Frequently Asked Questions

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance rates are calculated by taking the number of students offered admission to Pitzer in a given year by the number of completed applications received by Pitzer in that same year. As Pitzer has become more popular, our acceptance rate has improved because there are more and more students applying to Pitzer. Also, Admissions has worked hard to determine which prospective students will be the best “fit” for Pitzer based all the materials they receive from a prospective. This year, Pitzer has a 12.9% Acceptance Rate.

Yield Rate

The next step in the process of becoming a Pitzer student is reflected in the Yield Rate. The number of students who accept our offer of admission are divided by the number of students who were offered an acceptance to Pitzer. Again, as Pitzer has become more popular as a student’s first choice, we have seen our Yield Rates improve drastically. Our most recent Yield Rate was at 45%.

Retention & Graduation Rates

Pitzer regularly monitors our students progress toward the completion of a degree. One of the major metrics reported out to the federal government and other agencies, such as US News, is the Freshman Retention Rate. This looks at the number of students who return for their 2nd year out of the total number of students in a given Freshman cohort. An important note here is that this only includes what are known as First-Time, Full-Time Freshman. These are students who enrolled as a full-time student for the first time at Pitzer College who intend to obtain a degree from Pitzer. Transfers and students who have returned to College after taking extended time off do not factor into these calculations. The most recent Freshman Retention Rate was at 95%, which is the best in Pitzer’s history.

Related to retention, Graduation Rates show the percentage of Full-Time, First-Time students from a given cohort who graduate within a specific timeframe. Nationally, the standard is to report 6-year graduation rates, however, Pitzer is very interested in our 4-year graduation rates as a liberal arts college. The trends for our Graduation Rates have been steadily improving over the years, which has been a major factor in Pitzer’s increased rankings in US News.

Student-Faculty Ratio

The student-faculty ratio is a standardized metric that is not always the most reflective measure of how many students are in a class or how many advisees a faculty member has, especially at Pitzer. The student-faculty ratio is calculated using the following formula for students who are on-campus during the fall semester.


1 (# of Full-Time students) + 1/3(# of Part-Time students)


1 (# of Tenure/Tenure-Track faculty) + 1(# of Full-Time, Non Tenure-Track Faculty) + 1/3(# of Part-Time Faculty)

Student/Faculty Ratio = Total # of students/Total # of faculty

Pitzer currently has a 10:1 student/faculty ratio based on these calculations. This will fluctuate depending on the size of the incoming class, number of on-campus students retained from previous years, and the number of faculty in a given fall semester. The important issue here for Pitzer is that though this calculation is based only on our students, students from the other Claremont Colleges are able to take Pitzer courses. The chart shows that there are differences between the student/faculty ratio calculation and the average class size or the average number of Pitzer students a faculty member advises.

Academic Affairs

As the size of the student body and faculty have grown, it has been a priority for the college to ensure that the Academic Affairs budget increases as well. Over the last 9 years, the Academic Affairs Budget has increased by over 60%. These increases have ensured smaller class sizes, quality faculty, and the support staff needed to offer a great Pitzer education.

Financial Aid

Another area of importance for Pitzer has been financial aid. The chart shows just how committed Pitzer is to trying to help students attend this College. In a time where state funding has decreased by 48%, Pitzer has increased the amount of funding available by 67%. The money Pitzer offers to students has always been the bedrock of our ability to offer aid to students and is supported by our generous donors: Trustees, Alumni, Parents, and other members of the Pitzer community.