Harvey Mudd College Visit Report by esquiar
Admissions Interview: Yes - They like to stress that it isn't "make-or-break," and the interviewer definitely put me at ease. All of the questions were pretty reasonable, and I asked a few questions of my own.
Information Session: Yes - Was absolutely great. Because we had a "big" group (only 6 students!), they moved us to the student lounge, which is fully of comfy couches. They added in many anecdotes, which made it inter
Campus Tour: Yes - The tour guide was extremely energetic and enthusiastic. She was upfront about their alcohol policy and living arangements, and this made it easy to trust everything else she said.
Campus Visit Notes for Harvey Mudd College
Dorm arrangements could be described as anything but traditional. All dorms are coed, and nearly all dorm bathrooms are unisex. The college even has coed suites, but not coed rooms (The tour guide lived in a double with another freshman girl, but the other bedrooms in the suite were occupied by upperclassman boys.) Of course, I'm sure people could opt out of this sort of arrangement on their housing questionnaire.
One nice feature: The campus cleans all dorm bathrooms (even suites) every other week.
The campus is officially wet, meaning admin and proctors (seniors who act as the RA for a dorm) don't prohibit alcohol and don't check to see that those who drink can do so legally. However, my tour guide claimed that she didn't drink, and that her roommates--who have an extensive collection of liquors--never pressured her to do so. She also claims no one else has pressured her or her friends.
It's really not a heavy party school at all. The tour guide claimed that there had only been one Mudder hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in 8 years! A few dorms have most of the partys, which any HMC student can attend. Other dorms are alcohol-free. The campus does provide substantial security for large parties intended to attract those from the other Claremont schools. When such a party occurs, security fences off the entire dorm, and won't let anyone in without their Claremont ID. This prevents older party cruisers or high schoolers from crashing the parties, making them safer, but it's a pain for those who forget their ID.
This school has top-notch academics! It's core is just as rigorous as that of MIT or Caltech. The big difference is that HMC's profs actually want to teach, because HMC has no grad students.
The college requires that all students participate in research at some point, but the vast majority do research multiple times. Most majors require "clinic," which gives students hands-on experience solving real design problems posed by corporations and non-for-profits. These actually produce real patents.
Nearly half the student body stays for the first 8 weeks of summer to conduct (paid) research or finish the core math sequence (so that they can study abroad junior year).
Another interesting feature: Anyone can bring their car to campus, even Freshman. It only costs $20/semester to park it in a lot across the street.