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Haverford College
Department of Chemistry

Haverford College Placement Questionnaire

CLICK HERE to fill out the placement questionnaire

More information:

Should you fill out this questionnaire?

The answer is yes if you are a current (or recently admitted) Haverford College student who will be (or wish to keep open the possibility for future years) of taking any of our Introductory Chemistry courses numbered 111, 112 or 115. These courses are required for Chemistry majors and for any student interested in attending medical and other health-related professional schools; these courses are also commonly used to fulfill the prerequisites for Haverford's introductory Biology course, Bio 200 (which is usually taken in the second year). The answer is also yes for Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore students who wish take these Haverford courses.

Why do we ask you to fill out this questionnaire?

The Chemistry Department has several offerings available for incoming students whether they have had little high school chemistry, or AP (or other advanced chemistry courses) from high school. We want to help students find the course that is at the right level for them. We realize that for some students with less preparation in Chemistry, many answers will be left blank; that's OK - all we ask is that you do your best to answer what you can.

What questions are there?

The questionnaire asks about your preparation from high school in the areas of math and science, and also includes a few math questions and several chemistry questions to help us gauge how much you remember from your high school math and chemistry (or physical science) courses. We do not recommend any special study before you fill out the questionnaire.

When do I need to fill it out?

If you wish to take Chemistry at any time during your four years at Haverford, you must fill out the questionnaire during the summer before you enroll at Haverford. To get a placement recommendation in time to sign up for classes for Fall semester, we ask that you fill this survey out BEFORE the deadline announced in an email you will get from the first-year Dean (this is usually sometime in early August). We will then be able to get placement recommendations to you in time for you to decide on your course schedule in consultationwith your faculty advisor.

What are the possible placement recommendations?

You may be given a choice in the placement recommendation and if so, please consult with faculty during the designated Tea scheduled during Custom’s week. Most of you will have had at least one year of high school chemistry and will be placed into sections 1 or 2 of Chem 111 (Structure and Bonding) and Chem 112 (Chemical Dynamics), with 3 hr of lecture per week, an optional recitation plus a weekly 3 hr lab. These two courses may be taken in either order, but Chem 111 is only offered in the fall and Chem 112 only in the spring. Some of you will be placed into a special five-day a week section of Chem 111/ 112 (section 3) that does not assume any prior (high school) chemistry background. This intensive section is designed to help students with the basics of Chemistry at the same time as they are learning the same topics as those students who are placed into the regular section 1 or 2. Section 3 students take the same lab program as those enrolled in section 1 or 2. Students with strong chemistry preparation (usually meaning a score of 5 in AP Chemistry) will be placed into Chem 115 (Chemical Structure and Bonding with Inquiry Lab, fall only). In addition to the lecture component of Chem 111 (section 1 or 2), students in Chem 115 take an inquiry-based laboratory program. These students also take Chem 112.

Will there be borderline placements?

Yes. Some of you will be given the option of two placements, and in this case we'd strongly urge you to come talk to Chemistry faculty members (for instance, at the Academic "Tea" that will be held during Customs Week) to help us figure out together which placement would be best for you.

What happens if you don't fill out the placement questionairre?

We will still let you enroll in our large sections (1 and 2) of Chem 111 and Chem 112. We may ask you in any event to fill out the questionaire at the outset of the course, but you will most likely not have the opportunity to enroll in Chem 115 or the intensive sections of Chem 111 or Chem 112, because these courses will have reached capacity.

Do you need to fill out the placement questionairre to take Chemistry courses that are not part of the science major's sequence?

Most years the Chemistry Department offers one or two courses that are suitable for students not majoring in the natural sciences but who wish to learn more about Chemistry and how it applies to societal and personal decision-making. These courses, which do not have a laboratory component, do not give major credit nor do they fulfill the requirements associated with a pre-health related track. Examples of these courses are Chem 150: Introduction to Oceanography, Chem 151: Case Studies in Chemistry, Chem 152: Chemistry: Its Application to the Everyday World, and Chem 154: Nanotechnology. You do not need to fill out our placement questionnaire to take these courses.


If you have questions about Chemistry at Haverford, we encourage you to contact a member of the Chemistry Department by email or phone.

CLICK HERE to fill out the placement questionnaire