Admission to First-Year Standing
Candidates typically will have completed a minimum of four or five academic subjects for each term in 10th, 11th and 12th grades. The Admissions Committee considers the rigor of the program and quality of the record, as well as the courses a student has elected to take, given what is offered at the school. As the best preparation for Pomona’s curriculum, we recommend four years of English, three years of a foreign language, four years of natural science (two of which should be lab science) and at least two years of social science (three are recommended). Four years of mathematics are recommended, including calculus for students interested in science and math majors. Courses in computer programming and statistics, while desirable, are not considered substitutes for these fundamental courses. Students interested in pursuing a science major should include in their high school curriculum one year each of courses in physics, chemistry and biology, emphasizing laboratory work and problem solving. Courses in areas such as journalism, debate, leadership and religious doctrine, as well as courses in music, art or theatre are valuable, but they are not considered academic courses in assessing the strength of the candidate’s high school program.
In evaluating a candidate’s high school program, additional consideration is generally given to honors, International Baccalaureate and AP courses, if they are available in the school. If students’ curricular choices have been limited or disrupted by school closure or access to online platforms for instruction, the Admissions Committee will take this into account in evaluating the overall strength of the high school program. Students who have been home-schooled, have attended foreign high schools or have pursued a unique educational program, are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions about submitting other evidence of their academic preparation for college. (This does not refer to students whose attendance at a physical school was interrupted by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.)