@Scripps Culture

Where Am I?: A 5C Map and Guide

Isabel Suh ’24
Head Design Editor

Welcome to the Claremont Colleges! The 5Cs are unique since there are five different campuses to explore and hopefully memorize, instead of just one. For the first few months, as any normal first-timer at a new school, I was often confused when I explored the campuses. Aside from constantly looking at the map on my phone, I learned some tips and tricks to help me orient myself wherever I am at the 5Cs.

If you know where north is and what campus you’re on, you can ascertain the general direction of all the other schools and hopefully your next destination from that. If you see mountains on the horizon, you’re facing north since those are north of Claremont. Harvey Mudd is the northernmost school, then Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Pomona to the south, with Pitzer to the east of Mudd and Scripps.

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, the Claremont Colleges are unique in that each campus has its own style of architecture. With a few exceptions, what the buildings look like are a dead giveaway as to which campus you’re on. Scripps, touted as one of the most beautiful campuses (as someone who applied to Scripps in part because of how pretty it is, I am definitely not biased), is influenced by Spanish Colonial architecture with the terracotta roofs and white walls with an abundance of greenery and fruit trees around campus.

Across Platt Boulevard, you’ll come across Mudd. Known for the “warts” (square knobs affixed on many of their buildings) spread throughout campus, Mudd’s buildings have a much more brutal version of the “sad beige aesthetic”, with the harsh lines of their gray and beige concrete buildings. The boundary between Mudd and Pitzer might be less obvious, but you’ll know when you’re on Pitzer’s campus by the abundance of desert flora and signs that avoid using the word “garden” to describe what they call a multi-species common.

CMC is fairly distinct—the modern-looking campus is scattered with odd avant-garde sculptures and the Cube (otherwise known as the Living Room) is one of the more iconic landmarks at the 5Cs. My personal favorite are the three red brick “lego building” dorms on the south part of campus. Pomona has that neoclassical architecture, and many of the dorms look similar to Scripps’s dorms.

While the campuses are pretty consistent in their aesthetics, there are some exceptions. Pomona’s Sontag and Dialynas dorms (my friends and I have nicknamed that area as Dontag) don’t fit in with the rest of the campus since they were built by CMC and then sold to Pomona. Steele Hall and Kimberly/Wilbur Hall have a similar story; they were built by Mudd and then later sold to Scripps, though Kimbo/Wilbur was originally a dorm for the first female Mudd students.

One other confusing thing is the fact that there are multiple buildings at the 5Cs with the same name. There are multiple Sontags (one dorm at Mudd, one at Pomona, the Greek Theatre), multiple Keck buildings (one lab at Mudd, the portable labs, and the main science center), multiple Seavers (all of the science labs, the Seaver Theatre, and an administration building), multiple Mudds (Harvey Mudd, Mudd-Blaisdell, the Hive/Seeley Mudd building, the library, East Hall at Mudd) and many Clarks (three Pomona dorms and one Scripps dorm).

With five campuses (seven if you include KGI and CGU), there is so much to explore! My last piece of advice is to befriend people from each school (to mooch off of their swipe access to many buildings), eat at each of the dining halls and cafes, and to just go on walks and enjoy Claremont.

Image Source: Isabel Suh ’24