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Haverford College
Department of Chemistry

Study Abroad for Chemistry Majors

Many Haverford College students, including many Chemistry majors, spend one or two semesters of their junior year studying in another country at one of about 50 universities with which Haverford College has exchange agreements. For more information on this program, please see the International Academic Programs web page.

Not every program offers courses in Chemistry that can count toward our Chemistry major, so it is important that students plan their study abroad program carefully. Occassionally students will use their junior year abroad to take courses in a different area of interest or to complete distribution requirements, and then take mostly Chemistry courses in the senior year in order to complete the major requirements. But most of our majors who go abroad are able to get two or three course credits in Chemistry courses that are roughly equivalent to our courses and hence count toward our major. The most common course substitutions are as follow:

  • Some universities have a Physical Chemistry course that will substitute for our Chemistry 304.
  • Some universities have an upper-level Inorganic Chemistry course that will satisfy the major requirement (in leiu of Chemistry 320+351 or 353)
  • Some universities have a biochemistry lecture and or lab courses that can satisfy some of the requirements of the Biochemistry concentration (we generally defer to the judgement of the Biology department regarding these courses; if they are acceptable toward a Biology major, we will accept them for the Biochemistry concentration credit.
  • Course equivalent to our junior-year Superlab are difficult to find, but the department is willing to be flexible in substitutions of advanced lab courses taken abroad for the SECOND semeser of our Superlab (Chem 302 or Chem 311/312). We normally do not grant substitutions for our Chem 301 (fall semester) and if necessary this can be taken the fall semester of the senior year at Haverford.

Some comments on specific programs are given below. This information is advice based on experience of past Haverford students, but may not be current.

Melbourne University | University College London

Melbourne University:

This is a popular location for our students to study abroad, maybe because it is the furthest away from Haverford? Usually students spend just one semester abroad. Melbourne courses use a credit hour system in which 12.5 credit hours are equivalent to one of our course credits. Their semester is 12 weeks long + exams, but some of their courses last only eight weeks - in general you should avoid these shorter courses. Some possible course selections are as follows:

Away from Haverford Fall semester:

If you are going to be missing the fall semester of your junior year, that is semester 2 in Australia (August to November). Two courses that will count toward a Chemistry major are

DO NOT ENROLL IN THE EIGHT WEEK 610-240 or 610-210 courses (that have the same names as 241 and 211 but with an A instead of a B). Although these have an associated lab, and carry 12.5 credit hours of Melbourne credit, they do not easily replace courses that are in our curriculum, so you may not make progress toward a Haverford Chemistry major (even if you get credit toward the 32 courses required for graduation).

Unless you are a biochemistry concentrator, you can consider also taking the labs associated with the two courses listed above

Away from Haverford Spring semester:

This is semester 1 at Melbourne. Those students wishing an ACS-certified Chemistry major may take the following course:

  • 610-311 Physical Chemistry IIIB - 12 week lecture course; 12.5 credit hours = 1 of our courses, roughly equivalent to our Physical Chemistry II (Chemistry 305) in coverage, so will satisfy the second semester P. Chem requirement for ACS certification.

There is a convenient pair of courses often taken by our Biochemistry concentrators who are also Chemistry majors. These are:

  • 531-301 Cellular Basis of Disease - 12 week lecture course; 12.5 credit hours = 1 of our courses; counts as one Bio 30x half-course toward the concentration and the major (but you must still take Bio 303 on proteins back at Haverford, so one-half of this course counts toward the major/concentration and the other one-half can be viewed as an elective). This is a popular choice, particularly among students considering medical school.
  • 531-302 Techniques for Investigation of Disease 12 week lab course; 12.5 credit hours = 1 of our courses. Counts in lieu of Biology Superlab (300a or 300b) for Chemistry majors/Biochemistry concentrators.

University College, London

The are courses that are recommended are those for second year students in the three-year undergraduate program at UCL. Consult with members of the Chemistry department to determine which courses can act as substitutions for Haverford chemistry major requirements