There are three application deadlines for admission to the first-year class. The Early Decision I deadline is November 15 with notification sent by December 15. The second round of Early Decision applications has a deadline of January 2 with notifications sent by February 15. Regular Decision candidates apply by January 2, are notified by April 1 and must respond to the offer of admission by May 1. All acceptances are contingent upon satisfactory completion of the final term in good standing in all matters related to course work and character.
First-year students can apply for entrance only in the fall semester. Every candidate is responsible for ensuring that all credentials are received by the application deadline. If any questions arise about the application, the staff in the Office of Admission is available for advice and counsel to all students and their parents.
Common Application — All candidates for admission should apply using the Common Application as well as the HMC Supplement to the Common Application. Forms can be found by visiting www.commonapp.org or by using the links provided on the HMC Admission website. Common Applications are also available from most high school guidance offices.
Application Fee — The admission application should be accompanied by a $60 application fee, which covers part of the cost of processing the application. It is not refundable. Students who have unusual financial need should not be discouraged from applying, but should file their admission applications accompanied by an ATP Fee Waiver form or a letter from the high school counselor requesting that the fee be waived.
Counselor and Teacher Recommendations — These are confidential reports by the school counselor and by classroom teachers. The secondary school report is completed by a high school counselor. A mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology teacher should complete a second recommendation. A third recommendation must be completed by an English, history or foreign language instructor. These recommendation forms are found on the common application web site: www.commonapp.org. Applicants may submit more than the required number of recommendations, if they wish, but should not make substitutions. Students should be judicious in the number of additional recommendations submitted.
Official Transcripts — Applicants must submit transcripts from high school work through the junior year. A transcript showing work completed in the first semester or first trimester of the senior year should also be sent as soon as those marks are available. Students must also file transcripts for any college courses completed. A final official transcript confirming graduation and good standing at the conclusion of the school year is also required of any enrolling student.
Standardized Tests — Every first-year applicant is required to take the College Board SAT or the ACT exam (including the writing component). All applicants are also required to take two SAT Subject Tests: Math Level 2 and a second exam of the candidate’s choice. Early Decision I applicants may take the SAT or ACT Reasoning Test and/or Subject Tests as late as the November test date. Applicants for the second round of Early Decision may submit scores from tests taken as late as December. Regular Decision applicants may take the SAT tests as late as the January test date or the ACT exam as late as the December test date.
Candidates must register with the College Board or ACT, Inc. to take the tests, which are offered several times a year all over the world. The Admission Committee will only accept and review official score reports submitted by the College Board or ACT, Inc.
Starting in Spring 2009, students taking the SAT may consider the option of sending only selected score reports to colleges. HMC’s policy requires students to send all SAT and/or ACT scores.
In evaluating the application, the Admission Committee places more weight on the student’s curriculum and grades than on test scores. We will only use the highest score from any one test to put the application in the best possible light.
Personal Interview — Interviews are not required but are strongly recommended. They provide an excellent opportunity for applicants to learn more about Harvey Mudd College. They also allow a member of the admission staff to get to know applicants better. Typically, interviews occur during the fall of, or in the summer just before, a student’s senior year.
It should be noted that there is no need to postpone an interview until all credentials are on file. Simply call the Office of Admission at 909.621.8011, at least one week in advance for an appointment. The office is open weekdays throughout the year and on most Saturdays from September through November. Anyone is welcome to tour the campus.
Applicants are expected to complete a strong program of studies in the course of their secondary school preparations. Each enrolling student is required to complete one year of high school or one semester of college course work in calculus, chemistry and physics. Students who are unable to complete any of these courses may be admitted contingent upon successful completion of a summer college course in that discipline. Applicants who will have not completed the requirements should make this fact known at the time of their applications. The Admission Committee encourages students to pursue advanced course work, especially in science and mathematics, if their preparation allows.
English — Four years. It is assumed that the student will have a thorough grounding in grammar and competence in writing and speaking.
Mathematics — Calculus is required before entering in the fall.
Laboratory Science — At least one year of chemistry and one year of physics are required before entering in the fall. One year of biology is recommended.
Foreign Language — Two years recommended.
Social Science — Applicants are encouraged to elect at least two years of social science courses, including at least one year of history.
Freshman Early Decision
First-time college candidates who decide that Harvey Mudd College is clearly their first choice are encouraged to use one of the Early Decision options. This will allow them to resolve their college choice earlier in their senior year. Early Decision candidates should submit all their credentials by November 15. Students who apply under an Early Decision plan may only have one Early Decision application currently active at any one time. This means that a student may only use the Early Decision option at HMC if other Early Decision applications to other colleges have been closed. Early Decision is a binding decision. Applicants admitted through Early Decision are expected to withdraw all other college applications, to not initiate new ones and to enroll at Harvey Mudd College. Students sign a statement along with the high school counselor verifying that all other college applications have been withdrawn. Students who are unsure about their choice for college should not use an Early Decision option, but should instead apply by the Regular Decision deadline of January 2. Early Decision candidates should submit all of their credentials by November 15 for Early Decision I or by January 2 for Early Decision II.
In considering Early Decision applicants, the Admission Committee may vote in one of three ways: it may accept the Early Decision candidate, it may postpone action, or it may deny admission. An early application is denied if the committee feels that no other decision would be possible in the spring. If a decision is postponed, applicants’ chances for acceptance are not prejudiced in any way, and the application is considered along with all Regular Decision candidates. Students whose decisions are postponed are released from the agreement (obligation to enroll) that was signed in the Early Decision Statement.
Early Decision I candidates who wish to apply for financial aid must file their online College Scholarship Service (CSS)/ Financial Aid PROFILE application by November 15. The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is available via the College Board's website. Also, by November 15, students must submit a signed copy of their parents' federal income tax return from the previous year. These tax forms should be sent directly to the Office of Financial Aid. Please refer to the Financial Aid section for more information. For information about applying for financial aid as an Early Decision candidate, please see the financial aid website.
Candidates who are accepted for admission may petition to delay (or defer) their entrance for a year. They should write to the Office of Admission describing their plans and must submit their commitment deposits by May 1. Once a request is approved, space is reserved for the next fall semester. Students may not enroll in a degree program at another college during this interval and they may not initiate any new applications.
The procedure for the admission of students from foreign countries is essentially the same as the procedure for domestic students. International applicants must submit all official credentials in English or with translations. In addition, international students must show that they are sufficiently fluent in English to enable them to handle the work of all courses. Harvey Mudd College does not offer English as a Second Language or other special programs for non-English speaking foreign students.
Scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are required. The minimum score for the TOEFL examination is 600 (paper test) or 100 iBT (internet Based Test). While Harvey Mudd College offers funding for some international students, financial aid for foreign students is extremely limited.
Students are considered for transfer standing if they will have completed the equivalent of one year of full-time academic course work by the time they enter Harvey Mudd College. Candidates must submit their applications by April 1 prior to the September of desired enrollment. Notices of the committee’s decisions are mailed by May 15 and response regarding the offer of admission is required by June 10. Candidates who have applied previously to HMC should make that known when contacting the Office of Admission about transferring.
In addition to high school transcripts, two personal essays and the application fee, transfer candidates must submit transcripts from secondary school and of all previous college work, along with course descriptions of all college courses completed or in progress. At least one of the three required references must come from a mathematics, science or engineering instructor at the candidate’s college. Students must present an official statement indicating that they left their previous college in good standing academically and socially. Transfer candidates are strongly encouraged to submit two SAT Subject Tests (Math Level 2 and another of the student’s choice).
In assessing transfer applications, the Admission Committee places considerable weight on the nature and quality of the previous college record. Where college transcripts do not clearly indicate the quality of work (e.g., many pass/no credit courses), it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide supplemental information to assist the committee’s evaluation.
All transfer students must spend the equivalent of four full-time semesters at HMC and must complete all HMC degree requirements.
The college policy on awarding credit for work completed elsewhere is described under “Academic Regulations.” Offers of admission are conditional, pending review of final transcripts showing satisfactory completion of courses in progress.
HMC offers a 3-2 Program in Economics and Engineering in cooperation with Claremont McKenna College. The program is designed for students who want a liberal arts background, with emphasis on economics and management, and an engineering major. The students spend their first three years at Claremont McKenna College studying mathematics, science, economics, management and general education courses. At the end of the junior year, they may apply as transfer students to HMC.
HMC also has a 3-2 program in Engineering with Scripps College. It is similar to the 3-2 program with Claremont McKenna College, but the 3-2 Program with Scripps College does not include the emphasis on economics. The students reside at Scripps College for their first three years and cover a broad range of courses with emphasis in mathematics and science.
Students accepted into either 3-2 program must complete HMC’s requirements for general education and for the engineering major. Because curricular expectations for the 3-2 transfer program are specific, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Harvey Mudd College Office of Admission as well as the chairperson of the Department of Engineering.
Candidates who are veterans of the armed services should submit a copy of their honorable discharge papers along with the other required credentials.
The Admission Committee recognizes that advanced placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and honors courses are often more demanding than conventional courses and gives appropriate weight to them in the selection process. Please refer to the Academic Regulations section for details about HMC's policy for awarding credit or placement out of HMC courses.
Courses for High School Students
Local high school students may be permitted to take a small selection of HMC mathematics and science courses if such courses are not offered in their high schools. These students must have excellent academic credentials and submit a "special student application" no later than two weeks prior to the start of classes. Selection is made by the Office of Admission after reviewing the application and following consultation with the appropriate academic department(s). These students are not considered to be in residence. Charges for special course work are nominal, reflecting only the administrative processing costs, not the cost of instruction. The Office of Admission can provide details on fees for the coming year.
Students and their parents are encouraged to visit Harvey Mudd College, especially when classes are in session. Tours, class visits, interviews and overnight stays are available. Please contact the Office of Admission at 909.621.8011 or visit the HMC website to arrange a visit and get directions.
Of the 196 students who enrolled as HMC first-year students in September 2007, 187 returned to register in September 2008 for a freshman retention rate of 95 percent. Of the 192 students who enrolled as first-year students in 2003, 174 have graduated as of May 17, 2009 for a six-year graduation rate of 91 percent.