UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College female student learning remotely.

UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd: A Comprehensive Analysis

If you’re considering applying to college, it’s important to understand what sets one institution apart from another. In this comprehensive analysis, we’ll compare UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd, two universities that may appeal to different kinds of students. Whether you’re interested in research opportunities, diverse student populations, or top-notch athletics programs, we’ll provide an in-depth look at what each school has to offer.

Introduction: Why Compare UC Davis and Harvey Mudd?

UC Davis and Harvey Mudd may seem like odd bedfellows for a comparison article. UC Davis is a large public university located in Davis, California. Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, is a small private college located in Claremont, California. However, these two institutions share many characteristics that make them an interesting comparison.

One of the similarities between UC Davis and Harvey Mudd is their strong emphasis on STEM education. Both institutions offer a wide range of majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally, they both have state-of-the-art facilities and resources to support research and innovation in these fields.

Another similarity between UC Davis and Harvey Mudd is their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Both institutions have implemented various initiatives and programs to promote diversity and create a welcoming environment for students from different backgrounds. They also have active student organizations and clubs that celebrate diversity and promote cultural awareness.

Location and Campus Size: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

One of the most significant differences between UC Davis and Harvey Mudd is their location and size. UC Davis is located in a small town in the Central Valley of California, surrounded by miles of farmland. The campus, which covers over 5,000 acres, is one of the largest in the UC system.

On the other hand, Harvey Mudd is located in the heart of Claremont, a suburb of Los Angeles. The campus is small, with only about 900 students enrolled each year.

Students walking around the school campus.

Despite its small size, Harvey Mudd College has a reputation for being one of the most rigorous and challenging colleges in the country. The curriculum is heavily focused on math, science, and engineering, and students are expected to take a wide range of advanced courses in these subjects.

UC Davis, on the other hand, offers a more diverse range of academic programs, including majors in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The campus is also home to several research centers and institutes, which provide students with opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research in fields such as agriculture, environmental science, and biotechnology.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity Rates: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

Both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd are selective institutions, but their admission requirements differ somewhat. UC Davis accepts applications through the UC system’s centralized application process. Students must meet the minimum UC admission requirements, which include a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a standardized test score. The school receives over 100,000 applications each year and has an acceptance rate of around 49%.

Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, is one of the most selective colleges in the country. Students must have an excellent academic record, including a strong GPA and test scores. The school receives around 4,500 applications each year and has an acceptance rate of just 10%.

It is important to note that admission requirements and selectivity rates can vary greatly depending on the program or major a student is applying to. For example, some majors at UC Davis may have higher admission requirements and lower acceptance rates than others.

Similarly, Harvey Mudd’s engineering and computer science programs may have different admission requirements and acceptance rates than its humanities programs. It is important for students to research and understand the specific requirements and selectivity rates for their intended program of study.

Student Demographics and Diversity: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

The student populations at UC Davis and Harvey Mudd are quite different. UC Davis is one of the most diverse universities in the country, with a student body that is 31% Asian, 26% Hispanic/Latino, 24% White, and 10% African American. Harvey Mudd is less diverse, with a student body that is 49% White, 44% Asian, 3% Hispanic/Latino, and less than 1% African American.

However, both universities have made efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. UC Davis has implemented programs such as the African American and African Studies Program and the Chicanx and Latinx Studies Program to support underrepresented communities. Harvey Mudd has also taken steps to increase diversity, including partnering with organizations such as the Posse Foundation to recruit and support students from diverse backgrounds.

Academic Programs Offered: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

The academic programs offered at UC Davis and Harvey Mudd are quite different. UC Davis is a large university with many different schools and departments, including the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the College of Biological Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the College of Letters and Science.

Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, is a small liberal arts college focused entirely on STEM subjects. Students receive a broad education in math, science, and engineering, as well as in the humanities and social sciences.

Students listening in front of the class.

Despite their differences, both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd offer unique opportunities for students. UC Davis has a strong emphasis on research and hands-on learning, with many opportunities for students to participate in research projects and internships.

Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, has a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for graduate studies and careers in STEM fields. Both institutions have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and offer a variety of resources and support services for students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Faculty Strengths and Areas of Expertise: UC Davis and Harvey Mudd

Both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd have strong faculties with a wide range of expertise. UC Davis is a research institution with many faculty members engaged in cutting-edge research in fields like biomedicine, agriculture, and environmental science. Harvey Mudd has a faculty that is dedicated to undergraduate teaching and research, with a focus on providing students with individual attention and mentorship.

Additionally, UC Davis has a strong faculty in the field of veterinary medicine, with many professors who are experts in animal health and welfare. Harvey Mudd’s faculty also has a strong background in computer science and engineering, with many professors who have worked in industry and bring real-world experience to the classroom.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

Both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd offer undergraduate students opportunities to participate in research. UC Davis has many research centers and institutes on campus, including the UC Davis Medical Center, the Genome Center, and the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute. Harvey Mudd has a strong research culture and offers students opportunities to conduct research in their chosen fields, both on and off campus.

Participating in research as an undergraduate student can provide valuable experience and skills that can be applied to future academic and professional pursuits. In addition to UC Davis and Harvey Mudd, many other universities and institutions across the country offer research opportunities for undergraduate students.

These opportunities can range from assisting with ongoing research projects to conducting independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students interested in pursuing research should explore the resources available at their own institutions and seek out opportunities that align with their interests and goals.

Student-Faculty Ratio and Class Sizes: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

One of the benefits of attending a small liberal arts college like Harvey Mudd is the low student-faculty ratio. The average class size at Harvey Mudd is just 16, and the student-faculty ratio is 8:1. UC Davis, on the other hand, has a larger student body and, as a result, larger class sizes. The student-faculty ratio at UC Davis is around 20:1.

Having a low student-faculty ratio and small class sizes can have a significant impact on the quality of education students receive. At Harvey Mudd, students have more opportunities to interact with their professors and receive personalized attention.

Young teacher talking to a group of students.


This can lead to a deeper understanding of course material and better academic performance. Additionally, smaller class sizes can foster a sense of community among students, as they have more opportunities to collaborate and engage in discussions with their peers.

Career Services and Post-Graduate Outcomes: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

Both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd have strong career services centers that help students prepare for life after college. UC Davis has an extensive network of alumni and hosts career fairs and other events to help students connect with potential employers. Harvey Mudd has a strong reputation in the tech industry and is known for producing graduates who go on to work for companies like Google and Facebook.

However, while both universities have strong career service centers, their post-graduate outcomes differ. According to recent data, UC Davis graduates tend to pursue careers in fields such as healthcare, education, and government, while Harvey Mudd graduates are more likely to work in the tech industry or pursue graduate studies in STEM fields.

This difference in outcomes may be attributed to the different academic programs and majors offered at each university, as well as the location and industry connections of each institution.

Extracurricular Activities and Campus Life at UC Davis

UC Davis has a vibrant campus life, with over 800 student organizations, including clubs dedicated to cultural and social issues, sports, and student government. The school has a competitive athletics program, with teams in the NCAA Division I. UC Davis is also known for its cycling program, which has won many national championships.

In addition to the numerous student organizations and athletics programs, UC Davis also offers a variety of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in. The school hosts a number of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and cultural celebrations.

Students can also participate in community service projects and volunteer opportunities through the school’s partnerships with local organizations. With so many options available, students at UC Davis are sure to find something that interests them outside of the classroom.

Extracurricular Activities and Campus Life at Harvey Mudd

Harvey Mudd has a smaller campus population but still offers a range of extracurricular activities for students. The school has a strong robotics program, and students can participate in clubs focused on topics like gaming, dance, and outdoor activities.

The school is also part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, which includes four other colleges and students at Harvey Mudd can take classes and participate in events at any of the other schools.

In addition to the clubs and activities offered on campus, Harvey Mudd also has a vibrant arts scene. The school has a theater program that puts on several productions each year, and there are also opportunities for students to participate in music ensembles and visual arts projects. The campus also hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, including film screenings, lectures, and performances.

Group of students sitting on the bench while talking.

Harvey Mudd is also known for its strong sense of community. The school has a number of traditions that bring students together, such as the annual Frosh/Soph Games and the HMC Beach Day. There are also a variety of student-run organizations that focus on community service and social justice issues, providing opportunities for students to get involved and make a difference both on and off campus.

Athletics Programs: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

Both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd have strong athletics programs. UC Davis has teams in the NCAA Division I, and its cycling program is particularly well-regarded. Harvey Mudd is part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and competes in a variety of sports, including golf, tennis, swimming, and diving.

However, while both schools have strong athletics programs, they differ in their approach to athletics. UC Davis places a strong emphasis on its football and basketball programs, while Harvey Mudd focuses more on individual sports such as track and field and cross country. Additionally, UC Davis has a larger athletics budget and more resources for its athletes, including a state-of-the-art training facility and a dedicated sports medicine staff.

Despite these differences, both schools share a commitment to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among their students. Athletics programs at both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd offer opportunities for students to develop leadership skills, build camaraderie with teammates, and represent their schools in competition. Whether you’re a serious athlete or just looking to stay active, both schools have something to offer.

Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarships: UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

UC Davis and Harvey Mudd have different tuition and financial aid policies. UC Davis is a public university and has lower tuition fees than private colleges like Harvey Mudd. However, UC Davis is still an expensive place to live, and students may need to take out loans to cover their living expenses. Harvey Mudd has high tuition fees but also offers generous financial aid packages to help students pay for their education.

It is important to note that financial aid packages at both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd are based on a student’s financial need. This means that students from low-income families may receive more financial aid than those from higher-income families. Additionally, both universities offer scholarships to students who demonstrate academic excellence or have unique talents or skills.

Another factor to consider when comparing tuition fees is the return on investment. While UC Davis may have lower tuition fees, Harvey Mudd graduates tend to earn higher salaries after graduation. This means that the higher tuition fees at Harvey Mudd may be worth it in the long run, as students may be able to pay off their student loans more quickly and have a higher earning potential throughout their careers.

Alumni Networks: Comparing UC Davis vs Harvey Mudd

Both UC Davis and Harvey Mudd have strong alumni networks that can be valuable resources for current students. UC Davis has a network of over 250,000 alumni, and its alumni are involved in a wide range of industries and professions. Harvey Mudd has a smaller alumni network, but its graduates are highly sought after by the tech industry and have strong connections with many top companies.

Students talking near the school grounds.

Additionally, UC Davis has a robust mentorship program within its alumni network, where current students can connect with alumni in their desired fields for guidance and advice. Harvey Mudd, on the other hand, offers a unique program called “HMC Associates,” where alumni can provide career advice and job opportunities to current students and recent graduates.

Both networks offer valuable resources for students looking to make connections and advance their careers.

Conclusion: Which College is the Better Choice for You?

So, which college is the better choice for you? That depends on your individual needs and priorities. If you’re looking for a large university with a diverse student population and a broad range of academic programs, UC Davis may be the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in STEM subjects and want to attend a small liberal arts college with low student-faculty ratios, Harvey Mudd may be a better fit. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

It’s important to consider factors beyond academics as well. UC Davis is located in a college town with a lively social scene and plenty of extracurricular activities, while Harvey Mudd is situated in a suburban area with a quieter atmosphere.

Additionally, UC Davis has a strong focus on agriculture and sustainability, while Harvey Mudd emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities. Take the time to visit each campus, talk to current students and faculty, and weigh all of your options before making a decision.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.

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