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Haverford College
Department of Chemistry

Requesting approval for summer courses in Chemistry

Haverford College does not offer summer courses, but the chemistry department will authorize transfer credit (within the limits allowed by the College) for summer courses taken at institutions that offer American Chemical Society approved majors in Chemistry or Biochemistry.

Many colleges and universities offer students the opportunity to take one or both semesters of either General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry during a single summer. They do this by offering concentrated courses, where each "semester" course is condensed to a four week period. Since a normal course load is four courses during a sixteen week semester (counting exam period), each of these condensed summer courses is a full-time course load. So you should not expect to take summer Chemistry courses "on the side" of a full-time job.

Students seeking college credit for summer Chemistry courses must follow the procedure outlined below.

1. Go to the web site of the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training. Colleges and universities with ACS-approved programs offer chemistry courses with similar degree of rigor and coverage as those offered by Haverford's Chemistry Department. The list includes most four-year colleges and universities in the United States, and the web site allows you to find approved programs in specified geographical regions. The web site also includes links to the chemistry department web sites for most of the approved programs (another source for Chemistry department web sites is the InfoSurf site of the U. California Santa Barbara Library)

2. Not all approved programs offer summer courses (Haverford's is an example). So when you have found a college or university with an approved program in the area where you wish to be in the summer:

(i) ascertain that they offer summer courses in chemistry

(ii) If you wish to use the transfer credits toward a Chemistry major or minor, or toward a Biochemistry Concentration, make sure that the course you want to take can be used toward an ACS-approved major (by students at that college or university) in Chemistry or Biochemistry. Some larger institutions offer multiple "tracks" of introductory chemistry, and some of these courses may not satisfy Chemistry major requirements.

(iii) if you want Haverford credit for General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry, you must take the labs associated with these courses. We generally expect at least 42 hours of lectures and other in-class work, and at least 33 hours of laboratory work. Usually the labs are offered during the same weeks as the lecture courses, but at some institutions you must enroll for lecture and lab as separate courses, and must pass each portion with a grade of at least 2.0 to get one Haverford course credit.

(iv) Find URLs that go DIRECTLY to the course numbers, course titles, and course descriptions and/or generate pdf files that contain this information. Submit these pages with your application.

3. Obtain the form entitled "Application for Summer School Credit - US or Abroad" from the Registrar's Office (or from their web site). Write your name, email address, and class year on the form. Also fill in the appropriate information under "Chosen School", "Dept", "Number", "Course Title", and "Distribution". Do not write in the columns with headings "Credit" and "Hav'd Dept Chair Approval".

4. Submit the partially filled approval form and the course descriptions via campus mail to the chair of the Chemistry Department (currently Prof. Rob Scarrow; if you wish to send by email, send to this email address), by April 25, at the latest. Earlier submissions are encouraged since approval is not automatic and you may not have time to find an alternative course if your first proposal is submitted at the last minute.

5. Your application will be reviewed according to the guidelines described below. If your choices are approved, you will be sent the signed approval form over campus mail in time to make the Registrar's Office deadline of MAY 1. The department chair will contact you by email if there are questions about your course choices.

Information about how credit for courses taken elsewhere shows up on your Haverford transcript

(This is unofficial advice from the chair of the Chemistry department. Final authority in these matters rests with the registrar. However, these are questions that often come to members of the Chemistry department).

1) You will not get Haverford credit for a course that is equivalent to one for which you have already received Haverford graduation credit. Thus, while there may be some good reasons for retaking over the summer a chemistry course in which you received a low grade of 1.0 or higher, no evidence of the retake will appear on your Haverford transcript. Occasionally, a certain grade level (often 2.0 or higher) is needed to satisfy prerequisites or major requirements. In this case, you should arrange for a copy of your grade report to be sent to the course instructor or department chair, rather than to the Haverford registrar.

2) If the summer course is not a retake (or if you received a grade of 0.0 when you took the course at Haverford), the fact that you receive 1 Haverford credit for the course taken elsewhere will show up on your Haverford transcript, along with the name of the institution at which you took the course. However, your grade from the other institution will not show up on the transcript (this is a general policy of registrars at higher educational institutions across the country). So you will need to request transcripts not only from Haverford but from the other institution when you apply for jobs or graduate or professional schools.