Claremont McKenna vs Harvey Mudd: Which College is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A student with her notebook in the Library

Claremont McKenna vs Harvey Mudd: Which College is Right for You?

Choosing the right college is a complex decision that requires careful research, consideration, and analysis. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Claremont McKenna vs Harvey Mudd to help you make an informed choice. We’ll cover everything from location and campus facilities to academic programs, faculty, admission requirements, student life, campus diversity, housing, cost of attendance, financial aid, job opportunities, alumni network, campus safety, and college reputation.

Location and Campus Facilities: A Comparative Overview

One of the primary differences between Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd is their location and campus facilities. Claremont McKenna is located in Claremont, California, a small suburb of Los Angeles, with a beautiful campus that includes modern facilities, spacious lawns, and numerous parks. Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, is located in neighboring Claremont, with a smaller, more intimate campus that emphasizes science, engineering, and technology. Both colleges have world-class facilities that are designed to meet the needs of their students, with state-of-the-art labs, research centers, libraries, and student centers. However, Claremont McKenna has an edge when it comes to size and variety, with more options for dining, sports, and entertainment.

doctor in a library of research center

Claremont McKenna’s campus is also home to a number of unique facilities, such as the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, which hosts a variety of events and lectures throughout the year, and the Roberts Pavilion, a state-of-the-art athletic center that includes a fitness center, basketball courts, and a swimming pool. In addition, the college has a number of outdoor spaces that are perfect for studying, relaxing, or socializing, including the Green Beach, the Kravis Center Courtyard, and the Berger Institute Garden.

Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, has a more specialized campus that is designed to support its focus on science, engineering, and technology. The college has a number of unique facilities, such as the Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, which includes a maker space, a machine shop, and a 3D printing lab, and the Parsons Engineering Design Lab, which is equipped with advanced tools and equipment for engineering and design projects. In addition, the college has a number of outdoor spaces that are perfect for studying, including the Jacobs Quad, the Platt Campus Center Patio, and the Olin Quad.

Academic Programs: Claremont McKenna vs. Harvey Mudd

Another key factor to consider when comparing Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd is their academic programs. Claremont McKenna offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on economics, political science, and international relations, as well as other social sciences, humanities, and arts. Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, is a science and engineering college that focuses on physics, mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, and other STEM fields. While both colleges share a commitment to rigorous academics, they have different curricula, requirements, and opportunities, so it’s important to research their programs in depth and choose the one that best matches your interests and goals.

It’s worth noting that both Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd offer interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study and pursue their intellectual passions. For example, Claremont McKenna has a joint major program that combines two disciplines, such as economics and psychology, while Harvey Mudd has a joint major program that combines a STEM field with a humanities or social science field, such as computer science and philosophy. These programs provide students with a unique and well-rounded education that prepares them for a variety of careers and graduate studies.

Faculty and Staff: Claremont McKenna vs. Harvey Mudd

When it comes to faculty and staff, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd both have highly qualified and experienced professors, advisors, and administrators who are dedicated to their students’ success. Claremont McKenna has a renowned faculty that includes Pulitzer Prize winners, MacArthur Genius Grant recipients, and other distinguished scholars and leaders, who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their teaching, research, and service. Harvey Mudd also has an outstanding faculty that includes National Academy of Science members, Guggenheim Fellows, and other accomplished scientists and thinkers, who inspire their students to pursue excellence and innovation. However, the faculty and staff at Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd have different backgrounds, values, and approaches, so it’s important to meet with them and learn more about their perspectives and methods.

Additionally, both colleges have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion among their faculty and staff. Claremont McKenna has implemented various initiatives to increase diversity among its faculty, including the Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Faculty Diversity Hiring Initiative. Harvey Mudd has also made strides in promoting diversity and inclusion, with a focus on increasing the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Both colleges recognize the importance of having a diverse faculty and staff, as it enhances the educational experience for all students and prepares them for success in a global society.

Admission Requirements: Claremont McKenna vs. Harvey Mudd

Getting into Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd is a highly competitive process that requires a strong academic record, extracurricular activities, essays, references, and interviews. Claremont McKenna has an acceptance rate of 11%, with an average SAT score of 1420 and an average GPA of 4.0. Harvey Mudd has an acceptance rate of 13%, with an average SAT score of 1480 and an average GPA of 3.9. Both colleges have high standards for admission, but they also value diversity, creativity, and leadership, so it’s important to showcase your unique qualities and strengths in your application.

A student writes a college or university application form on their laptop.

In addition to academic and extracurricular achievements, both Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd also consider demonstrated interest in the college. This can include attending information sessions, visiting campus, and contacting admissions representatives with thoughtful questions. It’s important to show that you have a genuine interest in the college and have done your research.

Furthermore, both colleges have a holistic approach to admissions, meaning they consider the whole person and not just their academic achievements. This means that factors such as overcoming adversity, community service, and work experience can also be taken into account. It’s important to highlight any unique experiences or challenges you have faced in your application.

Student Life: Extracurricular Activities, Clubs, and Sports

Outside the classroom, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd offer a vibrant and diverse student life, with numerous extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports to choose from. Claremont McKenna has over 100 student-led clubs and organizations, ranging from academic and professional groups to cultural and social ones. Harvey Mudd has over 30 clubs and organizations, with a focus on science and technology, as well as a strong intramural sports culture. Both colleges also have extensive sports programs, with Claremont McKenna competing in NCAA Division III and Harvey Mudd in NCAA Division II, as well as joint teams as part of the Claremont Colleges Consortium.

Additionally, both colleges offer opportunities for students to get involved in community service and volunteer work. Claremont McKenna has a dedicated center for civic engagement, which connects students with local organizations and projects. Harvey Mudd has a community engagement office, which offers service trips and partnerships with non-profit organizations. These programs allow students to make a positive impact on the surrounding community while also gaining valuable skills and experiences.

Campus Diversity: A Look at Student Body Composition

Another important factor to consider when choosing between Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd is campus diversity, which reflects the different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of their student body. Claremont McKenna has a diverse student population, with around 47% students of color, and about 12% international students. Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, has a smaller and less diverse student population, with around 20% students of color, and about 9% international students. While both colleges strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, they have different levels of representation and integration, so it’s important to consider how comfortable and connected you’ll feel on campus.

Group of students with different races

It’s worth noting that both colleges have taken steps to increase diversity and promote inclusivity on their campuses. Claremont McKenna has established several programs and initiatives to support underrepresented students, such as the QuestBridge Scholars Program and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. Harvey Mudd has also implemented various diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and the appointment of a Chief Diversity Officer. These efforts demonstrate a commitment to creating a more diverse and equitable campus community.

Housing and Accommodation Options: Claremont McKenna vs. Harvey Mudd

When it comes to housing and accommodation options, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd offer a range of choices, depending on your preferences, needs, and budget. Claremont McKenna has a variety of housing options, from traditional residence halls to apartment-style living, with amenities such as kitchens, lounges, and study areas. Harvey Mudd offers on-campus housing for all four years, with suite-style living arrangements that include private bedrooms, shared bathrooms, and common spaces. Both colleges have comfortable and well-maintained facilities, but they have different availability and pricing, so it’s important to plan ahead and read the details of their housing policies.

It’s worth noting that off-campus housing options are also available in the surrounding area. Many students choose to live in nearby apartments or houses, which can offer more independence and flexibility. However, it’s important to consider factors such as transportation, safety, and cost when exploring off-campus options. Some students also opt for homestays or shared housing arrangements, which can provide a unique cultural experience and a chance to connect with local residents. Overall, there are plenty of housing and accommodation options available for students at Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd, both on and off campus.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition Fees, Room, Board, and Other Expenses

One of the most significant concerns for college students and their families is the cost of attendance, which includes tuition fees, room, board, and other expenses. Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd are both private colleges that have high tuition fees, but also generous financial aid policies. Claremont McKenna has a total cost of attendance of around $79,000 per year, with an average financial aid package of around $54,000 per year. Harvey Mudd has a total cost of attendance of around $87,000 per year, with an average financial aid package of around $59,500 per year. While both colleges offer substantial financial support to their students, they have different award criteria and limitations, so it’s important to consult their financial aid offices and plan your budget accordingly.

Tuition fees for students

It’s worth noting that the cost of attendance can vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances. For example, students who live off-campus may have lower room and board expenses than those who live on campus. Additionally, students who receive scholarships or grants from outside sources may have their financial aid packages adjusted accordingly. It’s important to keep these factors in mind when estimating the total cost of attendance.

Another factor to consider when evaluating the cost of attendance is the potential return on investment. While attending a prestigious private college like Claremont McKenna or Harvey Mudd may come with a high price tag, it can also lead to greater career opportunities and earning potential in the long run. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of attending each school and make an informed decision based on your individual goals and priorities.

Financial Aid and Scholarships: Opportunities Available for Students

In addition to their general financial aid policies, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd also offer various scholarships, grants, and other forms of assistance to help students fund their education. Claremont McKenna has several merit-based and need-based scholarships, including the McKenna Scholarship, the CMC Leadership Scholarship, and the CMC Performance Award, among others. Harvey Mudd also has several scholarships, such as the Mudd Scholarship, the Kerckhoff Scholarship, and the Goldwater Scholarship, which are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership, and other criteria. Both colleges also encourage their students to apply for outside scholarships and other sources of funding, such as federal grants, work-study programs, and private loans.

Furthermore, both colleges have dedicated financial aid offices that provide personalized assistance to students and their families. These offices can help students navigate the financial aid process, understand their options, and identify additional sources of funding. They can also provide guidance on budgeting and managing expenses while in college.

Additionally, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd offer special programs and initiatives to support students from underrepresented backgrounds. For example, Claremont McKenna has the QuestBridge Scholars Program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to high-achieving, low-income students. Harvey Mudd has the Harvey Mudd College Summer Institute, which offers academic and social support to incoming first-year students from underrepresented groups.

Career Services and Job Opportunities After Graduation: Claremont McKenna vs. Harvey Mudd

One of the main reasons why students go to college is to prepare for their future careers and gain practical skills, experiences, and connections that will help them achieve their goals. Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd both have strong career services that offer various resources, such as mentorship, internships, job fairs, and alumni networks, to support their students’ career development. Claremont McKenna has the Career Services Center, which provides career counseling, networking opportunities, and job search tools for students, as well as the Kravis Leadership Institute, which offers leadership development programs and research projects. Harvey Mudd has the Office of Career Services and its Career and Professional Development program, which offers similar services and programs, tailored to the STEM fields. Both colleges have excellent job placement rates and alumni success stories, which are a testament to their quality education and preparation.

Job search with resume and job application

Additionally, both colleges have strong partnerships with local and national companies, which provide their students with valuable internship and job opportunities. For example, Claremont McKenna has partnerships with companies such as Goldman Sachs, Google, and Teach for America, while Harvey Mudd has partnerships with companies such as Microsoft, SpaceX, and Intel. These partnerships not only offer students practical experience in their fields of interest but also often lead to full-time job offers after graduation. Furthermore, both colleges have active alumni networks, which provide students with mentorship, networking, and job opportunities in various industries and locations. Overall, the career services and job opportunities available at Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd are exceptional and provide their students with a strong foundation for their future careers.

Alumni Network: Strengths, Success Stories, and Connections

Speaking of alumni, Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd both have impressive networks of alumni, who are active and engaged in various industries, sectors, and endeavors. Claremont McKenna has over 11,000 alumni, who include CEOs, politicians, lawyers, journalists, and philanthropists, among others, and who are known for their leadership, innovation, and impact. Harvey Mudd has over 6,000 alumni, who include Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, scientists, and educators, among others, and who are known for their excellence, curiosity, and collaboration. Both colleges have alumni associations and chapters that organize events, reunions, and other opportunities for their members, as well as mentorship and career support programs.

One of the strengths of the alumni networks at Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd is their global reach. Alumni from both colleges can be found in every corner of the world, working in diverse fields and making a difference in their communities. This global network provides opportunities for students and recent graduates to connect with alumni in their areas of interest, whether it be for career advice, mentorship, or networking.

Another notable aspect of the alumni networks is the strong sense of community and camaraderie among members. Alumni often stay connected with each other long after graduation, forming lifelong friendships and professional relationships. This sense of community is fostered through events such as homecoming, alumni reunions, and regional gatherings, as well as through online platforms and social media groups.

Campus Safety: Policies, Incidents, and Support Systems

Another important aspect of college life is campus safety, which refers to the policies, procedures, and support systems that colleges have in place to ensure the well-being of their students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd are both committed to providing a safe and secure environment for their campus community, with measures such as campus safety officers, emergency alerts, counseling services, and crisis management plans. Claremont McKenna has an annual security report that outlines its crime statistics, prevention programs, and response protocols, as well as its campus climate survey that assesses the experiences and perspectives of its community members. Harvey Mudd has a similar safety and security report that covers its incident reporting, prevention education, and support resources, as well as its climate survey that captures the diversity and inclusivity of its community.

In addition to these measures, both colleges also have programs and initiatives that aim to promote a culture of safety and respect on campus. For example, Claremont McKenna has a bystander intervention program that trains students to recognize and intervene in situations of potential harm or violence. Harvey Mudd has a sexual assault prevention program that educates students on consent, boundaries, and resources for survivors.

Despite these efforts, incidents of crime and misconduct can still occur on college campuses. In such cases, both colleges have established procedures for reporting, investigating, and addressing such incidents, while also providing support and resources for those affected. It is important for students to familiarize themselves with these policies and resources, and to take an active role in promoting a safe and inclusive campus community.

College Reputation: Rankings, Reviews, and Public Perception

Lastly, when considering Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd, it’s important to take into account their reputation, as reflected in various rankings, reviews, and public perception. Claremont McKenna consistently ranks among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, according to sources such as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, for its academic quality, student outcomes, and institutional resources. Harvey Mudd also ranks among the top STEM-focused colleges in the nation, according to similar sources, for its excellence in teaching, research, and innovation. However, rankings are not the only measure of college performance and value, and it’s important to read reviews and testimonials from current and former students, as well as to form your own opinion based on your campus visits, interviews, and research.

Prospective Students’ Experiences: Interviews with Current Students or Alumni

In conclusion, choosing between Claremont McKenna and Harvey Mudd is a complex and personal choice, that requires careful consideration of numerous factors and variables. While we have provided a detailed comparison of their similarities and differences, the best way to learn more about these colleges and their fit for you is to talk to current students or alumni and get their perspectives and insights. Whether you attend Claremont McKenna or Harvey Mudd, you will be joining a community of bright, driven, and supportive individuals who share a passion for learning, discovery, and impact. We wish you the best of luck as you embark on this exciting journey of choosing your college!


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