- Class: Freshman
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: M
- High School: Bergen County Academies
- Transfer Student: N
Harvey Mudd thrives on being small and specialized to undergraduates. The school cares deeply about each student's education and welfare. The professors all know your name and how you're doing. We are first and foremost students, but we are also crazy, interesting people. We have ridiculous pranks, elaborate parties, and second-hand couches everywhere outside. We love our school (though we aren't going to cheer about it or something) and every Mudder (someone who goes to Mudd) is our friend. Our school fight song goes to the tune of the Mickey Mouse song. The campus has about 725 students. We are a tight knit community for better of for worse. It's great when you walk somewhere and spot three of your friends (particularly if you had a bad day). As far as things like dating go, it can sometimes be a little rough. The good thing is that we have four other undergraduate institutions. Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer and Scripps are all within walking distance (as close as across the street) and share facilities with us. When Mudd gets too small, you can socialize or take classes at another school. Campus life revolves around the dorms. We have eight dorms, most with very strong personalities. They throw parties (paid for by the school) and provide a place to hang out. The town of Claremont is a quiet, middle-upper class suburban neighborhood. There isn't a lot of interaction, but the downtown area or "the village" has a good selection of shops and eateries. The administration tries to work with us to keep us happy. Unpopular classes are changed and unpopular teachers don't get tenure. The school pays for us to do whatever fun stuff we can think of (concerts, parties, trips to Six Flags, community service). Perhaps most importantly, we have an honor code that lets us take almost all our tests at home.
There is not a class at Harvey Mudd where the professor does not at least know your name. The largest classes are split up to smaller recitations run by professors (who went to the same lecture you did) to make sure that you get personal attention. Professors have office hours all the time and answer emails even later. We even eat and socialize with our professors out of class. The workload is rigorous. Some students handle it better than others, but I have spoken to some who pulled all-nighters once a week for a whole semester. The grading curve is ungenerous bordering on sadistic. Exact numbers depend on who you ask, but fewer than 10 students in the history of the school have graduated with a 4.0. Outside of class, students are not competative at all. We always help each other. We don't have that many conversations about our actual classes outside of class (short of studying), but we talk about intellectual topics all the time. Though we all want to get into good jobs and graduate programs (and we expect them upon graduating) the Harvey Mudd education is less professional than other tech schools. The school wants us to be well balanced people. That results in a third of classes devoted to humanities and social sciences and another third to a common core that all students take.
Because of the small size of Mudd, everyone is very close. There is some division, mostly based on dorm allegiance, but people by and large get along. Mudders are very open to people of different races, religions, sexual orientations and the like, and everyone is integrated together. I suppose that for better or for worse, we just ignore our differences. Mudders by and large are combinations of two personality types. The first is outgoing, passionate about learning but not eager to spend all day doing work (despite doing so sometimes). This personality type enjoys the occasional party / drink / fire. The second type is more reclusive and loves work, pedantic conversations, video games and the like. Everyone is somewhere on the spectrum between the two. The average student is very apathetic about most everything outside of their day-to-day life. The school uniform is t-shirts and jeans. The majority of students own a long board that they use to get around. A sizable number unicycle. Most students would identify liberal, but many aren't registered to work. Most students would rather be in a job that makes them happy rather than one that pays well, but many wouldn't mind a reasonable salary.
The Best Things
Too many things to say
The Worst Things
The fact that somebody has to fail the next test