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Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College (HMC) is a private residential undergraduate science and engineering college in Claremont, California. It is one of the institutions of the contiguous Claremont Colleges which share adjoining campus grounds. Harvey Mudd College shares university resources such as libraries, dining halls, health services and campus security with the other Claremont Colleges, although each college is independently managed, with their own faculty, board of trustees, endowment, and admissions procedures. Students at Harvey Mudd College may take classes (acceptable for academic credit at Harvey Mudd College) at the other four undergraduate Claremont colleges. The Bachelor of Science diploma received at graduation is issued by Harvey Mudd College.

The college is named after Harvey Seeley Mudd, one of the initial investors in the Cyprus Mines Corporation. Although involved in planning of the new institution, Mudd died before it opened. The college was funded by Mudd's friends and family, and named in his honor.[5]

Harvey Mudd College
TypePrivate Undergraduate college
Endowment$316.8 million(2018)[1]
Budget$83 million[2]
PresidentMaria Klawe
Academic staff
CampusSuburban, 38 acres (15 ha)
AthleticsNCAA Division III – SCIAC
NicknameStags (men) / Athenas (women)
AffiliationsClaremont Colleges
Oberlin Group
Annapolis Group
  Men's, Stag
  Women's, Athenas
  Wally Wart
Websitehmc.edu [38]
Harvey Mudd College logo.svg
University rankings
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[27]23
Washington Monthly[28]2


Harvey Mudd College entrance on Dartmouth Ave.

Harvey Mudd College entrance on Dartmouth Ave.[6]

HMC offers four-year degrees in chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, and engineering, interdisciplinary degrees in mathematical biology, and joint majors in computer science and mathematics; or in biology and chemistry. Students may also elect an Individual Program of Study (IPS) or an off-campus major offered by any of the other Claremont Colleges, provided one also completes a minor in one of the technical fields that Harvey Mudd offers as a major.[7]

In 2018, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that, in response to student "complaints first to mental-health counselors and then to outside evaluators", the college was "considering how to ease pressure on students without sacrificing rigor." [8]


For the class of 2022, the college received 4,101 applications and admitted 594 applicants (a 14.5% acceptance rate). Of the 224 freshmen who enrolled, the middle 50% of SAT scores were 770–800 in mathematics and 720–760 in critical reading, while the ACT Composite range was 34–35.[9]

Harvey Mudd, along with Wake Forest University, long held out as the last four-year colleges or universities in the U.S. to accept only SAT and not ACT test scores for admission.[10] In August 2007, at the beginning of the application process for the class of 2012, HMC began accepting ACT results,[11] a year after Wake Forest abandoned its former SAT-only policy.[10]

Tuition and other costs

In 2016, Harvey Mudd was for the second year in a row the most expensive college in the United States, with the total annual cost of attendance (tuition, fees, and room and board) being $69,717. About 70% of freshmen receive financial aid.[12]

Harvey Mudd College dormitories

View of central campus, looking out of the former Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library.

View of central campus, looking out of the former Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library.

Galileo Hall and Hixon Courtyard

Galileo Hall and Hixon Courtyard

The official names for the dormitories of Harvey Mudd College are (listed in order of construction):[13]

  • Mildred E. Mudd Hall ("East")

  • West Hall ("West")

  • North Hall ("North")

  • Marks Residence Hall ("South")

  • J. L. Atwood Residence Hall (Atwood)

  • Case Residence Hall (Case)

  • Ronald and Maxine Linde Residence Hall (Linde)

  • Frederick and Susan Sontag Residence Hall (Sontag)

  • Wayne and Julie Drinkward Residence Hall (Drinkward)[14]

Until the addition of the Linde and Sontag dorms, Atwood and Case dorms were occasionally referred to as New Dorm and New Dorm II; Mildred E. Mudd Hall and Marks Hall are almost invariably referred to as East dorm and South dorm.

During the construction of Case Dorm some students decided as a prank to move all of the survey stakes exactly six inches in one direction.[15]

South Dorm is in the northwest corner of the quad. "East" was the first dorm, but it wasn't until "West" was built west of it that it was actually referred to as "East". Then "North" was built, directly north of "East". When the fourth dorm (Marks) was built, there was one corner of the quad available (the northwest) and one directional name, "South", remaining.[16] To this day "South" dorm is the northernmost HMC dorm.

The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth dorms built are Atwood, Case, Linde, Sontag, and Drinkward, respectively. They were initially referred to as "the colonies" by some students, a reference to the fact that they were newer and at the farthest end of the campus; these dorms are now more commonly referred to as "the outer dorms." The college had initially purchased an apartment building adjacent to the newer dorms to house additional students, but it was demolished to make room for Sontag.

Since any HMC student, regardless of class year, can live in any of the dormitories, several of the dorms have accumulated long-standing traditions and so-called 'personalities'.[17]

College traditions

A student-led organization, "Increasing Harvey Mudd's Traditional Practices" (IHTP), works to revive college traditions that have slowly faded over the years, and also starts new traditions that the group hopes to see take root on campus. It hosts annual events such as the 5-Class Competition, Friday Nooners, Wednesday Nighters, Frosh/Soph Games, and the Thomas-Garrett Affair.[18]


Axelrood Pool

Axelrood Pool

Athletes from Harvey Mudd compete alongside athletes from Claremont McKenna College and Scripps College as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags and Athenas.[19] The teams participate in NCAA Division III in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The mascot for the men's teams is Stanley the Stag, and the women's teams are the Athenas. Their colors are cardinal and gold.

Athletics history

According to the Division III Fall Learfield Director's Cup Standings for the 2016-2017 year, CMS ranks 12th among all Division III programs, and first among SCIAC colleges.[20]


There are 21 men's and women's teams.[21]

Men's sports

Women's sports

Athletic facilities

  • Baseball — Bill Arce Field

  • Basketball and Volleyball — Roberts Pavilion

  • Football and Lacrosse — John Zinda Field

  • Softball — Softball Field

  • Soccer — John Pritzlaff Field

  • Swimming and Diving — Matt M. Axelrood Pool

  • Tennis — Biszantz Family Tennis Center

  • Track and Field — Burns Track Complex[22]


The other sports combination of the Claremont Colleges, and CMS' primary rival, is the team made up of Pomona College and Pitzer College known as the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (P-P).


The former Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library

The former Norman F. Sprague Memorial Library

The original buildings of campus, designed by Edward Durell Stone and completed in 1955, features "knobbly concrete squares that students of Harvey Mudd affectionately call “warts” and use as hooks for skateboards."[23] The school's unofficial mascot "Wally Wart" is an anthropomorphic concrete wart.[23]

In 2013, Travel and Leisure named the college as one of "America's ugliest college campuses" and noted that while Stone regarded his design as a "Modernist masterpiece" the result was "layering drab, slab-sided buildings with Beaux-Arts decoration."[23]

Relations with Caltech

The California Institute of Technology, another school known for its strength in the natural sciences and engineering, is located 26 miles (42 km) away (nearly the distance of a marathon) from Harvey Mudd College. From time to time, Mudders have been known to amuse themselves by pranking Caltech. For example, in 1986, students from Mudd stole a memorial cannon from Fleming House at Caltech (originally from the National Guard) by dressing as maintenance people and carting it off on a flatbed truck for "cleaning".[24] Harvey Mudd eventually returned the cannon after Caltech threatened to take legal action. In 2006, MIT replicated the prank and moved the same cannon to their campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[25]


Harvey Mudd maintains the highest rate of science and engineering Ph.D. production among all undergraduate colleges and second highest (Caltech ranks first and MIT third) compared to all universities and colleges, according to a 2008 report by the National Science Foundation.[29]

Washington Monthly ranked Harvey Mudd 2nd in 2019 among 214 liberal arts colleges in the U.S. based on its contribution to the public good, as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.[30]Money magazine ranked Harvey Mudd 136th out of 744 in its "Best Colleges For Your Money 2019" report.[31]

In *U.S. News & World Report'*s 2020 "America's Best Colleges" report, Harvey Mudd College is tied for the 23rd best U.S. liberal arts college, is 2nd among undergraduate engineering schools in the U.S. whose highest degree is a Master's, and is ranked as tied for 6th "most Innovative School" among liberal arts colleges.[32] Forbes in 2019 rated it 23rd in its "America's Top Colleges" ranking of 650 military academies, national universities and liberal arts colleges.

Notable alumni

Notable Harvey Mudd College alumni include:

  • Co-inventor of SQL Donald D. Chamberlin (1966)

  • Astronauts George "Pinky" Nelson (1972) and Stan Love (1987)

  • Diplomat Richard H. Jones (1972)

Notable faculty

See also

  • Association of Independent Technological Universities

  • Maria Klawe


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Citation Linkwww.guidestar.org"Harvey Mudd College 2016 990 Form" (PDF). Guidestar. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
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Citation Linkmoney.cnn.comKatie Lobosco, The 10 most expensive colleges this year, CNN Money (November 11, 2016).
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Citation Linkwww.hmc.edu"New Harvey Mudd Residence Hall Named for Alumnus, Board Chair". Harvey Mudd College News Archive. July 14, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
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Citation Linkbulletin.hmc.eduStephanie L. Graham (Winter 2005). "A Treasured Friendship". Harvey Mudd College Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
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