What Does it Take to Get Into Harvey Mudd College?

Strategies by School
August 20, 2020
Harvey Mudd College In Claremont, California Is A Private STEM University That Boasts A Challenging Curriculum And A Rewarding Campus Experience...

Getting accepted into Harvey Mudd College is an impressive feat that any high school student should be proud of; more than that, it’s the perfect launching pad for students who want a meaningful career in science, math, technology, or engineering.

Harvey Mudd College provides its students with a challenging learning environment, valuable connections to numerous career paths, and a campus experience that’s unforgettable. Keep reading to learn how your child can craft an application that’s eye-catching, impressive, and authentic to the Harvey Mudd experience!

What You’ll Find In This College Guide:

Harvey Mudd College's Ideal Student

The average GPA and standardized test scores for incoming Harvey Mudd College students are:

  • GPA: 3.96
  • SAT: 1530
  • ACT: 34

Harvey Mudd College has an average acceptance rate of 14%, making it the 8th lowest acceptance rate out of all California colleges. Students who are admitted to Harvey Mudd College usually graduate in the top 1% of their class, so Harvey Mudd admissions definitely enforces exceptional grade requirements.

Of course, fantastic grades and test scores aren’t the only components that are important for a student’s application. Students who are working on their Harvey Mudd College application should supplement their excellent grades with a demonstration of their appreciation for STEM, the arts and humanities, and their ability to collaborate with other students.


Harvey Mudd College is a private university that specifically focuses on the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, so a true passion for these academic areas is an absolute must for Harvey Mudd’s ideal student. Without a drive for the kind of challenges these fields bring, both inside and outside the classroom, students at Harvey Mudd won’t thrive and grow to their fullest potential.

  • What was your favorite STEM course in high school and why?
  • Why is STEM an important part of the world we live in today?
  • How do you think you fit into the STEM educational picture?


While Harvey Mudd’s primary focus is developing the next generation of scientists, inventors, and researchers, they also understand the importance of culture, music, and art. Students applying for Harvey Mudd College should strive to showcase their appreciation for the humanities, because these supplemental classes are required for all students. The arts and humanities provide Harvey Mudd students with a creative outlet and a different perspective from constant analysis and research.

  • How did you participate in the arts and humanities (band, theatre, creative writing, etc.) in high school?
  • How do you plan on keeping up your appreciation for the arts and humanities while attending Harvey Mudd?


Collaboration is a big part of Harvey Mudd College’s curriculum. Students work together on group projects often, so they need to be open and willing to listen to new perspectives, ideas, and leadership at a moment’s notice. The best way a student can showcase their ability to collaborate is to highlight group projects they participated in and any challenges they may have overcome during these experiences.

  • Describe a time when you had to collaborate with other students for a group project or assignment.
  • How has collaboration helped you become a better leader and supporter?
  • Do you work better alone or in groups and how do you think Harvey Mudd College will help you overcome that?


Harvey Mudd College is dedicated to providing their students with an environment defined by diversity and inclusion. Students interested in attending Harvey Mudd College should share in this passion for openness and kindness in and out of the classroom.

  • Why is diversity and inclusion important in the educational realm?
  • How do you currently live out your passion for diversity and inclusion and how do you plan on continuing that at Harvey Mudd?


Harvey Mudd College is among the top 20 small colleges and the top 20 best value colleges in the U.S. Their best academic programs reflect their STEM curriculum:


Overall, Harvey Mudd College’s ideal student is deeply passionate about STEM research, has an appreciation for the arts and humanities, and isn’t afraid to share leadership with their classmates. They’re open to new ideas and are excellent collaborators. Finally, students who would thrive at Harvey Mudd have a deep appreciation for diversity and inclusion, both in and out of the classroom, and they strive to make fellow students of all backgrounds feel welcome and included.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College has an admission rate of 14%. Last year, 594 out of 4,101 applicants were accepted. Students who are beginning their applications should pay attention to Harvey Mudd College’s requirements and deadlines, and spend plenty of time refining their essay so they make a great first impression for Harvey Mudd admissions.


Students can fill out their Harvey Mudd College application by using one of the two following platforms:


Harvey Mudd College admissions requires a school report from every student’s counselor as well as a few specific teachers. Students should obtain one letter of recommendation from their math or science teacher and another letter from a humanities, arts, or social sciences teacher.


Harvey Mudd College admissions enforces a test optional application policy, where students can opt out of providing their SAT or ACT scores. They may still self-report their scores, but this information will not be used by the admissions team to determine acceptance. Once students are officially accepted to Harvey Mudd College, they will be asked to officially submit their SAT or ACT scores through the College Board.


In addition to their general essay that’s automatically included with their preferred application platform, students applying to Harvey Mudd College must submit an additional essay and a short answer. The writing prompts are available year-round so students can begin writing and editing their essays well before the application deadlines.


Students must submit Harvey Mudd College’s $70 application fee as well as keep an eye out for these important deadlines:

  • Early Decision I: November 15th
  • Early Decision II: January 5th
  • Regular Decision: January 5th


As long as students pay close attention to Harvey Mudd College’s requirements and highlight the unique areas of their high school education that are important to the admissions team, they will have an excellent chance at being considered for admission.

In the meantime, students can learn about Harvey Mudd’s unique campus life, housing and dining programs, and career connections to get themselves excited about everything this unique college has to offer!

Harvey Mudd College's Campus Life

Harvey Mudd College does a great job at balancing their tough curriculum with a thriving campus life. Harvey Mudd College’s campus culture is defined by diversity, inclusion, and growth. Students who attend Harvey Mudd College should try multiple clubs, go on school trips, and explore all that Claremont has to offer!


Harvey Mudd College offers several student groups that cover just about every concentration and hobby you can think of.

The colleges in Claremont are a tight knit community, and this network often collaborates on student events and extracurricular activity groups. Harvey Mudd College has a whole sector of student groups called the 5C Clubs which focuses on bringing together all the colleges in the Claremont area through similar interests.

Students at Harvey Mudd can attend club fairs every weekend and get involved in activities ranging from visual and performing arts to sports, politics, and groups focused on raising awareness of social injustices.


The athletics program at Harvey Mudd College is dedicated to helping their students grow in both athletics and their general health. It’s their mission to inspire students to make healthy goals and pursue them, even after their time at Harvey Mudd College.

Harvey Mudd College athletics have several competitive sports teams as well as club sports and intramural leagues that are open to students during certain seasons every year. Their numerous opportunities for growing in new skills with fellow classmates is only enhanced by Harvey Mudd’s excellent recreational facilities like gyms, swimming pools, several sports fields, and volleyball courts.


Harvey Mudd College’s housing program is very popular among students; in fact, 99% of Harvey Mudd students live on campus all four years. Students have several residence halls to choose from, and these living situations go hand-in-hand with students building their personal college community.

Students also have plenty of dining options. Whether they need to grab a quick bite on the way to class or want to study over dinner, students can eat at Harvey Mudd’s dining commons, cafes, and stop-n-shops any time, any day.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Harvey Mudd College

Students who are interested in attending Harvey Mudd College are in good hands. Harvey Mudd College admissions is a dedicated team who strive to help all applicants find their ideal college. From the moment your child begins their application to their graduation day, they will be taken care of by Harvey Mudd College admissions, their professors, and their top notch career center.


Students should understand that Harvey Mudd College is a difficult university to gain admission to. Being one of the best STEM universities in the US, Harvey Mudd College admissions seeks out students who graduated in the top 1% of their class, challenged themselves with upper level courses, and show a passion for any STEM-related field.

Students should highlight these components of their high school education as well as draw attention to any experience they’ve had in arts, culture, and humanities-related activities.


Your child’s Harvey Mudd-specific essay should be well-written, contain excellent grammar and formatting but also help showcase their personality and sense of humor. Harvey Mudd College admissions wants to read essays by students who are intelligent, honest, and not afraid to be themselves.


During their college years, students should take advantage of everything Harvey Mudd College’s campus culture has to offer. Whether they join a club or a sport, students shouldn’t hesitate to jump right into the community. They should attend club fairs, sporting events, and check out any of the recreational facilities on Harvey Mudd’s campus.

Students also have the option to join specific clubs that unite all five of Claremont’s colleges, allowing them to make valuable connections off campus.


Harvey Mudd College’s career center helps students locate internships and job opportunities in their chosen area of study.

In 2019:

  • 66 percent of students had a job secured at graduation
  • 23 percent of students were enrolled in a Master’s program at graduation
  • The average starting salary of Harvey Mudd graduates was $108K

Your Future At Harvey Mudd College

Overall, Harvey Mudd College is an excellent choice for your child if they’re passionate about STEM, research, and the importance of the arts in their community. While they’re working on their application, encourage them to reach out to Harvey Mudd College admissions team with any questions they may have.

As always, WeAdmit’s professional counselors are also available to help you or your child with creating an application built to impress Harvey Mudd admissions! If your child is ready to attend this unique STEM university, get in touch with our counseling team today.



Need more Information?

Gain all the information you need by getting in touch with our admissions team or booking a free 30-minute counseling session.