Information for Families

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus and have developed our plans to safeguard the health of our community, based on best practices in public health and government direction. As we embark on this plan, we ask that all community members commit to following the measures outlined, with which we can help keep each other safe and healthy. We may need to adjust our fall plan in accordance with forthcoming guidance from state and county public health authorities and will keep the community informed of any updates.

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Academic Calendar

Q: Are there any graduation plans for class of 2020 and class of 2021?

A: It is too early to make definitive plans for in-person graduations—it depends on the state of the pandemic and vaccine delivery. We are still planning to hold in-person celebrations for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021, we just don’t know when it will be possible. In the meantime, DSA will be working with the class presidents to plan celebrations appropriate to whatever constraints are in place in the spring, as well as on events such as 100 days before graduation that are usually held for seniors in spring semester. We will start off virtual until we can hold in-person events.

Q: When will classes begin and end in the spring semester?

A: Classes will begin for the term on Monday, January 25, 2021, and end on Friday, April 30, 2021. Finals will occur and final assessments like papers will be due in the weeks following, with the semester ending on time so that students may continue to pursue internships and other opportunities as needed.

Please refer to Departure from Campus.

Q: Are fall finals still starting the Monday after Thanksgiving?

A: Yes, we set that schedule in order to send our students home by Thanksgiving yet preserve the number of weeks needed in the semester for accreditation. If you have a question about a scheduled final, please reach out to the dean of faculty.

Q: I am an International student. What happens to my visa if I choose to take a semester or year off?

Returning Students: If you choose to take a semester off please be mindful of the expiration date of your current visa. If your visa expires prior to your return to campus you WILL need to apply for a new one. If you are in the USA and choose to take a semester off, you will need to leave the country as you will not be in status.

Q: I am an International student. What happens to my SEVIS record if I choose to take a semester or year off?

Incoming Students: If you submit your paperwork to the ISS, a SEVIS record will be created when all the required documents are received. If you choose to attend at a later date the program start date of your SEVIS record will be pushed back to reflect your new start date. This will preserve your I-901 fee if it has already been paid. Upon your return, you will need to submit new documentation before a new I-20 or DS-2019 is sent to you for your consular appointment.

Returning Students: If you choose to take some time away from Mudd, your SEVIS record will be terminated for Early Authorized Withdrawal. Please keep in mind that this may affect your ability to participate in CPT, OPT and AT. For F-1 students: If you plan to return within 5 months of the date of termination, there may be a possibility to reactivate your SEVIS record. If you do not return within the 5 month window, you will need to get a new SEVIS record and your employment clock will restart and you will need to be enrolled for 9 months (one academic school year) before you are eligible for CPT/OPT again. For J-1 students: you will need to get a new SEVIS record, there is no ability to reinstate your previous record. You will need to submit new documentation before a new I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued to you. If your visa will still be valid when you return, then you will not need to apply for a new one; a valid visa is a valid visa.

Q: For international students on an F1 visa, how does the online option affect the visa status, record and internship opportunities in the future?

A: For questions about your specific situation, please email Evelyn Real at

Q: If the courses appropriate for my progress toward graduation are all available in an online format, may I choose to study from home or elsewhere (not on campus) in the spring term?

A: If appropriate courses are available to you remotely, and you can participate in any required synchronous elements in those courses, you may study from elsewhere during the spring term. Students are encouraged to contact the associate dean of academic affairs or the associate dean of academic resources and student success with questions.

Q: What is the likelihood that the College will be allowed to bring students back to campus for all or part of the spring semester?

A: Given the high infection rate this winter in LA County, we expect to begin the spring semester remotely. We will apply for the pilot waiver program for higher education institutions, but that program will allow up to 500 students to return to campus only once L.A. county moves to the lowered red tier per county and state standards and remains there for at least two weeks. We hope that we’ll be able to bring students back at some point during the spring semester, but it’s impossible to know at this point.

Q: Is there anything that families can do to help with the College’s effort to petition the county supervisors to grant HMC a waiver to reopen?

A: The College is in regular contact with county supervisors and health officials, so we aren’t in need of extra petitioning.

Q: How many students have expressed interest in returning to campus, if allowed, for spring semester?

A: 315

Q: If we are not allowed to bring students back to reside on campus, is there a possibility that we could consider some model to bring seniors to campus to work on Clinic or Thesis?

A: Right now, we are only allowed to have essential employees on campus. We would love to see our seniors be able to complete their capstone experiences on campus. We will have to wait and see we are allowed to do.

Q: If students are able to return to campus after the March break, will students who did not sign up to live on campus have another chance to choose to come back?

A: We don’t know yet how many students who already signed up would, if allowed, be able to return for sure. The numbers are fluctuating. We had 315 students signed up for our residence spots, and if we get a waiver, the maximum number we could have is 500. LA County has stated that schools that receive waivers can bring “up to 500” students back. We will take this question to Cabinet and to our advisory board to discuss.

Q: If students can return mid-semester, how will the College handle moving in? Will there be extra days off to mitigate the stress of moving?

A: The most convenient and least disruptive time would be during the week of spring break, but we don’t have enough information to make a prediction at this point.

Q: What metrics and evidence are being used to decide what the College will do in the spring? Is the decision in the hands of the state or county, or is HMC considering students being remote even if the state or county allow them to return?

A: Our guidance has been developed using information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and LA County Department of Public Health. In addition, DSA has been working with student leaders to develop revised protocols for students to follow on campus and the Academic Contingency Planning Committee has been working to develop plans around delivery of the academic program. All of this information is at StaySafe@Mudd. That said, ultimately the decision of whether or not the College will be allowed to have students on campus in person this spring will be up to state and county public health officials.

Q: Will there be any classes held on Saturdays?

A: The spring semester plan adopted by The Claremont Colleges does not include Saturday courses.

The revised academic calendar for spring 2021 is now available.

The first day of the semester is Jan. 25. The calendar now includes a week-long spring break held March 8–12. The last day of classes will be May 7, and finals week will be May 10–14.

Q: Will the College hold Projects and Presentations Days in some form?

A: Yes, we are working on a plan to incorporate Projects and Presentations Days into the spring schedule in some format.

Q: Would it be possible to delay the start of the semester to the end of February and have the semester go until June?

A: Because the academic calendar is shared by all five undergraduate Claremont colleges and was determined after detailed discussions that balance each college’s needs, the final spring calendar is now set. (link to calendar).

Q: If the first on-campus semester for the class of 2024 is in the fall, would there be any consideration given for pass/fail for fall semester for that class?

A: We are still hoping to have the class of 2024 on campus at some point in the spring. We will wait to see if that is possible before we consider making any changes to the grading plan for the fall.

Q: If we are not returning in the spring semester, can sophomores wait to choose their majors in the fall semester, or will they still need to choose in the spring?

A: To date we have not altered the calendar. We will carry that question back to the Faculty Executive Committee and once they’ve discussed it we will post here.

Q: Will there be a spring break this year?

A: Not in the traditional sense. To provide for sufficient instructional days, The Claremont Colleges will choose three days during the term, in addition to the existing Cesar Chavez holiday observance, to not hold classes so that students and faculty can rest and recover. The expectation is that there will be no meetings, assignments or exams on these dates so that they may truly be breaks from the semester’s activities..

Q: If the spring semester is remote, can the College make an attempt to have a spring break?

A: The Academic Deans Committee of the five undergraduate Claremont colleges jointly determined the academic calendar taking into consideration a number of different concerns from each college. The Consortium continues to meet and talk about spring break and we will update you as soon as final decisions are made.

Q: If there are three days of break that are spread out, will profs give a Friday off, but still have homework that’s due on Monday, in essence negating a break?

A: We intend to continue our existing policy that professors do not assign homework over breaks.

Q: How will the compressed schedule work in the spring, and what is the College doing to reduce student stress levels?

A: To the extent possible, we are moving courses out of the first slot in the day and the last slot in the day, and moving toward more asynchronous options for students to try to take some of the difficulty out of very early morning and very late afternoon class schedules. This is especially important for the students who are participating in courses from across many different time zones. Right now, faculty are listening to students by doing some midterm outreach about workload in this semester, to get a sense of the homework schedule. Some of the extra work that we imagined might need to take place this fall has already been taken out of the schedule.

Q: Will there be summer research on campus? Will students be able to live on campus during the summer?

A: We are already planning to have remote research opportunities available to students as a default, as we want to make sure that faculty and students have the opportunity to conduct whether or not students can be on campus. It’s too early to make a decision about in-person summer research, though that is of course our preference. If LA County allows us to have students on campus, we anticipate doing so.

Q: Is summer research available to graduating seniors?

A: Our process for providing student funding for summer research is for students who are going to be enrolled in the fall, so rising seniors, not graduating seniors. However we typically have some graduating seniors each summer who are involved in continuing research projects.

Q: Will there be summer internships?

A: Our Office of Career Services is working on remote summer internship opportunities in case in-person internships are still not possible.

Q: Can students still take a leave of absence for the spring?

A: A student can take a voluntary leave of absence through the academic dean’s office. Our default is to suggest that any student who wishes to take a leave of absence consider a year-long leave because of the way our semester tends to work in balanced requirements. However every student’s situation is unique and if a student is considering this, we encourage them to reach out to the academics deans who can review their courses and discuss the impact.

Q: Is it possible to take a spring and then fall leave of absence?

A: That would fit within our guidelines, but we would strongly encourage any student who is considering that option to talk with one of our academic deans and look at the scheduling implications. We want to make sure that when students think about something like that, they are also looking at their trajectory toward graduation and the way in which their capstone experiences as a senior will occur. We do not want students to take that kind of leave without recognizing any potentially negative downstream effects.

Q: I am a continuing student. Given my own health and safety concerns and/or my strong preference to have my academic experiences at HMC occur when the campus is again fully operational, may I take a voluntary leave? Would that leave have to be for a full year? By what date would I need to let you know if planned to take a leave for 2020–2021?

A: Voluntary leaves are processed through the offices of the associate dean for academic affairs and the associate dean for academic resources and student success. Please reach out to deans Marianne De Laet or Amy Bibbens with specific questions.

Q: Will students who take a year-long leave of absence be able to do room draw and course registration for fall 2021 as part of their new class year?

A: Yes.

Q: Will on campus housing be guaranteed?

A: Yes.

Q: If my student goes on leave of absence will he still receive his merit financial aid award for each of the remaining two years of his HMC career.

A: Yes, merit scholarships are reserved for the following year.

Q: If a student takes the spring semester off can they take classes from another university for Mudd credit?

A: The student should work with their academic advisor in advance to ensure they will receive credit for the courses before they make arrangements for this option.

Q: Can students defer a semester?

A: Students interested in deferral should contact the academic deans to discuss their specific situation.

Q: Given that more students may defer this academic year, will you maintain the current class size or increase it to accommodate the possibility of a larger class of 2025 than anticipated?

A: We will take class sizes into account to the extent that we can in subsequent semesters, but it is likely that there will be some larger classes to accommodate the displacement of enrollments.

Q: If the College is not able to reopen physically due to state or county restrictions, would students still be allowed to take a year or semester off?

A: Yes. If the College is not permitted to reopen, we will allow students who had previously told us they planned to join us on campus to either defer or take a leave of absence. In addition, in this situation, we would follow the procedure used previously to credit student accounts for any unused portion of room and board.

Co-Curricular Life on Campus

Q: Will seniors be able to get help on job hunting?

A: Career Services is actively hosting events and programs for seniors and all students looking for jobs, internships, research opportunities and help on graduate school applications. They will host two spring career fairs, one of them in partnership with Cal Tech. We encourage students to engage in these opportunities or contact Career Services for help in navigating post-graduation plans.

Q: Will there be Career Fairs?

A: Yes, The Office of Career Services plans to host all our career fairs and other on-campus recruiting events and interviews virtually.

Q: How are HMC graduates in 2020 doing in terms of finding employment during this difficult time? How did this year compare to recent years?

A: We are incredibly proud of our 2020 grads. Of our graduates who had job offers when the semester finished, all but three of those offers came through for working remotely. The three whose offers were withdrawn found other employment. We will be sharing the data report soon but we know that the average salary, median salary and bonuses for the Class of 2020 were higher than in previous years. Our students also were very successful in terms of grad school acceptances. This year, we are already hearing from students that they have job offers and are in the process of negotiating. It’s a testament to our students, as well as our faculty who continue to provide them strong educational experiences.

Q: Will there be a Family Weekend in some form in February?

A: Yes, Family Weekend will be held virtually this year. A save the date will go out to parents soon followed by details and registration in early January. So hopefully, all of you will be participating in that and connecting with the campus through that weekend

Please refer to Common Spaces.

Please refer to Common Spaces.

Please refer to Health and Wellness.

Please refer to Events and Gatherings.

Q: Connecting socially has been a challenge for first year students and other students. Will there be any initiatives or efforts to support social interaction? What is ASHMC planning?

A: DSA is continuing to increase its virtual programming, so there will be more events in spring semester. The first-year class presidents will be working with ASHMC and the other class presidents to organize the events we usually have in spring semester, such as the first-year-senior social, where so the first-year and the seniors can mix together, and major panels where first-year and sophomores can talk with juniors and seniors about majors and what kinds of academic opportunities they should look into. If a first-year has an idea for an event, let ASHMC know and we can work with the class presidents on it.

Q: What are ASHMC’s plans for spring 2021?

A: ASHMC is reducing its student fee to 80% for all students, as it did in the fall semester. ASHMC event organizers have gained a lot of experience hosting virtual events this fall and will be incorporating new ideas and hosting more events in the spring. If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see, feel free to reach out to any ASHMC representative, your dorm president, class presidents or club presidents.

Courses and Modalities of Instruction

Q: Beyond course evaluations is there a way to provide feedback regarding remote learning to help shape spring semester?

A: We will be sending out a second round of the technology survey that we issued during the summer, which includes opportunities to provide feedback on remote learning to date. You can also reach out directly to faculty members, department chairs, academic deans and dean of the faculty with any feedback.

Q: How have fall classes and research worked from your perspective? Will there be any reports to families about how academics went in the fall and lessons learned? Any changes for spring?

A: Over the winter break, faculty will be looking at the assessments we’ve gathered about how classes went in the fall. We’ll look at teaching evaluations, which provides some feedback from students. We’ll look at the second technology survey. After the scholarly standing committee meets early in the break, the academic deans will have an opportunity to reflect on the data and synthesize what we know, and make recommendations regarding the spring. We’ve already sent faculty some provisional recommendations from the Student Advisory Board. We are always looking to improve our teaching and learning.

Q: Will the new Core changes planned for fall impact the Class of 2024?

A: It’s not clear yet whether there will be an impact on the class of 2024. Faculty will be discussing whether there are any modifications of the core that can be introduced for the sophomore class, but up till now the planning of the faculty has been largely devoted to managing the transition to remote education. The Core implementation committee continues to meet and we’ll have a better understanding of how the changes will impact the Class of 2024 later this spring.

Q: Will courses be taught in online or in-person formats?

A: Both. Some number of courses will be taught exclusively online; some, like labs and studio art courses, will be taught largely in person (with rigorous social distancing and other safety measures in place), and some will be taught in hybrid formats that use both in-person and online modalities.

Q: Which courses will not be online only?

A: A small number of laboratory, workshop, and studio courses are likely to have an in person component.

Q: What percentage of classes will be offered in-person in the spring?

A: Only a small number of courses will be in-person, with an emphasis on first-year Core labs and senior capstone experiences—research and Clinics. We’re intending to serve students who are resident on campus, as well as students who are living off campus, international students and students cross-registered from the other campuses. That skews our curriculum heavily toward remote modalities. Once we find out who will be on campus and who will be in different sections, we will be able to determine what in-person activities will be possible.

Q: Will there be a higher percentage of in-person classes offered in the spring than would have been this past fall?

A: We have posted the lists of courses on the portal. If we are allowed to have students in residence on campus, we plan to have more in-person courses than in the fall. We will aim to hold in-person courses where it is really critical that students have in-person, hands on opportunities—at the beginning of their career, as they’re shaping and understanding what it means to be in a lab and fabricating and prototyping. And also, at the end of their Mudd experience, when their research requires it. Beyond that, we need to wait and see what students are enrolled in what sections.

Q: Will all students living on campus be able to attend the in-person classes?

A: Students who are resident on our campus, inside of our “bubble,” will have access to any in- person academic experiences offered on our campus.

Q: Why are so many courses going to be online only?

A: Online courses offer us the greatest opportunities for flexibility and safety. An online only course can serve HMC students on campus, cross-registrants, and HMC students who are not able to return to campus. These courses also are well-suited for students who may need to self-quarantine for some time during the semester, and offer a safe teaching assignment to faculty members who may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. But we will only assign courses to this designation where we are confident that we can continue to meet core learning objectives successfully.

Q: How many courses will be online only?

A: We anticipate that 95% of courses will be delivered online only. That number may change throughout the summer as additional information becomes available to us about safety protocols required by public health officials.

Q: What support will the students who are staying off campus receive from Mudd faculty and how the online learning with remote learners can be facilitated?

A: Tutoring and grutoring will be available online as well as the Academic Excellence (AE) office and The Writing Center. Faculty will have online office hours by appointment and group meetings.

Q: Can a student start on campus, and switch to remote learning later in the semester if they choose?

A: Yes, but not the reverse.

Q: Can students take one or two Mudd classes online for credit?

A: No, part time online is not an option.

Q: If students chose the “remote semester option,” how could they stay on track with Mudd graduation requirements given that almost all students have one or more lab requirements?

A: Individual academic advising is available from the academic deans at:

Q: Can the physical education (P.E.) requirement be met remotely via exercise at home, etc.?

A: Yes. We plan to offer virtual, online P.E. courses.

Health and Safety

Q: Will HMC make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory if a vaccine becomes available?

A: The College is requiring that all students who plan to live on campus get both the flu vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccination once it becomes widely available. Requests to be exempted from this requirement for medical or sincerely held religious reasons must be submitted to (in the case of students) the AVP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Anna Gonzalez, via email by Jan. 11, 2021.

For faculty and staff, we recommend they consider getting both the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccination (once it is widely available) if possible. We encourage students, faculty and staff to refer to CDC Flu Vaccine Guidance for medical/allergy considerations.

Q: If a vaccine comes out, is that something that Mudd will arrange for students to have or will families have to do that themselves?

A: That would be arranged by Student Health Services. The first vaccines will likely go to essential health workers so we don’t know how long it will take to make its way to our community. We don’t anticipate vaccines being available to the wider community in the near future.

Q: What are the plans for COVID-19 testing? Will it be mandatory and how often?

A: We plan to test everyone on campus twice a week. We are hoping to have a saliva test available through the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Testing would be mandatory, and the College will cover the cost. Regular testing can help prevent the spread of infection, and the colleges that have had biweekly testing available have had the fewest COVID-19 outbreaks.

Q: Will COVID-19 testing be available on campus?

A: Yes, through Student Health Services. Testing will be free to students. All students who live on campus or at the HMC-sponsored Arrow Vista Apartments will be required to be tested twice weekly. We also will have testing for students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider to discuss whether testing is necessary. Students who are experiencing symptoms should self-isolate and not attend any in-person classes or other activities until they have been cleared to do so. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should NOT report to campus for work and should contact their direct supervisor.

Q: Will Student Health Services charge a fee for COVID-19 testing?

A: Student Health Services will not charge students to test for COVID-19.

Q: If students want to get tested outside the school administered tests, or if they have a health question, will there be a simple way?

A: Students are only allowed to leave campus and return for essential needs; that includes doctor visits.

Q: Will students, faculty and staff be required to take the Covid-19 vaccine if we resume residential living? Is Mudd one of the priority places to receive it?

A: We want as many students, faculty and staff as possible to take the vaccine and will strongly encourage all members of our community who are able to do so to receive it. Mudd is not a priority vaccine recipient; the first vaccines will go to frontline medical workers and nursing homes. As an educational institution, we are on the list of essential services but we don’t know the time frame yet for receiving the vaccine.

Q: Will students be able to get COVID-19 vaccinations through Harvey Mudd?

A: As far as we know at this point, we will not be able to administer the vaccine.

Q: Will the flu shot be mandatory for students?

A: The College is requiring that all students who plan to live on campus get the flu vaccination. Requests to be exempted from this requirement for medical or sincerely held religious reasons must be submitted to (in the case of students) the AVP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students, Anna Gonzalez, via email, by Nov. 17, 2020.

Please refer to Health and Wellness.

Q: What kinds of PPE will be provided to students?

A: All students will be supplied with cloth masks, hand sanitizer and digital thermometers. Cleaning supplies will be provided in residence halls and bathrooms.

Q: Have any staff, faculty, students or family members tested positive?

A: Yes. Announcements of results will be Coronavirus Information home page. It’s important to note that patient confidentiality requirements will not permit us to tell people the name of a person who tests positive, merely to inform people that someone they may have been in contact with has tested positive for COVID-19.

Q: Will staff and faculty have to use their own sick time to quarantine if there is a positive test on campus?

A: If you are sick, we ask that you do not come to campus, alert your supervisor as soon as possible, and you record your time away from campus as sick time. The response to the question of what to do if someone on campus has tested positive is nuanced. Just because someone tests positive on campus does not necessarily mean that employees should quarantine themselves and not report to work. The response depends on whether an employee has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.” If you believe you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, and you are otherwise healthy and not showing symptoms, you should speak to your supervisor, who as necessary, will put you in touch with HR so they can walk you through an assessment of whether quarantine is advised by HMC.

Q: Besides masks, has there been a consideration of students wearing face shields while on campus?

A: Most research has shown that face shields are not effective at reducing the spread of either airborne particles or droplets. The current medical advice is to use masks, so that is what we are planning.

Q: What are the changes in campus protocol around cleaning and sanitizing residential spaces? Bathrooms? Academic spaces? Food service?

A: Using current CDC and LA County Public Health recommendations and following the manufacturer’s instructions for EPA approved disinfectants, staff will disinfect restrooms three times daily including all “high-touch” surfaces such as counters, doorknobs, light switches, restroom fixtures, toilets, showers and trash cans. Additionally, staff will be assigned to continually sanitize common use areas throughout campus such as tables and chairs in our dining facilities, handrails, stairwells, restrooms, and elevators to disinfect these high traffic high touch areas. While cleaning, staff will follow social distance protocols and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. The Facilities and Maintenance Office will continue to monitor CDC and LA County Public Health recommendations and will modify the cleaning and sanitizing process, as considered necessary.

Students, faculty and staff are highly encouraged to frequently sanitize the high touch areas within their personal residential and office spaces such as keyboards, phones and others used throughout the day.  Cleaning supplies will be made available in various locations throughout the campus for use by students, faculty and staff.

Q: How closed will the Mudd campus be?

A: The campus will be completely closed to visitors, including to students, faculty and staff from the other Claremont colleges. The campus community will form a bubble. Students living off campus will not be able to come to campus, with the exception of those living in the College-run rooms at Arrow Vista Apartments. Students living on campus will only be able to leave for necessary purposes such as medical appointments and grocery shopping. This no-visitors policy is part of LA County’s regulations for the residential re-opening of higher education institutions. Students will not be allowed to leave campus for extended periods of time or for overnight trips. All students will be expected to follow the College’s Residential Requirements.

Q: What does #StaySafeAtMudd mean? Can students go into the Village? Go on a run or bike ride off-campus? How will student personal travel over the weekends be limited, if at all? Will my student be able to come home to visit at all during the fall semester?

A: #StaySafeAtMudd is modeled after the California “Safer at Home” initiative and is guided by health risks and a commitment to equity on campus. Because college campuses are considered to be “high risk” environments for COVID-19, special policies and protocols will be in place to help reduce health risks for our community.

Students will be required to remain on campus except for “essential purposes” such as doctor visits, therapists, pharmacies, curbside pickup, and groceries. Students will not be permitted to visit the other 7C campuses or have visitors at HMC, with the exception of two people who can assist them with moving-in to their residence halls for a designated period of time.

Students will be permitted to go on jogs, runs or bike rides off campus as long as they adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions including physical distancing and wearing face coverings.

In addition to special policies, protocols around wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning schedules, dining operations, common spaces, contact tracing, testing, and isolation/quarantine spaces have been established to protect our community members.

Q: Our student on occasion comes home for the weekend. Will this be possible?

A: No, once they leave campus they may not return.

Q: Can you explain how it would look if living in a double room dorm and one person travels and then has to quarantine does the roommate who didn’t leave also have to quarantine?

A: Students are not allowed to travel until the end of the semester when they go home. Once a student leaves campus, they are not allowed to return to live in their residence hall.

Q: Is the botanic gardens across the street an option for outside exercise/walk during quarantine?

A: Yes, students can purchase a membership and walk in the gardens.

Q: If the situation in Los Angeles County/the state changes, will the College decide to send students home early before the end of the semester? How will the decision be made?

A: There is no way for us to predict how COVID-19 might spread or when/if the state might experience another wave of infections. As we did in spring 2020, the College will closely follow the guidance of state and county public health officials in making any determination about closures. In the event we are forced to send students home, we would anticipate following a similar procedure to that followed last spring, pausing instruction briefly and providing students and families with as much notice as possible regarding the transition to online-only coursework and issuing room and board refunds as appropriate.

Q: If HMC has to go back to online classes only this spring will students be able to stay on campus? If they have to move out for a period of time can they leave their personal belongings in their dorm rooms? Will everything have to be packed up and removed again?

A: if HMC has to go back to online only, it will be because the state or county has deemed that necessary. In that case, students will need to pack up their belongings and remove everything from their residence hall.

Q: Will you send students home mid-semester if there are large outbreaks?

A: No. All the campuses that have used mandatory twice-weekly testing have been able to stay on top of cases. If we do reopen, we’ll be in a bubble. And we’ll have mandatory testing. The evidence from the other colleges across the country that have done this shows that we can expect to have very few cases.

Q: Will SHIP cover COVID related expenses?

A: SHIP covers COVID related expenses (Aetna handout).

Q: In the case that on campus learning is not allowed by the State of California, how will that affect the school health insurance for students?

A: There is no negative effect, students can still be covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan.

Q: With all students coming back from abroad and other US states that have opened with people being more relaxed with masks and social distancing it is highly likely many students will arrive asymptomatic and possibly cause a rapid community spread. How will you mitigate that?

A: We will expect students to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to campus.

Q: My student has to fly back to California. Will he have a place on campus to stay a day or two before he can move into the dorm or do I need to get him a hotel?

A: Students will only be allowed to move back to campus on the date and time they are assigned. Those assignments will be communicated. If a student arrives earlier they will need to provide for their own accommodations.

Illness and Academic Accommodations

Q: How will learning accommodations be handled during final exams?

A: As is always the case, our Office of Academic Accessibility will partner with faculty and students to recommend practices for final exams for all students with documented accommodations. The recommendations will be tailored to the specific needs of the student and the nature of the desired assessment.

Q: What if a student has accommodations that affect their abilities to attend 100% online? Can we expect some options to meet those accommodations?

A: Please contact:


Q: Do you know what the other 5Cs are planning for spring?

A: Each campus is making its own decision and its own plans. Several have posted information on their plans via their websites. We encourage you to review that information.

Q: Will there be a Family Weekend in some form in February?

A: Yes, Family Weekend will be held virtually this year. A save the date will go out to parents soon followed by details and registration in early January. So hopefully, all of you will be participating in that and connecting with the campus through that weekend

Q: Is the College still covering housing expenses in aid packages for students who need to live in off-campus housing?

A: Adjusted room and board costs for students living off campus are still considered when determining a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Q: Will financial aid awards be recalculated if students are allowed to live on campus?

A: Yes, the financial aid office will recalculate awards.

Q: How can students change or appeal their financial aid? Particularly a change to their work study?

A: Students who wish to appeal their financial aid package should reach out to the financial aid office at

Q: How many in the class of 2024 took a gap year? And will you be increasing your transfer students in order to add to the class?

A: Thirty-seven first-year students chose to defer. We don’t plan on increasing the number of transfer students.

Q: When will the McGregor Center open?

A: The construction is going well and should be completed by March. We don’t expect to actually move in until the summer, simply because we don’t do move-ins to academic buildings in the middle of the semester.

Q: Will the current first-year class attend future orientation events and new student events since they missed all of these events this past year?

A: Yes, we will organize new student events once students can return to campus and will continue to hold orientation events for this class as well as for different groups. We will continue to hold virtual orientation events in the meantime.

Q: Once it safe to do so, will the College resume the overnight adventure trips for new students?

A: We would love to have the overnight adventure for new first-year and transfer students. The overnight adventure program is a two-to-three night event where we take students off campus and bond together and do activities and events. We plan to bring that all back as soon as the state and county deems it safe and we are allowed to do so.

Q: Do we anticipate a tuition increase for the 2021–2022 academic year?

A: We are not in a position to make that decision yet.

Move-in and Orientation

Change of Mind After Enrollment Confirmation

Q: What happens if a student wants to change their mind after completing the Enrollment Confirmation & Housing Reservation Form by July 15?

A: For returning students who previously signed the housing contract and went through the room draw process last spring:

If students state that they will NOT be living on campus by July 15, they will not be charged the housing deposit of $300 or they get a refund if they have already paid.

For students who indicate that they intend to live on campus by the July 15th deadline but then change their minds after that date:
If a student confirms that they would like to be on campus by the July 15th deadline, they can still decide to change that decision after and receive a full refund prior to the move-in day. The student would, however, not be refunded the $300 housing deposit in this scenario. There would be no refund of housing once a student moves in. The only exception to this policy is our one-time COVID-19 exception, which is that if a student chooses to leave on 11/25/20, they receive a 10 day refund. Note the following refund policy:

  • A 100 percent refund of charges and fees is made if withdrawal occurs before the first day of classes.
  • A 75 percent refund of the tuition charge is made if withdrawal occurs on or after the first day of classes, but before the eighteenth day of classes.
  • A 50 percent refund of the tuition charge is made if withdrawal occurs after the first seventeen days of classes, but before the thirtieth day of classes.
  • No refund of the tuition charge is made after the thirtieth day of classes.
  • Refund of board charge is on a pro rata basis.
  • There is no refund of the room charges or fees.
  • Refunds are made by the college within 30 days of receipt of the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form by the Dean of Students.
    Visit Refunds for more information.

A: For students who indicate that they intend to live off campus by the July 15 deadline but then change their minds after that date:

A student may decide to indicate by July 15th that they will not physically be on campus this fall, and change their mind before the beginning of the fall semester. In this scenario, we would not be able to honor room draw selections for returning students or room/roommate requests for incoming students, but we would be able to offer rooms that would be available for students to pick from if they change their minds. We intend to do our best to help students in this scenario, but we cannot make any guarantees.

A: For students who indicate they intend to return to live on campus but the College is not able to reopen physically due to local or state-wide restrictions:

Students in this situation would receive a full refund including the $300 room deposit if we are not able to open as intended in August. If students move into their rooms but the College must close physically earlier than planned in the semester, their room and board fees would be prorated based on the date that they leave campus.

Q: When can I move in on campus?

A: Information about the spring move-in process is below. Also, we want to help you think about your travel plans should you decide to return.

Making Travel Arrangements

When purchasing flights and making travel arrangements, we suggest that you select options that are refundable if at all possible. While HMC is making preparations to re-open this spring, the LA County Department of Public Health has not yet approved the reopening of higher education institutions. Parts of California, including LA County, are still seeing a concerning trend of increasing infection rates and hospitalizations. We expect to hear from the county in late November, and it is possible that they may tell us we are not approved to re-open.

Q: Can the College provide a pick-up service from the airport?

A: We ask that students and families arrange their own transportation to and from the airport. Most rideshare companies (Uber, Lyft) are still operating with drivers wearing face coverings, and there also are private car services available.

Move-in Days

As of now, here are anticipated move-in days:

  • Thursday, January 21: student leaders
  • Saturday, January 23: first year students
  • Sunday, January 24: returning students

All students will be permitted three (3) hours to move-in and may have one (1) person to help them move-in to their residence hall room. Any helper(s) will also be expected to follow COVID-19 policies and protocols and will need to leave campus at the end of the designated three hours.

Move-in Day Procedures

Q: If I arrive at the allotted time to drop my child off, and must stay with my student, how do I park the car that I arrived in after dropping off the bags?

A: We encourage families to review the instructions we send to your students on the process for checking in and to follow signage posted on your assigned day of move-in.

Returning Students

Returning students will have the opportunity to sign up for move-in time slots based on reduced capacity per building. As of now, we are anticipating four (4) time periods (7–10 a.m., 11 a.m.–2 .p.m, 3–6 p.m., and 7–10 p.m.) from which upperclass students can choose. We will be determining the number of students who are able to move-in on a per building basis, with no more than 25% capacity during each time period. After we know how many students will be on campus, we will communicate more details about the move-in times and process.

Special Circumstances

While we are asking you to prepare for more strict arrival and move-in regulations, we will work with people who have extraordinary circumstances (such as international students with limited flight availability) regarding move-in times. Students who have extraordinary circumstances should complete this Move-in time change request for returning students form to request a new move-in time.

Move-in Shopping by Families

Q: On move in day will families be allowed to leave campus to purchase necessities for the residence hall, and deliver them to their student?

A: Families will not be allowed to pick up last-minute items students need after they have arrived on campus. We encourage families to plan ahead and bring these items with them, or utilize contact-free delivery services from stores such as Target if there are items that students need

Move-in Quarantine

Q: What will the two-week quarantine look like?

A: A full quarantine in the sense that students will be in their residence halls with very limited contact with others outside their pods, food delivery, mail delivery, outside scheduled exercise, no mass gatherings of any sort.

Grocery Shopping During Quarantine

Q: Students who stay on campus and do not have meal plans or have very reduced meal plans, how will they be accommodated as they will be making grocery runs (and so will have exposure to others)?

A: During the two-week quarantine, students will not be able to go to the grocery store. It will be a true quarantine and we will ask students to utilize the delivery systems available to them.

Q: Can we order from UberEats during the two week quarantine?

A: Yes, with contactless delivery.


Q: Will they be able to do laundry in the first two weeks?

A: No. We encourage students to bring enough clothing for 14 days for the quarantine period. Students have sinks in their rooms and can hand wash items if needed. You may want to bring detergent and consider a drying rack for this purpose.

Q: Will there be a laundry service?

A: Possibly, but for a fee that the student will pay.

We have compiled a packing list of what to bring to Mudd this spring.

Please make sure to pay extra attention to what you might need during the two week quarantine period.

Student Housing

Q: Are parents allowed to “contactless” drop off supplies or food after the two-week quarantine period?

A: We are allowing curbside and contactless pick up of groceries and supplies. This does mean that the contactless pickups and drop-offs done by family members should be done quickly and not be a visit.

Q: Who will take care of my ESA if I am too sick to care for it or have to isolate or quarantine?

A: As stated in the HMC Assistance Animal Policy, owners are responsible for the care and supervision of an Assistance Animal at all times. HMC is not responsible for supervising and caring for an assistance animal in the case that an owner is unable to do so. Students should work with Student Accessibility Services at with regards to this issue.

Q: Can my partner visit me in my residence hall? What about other guests and family? Will 7C students be able to come to HMC?

A: For the spring semester, no guests will be permitted to visit on campus, which unfortunately includes fellow students from the other Claremont Colleges. However, an exception will be made for two people who may help students move-in during their assigned time slot in January.

We realize this will have serious implications on students’ social lives, and are working on ways to make sure students can still be a part of an active community. For example, there will be outdoor covered common spaces that we will create as alternatives for students wishing to spend socially distanced time together to study and work collaboratively.

Q: Can students visit each other in dorm rooms?

A: We have different outdoor spaces in the residence hall communities where students can visit. We will begin by not allowing students to visit each other in rooms and will revisit that policy as we are able.

Q: When will students find out if they will have a room?

A: December 4.

Q: Will January 11 still be the go/no go date for on-campus students?

A: Yes.

Q: When is the move-in date?

A: Move in will begin a few days before the first day of classes, which is scheduled for January 25. Student leaders will move in on Thursday, January 21, first-year students will move in on Saturday, January 23, and all other returning students will move in on Sunday, January 24. We will be sending you more information about move-in day. We are still planning to allow parents to accompany their student to move in—up to two people can accompany a student.

Q: If we change our mind half-way through the semester, would we be allowed to go back to our homes and stay there for the remaining of the semester?

A: We will permit students to return home to complete the spring semester from there, provided they do not attempt to return to campus after leaving. You will need to notify the Office of Residential Life as well as the associate dean for academic resources and student success as soon as possible before leaving campus so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Please keep in mind that if you choose to return home, you will be subject to the College’s normal refund policy in regard to room and board.

Q: Can I apply to live at home or off-campus while I am an enrolled student at HMC in the spring semester?

A: In order to apply for spring housing, students must read and complete the HMC Spring 2021 Housing Reservation Form by 11:59 p.m. November 30, 2020. Students who wish to continue to study remotely for the spring semester do not need to complete the form. Students who will be participating in remote learning should work with the academic deans ( to review their course schedule and discuss whether courses will be accessible in an online format. Students should be aware that some required courses, including labs, may have in-person components which are not able to be offered in an online format.

Students choosing to live away from campus and participate in remote learning due to underlying health conditions are encouraged to register with HMC’s Student Accessibility Services through the AIM portal or speak with Dean Amy Bibbens (

Off-campus Living and Financial Aid

Q: If students choose to stay off campus, will they adversely be impacted by financial aid?

A: If a student chooses to live off campus, their cost of attendance will change and their need-based financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. We prefer each student to reach out to Financial Aid directly at as every student’s financial situation is different.

Q: Do residence hall rooms have connected vents and is that a cause for concern?

A: Harvey Mudd College residence halls each have a different configuration for heating and cooling vents.

  • The Quad dorms (North, South (Marks), West and East) have dedicated units; the vents are not shared with other rooms.
  • Linde Hall is suite style with 3–4 rooms and a connected common lounge area. Each of these suites is served by a common unit with vents going from the dedicated unit to each room and lounge area. Vents are shared within the suite but there is no sharing of vents with neighboring suites.
  • Case Hall has dedicated units; the vents are not shared with other rooms. In some instances, some of the dedicated room units distribute air to the hallway but do not share with other rooms. DSA is working on a plan to manage the isolation protocol for students living in these specific rooms whose dedicated vents distribute air to the hallway.
  • Drinkward Residence Hall does not have any shared units; therefore, vents are not shared between rooms, O’s or suites.
  • Atwood Hall is suite style with 3–4 rooms and a connected common lounge area. Each room has a dedicated unit and each suite area has a dedicated unit. These units do not share vents with other rooms or suites.
  • Sontag Residence Hall is suite style with 3–4 rooms and connected common lounge area/ kitchen. Each room in the suite has dedicated units to each of the rooms with no shared vents between rooms. All common areas in suites have a dedicated unit with shared vents serving the common areas within the suite. There is no sharing of vents with neighboring suites.

Currently, all guidance from the CDC and LA County Public Health has not indicated any concerns with shared vents in living spaces. The main recommendation is to increase outside air circulation as much as possible by opening doors and windows wherever feasible. All Ccollege buildings have well- maintained, properly functioning ventilation systems, and as long as social distancing is adhered to, we do not anticipate the spaces that have shared vents presenting health risks to our students. The WHO had previously reported airborne transmission of the virus could occur only in health care settings through aerosol generating procedures. Most recently, the WHO stated some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, combined with droplet transmission, for example, during choir practice, in restaurants or fitness classes in spaces with inadequate ventilation. Furthermore, the WHO stated the proportion of exhaled droplet nuclei or of respiratory droplets that evaporate and generate aerosols, and the infectious dose of viable SARS-CoV-2 required to cause infection in another person are unknown and further testing is required. The College is evaluating and monitoring the implications of this new development. At the present time, we do not believe the residence halls fit into this category, since all residence halls have a properly functioning and well-maintained ventilation system.

Q: If students are able to return to campus after the March break, will students who did not sign up to live on campus have another chance to choose to come back?

A: We don’t know yet how many students who already signed up would, if allowed, be able to return for sure. The numbers are fluctuating. We had 315 students signed up for our residence spots, and if we get a waiver, the maximum number we could have is 500. LA County has stated that schools that receive waivers can bring “up to 500” students back. We will take this question to Cabinet and to our advisory board to discuss.

Q: Why did the College prioritize first-years and seniors for residential life in the spring?

A: LA County and state requirements mandate that institutions of higher education house students in singles only. We made the decision to prioritize our first-years and seniors because of the types of academic courses and experiences these students need to have in the curriculum and at Mudd. We have also prioritized international students, because we have a number in the U.S. who need housing. After that, we will proceed with room draw numbers, which give juniors priority. We have a total of 574 single rooms, and not all students want to return to campus mid-year; some are currently in pods with other students or have year-long leases or other circumstances.

Q: If sophomores or juniors have labs that are being offered in person, could they be prioritized to live on campus? For those who don’t get a room on campus, will all classes, including labs, have an online virtual component?

A: For those sophomores and juniors who believe that they should be prioritized because they have a course which would qualify them for an exception, we ask that they fill out the housing form that was sent to them and explain their situation. The academic deans will review the request, and if it merits an exception, the student will be prioritized to live on campus.

We will ensure that every student is making progress toward graduation, regardless of whether they are on campus or not. Many of our labs will be available remotely. Our students get valuable hands-on experience in labs, and we want to make that happen for them as soon as possible. But all students who choose to be off campus will make good progress toward graduation through our remote offerings.

Q: Will students have roommates?

A: All rooms on campus will be single occupancy rooms for spring 2021.

Q: What are the logistics and costs for shipping storage items?

A: Please contact Dean Marco or Residence Life,, who will work with you on shipping items.

Q: What will happen with students’ personal items that are still in their rooms on campus or in storage pods?

A: All student items are still in their original rooms or in storage. College staff will move student belongings into the spring semester rooms. We will also be able to move the belongings of students currently in Arrow Vista apartments who choose to live on campus in the spring.

If returning to on campus housing this spring and stored items in the HMC provided pods

HMC brought back the storage pods that were provided to students in spring 2020. Storage items will be delivered to student rooms before students arrive. Any items that were stored without proper labels will be unable to be delivered. There will be a storage space dedicated to these items after students arrive, that students may be able to locate/claim unlabeled items.

As a reminder based on the liability waiver signed when the HMC provided pods were assigned, Harvey Mudd College, Harvey Mudd College’s agents, affiliates, and authorized representatives are not responsible for any loss, liability, claim, expense, or damage to property related to the storage pods or delivery service provided to students.

If returning to on-campus housing or Arrow Vista apartments but secured own storage (not HMC provided)

Students who chose to secure off campus storage (not organized by HMC) for their items in spring 2020 may retrieve their items from off campus storage locations on the day that they are permitted to move-in to their residence hall rooms. We ask that students in this situation plan ahead so that they are able to retrieve their items prior to their designated move-in times. Returning students will be able to sign up for move-in times that work with their personal needs, and can fill out the move-in time change request for students form to request changes in move-in times based on extraordinary circumstances. If students stored items off campus in groups with other HMC students, we recommend that students sign up for similar times so that they may retrieve off campus storage items together before coming to campus.

If items stored in the HMC provided pods spring 2020 but not returning to on-campus housing

HMC will store students’ items on campus for students who are not returning to campus this spring. Students will have the option to keep items stored until the spring semester or may schedule a time to retrieve their items from on campus storage sometime after January 25. Students should contact the Office of Housing and Residential Life at if they are not returning to campus and have items in HMC provided storage.

Q: What will be the College’s response to students who violate the “visitation” rules for HMC’s campus? What about the other campuses?

A: The College considers these standards to be essential to our ability to physically reopen this spring. The policies exist because we think it’s the only way for us to be able to open, so it’s important to make sure that they are followed.

If students feel like they cannot abide by the policies and protocols, they have the opportunity to make an active choice not to return this spring. Students, staff and faculty in our community all have different circumstances and backgrounds, and we hope to provide a stable, safe environment without putting people at risk.

If a student gets sick, the most important thing is for us to connect them with healthcare and mitigate risk to the rest of the community. Because of this, when a student tests positive for COVID-19, a member of the contact tracing committee will reach out and ask questions about individuals you may have had contact with during the incubation phase of your sickness. The contact tracing committee is not responsible for Honor Code or COVID-19 Policy enforcement, and will be focused on public health, not student conduct enforcement. This is always a public health issue first, and students will be encouraged to honestly report contact with community members, regardless of if they were following COVID-19 Policies.

Our expectation is that those who actively choose to return to the residential campus environment will keep each other accountable and safe. The Student Advisory Board and the DSA are still working together on determining how violations will be handled from a student conduct perspective. We respect the Honor Code at HMC and we recognize that it is important for students to be transparent about their social activities for the purposes of contact tracing. Thus, this sentiment will be taken into consideration when determining sanctions for students who come forward with an unprompted self report regarding COVID-19 policies. We will focus on working with the student first and ensuring everybody on campus is staying safe and healthy. However, in the case of repeated violations, the school will take action to make sure we can maintain the safety of the community. In extreme circumstances, students who continue to violate policies, despite warnings, may be subject to the involuntary leave of absence process as outlined in the Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, and Readmission Policy.

Helpful Resources