Engineering Curriculum FAQs

Why does Harvey Mudd only offer a general engineering major?

Harvey Mudd College believes that its broad engineering program is most likely to produce engineers capable of adapting a changing technology to expanding human needs. Within this context, an engineering major may choose to emphasize a particular engineering specialty by choosing appropriate elective courses and Engineering Clinic projects.

Can I still specialize in an area or engineering?

Yes. Through the elective courses and your Clinic project, you can focus on a specific area with in engineering. It is also possible to take courses above and beyond the requirements for graduation.

Will I have many electives within the major?

Within the engineering major, you will have three upper division electives, and you may choose what clinic project you would like to work on. Again, you can select to take courses above and beyond the requirements for graduation.

How much time will I spend doing homework?

In short, a lot. The amount of homework you do will vary from class to class, but the homework load will typically be between 4 and 10 hours for a class.

Will I have time for other activities?

Yes! Even though Harvey Mudd has a rigorous academic program, you will always find (and sometimes make) time to do something other than study. There are a ton of activities always happening on campus and at the other Claremont Colleges.

How big are the classes?

The typical engineering core class has 20 to 80 students. Technical electives are often smaller. Clinic teams have 4 students. Many students also choose to do research one-on-one with professors.

Will I be able to get into the classes I need?

Yes. Rarely is an engineering student not able to take an engineering course he or she needs. In fact, the only problems that really occur are due to schedule conflicts or full classes for sophomores, but these instances are rare.

Who teaches the classes?

All courses taught at Harvey Mudd are taught by professors. You will never see a “TA” or any other student teacher. This goes for recitation and labs as well.

What kind of hands-on experience will I get?

Tons. Classes such as E4 and Clinic have a hands-on element to them. Other courses such as E80 are entirely lab-based, and you will spend countless hours in the lab.

What is the Engineering Clinic Program?

The Engineering Clinic Program brings together teams of students with faculty advisors to work on carefully selected industry-sponsored projects. Coordination with industrial liaisons ensures that the project experience corresponds as closely as possible to that encountered in actual practice. The students plan and execute their projects; coaching, monitoring, and evaluation is provided by the professors. The questions they face are the sort that professional engineers encounter regularly, and the solutions they devise must be satisfactory in practice as well as in theory. The projects themselves cover a wide range of technical arenas.