- Class: Senior
- Major: Environmental Sciences
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
Pomona is an incredible school that offers an experience that only a handful of other schools do. It a has a beautiful campus, great faculty, incredibly friendly and talented students, and fabulous weather. Though being part of the 5Cs consortium definitely makes more activities (rugby, ultimate frisbee, a cappella groups, dance, queer resource center etc.) and courses available, the consortium as a whole lacks some departments you might find at schools with hefty graduate programs such as Stanford and Yale (i.e. architecture, diverse types of engineering, languages such as Korean, Arabic, Hebrew, or Swahili). It also means that most non-intro courses are offered once a year, or once every two years. However, the Trustees are considering expanding the student body by 100 to 200 students which hopefully they well. There is definitely a lot of school pride. Most students love the place to death. Pomona's administration is GREAT at running the school. However, they also aren't super open to experimentation, and will rarely push the envelope and try out new things or change their ways...
Academics at Pomona are what you make of them. You can take your classes to get a good grade, or you can take them to learn. Pomona students are much more competitive with themselves than the are with other students. Part of this is that students really don't talk about their grades much, so you don't really know how you fit into the spectrum. Most courses with problem sets (math, chem, physics, bio, econ) have weekly mentor sessions to provide you with a mentor (a student who has previously taken the class and done well in it) and just a space for you to collaborate with other students in your class. Of course profs are also available to help you out with problem sets, but they generally aren't available when most students are working on them (i.e. the evening before they are due!) Academic requirements are totally reasonable and easy to fulfill. Though I definitely go to office hours to speak with my professors about papers and problem sets, some of the best relationships I've had with profs are when we've served on the same committee and worked on a joint project. It's definitely much easier to get to know a prof if you know they won't be giving you a grade at the end of the semester! About some of the departments: The chemistry department is frequently regarded as top notch, and all chem majors seem to be incredibly happy with their profs, classes, and research opportunities. Same goes for the math department. The bio department usually receives lower marks. A frequent complaint at Pomona is that programs (as opposed to departments) such as the Neuroscience Program, Latin American Studies Program, and Environmental Analysis Program get short-changed since they can't hire their own faculty and thus must always coordinate with departments. One of the downsides of going to a small school, I suppose.
I always like to say that Pomona students are racially, socioeconomically, and geographically diverse, but lack diversity in their mindsets. Pomona students are friendly, open-minded, driven, socially-aware, well-rounded, intelligent, hard-working, busy, and of course more than a little nerdy. We're passionate and excited about life and like to live it to the fullest! The vast majority of Pomona students aren't religious, so if religion is central to your life you might feel a bit out of place here. Pomona students are also really laid back folks and don't focus a lot on their appearance. This isn't to say that we don't look presentable, it's just that if you look like you spent more than 10 minutes dressing, doing your hair, or putting on makeup in the morning, people would probably think you spend your time unwisely. People DEFINITELY don't get dressed up to go to class. In fact, people don't really get dressed up for anything. Typical class outfit is moderately priced jeans, a basic-T, and flip flops. Hair in a ponytail or combed for guys. Definitely no elaborate hair-dos or excessive gelling. Most Pomona folks are very respectful when speaking about money and it can be difficult to know how wealthy a student's family is unless you know their hometown or parents' occupations. As a bisexual female, I can speak a bit to Pomona's LGBT scene. First, since Pomona is a small school, there simply aren't that many queer people here. I'd say that there are twenty to thirty queer students (split evenly male and female) per class, which isn't a whole lot of folks to choose from. However, there are also queer people at the other 5Cs, especially Scripps College, which has a thriving lesbian scene that centers to some extent around the Motley Coffee House. (However, this scene is pretty cliquey and you definitely have to commit yourself to being in this scene if you want to know the people in it). Pomona has a Queer Resource Center (QRC) which puts on events, usually sponsors weekly group meetings for queer men, queer women, and transpeople (in some years), and also has a great library and film collection.
The Best Things
The people! I can honestly say that I could have a great hour-long conversation with just about anyone on campus.
The Worst Things
It's a bit too small.