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Introduction to Academic Life at Pomona College

By now you have probably begun to think about your intellectual interests, the courses you would like to take and how you are going to plan your first academic year.  We are enclosing some information to help you think about your course selection.

Unlike many large schools, new students at Pomona College don’t register for classes until they have met with their advisers and have participated in the College's Orientation program just before the semester begins.

On this Guidebook website, you will find information about the various placement assessments.  Additional information on how to access the on-line placement assessments is available on the "Through the Gates" tab of the student portal.  Please read this information carefully. The advisory placement assessments are an important part of helping you decide on your initial course placement. You should take the placement exam for mathematics chemistry, and economics if you plan to take these courses during your time at Pomona.  The foreign language exam is required for students who have had previous language training and plan to study that language while at Pomona (Pomona has a foreign language requirement).  If you have questions about the examinations, write, e-mail, or call the appropriate academic department, but as a general rule, you should take the math, chemistry, and foreign language placement exams.

Also included is a guide to course selection that you will find helpful. In it you will find a series of sample programs to give you an idea of how first-year students typically put together their classes.  Your faculty adviser will assist you in finalizing your decisions.  The College does not expect you to have chosen a major before you begin your academic program.  It is important for you to spend at least your first year exploring the various academic opportunities that await you. This year is a good time to take courses that look exciting or even unfamiliar to you.  You should also fulfill some of your Breadth of Study requirements during your first year. Typically, students select a major during or at the end of their sophomore year.

The Claremont Colleges Fall 2013 course schedule is available through the campus's portal, "myPomona" (  As a first-year student, you will be able to enroll in Pomona courses only. You will find a list of courses that are anticipated to be offered in Spring 2014 on the Registrar's website (

You will enroll in ID-1: Critical Inquiry Seminar, a course required of all first-year students.  You will find information about the seminars being offered and about providing your seminar preferences on myPomona on the "Through the Gates" tab.  You will be notified of your seminar assignment when you arrive on campus.  Once made, changes in seminar assignments are not possible.

Dean of Students