harvey mudd college majors

Unique Programs at Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Technologically Advanced Small Colleges.

Harvey Mudd College is truly different in its approach to learning. It concentrates primarily on STEM programs but builds a foundational bed of liberal arts offerings into its degrees. This is accomplished by allowing students to take courses from other Claremont Colleges.

All degree programs begin with the Common Core at Harvey Mudd. This is one course each of computer science and engineering, one biology course and its complementary lab, three semesters of mathematics, two-and-a-half semesters of physics with a lab, one-and-a-half semesters of chemistry including a lab, one-half semester of writing courses, and a course in critical inquiry. Harvey Mudd College offers no online degree program, but it does offer free online courses and MOOCS in several subjects.

The Biology Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology that includes the Common Core, the Biology Core, required chemistry courses, eleven units of advanced biology electives, a colloquium, and a capstone project. The Biology Core contains six courses in Biostatistics, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Biology, Comparative Physiology, Ecology, and Environmental Biology and a biology laboratory.

There is also a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Molecular Biology option, a joint major in Chemistry and Biology, a BS in Mathematical and Computational Biology and a Biology Minor. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry as well as the joint majors.

The Computer Science Department awards a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. The program contains the Common Core, as well as a Computer Science Foundational Requirement and the Computer Science Kernel Requirement. The Foundational component includes four courses: Principles of Computer Science, Discrete Mathematics, Data Structures, and Program Development and Computer Logic. The Kernel requirements are courses in Computer Systems, Software Development, Programming Languages and Algorithms. All the Kernel courses have associated labs. In addition, students must complete nine units of electives and must enroll in the Computer Science Clinic for one full academic year and take the Colloquium during both junior and senior years.

There is also a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/Mathematics and BS in Computer Science/Mathematics/Biology. The latter degree program is jointly administered by the Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry Departments. It studies the interface between the three disciplines and prepares students to advance to graduate study. Students have advisors from the Biology Department and either the Mathematics or the Computer Science Department. They select a specialization from one area of interest and customize the program to meet their needs. Computer Science is available as a minor as well.

The Department of Engineering awards a Bachelor of Science in Engineering that starts with the Common Core and adds the Engineering Core which is divided into three areas: Engineering Design, Engineering Systems, and Engineering Science. There are also 30 required credits in the humanities, social sciences, and arts. The degree contains 128 credits.

The Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts bachelor’s degree begins with a required introductory course, Critical Inquiry and then ten full courses that build concentrations. A full course is defined as three-to-four units, and a concentration is comprised of at least four courses in a single discipline from one of the cooperative Claremont Colleges. There are a total of 36 concentrations offered including American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Education, Holocaust and Human Rights, Linguistics, Psychology, Sociology, and others. Students also take one course in each of five HAS disciplines to build distribution, one course that involves significant writing and five additional exploratory courses within the Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts Department. Additionally, a course is required in cultural diversity.

The Department of Mathematics has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science/ Mathematics/Computational Biology and a joint Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Physics degree. The bachelor’s degree offered by the Physics Department is highly customizable to the student’s interest.

Harvey Mudd College also offers interdisciplinary studies and has three institutions to support them: the Hixon Center for Sustainable Environmental Design, The Center for Design Education and the Hixon-Riggs Program for Responsive Science and Engineering.

About Harvey Mudd College

This private, residential school is part of the Claremont College system. These are schools that share adjoining campus grounds and resources such as libraries and dining halls but are independently managed. Harvey Mudd College is a liberal arts school that specializes in STEM disciplines. To that end, they require a rigorous course of study in the humanities, social sciences and arts in addition to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors.

The college was chartered in 1955 but didn’t have classes until the following year. It is very selective, accepting less than 15 percent of applicants. There are fewer than 900 students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 8:1. The US News and World Report ranks Harvey Mudd as #1 in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Program listing, #3 for Campus Ethnic Diversity and #18 among Best Liberal Arts Colleges. Harvey Mudd College awards only Bachelor of Science degrees.

Harvey Mudd College Accreditation Details

  • Accreditation Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Engineering Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • American Chemical Society

Harvey Mudd College Application Requirements

The school uses either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. It requires a personal essay and additional writing in the form of an essay on provided topics. Students must submit a $70 non-refundable application fee unless they qualify for a fee waiver. A school report is required along with a recommendation from a counselor, math or science teacher and a humanities, social sciences or art teacher. The student must arrange to have an official transcript sent from their high school and self-report the scores from the SAT or ACT tests. If the student is accepted at Harvey Mudd, they will arrange for the official test results to be sent to the college. Students may also arrange for an optional interview.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attendance at Harvey Mudd College is estimated at $79,539 per year. This includes tuition of $58,539 per year, room and board of $18,670, personal expenses of $1,400, another $800 for books and supplies and fees.

The bulk of the expense for attending Harvey Mudd comes from scholarships and other aid. Students begin by completing the FAFSA form to receive federal aid, then look at state programs. There are many institutional financial awards at Harvey Mudd as well. Most are merit-based, and highly competitive because of the high academic achievements of students accepted at this school.

Private individuals, service organizations and even corporations offer outside scholarships. These can be found through an Internet search. Additionally, students may consider student loans and part-time employment and work-study to pay for their degree programs at Harvey Mudd College.