Harvey Mudd College Visit Report by Pajkaj
Admissions Interview: Yes - Didn't have during my visit, but with a rep who visited my hometown. The one I had was pretty standard - usual questions, why interested, what about HMC, etc.
Information Session: Yes - Very statistically oriented, which I suppose is to be expected, but it was kind of like a laundry list of numbers. I enjoyed the tour much more than this.
Campus Tour: Yes - Fantastic. Got a very realistic feel for the school. We were shown the dorms, (very... unique, in a good way), led through some classrooms... guide was enthusiastic yet down to earth.
Campus Visit Notes for Harvey Mudd College
I found the campus very aesthetically attractive. Most find the buildings less so, but I differed in that regard. Our tour guide was a very eccentric but down to earth girl who was a compsci/math major (I believe). She spoke very fondly of the Core curriculum, and said that she had never considered computer science yet had to take a compsci course for the core, loved it, and decided to do one of HMC's dual majors.
She showed us classrooms, which had a very small-school feel. She told a story about a friend whose teacher tutored her twice a week for three months to help her through a subject with which she had a particular difficulty. Because of no grad school, teachers who are there really want to teach. Also, research possibilities are left for undergrads. Students can do research as early as their freshman year, I believe.
Alcohol is definitely present on the 5-C campus, but there is little pressure on those who don't drink to do so. There seemed to be a lot to do on the campuses.
Claremont is kind of inset in the mountains. You wouldn't really think that, knowing how close it is to LA, but it is really quite beautiful, even coming from a mid-western-er who sees mountains almost every day.
Moral of the story:
I felt very much like HMC's feel was a "work hard, play hard" type of vibe. Students are very (VERY) academically motivated, but when the work ends, they also know how to have a good time.
As I visited Stanford, CalTech, and Berkley on the same trip, HMC was a much home-ier, more small town than Stanford or Berkley. HMC felt very individually oriented relative to Berkley, (teachers might ACTUALLY know their students' names!) HMC didn't have to talk about how many nobel prize winners it had parking spots for, nor talk about endowment. Most importantly, HMC had none of the pretentiousness that was nearly suffocating at rival school CalTech.
The kids seemed... real. I don't know how else to describe it. Each student seemed very interested in what they were doing and passionate for their interests. I was very impressed with the trip.
Hotel/Lodging Recommendations or Comments:
We stayed in LA in a (relatively) cheap motel.
Dining/Restaurant Recommendations or Comments:
We ate lunch at a local italian restaurant and enjoyed it tremendously. And we picked up jamba juices on our way out of town, which were scrumptious as always. [:
Other Comments (Transportation, local attractions, parking, etc.):
Parking didn't Seem to be too bad, but I don't think it's necessarily a good thing to have a car. Most of the time, enough people have cars that you won't ever need one.