Harvey Mudd College

Feb 28, 2011

Harvey Mudd is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) powerhouse of the Claremont Colleges consortium


(which also includes undergraduate colleges Pomona, Scripps, Pitzer and Claremont McKenna and 2 graduate colleges).  HMC is a small private residential college located in the suburban city of Claremont, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles.  While it is known as one of the top science and engineering colleges in the nation, Harvey Mudd is different than its rivals such as Cal Tech, MIT and UC Berkeley in 2 key areas: (a)  it offers a liberal arts education in addition to its technology:  30% of the college’s curriculum is humanities and students need to declare a humanities concentration; and, (b) it is an undergraduate college only.   Mudders say these differences result in a broad education and a faculty that is focused on teaching.

After completing HMC’s core curriculum, 756 undergraduate students can choose from 9 majors in math, science and engineering and 3 joint programs in mathematical biology, chemistry and biology and computer science and mathematics.  2,340 students applied to the class of 2013 and 32% were admitted.  The ratio of men to women is 64: 36.  Mid-50% SAT scores are  2,085 – 2,310.  Mid-50% SAT Math2 (required) are 760-800.  Another SAT subject test of the student’s choosing is also required. Mid-50% ACT composite are 32-35. 35% of the class of 2013 were valedictorians or salutatorians and 54 were National Merit Finalists.

HMC has 3 ways to apply: 2 binding Early Decision programs and a Regular Decision program.  25-30% of their freshman class is from Early Decision.  Interviews are recommended and 2 academic recommendations (one in Math/Science, the other in Humanities) in addition to the counselor recommendation are required.  During our information session, the Admissions Officer shared her top 3 pet peeves:  a resume that is too long, a personal statement that was only self-edited, and recommendation overkill.

Check Harvey Mudd College out if science, math and engineering is your passion, but want a broad liberal arts education in a collaborative community bound by a student-run honor code, taught by professors, who are highly respected and yet very accessible.


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