Harvey Mudd College is a highly selective private coeducational undergraduate college of engineering, mathematics, and science that could well be billed as “one of the best colleges in America that most people have never heard of.” However, it does attract some of the nation’s brightest students and offers them a unique, rigorous, and liberal technical education that is as good as or better than the nation’s more famous colleges. There are three key aspects of HMC that set it apart from other top colleges and give the school its reputation as a leader in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields: it is an intensely small college; it offers majors only in engineering, science, and mathematics, and it prides itself on having humanities and social sciences requirements that it hopes will produce “leaders with an understanding of the impact of their work on humanity.”
With no graduate students, no TAs, and a faculty dedicated to a high level of student interaction, few students fall through the cracks or blend into the woodwork. The administration and staff take an active role in campus life. The technical curriculum is broad with an emphasis on the humanities and social sciences as well as core science, math, and engineering principals. The residential campus is vibrant with a student body that is widely talented, dynamic, and quirky in addition to being academically gifted. HMC is bolstered by its participation in The Claremont Colleges Consortium, which gives students access to academic resources, course offerings, athletics, and other opportunities that could not otherwise be supported by a small technical college. The student-run Honor Code demands integrity and honesty from every student. In addition, the general pace and atmosphere of the college demands a healthy sense of humor in addition to a healthy work ethic and a strong affinity for engineering, science, and math.