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Our Mission

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 mission statement above guides all that we do at Harvey Mudd and is particularly important in our admission process. We understand that the college search process can be confusing and that helping a student determine if he or she is a fit with specific colleges can be particularly challenging. We hope that the this information will help you best students who are considering Harvey Mudd.

It is first important to know that our applicant pool is a remarkably self-selecting one. Because of the College’s focus on STEM, its size and its place within The Claremont Colleges, we are not a college that is normally randomly added on to a student’s college list. Therefore, we are in the luxurious position of choosing amongst students who have done a great deal of the selection process for us. Our job is to thoughtfully read each student’s application in order to create a class of students that will complement each other and who are drawn to the specific aspects of our academic and social community that make us so distinctive.

So what kind of student would thrive at Harvey Mudd?

  • These students have to truly love math, science and/or engineering. They do not have to have specific major or career plans since we give them 2 years before they declare a major, but they have to be fairly certain that their chosen major will fall in the STEM fields.
  • However, they also have to value the importance of the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts (HSA.) Unlike many other high level STEM institutions upwards of 30% of their curriculum will be in HSA, and all students will declare a concentration – just short of a minor – in one of these areas. Economics and music are two of the most popular but any of the fields offered at HMC and the other Claremont Colleges are options. Often students choose HMC because they may love the STEM fields, but they don’t want to give up their other interests.
  • They have to be excited about the idea of collaboration. HMC has been described as the STEM version of “leave no man behind,” and we expect our students to be committed to the success of their peers as well as their own. Our students are kind, supportive, humble and altruistic. We hear often from recommenders that our students were the ones who, despite their own strong performance in class, were eager to help others who were struggling. Because they excel at communicating their knowledge, they are talented tutors and committed peers.
  • Harvey Mudd has long had a reputation of being a somewhat quirky place – think juggling, unicycles, and abundant creativity. While this is still true, a broad range of students can find a home in our community. Our students take their work – but not themselves – seriously.
  • Excellence and Diversity at all Levels. This is one of the 6 themes of the College’s strategic vision, and in recent years, the college has made great strides in diversity of all kinds, particularly in regard to gender. Currently 47% of our students are women. Please note that we also offer fly-in programs and our President’s Scholar Program to support students who are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields.

For more numerical information about our most recent class, please see the profile for the Class of 2019.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

HMC is an exclusive user of the Common Application. We accept official fee waivers from the College Board or NACAC, but we will also accept a counselor note explaining a student’s financial circumstances and requesting the waiver.

Application Review Process

Like many offices, we first read by geography. To determine the staff member responsible for your area, please see here. All files are read carefully with close attention paid to a student’s fit with the College and to a student’s academic preparation. There are a few requirements that may differ from those of many colleges and about which you and your students should be aware.

  • We require that all students have taken a year of calculus, chemistry and physics before enrolling at the college. We do not require that these courses be at any specific level. Very occasionally we will admit students who are missing one of these courses with the understanding that they will take the missing course before they arrive on campus. Given the rigor of our core curriculum, we have found that this preparation is important for students’ success.
  • We require either the SAT or the ACT with the writing option and also require the results of 2 subject tests, one of which must be Math 2. The other can be of the student’s choosing and need not be in a STEM field.
  • In addition to a counselor recommendation, we require two academic recommendations. One must be from a math, science or computer science teacher, and the other must be from a humanities, social science or art teacher.

The vast majority of files will be read by two readers, the first geographical reader and a second reader chosen at random. Approximately 20% of the applications, if they are found not to be competitive in the pool, will not receive a second read. All files that receive even one vote of admit will come to committee which includes the entire admission staff. In shaping our alternate list, these decisions will often be made in smaller teams of 2 or 3.

While it is the case that the vast majority of our applicants tend to test well and have extremely strong academic records, we are committed to evaluating students based on the resources available to them and with as full an understanding as possible of any challenges they may have faced. While we understand that not all teachers or counselors have the luxury of writing detailed recommendations, when possible, teacher and counselor recommendations are extremely important to us in putting the student in context of their school and classroom. Any context recommenders can provide for atypical grades or curricular choices is always appreciated.

Our decisions will shaped by a combination of rigor of curriculum, academic performance, contribution to community (school or otherwise,) and of course, fit with HMC.

Our application process is need-blind for all domestic students. We review international applicants seeking need-based aid as one large group. We consider our financial obligations when admitting them, and can only afford to offer admission to about 10 international students seeking need-based aid.

Visiting Campus

We offer several visit options for students including tours, info sessions, overnight visits, and class visits. We also encourage you and your students to frequently check our homepage for upcoming on and off-campus events.

If you plan on visiting HMC yourself please let us know. In addition to the usual campus tour and information session we can arrange to have you meet individually with someone from our staff (if possible, your area’s representative).

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 909-621-8011 or email us at admission@hmc.edu. We look forward to working with you!

Request a Group Visit

If you wish to bring a chaperoned group of students to visit campus, please submit your request through our Group Tour Request Form. We accommodate Group Tours as space and staffing/scheduling permit.

Financial Aid

HMC offers both need-based and merit based financial aid opportunities. We are able to meet 100% of a family’s demonstrated need. About 80% of HMC students receive financial aid, with the average award being about $32,000. We do package students with loan, but in most cases it is at the bare minimum amount that the federal government allows. The Office of Financial Aid is available to answer any of your questions.

Underrepresented Student Opportunities

HMC is committed to unsurpassed excellence and diversity at all levels. The office of admission offers some opportunities for students that help our efforts in recruiting, enrolling, and retaining students from populations that are underrepresented at HMC and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.