Harvey Mudd College Visit Report by Pajkaj

Visit to Harvey Mudd College in April 2008 by Pajkaj
(Student, HS Class of 2009)
(Member since October 28 2020 with ? posts)

Visit Activities:

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.


Friendliness/Courtesy of Students:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Every student we met seemed very happy to be there.

Friendliness/Courtesy of Staff:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Probably the nicest and least grumpy out of all college staffs I've experienced on college trips.

Appearance of Campus:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Very pretty, and organized. The dorms were a little funky, but I thought it just added spirit.

Building/Facilities Maintenance/Cleanliness:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Dorms cleaned every two weeks by staff; classrooms and buildings were immaculate.

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Very nice. I don't remember many of the details, but very good relative to other colleges. Very big!!

4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
As good as any other college. The small town feel made me think that aside from other college kids, there wasn't really much of anything to need safety for.

Overall Campus Impression:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
I loved it. I felt very much like HMC was sort of built around a theme of collaboration. Probably what makes HMC stand out in my mind is students' desires to work together rather than compete.


Area Immediately Around Campus:
5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent
Other 5-C schools were very welcoming. All of the schools felt "together", but one could still tell when they walked off one campus and onto another.

4 - Very Good
4 - Very Good
Claremont is very small. LA provides more of an urban feel about 45 minutes away, but one has to drive/take public transport to get there. Claremont's night life was the college campus.

Campus Visit Notes for Harvey Mudd College

Visit Description:

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.