The Clinic Program, an extraordinary program of collaboration between industry and Harvey Mudd College that has been a hallmark of this institution for more than 50 years, engages juniors and seniors in the solution of real-world, technical problems for industrial clients.
Founded as an innovation in engineering education in 1963, this program has been expanded to other Harvey Mudd academic departments and copied by institutions worldwide.
Since inception, almost 1,500 projects have been completed for more than 400 corporate, national laboratory, and agency sponsors. Companies retain all intellectual property rights that arise out of the project, and it is not uncommon for Harvey Mudd students to be named on patents. In recent years, Clinic sponsors have averaged between 10 and 15 patent disclosures at the end of their projects.
Global Clinic, established in 2005, is the latest innovation in the Harvey Mudd College Clinic Program, preparing students for the future challenges of practicing engineering, science and mathematics in a global context. This program supports the activities associated with undertaking several year-long, industry sponsored global engineering and science projects in which teams of Harvey Mudd students collaborate with teams of students from partner schools internationally with particular emphasis on partnerships in Singapore, China, India, Japan and Israel with future plans to expand into South America and Europe.
How it Works
Students work in groups of four or five under the guidance of a student project manager (team leader), a faculty advisor, and a liaison from the sponsoring organization. Projects begin in September, involve about 1,200 to 1,500 work hours and are completed the following May.
The sponsor’s liaison outlines the project requirements, approves the team’s proposal for accomplishing the work, and receives weekly progress reports. In most cases the student team visits the sponsoring company in the fall semester to learn about the technology or to give a design review to senior officials, then returns in May to present the final results.
Clinic teams present their results during public forums held on-campus and submit final written reports to the sponsoring organization upon completion of the project. Sponsors retain full rights to all intellectual property developed by the team.