Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Small Colleges for a Biology Degree

30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the West

Harvey Mudd College, also known as HMC, is one of the colleges that make up the Claremont Colleges campus. This campus is home to five colleges and two graduate schools that share resources. Though the colleges use the same libraries, classroom spaces and buildings, each college operates independently and has a separate application process. Harvey Mudd was a rich local man who made his fortune as an investor in a mining company. Though he helped fund the college named in his honor, he passed away before it opened in 1955. HMC has a population of around 800 students and accepts fewer than 14% of applications every year. Though many of those students commute to school, the campus has several residence halls available for those who want to live on-site.

Though the college is small in size, it received recognition for a number of things. The National Science Foundation found that the college produces more PhD engineering and science students than all but two other colleges in the nation. The Daily Beast and U.S. News & World Report are just two publications that ranked HMC as one of the country's best colleges. Kaplan also referred to the college as one of the newest up and coming Ivy League campuses, and Payscale found that graduates of the college earn the highest average salaries of graduates from all colleges in the country.

Harvey Mudd College Accreditation Details

As Harvey Mudd College is so small, you might think that it lacks the accreditation found at larger colleges, but it actually has both regional and specialty accreditation. Regional accreditation, which applies to all the degree programs available, comes from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). With WASC, you can get the financial help that you need to pay for college through the loan and grant programs available from the federal government. The WASC also performs audits of the college every decade to ensure that it continues meeting the requirements needed for accreditation. The Bachelor of Science in Engineering program offered by HMC has specialty accreditation too. This program has accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Harvey Mudd College Application Requirements

HMC has an acceptance rate of between 13 and 15%. Anyone applying to the college must present a transcript that shows he or she took specific classes in high school. Those classes must include chemistry, physics, calculus, two years of a foreign language, two to three years of social studies or social sciences and four years of English. The college also recommends that students take higher level courses in college or through an advanced placement program. Students must supply the college with an official high school transcript, and those who took college classes must supply an official college transcript.

Harvey Mudd College uses the Common Application, which is an independent website that operates separately from the college. After creating an account with the site, you can apply to any college that uses this app. Though you will need to pay a fee of $70 when submitting your application, you can also request a fee waiver. The Common Application for HMC has an essay requirement that asks you to write a short essay and sections that professionals from your high school must complete. Your guidance counselor will need to write both a letter of recommendation and a school report. The college also asks for a letter of recommendation from either a science or math teacher and from a humanities, art or social studies teacher. All students must also submit test scores from the ACT or SAT.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending Harvey Mudd College may cost more than you think because the college is one of the most expensive in the country. The standard tuition rate that full-time students pay is more than $52,000 a year. Fees add around $300 to that cost. The college estimates that students living in a residence hall or dormitory will pay more than $72,000 a year for tuition, expenses, room and board. Students will also face extra fees for studying abroad, taking art classes or enrolling in other special courses.

Filing the FAFSA is just one step in the process of getting financial aid from this college. Once the college receives your forms, it will send you more information about applying for both merit-based and need-based scholarships. Merit-based scholarships go to students who graduated at the top of their classes and have strong test scores and grades, while need-based scholarships go to students who cannot afford the cost of attending HMC. Those who receive need-based scholarships will need to reapply for those scholarships every year. HMC also offers traditional financial aid in the form of grants and loans. Students who live on the HMC campus and demonstrate more financial need may also take part in the federal work-study program.

Harvey Mudd Degree Options

Harvey Mudd College is fairly unique because it offers a limited selection of majors. There are just six standard programs and three programs that let students major in two different subjects. Its computer science program requires that students take four foundation classes that ensure they understand the fundamentals of computers four other courses that look at topics like algorithms and software development. All students in this program must also enroll in the computer science clinic at least twice, which lets them gain some experience working with real clients. The program also includes a colloquium that allows students to view the research done by others and present some of their own research and projects.

The biology program offered by HMC is best for students hoping to attend medical school. It consists of six core biology courses like biostatistics, molecular biology and evolutionary biology. Students also take three chemistry courses and several electives within the biology department. Senior students will work with advisers to select thesis topics and gain course credit for the research and writing they do while working on a thesis paper or project. The college also offers students the right to specialize their biology degrees with a concentration in molecular biology. A large number of biology graduates from Harvey Mudd College now attend some of the top medical schools, work in major hospitals and work for other health care organizations and agencies.