Harvey Mudd College Visit Report by esquiar

Visit to Harvey Mudd College in June 2008 by esquiar
(Student, HS Class of 2009)
(Member since October 25 2020 with ? posts)

Visit Activities:


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:



Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
We talked with a random student afterwards, who was happy to spend twenty minutes telling us about herself and the college.



Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Admissions staff worked to put us at ease, and they seemed to be very relaxed, reasonable people. Didn't see any professors though.



Appearance of Campus:
4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
I liked the coherence of the campus's architecture. It's a little dull compared to that of Scripps next door, but it beats MIT by miles.



Building/Facilities Maintenance/Cleanliness:
4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
Everything seemed very shipshape and clean. A few hallways felt a little dark/dull, but I've seen a bit of that at every school.



Dormitories:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Very close-knit community. Outdoor courtyards as common areas. Each dorm has a distinctive personality, and students are placed with dorms and roommates based on lengthy questionnaire.



Security/Safety:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
The campus is narrow, but still feels separated from the rest of the city/Claremont schools. Claremont is a safe town to begin with, and the students all seem to look out for each other.



Overall Campus Impression:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
I arrived without a strong inclination towards Mudd, but by the time I left it had become my first-choice schools.


Off-Campus:



Area Immediately Around Campus:
4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
Walkable downtown area nearby with great shops and restaurants. It didn't seem as happenning as say Boulder or Austin, but I visited during the summer.



City/Town/Community:
4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
Claremont is a very pleasant suburb that's somewhat far, but also reasonably close (1-2 hr drive) to California's beaches, ski resorts, and amusement parks.

Campus Visit Notes for Harvey Mudd College


Visit Description:

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.