Harvey Mudd College
A national leader in educating leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Harvey Mudd College is an unusually distinctive school. There are few colleges with very high powered STEM programs that are also residential undergraduate colleges.
Harvey Mudd College seeks to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians well versed in all of these areas and in the humanities and the social sciences so that they may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society.
The academic program is structured. Harvey Mudd College insists that students complete a broad array of courses in all the major areas of science and mathematics. This helps students make better informed decisions about their major choice, it encourages students to work collaboratively, and it helps students see the links between disciplines. HMC students must also complete a significant education in Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. All students must fulfill a distribution but also a “concentration” – similar to a minor – as a graduation requirement. Each major requires a capstone experience that would involve either an independent Senior Thesis or a group project call Clinic in which a team of 4-5 students solve a live problem for an industrial client or government agency. In a typical year, there are about 40 different projects and about 10 patent disclosures come from the student efforts.
Governed by a student-led Honor Code, the small numbers of students and the close interactions with faculty develop an atmosphere of trust and of responsibility.
Harvey Mudd College is also a member of the only planned consortium of colleges in the USA. There are 7 schools in the Claremont Consortium, of which 5, including HMC, are undergraduate colleges. Students frequently take courses at neighboring colleges through “cross-registration” agreements; students can have meals at dining commons throughout the consortium; and most of the clubs, activities or social events are open to students from any member institution. The 775 HMC students thus enjoy the virtues of a small college with accessible faculty who advise, teach, and mentor students, and also the resources of a mid-sized university with over 2500 courses, well over 200 student clubs, and social outlets.
Harvey Mudd College is need-blind in admission for US citizens or Permanent Residents, and meets 100% of each student’s demonstrated need. About 30% of all admitted students receive one or some combination of merit awards. HMC graduates are among the highest paid in the country, and HMC sends the highest proportion of her graduates on to PhD programs of any undergraduate college in the country.