Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Which University is Right for You?

July 15, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Female student smiling at the camera while holding her notebook.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing a university is a challenging decision. In this article, we will compare and contrast Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd in terms of academic programs, admission rates, campus life, student body diversity, faculty expertise, cost of attendance, career prospects after graduation, alumni network, location and accessibility, campus facilities, and student satisfaction surveys.

Both universities have an excellent reputation for their academic programs and for producing successful graduates. However, when determining which university is right for you, various factors need consideration. By the end of this article, you should be able to decide which institution is better suited to your needs.

Introduction: Understanding the Differences Between Harvard and Harvey Mudd

Harvard and Harvey Mudd are both prestigious universities with exceptional reputations. Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest and most well-known universities in the country.

In contrast, Harvey Mudd is a small liberal arts college and research university located in Claremont, California. One significant difference between the two institutions is their size. Harvard has a larger student body with over 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students, while Harvey Mudd has a much smaller student population of just over 900 students.

Additionally, Harvard offers a wide variety of academic programs, while Harvey Mudd focuses on science, engineering, and mathematics. Keep reading to learn about their different academic programs.

Harvard is known for its strong emphasis on the humanities and social sciences. The university offers a wide range of programs in these fields, including history, literature, philosophy, economics, and political science. Harvard also has a renowned business school, law school, and medical school, making it a top choice for students interested in pursuing careers in these fields.

On the other hand, Harvey Mudd is known for its rigorous programs in science, engineering, and mathematics. The college has a strong focus on undergraduate research, and students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on cutting-edge research projects.

Harvey Mudd also offers a unique curriculum that emphasizes the intersection of science, technology, and society, preparing students to become leaders in their fields.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Academic Programs and Majors Offered

Harvard offers numerous academic programs and majors, ranging from the arts and humanities to the sciences and social sciences. Some of the most popular majors include Economics, Computer Science, Psychology, and Government.

Harvard’s undergraduate program is divided into four faculties: Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Engineering and Applied Sciences. Furthermore, the university offers over 100 master’s and doctoral programs.

On the other hand, Harvey Mudd focuses on science, engineering, and mathematics. Its undergraduate program offers majors in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering.

Additionally, students can take courses in economics, humanities, and social sciences at the associated colleges in the Claremont consortium. Furthermore, Harvey Mudd emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and requires all students to take courses in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Overall, both universities offer excellent academic programs, but their areas of focus differ, making it essential to consider your interests and career goals when making your choice.

A teacher talking to a female student holding her book.

Harvard also offers a variety of joint degree programs, allowing students to earn two degrees simultaneously. For example, students can pursue a joint degree in Law and Business, Law and Public Health, or Business and Public Policy.

Additionally, Harvard has a strong emphasis on research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge projects. The university also has a robust study abroad program, with partnerships with universities around the world.

At Harvey Mudd, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including a supercomputer and a nanofabrication laboratory. The college also has a unique program called Clinic, where students work in teams to solve real-world problems for industry sponsors. Furthermore, Harvey Mudd has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with initiatives such as the Harvey Mudd College Summer Institute, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students in STEM fields.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Admission Rates and Requirements

Admission rates and requirements vary between the two institutions. Harvard is known for its highly selective admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 4.5% for undergraduate applicants. The university considers an applicant’s academic performance, extra-curricular activities, essays, and recommendations. Additionally, applicants must submit either SAT or ACT scores, as well as SAT subject tests for certain majors.

Similarly, Harvey Mudd has a competitive admissions process, with an acceptance rate of around 14.2%. The college considers an applicant’s academic performance, essays, letters of recommendation, and extra-curricular activities. Additionally, SAT or ACT scores are required, and SAT subject tests are recommended.

It is important to note that both Harvard and Harvey Mudd have holistic admissions processes, meaning that they consider the whole applicant and not just their academic achievements. This means that factors such as personal background, life experiences, and demonstrated leadership skills can also play a role in the admissions decision.

Furthermore, both institutions offer need-based financial aid to admitted students. Harvard’s financial aid program is need-blind, meaning that an applicant’s ability to pay is not considered during the admissions process. Harvey Mudd’s financial aid program is need-based, and the college meets 100% of demonstrated need for admitted students.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Campus Life

Both universities offer various choices for campus living, dining, and extracurricular activities. At Harvard, there are twelve undergraduate residential houses where students can live, dine, and study. Furthermore, the university offers over 400 extracurricular activities, from clubs to sports to cultural events.

Harvey Mudd has a small residential community with six dorms and two apartment complexes. The college’s dining hall offers fresh, locally sourced food catering to a range of dietary needs. Harvey Mudd students can also participate in over 100 clubs and organizations, including sports teams, music groups, and social clubs.

Additionally, both universities have resources and support systems in place to help students adjust to campus life. Harvard offers a First-Year Experience program, which includes academic advising, mentorship, and social events to help new students acclimate to college. Harvey Mudd has a similar program called the First-Year Experience and Community Engagement (FYCE), which provides academic and social support to first-year students. Both universities also have counseling and mental health services available to students.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Student Body Diversity

When it comes to diversity, both universities have made efforts to create a more inclusive campus environment. At Harvard, around 50% of undergraduate students identify as people of color, while approximately 18% are international students. Additionally, the university has various programs and resources to support students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Five students smiling at the camera.

Harvey Mudd has a slightly lower diversity rate, with around 28% of undergraduate students identifying as people of color and around 14% being international students. However, the college is committed to diversity and has various initiatives and programs to promote inclusivity and support for all students.

One of the initiatives at Harvey Mudd is the Office of Institutional Diversity, which works to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, and staff. The office provides resources and support for underrepresented groups, including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation college students.

Additionally, the college has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, which is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to promote diversity and inclusivity on campus.

Faculty Expertise and Research Opportunities at Harvard and Harvey Mudd

One of the significant differences between Harvard and Harvey Mudd is their focus on research opportunities for students. Harvard is one of the leading research universities globally and offers undergraduate and graduate students various research opportunities.

Furthermore, its faculty members are world-renowned experts in their fields, producing groundbreaking research in various disciplines.

Harvey Mudd is primarily focused on undergraduate education, but this does not mean that research opportunities are not available. With its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, students at Harvey Mudd are encouraged to work on research projects in various disciplines.

Additionally, the college has various research centers and institutes, including the Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning and the Keck Science Center, where students can work with faculty on cutting-edge research projects.

Moreover, both Harvard and Harvey Mudd have faculty members who are not only experts in their fields but also passionate about teaching and mentoring students.

At Harvard, professors are not only involved in research but also teach undergraduate courses, providing students with the opportunity to learn from the best minds in their respective fields. Similarly, at Harvey Mudd, faculty members are committed to providing students with a rigorous and challenging education while also supporting them in their research endeavors.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Cost of Attendance

The cost of attending Harvard and Harvey Mudd differs significantly. Harvard’s total cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, and fees, is around $75,000 for undergraduate students.

At the same time, Harvey Mudd’s total cost of attendance is approximately $80,000 per year. However, both universities offer various forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs, to help students cover the cost of attendance.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both universities may vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances, such as their residency status, academic program, and personal expenses. Additionally, students may also have the opportunity to reduce their expenses by living off-campus or participating in study abroad programs.

Furthermore, while the cost of attendance may seem high, both Harvard and Harvey Mudd are committed to providing access to education for all students, regardless of their financial background.

As such, they have robust financial aid programs that aim to meet the demonstrated need of each student. In fact, both universities have a need-blind admission policy, which means that a student’s ability to pay for their education is not a factor in the admission decision.

Harvard vs. Harvey Mudd: Career Prospects after Graduation

Both universities have strong career prospects for graduates, with high job placement rates and prestigious career opportunities. Harvard graduates are highly sought after by companies and organizations and have strong career prospects in a range of fields. Furthermore, the university has an excellent network of alumni who can provide career advice and opportunities.

Group of students taking selfies.

Similarly, Harvey Mudd graduates are well-prepared for the workforce, with 90% of graduates employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. The college has a strong reputation for producing successful graduates in the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics.

In addition to the strong job placement rates, both Harvard and Harvey Mudd offer extensive career resources to their graduates. Harvard has a dedicated Office of Career Services that provides career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities. The university also hosts career fairs and employer information sessions to connect students with potential employers.

Similarly, Harvey Mudd has a Career Services Office that offers career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and interview preparation. The college also has a strong alumni network that provides mentorship and job opportunities to recent graduates.

Alumni Network: The Benefits of Being a Graduate of Harvard or Harvey Mudd

One of the significant benefits of attending Harvard or Harvey Mudd is the alumni network. Both universities have a large and active alumni network, providing graduates with various career opportunities, mentorship, support, and networking opportunities.

This alumni network can be beneficial to students and graduates, as it can help them connect with other professionals, find job opportunities, and receive advice and support.

Moreover, the alumni network of Harvard and Harvey Mudd is not limited to a particular region or industry. Graduates can find alumni in various fields, including business, law, medicine, engineering, and more.

This diversity of alumni can provide graduates with a broad range of perspectives and insights into different industries and career paths. Additionally, alumni events and reunions can be a great way for graduates to reconnect with old classmates, make new connections, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.

Location and Accessibility: Comparing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Attending School in Cambridge or Claremont

The location of a university is an important factor to consider when deciding where to attend. Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Boston, one of the most vibrant and culturally rich cities in the world. Students at Harvard have access to the many cultural and academic resources available in Boston, from museums, theaters, and sports teams.

Harvey Mudd is located in Claremont, California, a small town near Los Angeles. While Claremont is not as large or bustling as Boston, it offers a quieter and more relaxed student experience. Additionally, being located near Los Angeles provides students with additional cultural and entertainment opportunities.

Students lounging around the stairs.

Another important factor to consider when comparing the location and accessibility of Harvard and Harvey Mudd is transportation. Harvard is located in a highly walkable and bikeable area, with easy access to public transportation.

This makes it easy for students to get around the city and explore all that Boston has to offer. On the other hand, Harvey Mudd is located in a more suburban area, where a car may be necessary to get around. However, the school does offer shuttle services to nearby areas and attractions.

Campus Facilities: Comparing the Libraries, Labs, Sports Facilities, and Other Resources Available at Harvard and Harvey Mudd

Harvard and Harvey Mudd have various facilities available to students, including libraries, labs, sports facilities, and other resources. Harvard has several libraries, including the Widener Library, one of the largest university libraries globally, with over 6 million books, journals, and other materials.

Additionally, the university has several world-class research centers and labs, including the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Similarly, Harvey Mudd has several research centers and labs, including the Harvey Mudd Bioengineering Lab and the Harvey Mudd Innovation Lab. Additionally, the college has a wide range of sports facilities, including a gym, swimming pool, and tennis courts.

However, there are some differences between the two institutions when it comes to their facilities. For example, Harvard has a larger number of libraries and research centers, while Harvey Mudd has a smaller student-to-faculty ratio, which allows for more personalized attention in labs and research projects.

Additionally, Harvey Mudd has a unique resource called the Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, which is a state-of-the-art facility that houses classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces for students and faculty.

Another difference between the two institutions is the availability of outdoor recreational facilities. While Harvard has several indoor sports facilities, such as a gym and a pool, Harvey Mudd has a larger outdoor space for sports and recreation.

The college has a large field for soccer, football, and other outdoor sports, as well as a track and field facility. This allows students to enjoy the California sunshine while staying active and healthy.

Student Satisfaction Surveys: What Current Students Say About Attending Harvard or Harvey Mudd

Finally, it is essential to consider what current students say about attending Harvard or Harvey Mudd. Both universities have high student satisfaction rates. At Harvard, 97% of students are satisfied with their overall experience at the university.

At Harvey Mudd, 99% of students reported that they would choose the college again if given the chance. Overall, current students are incredibly satisfied with their experience at both universities.

However, there are some differences in the reasons why students are satisfied with their experience at each university. At Harvard, students often cite the diverse range of academic and extracurricular opportunities available to them, as well as the strong sense of community on campus.

On the other hand, Harvey Mudd students often highlight the close relationships they form with their professors and the hands-on, collaborative approach to learning. Despite these differences, it is clear that both Harvard and Harvey Mudd provide a highly satisfying educational experience for their students.

Conclusion: Which University is Right for You? Factors to Consider when Making a Decision

Choosing between attending Harvard or Harvey Mudd can be a challenging decision. Both universities have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and various factors need consideration.

Young man smiling while holding a laptop.

These factors include academic programs, admission rates, campus life, student body diversity, faculty expertise, cost of attendance, career prospects after graduation, alumni network, location and accessibility, campus facilities, and student satisfaction surveys.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the university that is best suited to your interests and career goals.

One important factor to consider when choosing a university is the availability of research opportunities. Both Harvard and Harvey Mudd have a strong research culture, with numerous research centers and institutes. However, the type of research conducted at each university may differ, and it is important to choose a university that aligns with your research interests.

Another factor to consider is the extracurricular activities offered at each university. Harvard has a wide range of student organizations, including clubs for sports, arts, and community service.

Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, has a smaller student body and fewer student organizations, but offers unique opportunities such as the Harvey Mudd College Clinic Program, where students work on real-world projects for clients.


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