Frequently Asked Questions


  • How is "Chesick" pronounced?

    Like cheese-ik, with a long "e" and short "i"

  • Who was John P. Chesick?

    A deceased long-time Chemistry Professor at Haverford, who is remembered for his high expectations and mentorship of students.

    Read John Chesick's article "A Global Experiment: CFC's and the Ozone Crisis" from the Winter 1992 issue of Haverford magazine.

  • Can I become a Chesick Scholar without doing the summer program?

    No. The five week summer experience is a critical part of the entire mentoring program.

  • Can anyone apply to be a Chesick Scholar?

    No, only students invited to apply are eligible.

  • Who are the students invited to the Chesick Scholars Program?

    Students who have demonstrated academic talent and promise, and are either underrepresented in academia, come from a home with neither parent finishing college, or grew up in a low-income background.

  • What happens if more than 15 students apply to the program?

    In that case, spaces will be awarded by a lottery together with an eye to balance the program for academic interests of the participants.

  • What does the Chesick Scholars Program cost for participants?

    Nothing. The program will cover your round-trip travel expenses to the summer program (we'll purchase the tickets), pick you up at the bus, train, or plane when you arrive and take you back when you depart. If you arrive by car, we can offer a mileage reimbursement. The summer program covers housing and all meals, and cost of textbooks and school supplies.

  • How much does the Chesick Scholars program cost the College?

    Approximate costs are $10,000 per student.

  • Who is paying the costs of the Chesick Scholars Program?

    A generous donation from the San Francisco Foundation has provided seed funding for the first five years of the program.


  • What is a mentor?

    A mentor can be a lot of things: advisor, friend, taskmaster, teacher, or a combination of these. Most successful people can point to one or more mentors who were instrumental in their success. The most important element in the mentoring relationship is trust. Mentors can help students to network to find opportunities for internships, research, and make connections for employment and post-graduate education.

  • Why is the Chesick Scholars Program focusing on mentorship?

    Everyone in academia agrees that mentorship was a critical element in helping them shape their goals and achieve them. Professors, researchers, graduate students and others all learn how to find mentors and use them effectively to advance in their fields. The Chesick Scholars Program wants to foster mentoring relationships with undergraduates to help every Scholar explore multiple areas of interest and to learn how to best utilize Haverford resources.

  • When will Chesick Scholars get to work with their mentors?

    Participants will begin meeting with mentors towards the end of the 5 week summer program to discuss goals and choose courses for the fall semester.

  • How are mentors assigned?

    Mentors are faculty and staff members with particular interest in working with students to achieve academic excellence. Some of the mentors will be instructors of the summer courses, while others will be chosen to better accommodate Chesick Scholar interests.

  • How often will I meet with my mentor?

    At the start of the semester, you might meet several times per week, while you’re shopping for courses. Once classes are underway, meetings will be every week.

  • How many students will a mentor be advising?

    Your mentor may be advising many other upperclassmen as majors, or as thesis students. Each mentor will have 3 freshman Chesick Scholars for mentees/advisees.

5 Week Summer Program

  • What classes are being offered in the summer program?

    The courses offered will change each summer, depending on the interests of the instructors. Each student will take two one-credit courses that meet 8 hours per week. One course will be writing intensive, and the other course will focus on quantitative and/or natural science disciplines.

  • Is there a lot of homework?

    While this will vary, you can expect to spend three or so hours per day (including weekends) reading, writing, or working assignments. This is less than the term-time, since you’re only taking a 2 credit load.

  • Can I go home on weekends during the summer program?

    No. The activities during the summer weekends include trips to Philadelphia to learn how to explore the city resources, and other fun and useful destinations. Participants have Sundays until 2pm at leisure to meet with family and friends, but need to be back on campus at 2pm for a workshop and study session.

  • What if I have a family event (wedding, etc.) taking place when the summer program is in session?

    Under certain circumstances Chesick Scholars may miss up to one weekend of the program, provided this is negotiated with the Summer Program Director in advance.

  • May I have overnight guests in my dorm room?

    No. The Chesick Scholars summer program has stricter rules about guests, alcohol and drug use, than the standard College rules that kick in once the Honor Code orientation has occurred.

  • Do I get Haverford credit for the summer coursework?

    It depends. All students may apply up to 4 credits earned before their freshman year towards the 32 needed to graduate. Haverford awards 1 credit for an AP score of 5, and ½ credit for an AP score of 4 in any discipline, and students may also have credits from college courses. So the two credits earned in the summer program will count towards the 32 course graduation requirement, but the total credits is capped at 4. So, for example, students with 1 AP credit can earn 2 additional credits in the Chesick summer program; students with 3 AP credits will be able to earn only 1 additional credit.

  • Are the courses graded?

    Yes. There will be graded homework assignments and exams, and final course grades at the end of the program. The summer courses, while compressed, will have the same level of expectation of student work as during the term.

  • Do I get a stipend for the summer program?

    All participants will receive $100 in cash at the start of the program for spending money, although all costs for room, meals, textbooks and supplies (even coins for laundry machines) are supplied. At the end of the summer program, all participants will receive a payment of $1900, which is equal to the amount of the financial aid summer earnings requirement.

  • Why would I want to give up my last summer before college to do coursework?

    Students are often reluctant to join a program requiring homework and exams during the summer, after having worked hard to finish high school. The short answer is that the five week introduction to college-level work, and beginning your relationship with a mentor pays off in increased opportunities for research and internships once you get to college. And, as many students who participated in the Chesick Summer Institute found, they made lasting friends and connections with fellow participants and other upperclass Haverford students that have enriched their college years. Finally, there are plenty of non-academic experiences worked into the five weeks – field trips, indoor climbing gym, museums, river-rafting, etc. The five weeks go quickly, and there are still several weeks at the end of August before you come back to Haverford.

  • What should I bring with me to the summer program?

    We will supply sheets, towels, a pillow and blanket. You need only bring personal toiletries, clothes, and a calculator (if you have one) and a computer (if you have one). There will be computers and a printer available in the dorm.

  • Can I leave my things on campus at the end of the summer program?

    Yes. We have a storage closet in which you can leave your belongings until your return to campus at the end of August.

  • Can I contact students who are currently Chesick Scholars about their experience in the program?

    Yes. Feel free to email any of the current Chesick Scholars with your questions–you can find a list, together with their home cities here: current Chesick Scholars.