The Hidden Gem of STEM: Harvey Mudd

09/05/202320 minute read
The Hidden Gem of STEM: Harvey Mudd

Familiarizing yourself with the landscape of top universities in the United States is an essential step in determining the best college to aspire to. Luckily, there are many universities in the country with exceptional reputations, promising career prospects, and vibrant campus cultures.

Harvey Mudd College is one such institution, and in this blog, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the college, including its world rankings, admission requirements, acceptance rate, and answers to commonly asked questions.

Harvey Mudd College in a Glance

Harvey Mudd College is a small, private, liberal arts college located in Claremont, California. Founded in 1955, the college has quickly established itself as one of the top universities in the United States, particularly in the fields of engineering, computer science, and mathematics.

It’s a highly selective undergraduate institution known for its rigorous curriculum and focus on STEM fields. Despite its strong focus on STEM fields, Harvey Mudd College also offers a comprehensive liberal arts education, requiring students to take courses in humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

This interdisciplinary approach is meant to prepare students not only for successful careers in their chosen fields, but also for a lifetime of critical thinking and problem-solving.

Harvey Mudd’s Ranking

Harvey Mudd College was ranked among the top undergraduate engineering programs in the country and is particularly known for its small class sizes, personalized attention from faculty, and hands-on approach to learning.

In the 2022 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges," Harvey Mudd was ranked as the #2 undergraduate engineering program in the country, behind only the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Harvey Mudd was named a "Top Producer of Fulbright Students" by the U.S. Department of State.

Harvey Mudd’s Acceptance Rate

Harvey Mudd College is one of the most selective undergraduate institutions in the United States. In the fall of 2022, the college received 4,440 applications and admitted only 593 students, resulting in an acceptance rate of just 13.3%.

Harvey Mudd Acceptance Rate
AppliedAdmittedAcceptance Rate

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Harvey Mudd Admission Requirements

Harvey Mudd College accepts the Common Application, which is a standardized application used by over 900 colleges and universities in the United States. The Common Application makes it easy for students to apply to multiple colleges by filling out one application and submitting it to all of the schools on their list.

Here are Harvey Mudd’s different requirements for admission:

1. Academic Requirements

Harvey Mudd College is looking for students who have excelled academically in high school. The college recommends that applicants have taken a challenging curriculum that includes advanced coursework in math, science, and other subjects. The average GPA of admitted students is 4.18. The college does not require the ACT or SAT, but if you choose to submit your scores, the average SAT score is 1530 and the average ACT score is 35.

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2. Extracurricular Activities

In addition to strong academic credentials, Harvey Mudd College is looking for students who have demonstrated leadership, intellectual curiosity, and a commitment to their community. The college encourages applicants to showcase their extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, volunteer work, and research projects. Admissions officers want to see how you have used your skills and talents to make a positive impact on the world around you.

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3. Essays

The essays are a crucial part of the application process at Harvey Mudd College. The college wants to get to know you as a person and learn about your goals, values, and experiences. The application includes two essays: the Common Application essay and a Harvey Mudd-specific essay. The college also gives applicants the option to submit an additional essay, which can be a great opportunity to showcase your writing skills and provide more context about your achievements and interests.

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4. Letters of Recommendation

Harvey Mudd College requires two letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who know you well and can speak to your academic abilities and personal qualities. It's important to choose recommenders who can provide specific examples of your strengths and accomplishments.

5. Interviews

Harvey Mudd College offers optional interviews for applicants. These interviews are a chance to have a conversation with a member of the admissions staff and ask questions about the college and the application process. While interviews are not required, they can be a great way to demonstrate your interest in the college and learn more about what makes Harvey Mudd unique.

Harvey Mudd Required Materials
Required MaterialDetails
Common ApplicationA personal essay is required.
$70 application feeFee waivers are available to those who demonstrate financial need.
Required Additional WritingAn additional essay and short answer response is required.
School ReportSubmitted by the applicant's school counselor
Counselor RecommendationWhen available.
Teacher RecommendationFrom a math or a science teacher.
Teacher RecommendationFrom a humanities, social sciences or arts teacher
TranscriptsYour official high school transcript
Admission InterviewOptional
Standardized Test ScoresOptional

Source: Harvey Mudd College's Official Website

Is Harvey Mudd an Ivy League School?

No, Harvey Mudd is part of the Claremont Colleges, which includes five undergraduate liberal arts colleges:

  • Pomona College
  • Scripps College,
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Pitzer College 

As well as two graduate institutions:

  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Keck Graduate Institute

Located on contiguous campuses in the Southern California city of Claremont, each institution has its own student body, faculty, governance, curricular emphasis, culture, and mission. Across all the universities there are 9,000 students and 3,600 faculty and staff.

The biggest benefit of the Claremont Colleges Consortium is cross-registration. This system allows students to register at any of the colleges within the consortium while only paying tuition fees at their home college.

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These schools share several coordinated academic and service programs, including libraries, health services, museums, research facilities, and student residential housing.

This allows Harvey Mudd College students access to various opportunities on each school's campus, ranging from unique seminars in fields such as cyborg studies or creative intelligence to extended hours in the library for late-night studying sessions.

The Claremont Colleges Consortium also organizes extracurricular activities like special lectures by distinguished speakers and concerts all five campuses are invited to attend. Students can also participate in volunteer activities through the CCSA, the collegiate Student Activities organization that sets up joint events across all five campuses.

Is Harvey Mudd Right For You?

If you're considering applying to Harvey Mudd, it's important to carefully evaluate your goals and interests to determine whether the college is the right fit for you.

In terms of academics goals

One important consideration is your academic background and preparation. Harvey Mudd College is an excellent choice for students who are passionate about STEM fields, and the college is known for its rigorous curriculum, which includes advanced coursework in math, science, and engineering. 

If you have a strong academic record in these subjects and enjoy challenging yourself academically, then Harvey Mudd may be a great fit for you.

However, if you don't have a strong background in STEM fields or prefer a more balanced curriculum, then you may want to consider other colleges that offer a broader range of academic programs.

In terms of campus culture

Another important factor to consider is the campus culture and community. Harvey Mudd has a close-knit community of students and faculty who are passionate about academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. 

The college places a strong emphasis on collaboration and encourages students to work together on research projects, group assignments, and other activities.

If you thrive in a supportive, collaborative environment and are excited about the prospect of working closely with your peers and professors, then Harvey Mudd may be a great fit for you.

However, if you prefer a more independent, self-directed learning style or are looking for a more diverse campus community, then you may want to consider other colleges that better fit your preferences.

Ultimately, the decision to apply to Harvey Mudd College should be based on a careful evaluation of your academic goals, personal interests, and learning style. If you're unsure whether Harvey Mudd is the right fit for you, you’ll want to get expert insight to find the best college for you based on your goals.

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Where is Harvey Mudd College?

Harvey Mudd College is located in Claremont, California, USA.

Does Harvey Mudd have early action?

Yes, Harvey Mudd College offers an Early Action program. The application deadline for Early Action is November 15th, and applicants are typically notified of their admission status in mid-December.

Early Action is non-binding, which means that students who are admitted through this program are not obligated to attend Harvey Mudd and may still apply to other colleges.

Who was Harvey Mudd?

Harvey Mudd was a successful mining engineer and philanthropist who played a key role in the development of Southern California's oil industry in the early 1900s. 

He played a significant role in developing oil fields and refining processes that helped fuel the growth of the oil industry in the region. Mudd was also a devoted philanthropist, donating his time and resources to a variety of causes, including education and medical research.

In 1955, he and his wife, Mildred, donated funds to establish Harvey Mudd College.