Founded in 1926 by a pioneering philanthropist and influential figure in the worlds of education, publishing, and women’s rights, Ellen Browning Scripps, who believed that "the paramount obligation of a college, is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully."
Scripps College is frequently described as one of America’s most beautiful college campuses and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Scripps is a member of the Claremont Colleges. Students attending Scripps College are welcome to cross-register for classes at or enroll in the majors of any of the undergraduate schools at theClaremont Colleges. This unique collaboration across the colleges allows Scripps students to choose from more than 60 majors and 2,000 courses each semester, giving them a wide breadth of study while emphasizing the small liberal arts college experience. Top majors for 2013-14 include art, biology, economics, English, French studies, math, politics, and psychology. Classes average 16 students, with an overall student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1. Indeed, more than 21% choose to double or dual major by the time they graduate. All courses are taught by faculty.

Academics are focused on interdisciplinary humanistic studies, combined with rigorous training in the disciplines. General requirements include classes in mathematics, fine arts, letters, natural sciences, social sciences, foreign language, women's/gender studies, and race/ethnic studies. Scripps also requires first-year students to take a writing course, “Writing 50.” Each graduating student must complete a senior thesis or project.