Silicon Valley Semester Program - FAQs
What is the Silicon Valley Program?
CMC launched this innovative undergraduate internship program in Silicon Valley, whose overall governance is based in the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance. The Silicon Valley Program (SVP) is a semester-length off-campus study option for students from The Claremont Colleges.
Modeled on CMC’s 40+ year academic and internship program in Washington, DC, students will earn four units of credit for this program as follows:
- A full-credit internship at a corporate or nonprofit industry location in Silicon Valley or in the San Francisco area (ECON 030 CM)
- Two full-credit seminar courses in Economics including Industrial Organization and Quantitative Data Analysis (ECON 165 CM and ECON 123 CM)
- A full-credit independent research course (ECON 199 CM)
Who is eligible to apply?
While all 5C students are welcome to apply, the selection committee seeks full-time, 5C, undergraduate students who will be juniors/3rd year and who have at least a 9.0 (B) cumulative grade point average. Intermediate Microeconomics (ECON 101) or equivalent is a pre-requisite for the PROGRAM but not for application. Permission for exceptions to these requirements will be determined by the Dean, Robert Day School.
What if I'm not a CMC Student?
Pomona Students: Pomona College students have done very well on the Program. Pomona will not grant course credit for the internship. With careful planning, Pomona students should receive the other three units of credit. Check with the Pomona College Registrar or contact the SVP program director for more information.
Scripps Students: Scripps College is taking petitions on a case-by-case basis. Deadlines for Scripps College petitions are well in advance of the deadline for the SVP program. In addition, the Scripps College Office of Off-Campus Study is requesting that interested students apply for SVP only in the Spring semester. Consult with the Scripps College Office of Off-Campus Study.
Harvey Mudd Students: Please consult with the SVP program director.
Pitzer Students: Pitzer College will review petitions for SVP in the middle of the Fall semester of the year preceding travel. So, for instance, if you want to apply for the SVP for Fall 2014 or Spring 2015, you must apply through Pitzer College’s Office of Off-Campus Study by mid-Fall of 2013. Please consult with the Pitzer College Office of Off-Campus Study immediately.
Can I apply even if my GPA is not quite 9.0?
Yes. Students with a GPA slightly below 9.0 may apply, but the application process is competitive and the selection committee will be looking for other qualities that compel them to move such candidates forward. We encourage you to remain in Claremont, raise your GPA and apply again for a later semester.
Can I apply even if I am applying or have participated on the ITAB Networking Trip?
Yes. Because the ITAB Networking Trip is separate from the SVP, students are eligible to apply for either or both. Each will have its own applications and deadlines. Priority for the ITAB trip or the SVP will not be given based upon participation in the other program.
I am an international student. May I attend the SVP?
Yes. International students must take an additional step to ensure that they apply for their I-20 prior to the beginning of their semester in Silicon Valley. There are only two requirements: 1) submit your offer letter from your internship sponsor, and 2) submit proof that you are enrolled in an internship. Consult your international representative or the Program Director for more details.
Where will I intern?
Students may intern at a variety of corporations or organizations in the area. We have verbal agreements with several prestigious organizations and we are collaborating with more organizations as we progress with program development. To view our previous internship sponsors, click here.
I already have an internship. Does this mean I will have priority acceptance to the program?
No. While students may have contacts in the area and/or already have internship offers, CMC does not grant priority acceptance into the program.
I want to find my own internship. Can I?
The Program intends to have pre-approved placements for students that can serve as appropriate internship sites. If you prefer to seek an alternative to the pre-approved sites, consult with the Program Director to ensure the internship meets all expectations for SVP credit.
Will my courses and internship count towards my major requirements?
Yes, most likely. CMC Economics majors may count Econ 165 and Econ 123 as two level-II major elective courses, and Econ 199 as a level-I major elective course. Credit for the internship will be counted as an elective towards graduation. Students from the other Claremont Colleges should consult with their respective Registrar prior to committing to the Program.
I'm not a CMC Economics major. Can I still apply?
Yes. Students from all majors and all of the Claremont Colleges are encouraged to apply.
Can I get major elective credit if I'm not a CMC Economics major?
Possibly. Non-CMC Economics majors are encouraged to consult with their major department chair to determine whether they may satisfy any major requirements on this program. Both the internship and the full-credit independent research course can possibly fulfill credit in a different department.
What will my schedule be?
Economics 165 and 123 will be taught on Saturdays (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.), allowing students to focus on the internship experience during the work week. See the program semester calendar for more details. Lunches will be paid for by SVP.
What if I have already taken Economics 165? Can I still apply?
No. Because all students must enroll in the full course load while on the SVP and CMC does not award credit for taking the same course twice. If you have already completed Econ 165, you are not eligible for the program.
Who will teach the courses?
The Robert Day School of Economics and Finance hires Claremont Colleges faculty to teach Silicon Valley Program courses. Some courses may incorporate guest lecturers and business practitioners from time to time. For more information, visit the program’s Courses page
Can I take my courses credit/no-credit?
Each college Registrar will determine which classes may be taken for a letter grade or Credit/No Credit. Please consult with your college's Registrar.
Will my grades be calculated into my GPA?
Yes. Students should consult with the Registrar at their home campus for specific information about course credits, grades, etc.
How much will the program cost?
The Program Director is working to ensure that all program costs are less than or equal to the cost of attending your home institution. Tuition, room, and activity charges will be paid to CMC. Board charges will be assumed by the participant. Check the program's cost page for more information. [NOTE: some students may be able to live outside of Program-secured housing; in these cases, the room charges will not be billed.]
Will I receive my financial aid while I'm on the program?
SVP is an approved off-campus CMC program option. Therefore, CMC students receive their current financial aid package for the SVP based on a semester of CMC tuition, fees, and room and board costs. Any excess funds will be used by the student to pay for on-site housing, meals, and transportation. Students from other Claremont Colleges should consult with the Program Director and their College's office of Off-Campus Study.
Will my internship be paid or unpaid?
Most firms are prepared to pay you for your internship, but compensation is not guaranteed. CMC students will receive academic credit for their internship. Other college policies may prohibit students from receiving both course credit AND compensation. Check with your registrar.
Where will I live?
The Program Director has secured apartments at the Oakwood Apartments in Mountain View, CA. Please see more details on the program's housing page. Some students may be able to live outside of Program-secured housing. Please consult with the Program Director.
How do I pay rent and utilities?
All housing expenses are included, including utilities and apartment amenities. You must only budget for food, transportation, and entertainment expenses.
Is local transportation provided?
No. SVP participants will be responsible for getting themselves to and from work via public transportation, private vehicle, carpooling, or, if available, participating in company van pools.
What if I get sick or need a doctor?
Students will have access to primary health care through their regular health insurance. Students without health insurance through their families will be required to have CMC health insurance.
Will there be an on-site Program Director?
Yes. CMC has hired a Program Director and Program Coordinator to facilitate student integration into the area, assist with housing, manage the orientation including safety and health information, oversee extra-curricular activities, and supervise the independent research course. Bios and contact information may be found here.
How do I apply?
Students will complete the SVP Application, which includes personal information, short answer questions, one essay, one letter of recommendation, a current transcripts, and a current resume. Students whose applications pass the first round of review will be interviewed by the SVP selection committee. The application can be found here