
$83,500 / year
$60,500 / year
Housing & Meal Plan
$20,000 / year
~ $3,000 / year
Student Health Insurance Plan
Additional $2,900 / year if not waived
Percent of financial need met (average)
$18,400 / year
Amount of merit aid awarded to students without financial need (average)
Percent of undergraduates without financial need receiving merit aid
Notable Majors & Programs
Art, Music, Dance, Theatre programs
Environment, Economics & Politics
European Union Studies program at the EU Center of California
Humanities Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture
WM Keck Science Department
(CMC, Pitzer, Scripps)
5C majors through other Claremont Colleges
Cultural Studies Programs
- Africana Studies major
- American Studies major
- Jewish Studies major
- Asian American Studies major
- Asian Studies major
- Chicanx/Latinx Studies major
- Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies major
- Italian Studies major
- Latin American & Caribbean Studies major
- Middle East & North Africa Studies
- Spanish, Latin American & Caribbean Literatures & Cultures major
- Native American/Indigenous Studies minor
Equity & Inclusion
- Transfer housing guaranteed: Yes
- Separate transfer housing available: No
- Transfer admission rate: varies widely
- Accepts CLEP transfer credits
Disability Support & Equity
- Disability Support Services
- Disability Illness Difference Alliance (DIDA)
- Disability Mentor Network
- Housing accommodations available
- Comprehensive academic accommodations
- Asian American Sponsor Program (AASP)
- Asian American Student Union (AASU)
- Blend multiethnic student organization
- Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center
- Café con Leche Latina discussion forum
- Kehillah Jewish space
- Office of Black Student Affairs
- Watu Weusi Black student collective
- Very high retention rate for Black & Latinx students
- Family: Queer-Allied Student Union
- Queer Resource Center (7C)
- Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Dept
- Inclusive campus & local community
- Supportive state & local laws
Top: Balch Auditorium at Scripps College
Bottom: Grafitti Wall and Rose Garden at Scripps College
All images by Matthew Enger. All rights reserved by Capstone.