Application FAQ

Below is a list of commonly asked questions about the application process. If you do not find the answers to your questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Admission.

The Application Process

When is the latest I can send SAT subject tests, SAT or ACT results and still have them considered for admission?

Early Decision I – November test date
Early Decision II – December test date
Regular Decision – December test date

Can I submit additional letters of recommendation?

We will accept additional letters of recommendation. Applicants should only submit additional recommendations if they believe these will add something significantly different to the rest of their application file. We also advise against sending multiple additional recommendations, as we already require three letters (counselor, math or science teacher and humanities or social science teacher). Letters of recommendation begin to lose their meaning after the fourth or fifth one. Additional letters of recommendation should ideally come from someone who knows you in a different context than your counselor or high school teachers, such as a pastor, manager or college professor.

How important is the interview in the application process?

Completing an admission interview gives us an additional layer of information and adds a personal touch to your application file. Since the interview is not required, it is not counted against you if you are unable to complete one. That said, we strongly encourage students to complete an interview if they have the opportunity to do so, especially for those living in the Southern California area. More information on scheduling an admission interview is available in the Connect section.

What do you look for in essays?

The essay should demonstrate your abilities to write and think. Start early to produce an essay that is well written, articulate and organized.

Avoid using your essay to list your activities and achievements. Instead, show how those interests and activities affect your goals. Or you might elaborate on experiences or insights you’ve gained that influence your outlook toward others and your work. We want to know about you to determine how well you might fit into our community.

If I’m admitted, can I defer my enrollment for a year to travel or work?

The answer is usually yes. You may request deferred enrollment when submitting your Admission Response Form in the HMC Applicant Hub. During your deferment year, you may not enroll as a matriculated student at another college or apply to other colleges.

Can students apply for Early Admission to Harvey Mudd College?

Yes. Early Admission (as opposed to Early Decision or Early Action or Early Notification) allows students to leave high school before senior year to attend college. It’s designed for students who have exhausted their high school curriculum and are prepared to move on to college.

If you’re considering Early Admission, consult with your school counselor. Your application will probably be stronger if your school supports your decision. A diploma is not required for consideration for Early Admission, but we strongly encourage any enrolling student to provide a high school diploma or equivalent.

In considering your application, we will hold you to the same standard of academic preparation, extracurricular accomplishment and social maturity as your fellow candidates who will have had more time to prepare. That said, we’ve had success in enrolling younger students, including one of our Rhodes Scholars.

Does Harvey Mudd enroll new students in the spring?

No. We enroll new students only in the fall semester.

Does Harvey Mudd gauge prospective students on the basis of their major choice?

There is no advantage or disadvantage for a Harvey Mudd student choosing a major earlier in his or her career. Students have until the end of their second year to declare a major, and because many change their major choices while enrolled here, the Office of Admission pays little attention to the majors declared by applicants.

Are waivers available for the application fee?

Your guidance counselor can send us an official fee waiver form from the College Board. If an official fee waiver form is not available, your counselor may write us a brief note explaining your financial circumstances and requesting the waiver.

I attend high school in the U.S., but I’m not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Do I apply as a domestic student or an international applicant?

If you’re not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must apply as an international student.

I’m a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident), but attend secondary school overseas. Am I considered an international applicant?

We’d consider you along with other domestic applicants, but we understand that you may have had a different set of academic and personal experiences than our domestic applicants. This could be an advantage in the selection process because your experiences may add a new dimension to intellectual and residential life on campus.