StudentsReview :: Harvey Mudd College - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Harvey Mudd College

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionA
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB
Individual ValueF University Resource UseB
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB FriendlinessA
Campus MaintenanceD Social LifeC
Surrounding CityD+ Extra CurricularsB
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Broken Spirit, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #001397; line-height:80px';float:left;
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
Highest Rating
Educational Quality
He cares more about Individual Value than the average student.
Date: May 14 2004
Major: Engineering Department (This Major's Salary over time)
Mudd has an amazing admissions staff which can really give one a false impression of the school. The Dean of Admissions is one of the coolest people ever, and current students tend to be very friendly towards prospective students. Here are two myths you'll hear a lot:

Myth: Your low GPA won't matter, and people will recognize Harvey Mudd and know that your GPA is low because of the difficult coursework.

Truth: Most employers have never heard of Harvey Mudd, and when told which school you attend, often think that Harvey Mudd is a community college. I feel that I should note that I don't have a low GPA, but that some of my friends are not as lucky, and seeing them get turned down from every grad school they applied to hurts.

Myth: Clinic is a great experience.

Truth: Clinic can certainly help you get a job by introducing you to one of the few employers who has heard of Mudd, but having a good clinic experience is a crapshoot. Your project could be incredibly easy and require very little work, or you could be spending an average of 20 hours a week or more on clinic. You could have a great team that gets along well, or you could hate half of your team, or have several team members who either do no work or are incapable of doing competent work.

There are some things that (understandably) just aren't mentioned to prospective students:

  • Facilities and Maintenance (F&M) is incredibly poorly run. At the end of the year, they throw away things left in students' rooms, and despite the fact that they knew I was a summer resident (so my belongings shouldn't be thrown away), and it was plainly marked on my door that I was a summer resident, they still threw away some of my things. That same summer they threw away some dorm property, which was then retrieved from the dumpster, and they then threw it out again. In all fairness, things have gotten a little better in recent years.
  • Campus Security is also less than competent, but problems with CampSec are much less frequent than problems with F&M.
  • The administration is motivated by little other than limiting their liability and getting money for the school. Your complaints mean very little until the school is trying to get you to donate money (in other words, until after you graduate).
  • There is a fair chance that Mudd will do serious damage to your joy of life, and destroy your motivation. This is not at all uncommon. At times the workload gets extremely out of hand, and the only way to remain sane (or retain some semblance of a social life) is just to give up on your work. Towards the end of your freshman year and throughout your sophomore year the point at which you give up will come sooner and sooner. It gets to the point where you just blow off the homework for courses where it isn't weighted heavily.
  • The Mudd student body is very segmented. Chances are you will strongly dislike a large portion of the student body. You will have classes with some of the most annoying people you have ever met. They will ask questions that are either completely unrelated to the lecture, or are solely intended to demonstrate their (supposedly superior) knowledge of the subject.
  • The core is rather useless except in that it exposes you to a variety of subjects so that you can better choose your major. I have almost never used what I "learned" in core chemistry (1 year), physics (1.5 years), or math (2 years) since completing the core, and I don't remember any of it. Any courses which required knowledge from the core simply retaught it. Some of those classes are incredibly difficult, and it is not at all unlikely that you will receive a test grade in the 30s from one of these courses.
  • Some of the things admissions tells you are true:

  • The faculty is for the most part excellent, and very approachable. Almost all of my interactions with the faculty have been positive, and they really are great.
  • It's a good education, although I'd have to say that it's probably not worth it.
  • As far as my personal experience at Mudd goes:

  • Mudd has done serious damage to my mental well-being. I arrived as a fairly well-adjusted young sucker, and now I'm leaving as a bitter and depressed sucker who has anxiety problems. I have almost no motivation.
  • I have met some of the coolest people ever here, and if I had gone to a state school, I'm sure I wouldn't have met anyone half as awesome as these people (although there plenty of people here that I can't stand).
  • I maintained a healthy social life at Mudd, but this didn't come without its costs. Most times I was enjoying the social life it was because I was putting off work, so it got to the point where even when I didn't have work to do, I would think that I did and feel guilty about not doing it. You will probably always feel like you have work hanging over your head, even when you don't.
  • I feel that I have gotten a good education from Mudd, but if I could go back, I wouldn't come here. Your GPA at Mudd will probably be low, especially at the beginning, so transferring can be difficult.
  • While Mudd isn't what I would call a great place, I can confidently say that everyone I know from Mudd who has gone to grad school at Caltech or MIT says Mudd is significantly better (the social life in particular). So if you're trying to decide between these three, I'd say that Mudd is your best bet (barring post-graduation), but you probably shouldn't go to any of these places and perhaps you should rethink your college plans. You can always go to an easy school for undergrad that won't make you hate yourself or destroy your GPA and then go to a good grad school.

    questionGreat review, I attended HMC before you, and I guess it hasn't changed much. For an academic career HMC is outstanding, I'm not sure about industry. What are you doing now?
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