Apr 22, 2024  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION] Use the dropdown above to select the current catalog.

Admission & Financial Aid

Applicant Information

Harvey Mudd College enrolls approximately 200 new students each year. The College has become highly selective in the past several years as the number of applications has grown significantly. We seek to assemble a group of new students that is as diverse as possible that also represents the values of integrity, community, and of academic depth and breadth that are espoused in HMC’s Mission Statement and in the Honor Code.

When reviewing each candidate, the committee considers carefully every aspect of the student’s application. We seek to understand the student’s accomplishments within the context of the opportunities available to the student. We look for potential as well as achievement, and we look for people who seem to match the values of the College. We are mindful of students who have shown personal and academic growth. We pay attention to extensive participation or leadership within one’s school or community activities. We admire an unusual accomplishment in a scientific area, a special talent or a notable amount of resilience. The College actively seeks a diverse student population and encourages applications from candidates whose backgrounds have been underrepresented in engineering, science, and mathematics.

When reviewing applications, the student’s academic course load and the grades earned are the primary concern, but we also look carefully into the student’s writing ability and the recommendations received in support of the applicant. The Admission Committee notes trends in grades, relative strengths and weaknesses, and overall academic preparation.

Most of the College’s entrants have stood in the top 10 percent of their high school classes. The Admission Committee is especially impressed by students who have earned top grades in rigorous mathematics and science courses but who also excel in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

Those who have an unusual academic background (alternative programs, home-schooling, graduating early, etc.) are given equal consideration. Such candidates should consult the Office of Admission counselors to learn how to present their experiences completely and clearly.

First-year Admission

There are three application deadlines for admission to the first-year class. The Early Decision I deadline is November 15 with notification sent by December 15. The deadline for the second round of Early Decision (ED II) is January 5 with notifications sent by February 15. Regular Decision candidates apply by January 5, are notified by April 1, and must respond to the offer of admission by May 1. All acceptances are contingent upon satisfactory completion of the final term in good standing in all matters related to course work and character.

First-year students can apply for entrance only in the fall semester. If any questions arise about the application, the staff in the Office of Admission is available for advice and counsel to all students and their families.

Common Application– All candidates for admission should apply using the Common Application, which can be found at www.commonapp.org or by using links provided on the Harvey Mudd Admission website.

Application Fee– The admission application should be accompanied by a $70 application fee, which covers part of the cost of processing the application. It is not refundable. Students who have significant financial need should not be discouraged from applying but should file their admission applications and use the Common Application to request a fee waiver.

Counselor and Teacher Recommendations– These are confidential reports by the school counselor and by classroom teachers. The school report is completed by a high school counselor. An instructor of English, history, or foreign languages should complete a second recommendation. A third recommendation must be completed by a mathematics or science teacher.

Official Transcripts– Applicants must submit transcripts from their most recent high school term. A transcript showing work completed in the first term of the senior year should be sent as soon as those marks are available. Students must also file transcripts for any college courses completed. A final official transcript confirming graduation and good standing at the conclusion of the school year is also required of any enrolling student.

Standardized Tests– Every first-year applicant is required to take the SAT or the ACT exam (including the writing component). All applicants are also required to take two SAT Subject Tests: Math Level 2 and a second exam of the candidate’s choice. Early Decision I applicants may take the SAT or ACT Reasoning Test and/or Subject Tests as late as the November test date. Applicants for ED II may submit scores from tests taken as late as December. Regular Decision applicants may take the SAT tests as late as the January test date or the ACT exam as late as the December test date. The Admission Committee will only accept and review official score reports submitted by the College Board or ACT Inc. Our policy requires students to send all SAT and/or ACT scores.

Personal Interview– Interviews are not required but are strongly recommended. They provide an excellent opportunity for applicants to learn more about Harvey Mudd College. They also allow a member of the admission committee to know an applicant better. Typically, interviews occur during the fall of, or in the summer just before, a student’s senior year. Preferably, the interview will occur before the application deadline passes.

Curricular Expectations

Applicants are expected to complete a strong program of studies throughout their secondary school career. Each enrolling student is required to complete one year of high school or one semester of college course work in calculus, chemistry, and physics. Students who are unable to complete one or some of these courses may be admitted contingent upon successful completion of a summer college course in that discipline. Applicants who will not have completed the requirements should make this fact known at the time of their applications.

The Admission Committee encourages students to pursue work in advanced courses, especially in science and mathematics, if their preparation allows.

English – Four years. It is assumed that the student will have a thorough grounding in grammar and competence in writing and speaking.

Mathematics – Calculus is required before entering in the fall.

Laboratory Science – At least one year of chemistry and one year of physics are required before entering in the fall. One year of biology is recommended.

Foreign Language – Two years recommended.

Social Science – Applicants are encouraged to elect at least two years of social science courses, including at least one year of history.

First-year Early Decision

First-time college candidates who decide that Harvey Mudd College is clearly their first choice may use one of the Early Decision options. Applicants admitted through Early Decision are expected to withdraw all other college applications, to not initiate new ones and to enroll at Harvey Mudd College. Students, a parent or guardian, and the student’s counselor all sign a statement verifying that all other college applications will be withdrawn. Students who apply under an Early Decision plan may only have one Early Decision application currently active at any one time. This means that a student may only use the Early Decision option at Harvey Mudd College if Early Decision applications to other colleges have been closed.

Students who are unsure about their choice for college should not use an Early Decision option but should instead apply by the Regular Decision deadline of January 5. Early Decision candidates should submit all of their credentials by November 15 for Early Decision I or by January 5 for Early Decision II.

In considering Early Decision applicants, the Admission Committee may vote in one of three ways: it may accept the candidate, it may postpone the application to be reviewed again with the Regular Decision pool, or it may deny admission. An early application is denied if the committee feels that the application would be rejected within the Regular Decision pool context. If a decision is postponed, an applicant’s chances for acceptance are not prejudiced in any way, and the application is considered along with all Regular Decision candidates. Students whose decisions are postponed are released from the agreement (obligation to enroll) that was signed in the Early Decision Statement.

Early Decision I candidates who wish to apply for financial aid must file their online College Scholarship Service (CSS)/Financial Aid PROFILE application on or before November 15. The deadline for Early Decision II applicants is January 5. Candidates must also submit a signed copy of their parents’ federal income tax return from the previous year. For information about applying for financial aid go to https://www.hmc.edu/admission/afford/.

Deferred Entrance

Candidates who are accepted for admission may request to defer their entrance for a year. They should write to the Office of Admission describing their plans and must submit their commitment deposits by May 1. A student who plans to defer enrollment at HMC may not enroll in a degree program at another college during this interval, and they may not initiate any new applications.

International Students

International students are those who are not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. The procedure for the admission of international students is essentially the same as the procedure for domestic students. International applicants must submit all official credentials in English or with translations. In addition, international students must show that they are sufficiently fluent in English to enable them to handle the work of all courses. Harvey Mudd College does not offer English as a Second Language or other special programs for non-English speaking foreign students.

Scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required of international candidates. The minimum score required for the TOEFL examination is 100 (on the Internet-based test, 600 on the paper version). The minimum score for IELTS is 8. The requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS can be waived based on a request made by the applicant. Harvey Mudd College offers funding for a small number of international students.

Final Transcripts Required

Enrolling first-year students must submit a final high school transcript that should indicate the day, month, and year of graduation. Enrolling first-year or transfer students must also submit any and all college transcripts showing the most recent marks obtained. If the enrolling student does not have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent (or, for California residents, the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE)), the student must be able to demonstrate strong academic performance that assures the Admission Committee that the student has excelled in an academic program with depth and rigor. College-level courses taken while a high school student are not eligible for transfer to Harvey Mudd.

A final transcript is a critical component in allowing the College to award federal financial assistance. To be eligible for Title IV funds (federal student aid programs), a student must submit evidence of a high school diploma, an equivalent such as a GED, or must complete secondary school in a homeschool setting (as defined by state law). High school diplomas from other countries are acceptable toward the student’s eligibility as long as the diploma is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma.

Enrollment Deposit

Every admitted student who plans to enter is required to remit a non-refundable enrollment deposit of $300 to the Office of Admission by the date prescribed in the acceptance letter. Confirmation of final admission is contingent upon this deposit.

Transfer Admission

The College only accepts transfers for the fall term. Students are considered for transfer standing if they will have completed the equivalent of one year of full-time academic coursework by the time they enter Harvey Mudd College. Candidates must submit their applications by April 1 prior to the September of desired enrollment. Notification is sent by May 15 and response regarding the offer of admission is required by June 1.

In addition to the application, personal essays and the application fee, transfer candidates must submit a final transcript from secondary school and transcripts of all previous college work. We also require course descriptions of all college courses completed or in progress. Three recommendations are required. At least one of the three required references must come from a mathematics, science, or engineering instructor at the candidate’s college. A second recommendation must be submitted by an instructor from humanities, social sciences, or the arts. A statement from a college official (advisor, dean of students, or the like) is also required in which the official verifies that the candidate is in good standing. Transfer candidates are encouraged to submit two SAT Subject Tests (Math Level 2 and another of the student’s choice).

In assessing transfer applications, the Admission Committee places considerable weight on the nature and quality of the previous college record. An important factor in selecting transfer students concerns the kinds of courses the applicant has completed. The College seeks transfer candidates who have completed courses similar to those in its Core Curriculum. Where college transcripts do not clearly indicate the quality of work (e.g., many pass/no credit courses), it is the applicant’s responsibility to provide supplemental information to assist the committee’s evaluation.

All transfer students must spend the equivalent of four full-time semesters at Harvey Mudd and must complete all Harvey Mudd degree requirements.

The College policy on awarding credit for work completed elsewhere is described under “Academic Regulations.” Offers of admission are conditional, pending review of final transcripts showing satisfactory completion of courses in progress.

3-2 Programs

Harvey Mudd offers a 3-2 Program in Economics and Engineering in cooperation with Claremont McKenna College. The program is designed for students who want a liberal arts background, with emphasis on economics and management, and an engineering major. The students spend their first three years at Claremont McKenna College studying mathematics, science, economics, management, and general education courses, as well as completing courses equivalent to HMC’s Common Core. At the end of the junior year, they may apply as transfer students to Harvey Mudd.

Harvey Mudd also has a 3-2 program in Engineering with Scripps College. It is similar to the 3-2 program with Claremont McKenna College, but the 3-2 Program with Scripps College does not include the emphasis on economics. The students reside at Scripps College for their first three years and cover a broad range of courses with emphasis in mathematics and science.

Students accepted into either 3-2 program must complete Harvey Mudd’s requirements for general education and for the engineering major. Because curricular expectations for the 3-2 transfer program are specific, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Harvey Mudd College Office of Admission, the Harvey Mudd College Office of the Registrar, and the chair of the Department of Engineering.

Veterans and Their Dependents

To receive veteran education benefits, a veteran or a veteran’s dependent must apply to the Veterans Administration to receive a Certificate of Eligibility. (A Certificate of Eligibility does not constitute admission to the College.) Students must notify the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Accounts if they expect to receive veteran’s benefits. Upon enrollment at Harvey Mudd, the veteran (or dependent) should present the Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar will file the necessary documentation with the Veterans Administration to certify the student’s enrollment at Harvey Mudd. Please be aware that the College is obligated to notify the Veterans Administration of any change to the student’s certification status, such as a student’s withdrawal from a course or a student’s failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward the degree. Additional general information about various educational benefit programs for veterans and their dependents can be found at gibill.va.gov.

Advanced Placement

The Admission Committee recognizes that advanced placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and honors courses are often more demanding than conventional courses and gives appropriate weight to them in the selection process. Harvey Mudd does not award credit for either AP or IB exams.

Courses for High School Students

Local high school students may be permitted to take one course at HMC per term. The courses are typically taken in mathematics and science and are usually not offered in their high schools. These students must have excellent academic credentials and submit a “special student application” no later than two weeks prior to the start of classes. Selection is made by the Office of Admission after reviewing the application and following consultation with the appropriate academic department(s). These students are not considered to be in residence. Charges for special course work are nominal, reflecting only the administrative processing costs, not the cost of instruction. The Office of Admission can provide details on fees for the coming year.

Campus Visits

Students and their parents are encouraged to visit Harvey Mudd College, especially when classes are in session. Tours, class visits, interviews, and overnight stays are available. Please contact the Office of Admission at 909.621.8011 or visit the Harvey Mudd website to arrange a visit and get directions.

College Expenses

Total Expenses

Listed below are the total College expenses for the 2016–2017 academic year:

Tuition $ 52,383  
Room Rent $ 9,209  
Board (16 meals) $ 7,842  
Student Body Fee $ 283  
Total $ 69,717  

The transportation allowance will vary based on distance, ranging from $200 to $1,400. Students will be automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan unless proof of comparable coverage is provided and a waiver is submitted by the deadline date. The College reserves the right to change these, or any other fees, at any time. Entering first year and transfer students will be charged an additional $250 Orientation fee. It is projected that overall expenses will increase about 5 percent each academic year. However, the College has been very successful in assisting students who need financial aid through its extensive program of scholarships and grants, education loans, and student employment.


The tuition charge for the 2016–2017 academic year at Harvey Mudd College is $52,383. Students enrolled in 10 or more credits are charged full tuition. Those in less than 10 are charged pro rata.

Room and Board

The 2016–2017 charge for a campus room is $9,209. Board charges for the year are $7,842 for 16 meals a week plus $16 “Board Plus” per week (full board). Other board plans are available.

Dues and Fees

Dues set by the Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College are $283 per year.

Other Expenses

Additional expenses for a year at Harvey Mudd College also include the cost of books and supplies, clothing, transportation, recreation, and incidentals. An allowance toward transportation expenses should be added for students outside the Southern California region only.

Monthly Payment Plan

Payment of all regular charges is due prior to the beginning of each semester per the due date on the Harvey Mudd College billing statement (full payment plan). However, annual charges may be paid in 10 monthly installments. The first installment is due in July, and the final installment is due the following April. Applications for the monthly payment plan are mailed to all students in June, and there is a service charge of $10 per month ($50 per semester). Use of the monthly payment plan is a privilege that may be revoked for just cause.

Financial Aid

Harvey Mudd College offers a comprehensive program of scholarships, grants, loans, and work from the College, the federal and state governments, and from other sources to assist students and parents in paying the cost of attending Harvey Mudd College.

The College is committed to its need-blind admission policy for domestic students and guarantees that it will meet 100 percent of the demonstrated financial need of each applicant as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE applications.

Approximately 77 percent of the families with students attending Harvey Mudd College receive need-based or non-need based financial assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, and/or loan funds. Approximately 70 percent receive scholarship assistance directly from Harvey Mudd College.

One of the primary goals of the financial aid staff is to inform prospective students and parents, as well as current students and parents, of the various financial aid programs available to assist families with educational costs. For information, consult “Admission & Financial Aid” on the Harvey Mudd website (www.hmc.edu) or contact the financial aid staff with questions at 909.621.8055.