The Only Transdisciplinary Graduate University in Claremont, and the World: Claremont Graduate University

As part of the Claremontian’s ongoing series covering all 9 of the Claremont Colleges and Universities,we spoke with Claremont Graduate University’s Communications Director Esther Wiley to find out what makes CGU so unique, both in Claremont and in the academic world. 

When asked of  for a phrase to describe Claremont Graduate University, Communications Director Esther Wiley thought for a while, then came up with two words: “unique” and “transdisciplinary.” How is CGU “unique?” Well, that brings up the second term Wiley used, “ transdisciplinary.” Claremont Graduate University is the only transdisciplinary, graduate-only university in both Claremont and the world. CGU, with its current realignment, is both expanding and going back to its roots. CGU has five schools with numerous areas of study: Arts and Humanities, Religion, Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Education, Politics and Economics, Community and Global Health, Mathematical Sciences, Information Systems and Technology, and Business Management. These are just a few of the more than 20 unique areas of study.

As far as making a positive impact on the world, CGU’s faculty engages in innovative research that is real-world based, and also offers students opportunities for involvement. However, students at CGU do not just stay confined to their immediate area of study and research within a school.  That is where the “transdicisciplinary” aspect comes in. CGU PhD candidates are required to take a “T-class”, a  transdisciplinary course in a subject area not directly related to their degree of study. This, according to Wiley, sets CGU graduates apart,as they know how to look at situations in different perspectives, whether they are working as teachers, researchers, or businesspeople.

What else makes the experience of the 2000 current CGU students so unique, and why is Claremont Graduate University one of the most popular graduate schools in America? Well, for one, Wiley told us, CGU is for those who are looking to continue their education in a smaller, more intimate setting, but with the resources of a larger university, and with a unique, liberal arts approach to graduate study and research. Claremont Graduate University, once the  manager of the Claremont University Consortium, is now a thriving member of the Claremont’s University Consortium as well as a top-tier member and forerunner in the universal world of education.

Jacky Yao, author/editor of the Claremontian, can be reached at