Department of Engineering Philosophy and Goals

The program, designed to produce graduates who are exceptionally competent and whose work is notable for its breadth and technical excellence, emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. Based on the premise that design is the distinguishing feature of engineering, it includes applied research as early as students’ first year, a curriculum covering applied sciences, systems, and design and professional practice, as well as the Clinic Program—an internationally recognized model of experiential learning.

Engineering majors, who leave Harvey Mudd fully aware of the impact of their work on society, enjoy the benefit of a flexible curriculum that allows them to spend a semester or entire year studying at domestic and international colleges and universities if they wish, and the opportunity to conduct significant research alongside faculty members, often being named co-authors on published papers.

Our Philosophy

The philosophy of the engineering program at Harvey Mudd College is based on the recognition that there is a professional component that is best addressed through practice gained by working on real problems. The engineering program philosophy is adopted to produce generalists, able to communicate across disciplines through the use and understanding of mathematics and systems-based analysis, who can design effective and innovative solutions to discipline specific problems. Our goal is to graduate students capable of solving real problems that span multiple engineering disciplines. This goal is realized through our three main curricular areas of focus (design, systems, and engineering science), as well as through our emphasis on professional practice. We teach a rigorous theoretical and broad background in these three areas of focus. Layered on this broad-based education is a professional practice component, which is realized through hands-on experiences in the classroom throughout the program, research opportunities and our junior/senior capstone industry-sponsored Clinic projects.

Our Goals

  • Produce graduates who are exceptionally competent engineers whose work is notable for its breadth and its technical excellence.
  • Provide a “hands-on” approach to engineering so that graduates develop an understanding of engineering judgment and practice, including ethics.
  • Prepare and motivate students for lifetime of independent, reflective learning.
  • Produce graduates who are aware of the impact of their work onthe world.
  • Offer a curriculum that is current, exciting and challenging for both students and faculty, but can be completed in four years by any motivated student who is admitted to Harvey Mudd College.