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Harvey Mudd College seeks to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians well versed in all of these areas and in the humanities, social sciences and arts 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 they are a fit with specific colleges can be particularly challenging. We hope this information will help you best guide students who are considering Harvey Mudd.

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.
  • They also have to value the importance of the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts (HSA.) Upwards of 30 percent 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 Harvey Mudd College and the other Claremont Colleges are options. Often students choose Harvey Mudd because while  they love STEM, they don’t want to give up their other interests.
  • They have to be excited about the idea of collaboration. Our students are committed to the success of their peers as well as their own. They are kind, supportive, humble and altruistic. We hear often from recommenders that our students were the ones who 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 is one of the 6 themes of the College’s strategic vision. We have made great strides in diversity of all kinds, particularly in regard to gender, but our work is not yet done.

For more numerical information about our most recent class, please see our student profile.

Online Visits and Web Events

Our campus is closed to visitors in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In addition, our staff will not participate in any recruitment travel (including local travel) this fall.

We will continue to offer virtual opportunities for students to learn about HMC:

We also look forward to joining you for virtual school visits. We will keep our eyes open for your availability on the different scheduling sites as well as search for instructions on your school website. If you would like to request a visit, you can contact your territory manager.

Application Requirements

Harvey Mudd College accepts the Common Application and the Coalition Application. We accept official fee waivers from the College Board or NACAC, but will also accept a counselor note explaining a student’s financial circumstances and requesting the waiver.

Standardized Testing

Beginning with the high school class of 2021, Harvey Mudd will no longer require or consider SAT Subject Tests (see full announcement).

For students applying to enter Harvey Mudd in the fall of 2021 and 2022, our admission process will be test-optional for SAT’s and ACT’s (see full announcement). Students who choose not to submit scores will not be at any disadvantage in our process.

Students who choose to submit test scores are able to self-report them on their application or on the HMC Applicant Hub. Only admitted students who choose to enroll at Harvey Mudd College are be required to submit official score reports.

Enrollment Requirement: Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics

At least one yearlong high school course in chemistry, physics and calculus is required for all incoming students. A semester-long college course in each discipline will also suffice. Given that this is an enrollment requirement (and not an application requirement), students without the opportunity to take one of these courses while in high school are still able to apply for admission.

Every year we offer conditional admission to a handful of students that have not taken either chemistry or physics. They are admitted on the condition that they earn a B or better in a college-level summer course prior to their arrival in the fall. Conditional admission is less common for students that have not taken calculus, particularly if they have not had exposure to differential and integral calculus.

Application Review Process

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 privileged position of choosing among 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.

Like many offices, we read regionally. You can identify the admission officer in charge of your territory in our Admission Staff page. All applications are read by two readers, the territory manager and a second admission officer chosen at random. The readers explore the file simultaneously and engage in a conversation, building a picture of the applicant as they do so. All files that receive an admit vote come to a committee made up of the entire admission staff. In shaping the alternate list, we often make decisions in smaller teams of 2 or 3.

We read carefully and pay close attention to the student’s fit with the HMC mission, academic program, and community, as well as to their academic preparation. While it is the case that the vast majority of our applicants have very 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 and counselors have the luxury of writing detailed recommendations, when possible, teacher and counselor recommendations are helpful 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.

We have two rounds of Early Decision, which mainly differ in terms of deadlines and reply dates. In the past few years about 36 percent of our incoming class entered through Early Decision. We try to be as decisive as possible – almost all Early Decision applicants will either be admitted or denied, in which case their application is closed for the year. We do postpone students (only about 30 total) when we feel their application would benefit from additional information or we need to get a better sense of our applicant pool. Postponed students are no longer bound to their Early Decision Agreement.

Our admission process is need-blind for all domestic students. We are need-aware in our admission process for international and undocumented applicants seeking need-based aid. We offer admission to a small number of international students seeking need-based aid every year. They are also eligible for some of our merit-based scholarships, including one offered exclusively to international students.

Financial Aid

Harvey Mudd College offers both need-based and merit based financial aid opportunities.

  • We meet 100 percent demonstrated need.
  • We are need-blind for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents.
  • About 70 percent of Harvey Mudd students receive financial aid.
  • We do package students with loan, but in most cases it is at the bare minimum amount that the federal government allows. The average package is about $43,000 (combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study), of which about $33,000 (including need-based and merit-based awards) comes in grants and scholarships aid from Harvey Mudd College (not from government sources).

The Office of Financial Aid is available to answer any of your questions.

Opportunities for Students from Groups with Historically Reduced Access to STEM

Harvey Mudd College is committed to unsurpassed excellence and diversity at all levels.

The following opportunities are open to all students applying for first-year admission, but intended for students that belong to groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM. At HMC we define this broadly: students with disabilities; first-generation students; Black and Indigenous People of Color; students from rural backgrounds; students from low income backgrounds; and women, who are not underrepresented on our campus, but still are in the STEM fields.

Partnership with RaiseMe

The central idea behind RaiseMe is that students earn micro-scholarships through various achievements and actions which might include anything from taking an AP course to visiting a college campus.  Students can join as early as 9th grade and watch their tally of micro-scholarships add up. The added bonus is that through the RaiseMe website, students can learn of new colleges as they match various institution’s criteria and become eligible for additional scholarships. They can also learn about possible summer programs or other activities that might not otherwise be on their radar.

Here are some important things to know about the Harvey Mudd RaiseMe micro-scholarships:

  1. These scholarships are only for low income students. Initially these students will be identified by attending a high school where at least 80% of the students are on free or reduced lunch, but we can also invite individual students from other high schools at your or their request.
  2. The maximum amount of scholarship a student can earn is $40,000 or $10,000 per year.
  3. These scholarships are not money that is stacked on top of their existing need-based financial aid. Because Harvey Mudd already is need blind for all US citizens and permanent residents and meets 100% of students’ demonstrated need, low income students will already be receiving a package that meets their full need. A portion of their grant will be recognized as RaiseMe scholarship.
  4. Providing the students’ financial need does not change dramatically, they will receive the same amount in RaiseMe funding each of their four years.
  5. Students who do not fit our criteria are still welcome to follow Harvey Mudd on RaiseMe and will receive the same communications and tips as others.