Harvey Mudd College is a fairly young college (founded in 1955) with an unfamiliar name that has quickly become a leading science and engineering school. Although it’s classified as a liberal arts institution—it comes in at No. 1 on our liberal arts list—the college offers only B.S. degrees in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics. Mudders do take a healthy dose of humanities and social science courses as part of the core curriculum. And they can enroll in any classes offered by the other Claremont Colleges: Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Pomona, and Scripps.
Unlike at many other science-oriented schools, the faculty focuses on teaching rather than research, and it shows. Harvey Mudd professors tend to be among the highest rated on Ratemyprof.com. Although it has only 800 students, it is the nation’s second-largest producer of Ph.D.s in science and engineering, according to the National Science Foundation. The approximately 60% of graduates who go straight into the workforce earn, on average, about $70,000 a year within five years—18% more than the graduates of schools with similar specializations in science and math.
The coursework is intense, but Harvey Mudd students join with the other Claremont colleges to field Division III football, basketball, soccer, and other teams. Each year, the students perform one of Shakespeare’s plays during Alumni Weekend.