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Haverford College

Course Catalog

Committee on Student Standing & ProgramsAcademic Flexibility ProgramAdvanced Placement CreditCollege LeaveDean's LeaveIndependent Study While Not in ResidenceInternational StudyIntercollegiate Cooperation3/2 Engineering Program3/2 City Planning ProgramLeaves of AbsencePost-Graduate Study Study at Other American CollegesSummer Study At Another United States Institution

Intercollegiate Cooperation

Haverford has long enjoyed a close cooperative relationship with its near neighbor, Bryn Mawr College. In recent years, Swarthmore College has joined the two schools in a relationship that gives students from all three colleges access to courses and to most of the academic facilities on the three campuses. As a consequence, students at all three colleges have the advantages offered by a small college, together with the academic resources of a much larger, combined institution. The major programs of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges are open equally to students of both. In many cases, Haverford students may also major at Swarthmore College. Linguistics is one example of a major at Swarthmore College that some Haverford students have recently completed. Each student must satisfy the general college distribution requirements of the institution at which he or she is matriculated, but is free to choose courses from the three curricula. Students majoring at a school other than the home college have this option noted on their academic records. The academic regulations of the college where a course is given apply to all enrolled students, regardless of the home college. Administrative interpretations and decisions are made by the deans of the college where the course is given.

Each semester, a significant number of students at Haverford and Bryn Mawr take at least one course on the other campus. Class schedules and, in many cases, course offerings are coordinated. Jointly operated college buses carry students between the campuses from early morning through the evening.

Cooperation between Haverford and Bryn Mawr is extensive also in extracurricular activities. A monthly calendar of events on both campuses is published jointly. A meal exchange program enables students at the three colleges to use the dining facilities at all three, and more than 80 percent of the extracurricular activities organized at Haverford operate jointly with Bryn Mawr.

In addition to the cooperative agreement with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore, Haverford has made arrangements with the University of Pennsylvania that permit full-time students the right to enjoy library privileges and, upon presentation of the proper credentials, to enroll for courses there without added expense. Laboratory fees, which are not included under reciprocal agreements with Swarthmore or the University of Pennsylvania, must be paid by the student. Students taking courses at the University of Pennsylvania must make their own transportation arrangements, and are limited to two courses per semester at the University.

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Academic Flexibility Program

The Committee on Student Standing and Programs (CSSP), a standing committee of the faculty, is empowered to make decisions on requests from students for exceptions to the academic regulations of the College. CSSP is composed of three faculty members (one from each of the three divisions of the College) appointed by Academic Council, three students (one of whom must be a sophomore) appointed by Students’ Council, the director of multicultural affairs, and one of the deans, who serves as secretary to the committee.

Typically, requests for exceptions involve unusual circumstances and relate to such issues as special majors and graduation in six or more than eight semesters. Students who intend to petition the committee should first consult with their dean and their academic advisor, both of whom have to approve and sign their petition. Petitions should be submitted in writing to CSSP by the deadlines noted below; failure to meet these deadlines may result in a delay in the consideration of a petition until the following semester.

For Semester I of the ‘09-’10 Academic Year: Friday, October 30, 2009; For Semester II of the ‘09-’10 Academic Year: Friday, March 19, 2010.

Petitioning students should note that their advisor and dean’s approval does not guarantee that CSSP will grant their request. If the committee does not approve his/her proposal, the student may appear in person to appeal its decision.

In addition to petitions for independent and interdepartmental majors, which are discussed elsewhere in the Catalog, the following are examples of some of the academic program options that students may pursue only with the approval of CSSP.

A. Credit for Non-Collegiate Academic Work

There are important educational opportunities for a student to do work in a non-university research laboratory, to do a supervised archaeological study on site, etc., for which the College will occasionally grant academic credit. With the approval of CSSP, such work may be undertaken for up to four course credits, provided the following conditions are met:

The work is closely supervised by a person who is a faculty member at a college or university or who clearly holds the comparable qualifications;
The student’s academic advisor approves the activity. If the work is in an area outside the advisor’s field, approval will also be required from a Haverford faculty member competent in a relevant field;
The project results in a product judged to be satisfactory by the field supervisor and the Haverford faculty member;
In most cases, the work is unpaid.

For each Haverford course credit earned in this manner, a student will be charged tuition at the rate of $4,950 per course credit. If credit is granted for such work by another academic institution, the credit may be transferred to Haverford without further tuition charges. Before credit can be transferred, however, the procedures for approval as outlined above must be followed.

Students are reminded that all proposals for international study during the academic year must be submitted to the Educational Policy Committee through the International Academic Programs Office.

B. Graduation in Fewer than Eight Semesters

Sufficiently mature students of outstanding ability who have clearly defined career goals and strong motivation to achieve them, or who are otherwise judged to have legitimate reasons for special consideration, may apply for permission to graduate in three years. Such a student may, in consultation with his/her dean, and with the approval of his/her academic advisor and the Committee on Student Standings and Programs, select a six-semester program consisting of at least 30 course credits, including up to two approved AP credits or summer courses. Because of the college residency requirement, this program is not compatible with international study. A student for whom a six semester program has been approved must, by April 15 each year, confirm to his/her dean in writing that he/she intends to continue in this program.

Students may also meet the normal requirements of 32 Haverford approved course credits but do so in only seven semesters of study by enrolling for five course credits for four semesters and for four course credits for three semesters. This option will allow students to spend a full semester away from the campus at some time during their college careers and still graduate within four years of matriculation. While there is no deadline for declaring seven-semester programs, and students do not need the approval of CSSP to exercise this option, an early declaration of the intention to graduation in seven semesters will be helpful to both the student and the College. Students considering this option are therefore urged to consult their dean as early as possible, but no later than the end of their first year. All such students must, by April 15 each year, confirm to their dean in writing their intention to continue in the seven-semester program.

C. Extended Programs

Although most students are expected to graduate in four academic years, some may be permitted to take more time to complete their degree requirements. Examples would include students with documented disabilities which prevent them from carrying a full course load and to whom CSSP has granted directly relevant accommodations as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and students whose programs would be substantially enhanced by another semester of work. In all such cases, the student must secure the prior approval of the Committee on Student Standing and Programs.

Haverford students of unusual ability who might normally complete a B.A. degree in three years may, for special reasons, stay at Haverford for an additional year in an M.A. program utilizing the resources of Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, or the University of Pennsylvania. Such students need first to be accepted by the relevant department or departments and have the approval of the Committee on Student Standing and Programs for the specific program concerned. The awarding of the master’s degree must be approved by the Committee. A student interested in a B.A./M.A. program should follow a six-semester B.A. sequence and, in the fall of the third and senior year, request the Committee to consider the M.A. proposal and the student’s qualifications for it.

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Post-Graduate Study

Many Haverford College students plan to enter upon further courses of study after graduation. As a liberal arts college, Haverford arranges its curriculum so that students with such plans are able to meet the entrance requirements of graduate and professional schools. The College does not, however, attempt to anticipate in its own curriculum the work of any graduate or professional school. It is the conviction of the faculty that the best preparation for graduate work is a liberal education with sound training in basic disciplines, to which more specialized training may be added later.

Students intending to enter a professional school are encouraged to choose a major in accord with their principal abilities and interests, since professional schools, such as those of business administration, education, law, medicine, or theology, usually accept students on the basis of merit regardless of their choice of major and, except in the case of medical schools, without specific course requirements. The requirements of most state boards of medical licensure are such that all students who hope to be admitted to a medical school must present a minimum of eight semester courses in the natural sciences, each of which must include laboratory work: two in biology, four in chemistry, and two in physics.

Students planning to do graduate work in a departmental subject such as economics, mathematics, history, etc., should consult with the chairperson of the department at Haverford which most nearly corresponds to the department of proposed work in graduate school. This advisor will be able to give guidance in the selection of courses and in the choice of major (which will not necessarily be in the department of intended graduate study), and to answer other questions relevant to post-graduate study.

Students planning to go to professional schools should seek early advice from the Career Development Office or from the College’s pre-professional advisors. Schools of business, law, medicine, and some other graduate schools require applicants to take special admission tests. Arrangements for taking these tests are the responsibility of the student concerned.

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International Study

Upon request, qualified students in good academic and disciplinary standing may be granted permission to spend a semester or a year studying in a foreign country. The College recognizes approximately 50 programs abroad; approval for study in these programs and the granting of commensurate Haverford credit are through the Office of International Academic Programs. The College has specific arrangements with several international partner universities, including The London School of Economics, Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the United Kingdom, which allow students to study in these institutions for a year. Haverford also has semester and year student exchanges with the University of Melbourne, University of Delft, University of Stockholm, Aberdeen University, University of Edinburgh, Al Akhawayn University and the University of the West Indies. Students who study abroad for the semester or the year pay regular tuition and, in many cases, room and board fees to Haverford. The College, in turn, is responsible for paying the program fees directly to the institution abroad. Some financial aid may be available for eligible students, although priority will be given to those whose major programs and concentrations most depend on international study. An advisory committee of faculty and the dean of international academic programs determine the preference rankings in this instance. Students interested in studying abroad should consult the dean of international academic programs early in their sophomore year. In recent years, Haverford students have studied at the the University of Chile, the University of Cape Town, Hebrew University, the University of Hyderabad, Yonsei University, American University in Cairo, and The Bocconi University among many others. To study abroad, students are expected to have a GPA of 3.0. In special cases, this may be waived but students must meet the program GPA requirement. Courses taken while studying on approved programs do count toward fulfilling major, minor and concentration requirements as well as college degree requirements. Students can also fulfill the language requirement on select programs. Approximately 46% of the junior class studies abroad for either a semester or a year.

In the rare case where a student may wish to receive credit for a program not on the approved list, he or she may petition to add the program to the list, by using the following procedure:

Collect all pertinent information about the program, including catalogs, course descriptions, modes of evaluation of academic performance, syllabi, reading lists, and faculty CVs.

Present the written proposal and materials to dean of international academic programs, one year in advance–November 1st for spring programs or March 1st for fall programs. These deadlines are firm. The dean will review and evaluate the program.

In the event that the dean regards the program as commensurate with programs on the approved list, the student must prepare a petition for consideration by the Educational Policy Committee. The petition must explain why the existing approved programs do not fulfill the student’s academic needs and how the proposed program does so. A statement from the student’s major faculty advisor must accompany the petition, endorsing the program and explaining how it complements the work of the major or the concentration. The department must provide a list of approved courses fulfilling major credits. If the program is outside the student’s major, a statement from a member of the faculty who is familiar with the program will also be required along with a detailed list of courses approved for departmental credit. Petitions are forwarded to the Study Abroad Advisory Board and the International Academic Programs Faculty Committee for consultation. In order to ensure the quality of programs on the approved list, an on-site visit and evaluation by a Haverford faculty member is required before approval is granted.

The EPC has determined that students who do not request and receive permission to study abroad through the International Academic Programs Office will not receive Haverford credit for their work. The EPC will not consider retroactive proposals under any circumstances. Students who do not wish to pay Haverford tuition and/or receive credit may not attend programs on the Approved list. Members of the faculty who wish to add programs to the list follow the same procedures noted above. International study information, including brochures, procedures, and applications, is available from the Office of International Academic Programs, located in Chase Hall 213. Information is also available on the website located at:

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3/2 Engineering Program

Haverford College and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) have a joint program under which a student who is interested in engineering may, in the first semester of his/her junior year, apply for transfer to an engineering program at CalTech. If accepted, then at the end of five years (three at Haverford, two at CalTech), the student will be awarded a B.A. or B.S. degree by Haverford and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree by CalTech.

For each engineering discipline, there is a required set of courses to be taken at Haverford during the first three years of the program. Interested students should consult their advisor and the College’s advisor for the 3/2 program (Prof. Walter Smith) about the proper course selection; this consultation should occur as early as possible. A cumulative grade point average of 3.5 is generally expected for this program.

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3/2 City Planning Program

Haverford students majoring in the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr College may apply for admission to the 3/2 Program in City and Regional Planning offered in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania. This arrangement with the University of Pennsylvania's Department of City and Regional Planning allows a student to earn both a bachelors degree in the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr and a degree of Master of City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania in five years. Qualified students who are accepted into the 3/2 program will be eligible for consideration for financial aid during their period of residence at the University of Pennsylvania. Students interested in the 3/2 BA/MCP program may apply through their Cities major advisor during their sophomore or junior years, although they are encouraged to begin discussing their interest with members of the Cities Program as early as the beginning of their sophomore year.

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Study at Other American Colleges

Some students may also study at another college or university in the United States for the enrichment to be gained through different or more diversified liberal arts offerings. Some go simply to experience college life in a setting contrasting with that at Haverford. The College has formal exchange programs with Claremont McKenna and Pitzer Colleges in California, Spelman College in Georgia, and Fisk University in Tennessee. Permission forms for such study, to be signed by the student’s advisor and dean, are available in the Office of the Registrar. All courses must be approved in advance by the chair of the department in question. In order to provide a semester’s credit at Haverford (four course credits), a program at another institution must represent at least one-eighth of the degree program there; and similarly, in order to provide a year’s credit at Haverford, the program must represent one-quarter of the degree at the other institution.

Students who expect to study away from Haverford for a semester or a year must confirm their intention in writing to their dean, using the same timetable as that for deans’ leaves. They should also inform their dean when they have been accepted by the institution to which they have applied. Naturally, they will have discussed at an earlier time tentative plans with their advisor and dean. They should, finally, be especially careful to see to it that their total program provides an adequate number of credits outside the major department and that it meets Haverford’s distribution requirements.

Note: Students may not attend programs abroad through an American college or university and receive credit at Haverford unless they go through the Office of International Academic Programs.

Entering students should arrange to have advanced placement scores forwarded directly to the Office of the Registrar at Haverford College. The registrar will award one course credit for an AP score of 5 and one-half course credit for a score of 4. No credit is awarded for scores under 4. The maximum AP credit awarded to any student may not exceed four course credits.

The procedures outlined above under Haverford’s special academic programs implement the faculty’s decision that each student may avail him or herself of many special academic opportunities during the years at Haverford. Credits earned in summer school, in the Advanced Placement program, in “A” Levels, in the International Baccalaureate Program, the French Baccalaureate Program, the German Abitur, and the Swiss Maturite, or in college courses taken either before matriculation at Haverford or during the summers while a student at Haverford will be recorded in such a way that the total for any one student does not exceed four course credits. Students should note that divisional distribution is not awarded to any such work, with the exception of summer credits earned during their years at the College.

For additional information on special academic programs, including study abroad, please go to

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Independent Study While Not in Residence

Students who wish to carry independent study credit while away from the College should secure the approval of their advisors and that of the instructor(s) involved before submitting the written proposal to the dean for final approval. If approved, students will be charged at the special student rate of $4,950 per credit.

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Summer Study At Another Institution

A student wishing to obtain Haverford credit for summer school at another institution should follow the procedures as outlined below:

1. The student should secure from the registrar’s website a form entitled, “Approval for Summer School Work”;
2. With the form, the student should secure the approval of his/her faculty advisor, dean, and the chairperson of the Haverford department which corresponds to the field in which the work is to be done. Note that advance approval is required for obtaining Haverford credit. Approval sought retroactively will, in all likelihood, be denied;
3. In seeking approval, the student should first complete the descriptive information about the course (name, number, amount of credit conferred at the other institution, and the institution’s name). The student should also present a catalog, listing the course descriptions;
4. The faculty advisor’s signature should represent an approval of the course as a part of the student’s program at Haverford. Such approval should be based on the suitability of the course for Haverford credit;
5. Faculty assigning credit proceed on the principle that at any institution, each course counts as a fraction of the credit required for the degree. At Haverford, the minimum graduation requirement is 32 credits, equal to 128 semester hours. Therefore, summer credit equivalents must be identical to academic year equivalents for transfer credit to be considered at Haverford.

Other regulations governing summer study

1. Courses taken in summer school will not satisfy Haverford course requirements for the major unless prior written approval is granted by the major supervisor;
2. A summer course must not be a repeat of or at a lower level than a course already a part of the student’s Haverford academic record;
3. To receive Haverford credit for courses taken in summer school, a student must earn a grade at least one full grade above the lowest passing Haverford grade: at least a 2.0 on the Haverford scale, or a grade of “C” on the A-F scale;
4. Permission for credit must be secured before the course is taken;
5. For summer work at Bryn Mawr College, only the permission of the student’s dean is required;
6. In all cases of summer school work, including courses taken at Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania, students should have official transcripts forwarded to the Haverford College registrar. Unofficial grade reports will not be accepted for evaluation;
7. Students should realize, finally, that summer school credit, if accepted by Haverford, will transfer to Haverford simply as course credits. Course titles and credit values will be indicated on the record, but in no instance, including summer work at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania (both in the U.S. and abroad), will grades earned appear on the Haverford record; likewise, in no instance will the grades earned appear as part of the student’s cumulative grade point average at Haverford;
8. Students should follow the above procedures for all summer study, including summer study abroad. Students should note finally that both Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania summer programs abroad have been approved for Haverford academic credit; these two institutions, along with many others, provide excellent opportunities for Haverford students to study abroad during the summer. Such approval is identical to that for domestic summer study.

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Advanced Placement Credit

Entering students should arrange to have advanced placement scores forwarded directly to the Office of the Registrar at Haverford College. The registrar will award one course credit for an AP score of 5 and one-half course credit for a score of 4. No credit is awarded for scores under 4. The maximum AP credit awarded to any student may not exceed four course credits.

The procedures outlined above under Haverford’s special academic programs implement the faculty’s decision that each student may avail him or herself of many special academic opportunities during the years at Haverford. Credits earned in summer school, in the Advanced Placement program, in “A” Levels, in the International Baccalaureate Program, the French Baccalaureate Program, the German Abitur, and the Swiss Maturite, or in college courses taken either before matriculation at Haverford or during the summers while a student at Haverford will be recorded in such a way that the total for any one student does not exceed four course credits. Students should note that divisional distribution is not awarded to any such work, with the exception of summer credits earned during their years at the College.

For additional information on special academic programs, including study abroad, please go to

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Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence can contribute greatly to the general education of some students. The College seeks to make it a fairly simple matter to arrange a leave. The authority to grant leaves and to specify their type, duration, and terms rests with the deans.

Since the number of students admitted for any fall term depends upon the number of students returning, a student who requests a leave of absence late in the summer has effectively denied someone else a place at the College. If that student has also been assigned College housing, he or she is severely inconveniencing other students. Thus, a fine of $500 will be imposed upon students requesting leaves of absence after August 1 of any given year.

If, after a semester has begun, a student for any reason leaves the College (Dean’s Leave, Study Away, International Study, College Leave), he or she must vacate his or her dormitory room by a date determined by his or her dean in consultation with the student. In such cases, a pro-rated fee for room (and board, if applicable) will be assessed. At Haverford, leaves of absence fall into two categories:

Students in good academic standing may request leave without conditions which, if granted, will be for a specific period of time (one, two, or more semesters). Should a student fail one or more courses or otherwise perform poorly before the leave goes into effect, the student’s dean or the Committee on Student Standing and Programs may impose conditions or, in some cases, revoke the leave and replace it with a College Leave.

Applications for such unconditional leaves must be submitted in writing to the student’s dean no later than the final day of registration for the semester the student wishes to commence the leave (November 14, 2008 for semester II leaves, or April 17, 2009 for a semester I leave). Return from such a leave is automatic as long as the student provides written confirmation of intent to return. A student should write his or her dean by March 1 for a fall semester return, or by December 1 for a spring semester return. A student wishing to extend a leave should send a written request, giving reasons, to his or her dean. Failure to do so will mean that the student will be automatically placed on College Leave. The dates for these requests are the same as those for statements of intent to return.

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Dean's Leave

Dean’s Leaves may also be granted with conditions in certain cases. For example, students might, because of illness or other personal problems, miss the deadlines for requesting leave. Or they might, uncharacteristically, fail a course or experience some other atypical academic difficulty. In such instances, the student’s dean may impose conditions to be met to the dean’s satisfaction before re-admission can be granted. Failure to satisfy the conditions will be cause for changing the leave from a Dean’s Leave to a College Leave, as will the condition that follows.

If, while on a Dean’s Leave from Haverford, a student is admitted as a transfer to another institution, he or she must transfer out of Haverford. Failure to do this will automatically change the Dean’s Leave to a College Leave, revoking automatic return to Haverford.

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College Leave

This category covers all other leaves and applies, as a rule, to students who are asked to take leave for academic, disciplinary or medical reasons. Return from College Leaves is not automatic. Students who wish to return must reapply to Haverford College through the Dean of the College. Students are expected to present to the Dean convincing evidence of readiness to return. To that end, reapplying students will be asked to provide, whenever possible or pertinent, the names of persons on the faculty or in the administration well enough acquainted with the student to be able to comment on the student’s development during the time away. Deadlines for reapplying are the same as those for Dean’s Leave.

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Power to act on requests for all special programs (described above) and exceptions to any of the academic regulations is in the hands of the Committee on Student Standing and Programs, except where it is specifically assigned to the deans, or in the case of international study during the academic year, to the Educational Policy Committee. Any student who believes that either a special program or an exception to an academic regulation would promote his or her best intellectual development is invited to present a written proposal to the Committee.