First-Year Applicants

Harvey Mudd College is postponing our launch of the new Coalition for College-Scoir application. We will only be accepting the Common App in 2022–23.

Required Materials

  • Common Application. A personal essay is required for either application. Harvey Mudd does not have a preference between the two applications.
  • $70 application fee or fee waiver. Fee waivers are available to those who demonstrate financial need. Request a fee waiver through the Common Application or Coalition Application. The application platform may ask your counselor to complete a fee waiver form to affirm your request. We also honor fee waivers from the ACT, College Board, and NACAC.
  • Required Additional Writing. An additional essay and short answer response is required.
    1. “Scientific research is a human endeavor. The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families. The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” – Dr. Clifton Poodry. How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve, the people you want to work with, and the impact you hope your work can have?
      (500 words or less)
    2. Many students choose HMC because they don’t want to give up their interests in the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts – or HSA as we call it at HMC. Briefly describe what you’d like to learn about in your dream HSA class. (100 words or less)
  • School Report submitted by your counselor
  • Counselor Recommendation (when available)
  • Teacher Recommendation from a math or science teacher
  • Teacher Recommendation from a humanities, social sciences or arts teacher
  • Official High School Transcript
  • College/University Transcript (if applicable). This is not required for any ungraded college enrichment program/courses.

Optional Materials

HMC reserves the right to evaluate an application and render a final decision even if all pieces of the application have not been received.

Preparing for Harvey Mudd

We will always consider your academic profile within the context of your high school and what it offers. This means we won’t penalize you for not taking certain courses because they aren’t available and don’t need you to take every advanced class your school offers. However, taking challenging classes throughout high school will not only support your chance for admission, but also position you for success at Harvey Mudd. We hope you will choose an appropriately challenging curriculum throughout high school and offer this guidance:

Requirements (for enrollment)+

  • One year of high school chemistry
  • One year of high school physics
  • One year of high school calculus

+ If you are not able to complete these courses before high school graduation, we may offer you conditional admission and you will need to complete a one-semester college course and earn a B or better in order to enroll.


  • Four years of English
  • Two years of social sciences including history
  • Two years of a foreign language

Early Decision vs. Regular Decision

With Early Decision, you let us know we’re your top choice, and we give you a decision earlier than the rest of our applicant pool. Compare the information below to decide if Early Decision is right for you.

Early Decision

You apply earlier than our regular application date and promise that if Harvey Mudd College accepts you, Harvey Mudd is where you will attend school meaning this is a binding program. If admitted, you’ll withdraw applications to other colleges and won’t start new ones. Please remember you’re only allowed to apply to one school Early Decision. (You may apply Early Action to other schools as long as you are not violating their policies.)

Early Decision lets you wrap up your college plans earlier in the school year, but we’ll still ask for those final semester grades and expect you to continue demonstrating the academic success we witnessed in your application.

In the past few years, about 40% of our incoming class entered through Early Decision.

Regular Decision

When you apply through the Regular Decision program, you simply apply by our regular application date. Regular Decision may be right for you if you need more time to get your application ready or maybe you have your eye on a few schools and want more time to weigh your options. Just remember: Many more students apply for Regular Decision admission than Early Decision so it takes us longer to evaluate these applications.

About 40% of the first-year class will have entered Early Decision so a larger pool of applicants competes for a smaller number of spaces in the first-year class. We want to see grades from the first term of your senior year before we make a final decision.

Home-schooled Students

As a home-schooled student, your application process and requirements are the same as any other first-year applicant to the College. The process begins by completing the Common Application or Coalition Application.

What we are thinking as we consider your application

  • Did you follow an established curriculum and if so, from which source?
  • Did you take courses at local high schools or colleges?
  • Have you completed lab science courses? How were they taken?
  • What texts did you use? What about online resources or learning communities?
  • Who evaluated your work and overall learning progress?

Other Helpful Information

  • A detailed curriculum guide
  • Official transcripts for high school or college courses you’ve completed
  • Participation in group activities as evidence of wanting to be a part of an active, collaborative community


Please check our Application FAQs before emailing