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Welcome to the Berger Institute

The Berger Institute at Claremont McKenna College provides the intellectual and experiential home for research and programming focused on contemporary social issues. The Berger Institute produces and disseminates high quality research with implications for policy, practical applications and theory.

In particular, our central theme for research and programming in the next few years is How We Thrive. Our research will focus on understanding risk and resilience factors, while our programming will emphasize the development and cultivation of skills that are necessary for successful adaptation in a rapidly changing society. We will focus our research on individual and social factors that impact how children develop, how families thrive, and how people navigate major transitions and milestones. Examples of our work include understanding how to nurture the well- being of  individuals from wide range of social – economic and demographic background (including gender, culture, race, age), the changing nature of gender and family roles, and understanding the demographic, technological, financial, and political changes impacting our society today.

Our Mission

The Berger Institute was established in 2001. The Institute takes a multi-level analysis of approach in investigating individual, social, and contextual predictors of development and well-being. The focus of the Institute is dynamic, as it addresses contemporary and relevant social issues. The research agenda is driven by the vision of each incoming director. The Institute’s current focus can be found here.

In general, the Berger Institute supports high-quality interdisciplinary research by talented CMC professors, which will lead to publishing opportunities; provides challenging and stimulating educational experiences for CMC students from freshman year through graduation, resulting in high-quality student work and publishing opportunities; and connects the wider CMC community, including alumni and parents of students to provide practical information about successful development and change.

Faculty Affiliates

The Berger Institute has worked diligently to recruit an interdisciplinary group of CMC faculty affiliates who examine various topics on work and family from various disciplines including economics, psychology, history, government and literature. We promote and support our faculty affiliates and their students through summer grants and student funding. Students who work with these faculty members engage in meaningful and valuable roles.


Student research assistants work with faculty and staff on research projects assisting with literature review, data collection, data analysis, and research. Research assistants often have the opportunity to write, publish, and present their own research. For more information on our current research please contact our Research coordinator.

Women & Leadership Alliance

The Berger Institute is part of the Women & Leadership Alliance, a joint 5-college endeavor to support and promote student programs at the Claremont Colleges that highlight issues faced by women in leadership in business, government, science, and various other professions.

Berger Institute Research Grant

This grant supports and expands the ongoing research of CMC students by helping to defray the costs of a specific, student-led project. The recipient is required to conduct research under the supervision of, or in collaboration with, a faculty member. The proposed project should reflect the student’s current research interest and may include research for the student’s senior thesis. While the topic should address contemporary social issues (broadly defined), all disciplines and research methodologies are encouraged and welcome to apply. The award amount varies according to the scope and subject of the project.

Summer Internships

The Berger Institute partners with industry and non-profit organizations to offer exciting summer internships on various topics related to work and family research and/or policy. These internships provide students with real world experience and exposure to how companies deal with and manage work/family issues among their employees.