Distinctive Features of Chemistry at Harvey Mudd

The Department of Chemistry at Harvey Mudd College is consistently ranked as one of the top undergraduate chemistry programs in the nation. Distinctive hallmarks of the department include:


The chemistry curriculum is recognized for its unique program of study that builds on the broad, technical foundation that is acquired through the three-semester College-wide Core curriculum. With coursework in all major areas of chemistry coupled with courses in mathematics, physics, biology, engineering, and computer science, this unique program of study prepares students for professions in both traditional chemistry areas as well as cutting-edge interdisciplinary fields.

The College-wide technical Core further enables advanced courses in chemistry to explore even more challenging topics in greater depth.

Our laboratory curriculum, including the first-year course, gives students extensive hands-on experience with modern, sophisticated instrumentation and computation and features inquiry-driven open-ended experiments that emphasize the process of discovery.

The flexibility of the major with eight degree options enables students to tailor their coursework to best match their career interests.

An extensive range of advanced elective courses is available within the department and across the Claremont Colleges.

The program of study is designed to give students the opportunity to conduct study abroad or pursue a second major.

Courses in all major branches of chemistry can be completed by the end of the junior year giving students a broad spectrum of specialty areas in which to pursue the senior capstone requirement. Students may elect to fulfill the capstone experience through a wide variety of options including a research investigation, a team-based clinic project, a national laboratory collaboration, or an industrial internship.

Research Opportunities

Students have abundant opportunities to engage in collaborative research with faculty beginning in the first year. Sustained involvement in multi-year projects is common.

Students experience all facets of research including the opportunity to present their work at national disciplinary conferences. With the department’s emphasis on the development of oral and written communication skills for a wide variety of audiences, our students have won national recognition for their research presentations.


The Chemistry faculty are accomplished scientists and award-winning educators with expertise spanning all subdisciplines of chemistry.

The faculty are committed to the Harvey Mudd College mission and are dedicated to fostering their students’ intellectual and personal growth and providing personalized attention to help students achieve their greatest potential.


As a consequence of the depth of the chemistry major and the breadth of the College’s technical core, our graduates pursue a myriad of careers and routinely achieve positions of leadership in their chosen fields. The Core experiences give graduates the confidence to pursue new opportunities and accept challenges in new fields of endeavor.

The National Science Foundation recognizes the Harvey Mudd Department of Chemistry as the top department in the nation whose undergraduates, per capita, ultimately earn a PhD in chemistry.