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Harvey Mudd vs Caltech: Which is better for STEM?

I'm really interested in a strong STEM program, and both Harvey Mudd College and Caltech seem like fantastic options. Can anyone help me compare the two in terms of the rigor, research opportunities, faculty, and support for undergraduates in STEM fields?

6 months ago

Both Harvey Mudd College and Caltech are highly regarded for their STEM programs, so you really can't go wrong with either choice. However, they do have different environments and focus areas which might impact your decision.

Rigor: Both schools are known for their rigorous curricula and demanding workload in STEM. Many students at both Caltech and Harvey Mudd report spending long hours on problem sets, projects, and labs. Caltech follows a quarter system, which can make the pace feel faster, while Harvey Mudd uses the semester system, providing more time to delve into each course.

Research opportunities: Both institutions emphasize undergraduate research, but Caltech, as a research institute, offers a larger scope of research opportunities across various disciplines. Harvey Mudd, being a smaller school, may provide a more direct and personal relationship with faculty members during research, but the range of research projects might be more limited compared to Caltech.

Faculty: Faculty at both schools are highly accomplished and enthusiastic about teaching. You'll find smaller classes at Harvey Mudd due to its smaller student body, which can lead to more personalized interactions with professors. Caltech does have some larger classes, but since the overall undergraduate population is also relatively small, students can still develop close relationships with faculty.

Support for undergraduates: Harvey Mudd places a strong emphasis on undergraduate education and student support, which is evident in its tight-knit community, ample resources, and a focus on developing well-rounded individuals with strong collaboration skills. Meanwhile, Caltech's resources like tutoring and faculty mentorship may be more geared towards supporting students with a highly focused specialty in their STEM field.

Additionally, consider the overall college experience and location. Harvey Mudd is part of The Claremont Colleges consortium, where students can take courses and participate in activities across seven colleges, offering a broader community and more diverse course options. Caltech, on the other hand, is located in Pasadena and is in close proximity to Los Angeles, providing access to a larger city with more resources, internships, and networking opportunities.

Ultimately, the best choice between Harvey Mudd and Caltech will depend on your personal preferences, learning style, and desired college experience. Both schools are outstanding for STEM, so you can't go wrong!

6 months ago

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