Planning: Procedures for Receiving Haverford Credit
In order to receive Haverford credit, students must complete the Pre-Registration Form for Approved International Academic Programs and return it to Dean Mancini's office no later than December 1 for a second semester study abroad leave; May 1 for a first semester/year's study abroad leave. Before completing the forms, students must review all of the program information in the Black Binder and Required Reading: Most Frequently Asked Questions About International Academic Programs.
Students are permitted to change their course selection once they are abroad. Course selection is finalized on site in consultation with the assigned advisor. Students who change courses in their major, minor or concentration, should contact their advisor(s) via email for approval. Except for one or two programs (noted in the Black Binder) students usually do not need to request permission to change elective liberal arts courses.
At most partner universities, students can select courses online. However, at many foreign universities, a list of course offerings will not be available until the student arrives on site. Further, comprehensive lists or the equivalent of the Haverford Course Guide may not exist. Faculties and departments tend to be more decentralized and students may have to to go from one department to another to find appropriate classes.
Students must be flexible with course selection. No one can guarantee that a particular course will be offered in any given semester. Haverford students are subject to the same pre-requisites and face the same restrictions as the host nationals.
Students interested in attending universities in England must apply to a specific department for study and are expected to take some or most of their courses in that department. Although there may be some flexibility in crossing over into other departments, it may not always be possible to take courses in all disciplines. Students should not assume that all subjects taught at the university will be available to the junior year abroad students.
The on site director can help students with the registration process but students should expect that the process will not work in the same way as it would on Haverford's campus. It is imperative that students attend the on site orientation sessions that covers how the registration process works at the host institution.
Students are required to take the equivalent of a full Haverford course load while abroad. In rare cases, students may petition in advance to reduce their course load. In order to do so students must obtain the permission of the program director abroad, their Haverford dean and faculty adviser. However, the majority of programs, will not permit students to reduce their course load. (Students attending Oxbridge or the London School of Economics may not reduce their credits.)
Students may take extra credits abroad but under no circumstances will they be permitted to reduce the Haverford residency requirement. All students must complete the 24 credits in residence requirement-- that is, 24 credits must be completed successfully during the academic year at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, or University of Pennsylvania. Of these, only 8 must be completed at Haverford.
One Haverford course equals four semester credit hours on a semester credit hour system. The normal course load at Haverford is four credits per semester for a total of 16 semester credit hours. On some programs each course is worth 3 semester credit hours; students would have to take 5 courses (3x5=15 semester credit hours) to attain the four credit equivalent at Haverford. It is not a course by course equivalent but one full course load at the host university transferring to a full course load at Haverford. The Black Binders and the program descriptions have the appropriate credit equivalent for all partner institutions.
Students must achieve a grade of C or above to receive credit at Haverford.
Credits earned abroad on Haverford's approved programs do count toward the 32 course credit requirement. Courses abroad may fulfill major, minor and concentration requirements; approval rests solely with the departmental major, minor or concentration advisers. Students on Haverford's approved programs may also fulfill the quantitative and language requirement as well as distribution requirements in the three divisions: Humanities, Social Science and Natural Science. Students should be prepared to show course descriptions, papers, research materials, etc. to the appropriate advisors upon their return to Haverford.
In order to receive credit at Haverford, students are required to take the examinations as scheduled by the host institution. Final examinations cannot be rearranged to accommodate individual travel arrangements or personal plans. If a paper is assigned in lieu of an examination, the paper must be completed before the student leaves the program. In fact, ALL work must be submitted before the program ends. Under no circumstances are students permitted to leave a program early. Students who leave early or arrive late risk losing academic credit.
Many of the programs abroad do not evaluate student performance by continuous assessment throughout the semester—that is, by scheduling quizzes, tests, and midterms. Instead, students are expected to work independently and keep up with their assignments. In such cases the entire grade will depend on the final exam or final paper.
At the London School of Economics and Political Science, students have tests, essays and class assignments throughout the year and a final comprehensive examination at the end of the year. Students receive separate grades for the class work and the cumulative exam but must pass both with a C or above to receive credit at Haverford.
Students are expected to turn in all their work on time. Professors abroad rarely accept work after the deadlines and students are strongly discouraged from requesting extensions or incompletes. Students who need incompletes owing to serious illness, should work in consultation with the on site director, the professor and Haverford's Dean of International Academic Programs. However, even when students have documented medical reasons for requesting an extension or incomplete they may have difficulty getting credit for their work. Once the semester has ended, most professors leave the university and may not be available until the following term. It is not usual practice to ask a professor to read a paper or grade an exam several weeks after the completion of the course. At most foreign universities, students who cannot take the scheduled exam, simply wait until the make-up exam is offered at the beginning of the next term. Students who have been granted an extension or incomplete should expect some delay in getting their grades recorded. Students should keep copies of all their work until the credit has been posted on their Haverford transcript.
In order to transfer credit, students must receive a grade of C or above. As the lowest passing grade is usually a D, Haverford can not award credit for Pass/Fail courses.
Students may not take any course for credit abroad that substantially repeats the contents of another course already completed.
As at Haverford, it is expected that students will attend classes unless excused. In some programs attendance is a requirement for satisfactory completion of the course. Thus, lack of attendance in some cases may result in a failing grade. Students should familiarize themselves with the class attendance policy of their host institution.
Requests for course withdrawals must be made in writing to the program director and the Haverford Dean of International Academic Programs no later than the 4th week of class. The Haverford Dean will consult with the student's dean to determine whether a course can be dropped.
Haverford encourages students to audit courses while abroad if the program allows them to do so. As at Haverford, credit can not be awarded for audited classes.
Physical Education credit abroad will not receive academic credit at Haverford.
Courses offered in the non liberal arts such as restaurant management, public speaking, fashion design, cooking classes, camping and such are not transferable for credit. If in doubt, students should contact the Dean of International Academic Programs.
One of the primary goals of study abroad is language study. Thus, whenever possible students going abroad are expected to take the majority of their courses in the language of the host country. Language majors, minors and those with advanced language training (one course beyond intermediate) are required to take regular university courses in the language of the host country. Students with limited language preparation ( elementary and intermediate) are permitted to take courses offered by the program sponsors. Students enrolled in a program in a non-English speaking country must take a course in the native language of the host country for the entire duration of their stay in that country at their level of proficiency. There are no exceptions to this rule. Students can also fulfill their language requirement abroad. Students are encouraged to practice speaking in the language of the country both in and out of the classroom.
Some programs (IES for instance) offer courses with an internship component. Haverford does accept these courses for credit. The internship seminar usually has assignments throughout the semester and cumulates in a research paper. Students are graded for their work and are required to submit the research paper to the Office of International Academic programs prior to the awarding of credit.
Students should check the dates for their program as the academic calendars for partner universities vary widely and may not be in complete synchronization with Haverford's.
Many of the academic calendars of universities in South America, Latin America and Australia follow the regular calendar year. Thus, the first semester begins in January or February and ends in June; second semester begins in July and ends in November.
In Japan, the academic year runs from April till March with the first semester beginning in late September and ending early in February or March; second semester begins in March/April and ends in July. Consequently, Haverford does not have a fall only program in Japan, except by special petition. (see Dean Mancini)
Some universities in England are on a trimester system and offer three terms each lasting 8-10 weeks with long breaks in between terms. Oxbridge and the LSE are on trimesters and students can only go for the full year. No exceptions are permitted.
Students should read about their host country and be prepared for a different educational experience. In many universities abroad, the lecture model is the primary method of teaching and class discussion is not encouraged. The lecture halls are often very large and may have several hundred students. Professors usually do not expect to be interrupted with questions while they are lecturing. Professors may not pay particular attention to the needs of individual students nor do they offer office hours to provide extra help and support. Eating in the classroom is generally not acceptable. Professors expect to be treated with courtesy and respect and are usually not on a first name basis with students.
Program sponsored courses usually follow a more American style of teaching but the faculty are usually selected from the host country and bring their own unique experience to the classroom. Teaching styles will vary with the program and the country and students need to be able to adapt to different models of learning.
Haverford does not record grades from the study abroad programs on the transcript. However, students must attain a grade of C or above for the credits to transfer. This is consistent with Haverford's policy for summer study and study within the US. In all these cases, the grades are not averaged into the GPA nor are they shown on the transcript. However, the Registrar's Office will forward the study abroad transcript to graduate schools, law schools, medical schools, etc. upon written request.
Faculty advisers, deans and the Honors and Fellowship Committee will also have access to the transcript as they often take study abroad grades into consideration when awarding departmental and/or college honors. Pre-Law and Pre-Med advisors, etc. will also have access to the foreign transcript
Upon completion of their studies, students should arrange to have a transcript sent to Dean Donna Mancini. Owing to privacy laws, only the student can request the transcript. The form requires a signature; therefore, it can only be done by letter or fax and not email. Partner institutions will provide the student with one or two official transcripts free of charge. If the student needs more transcripts there may be a fee, payable at the time of the request. It is easiest to order the transcript prior to departure as it will be difficult to send payment in the local currency once students return to the USA.
Dean Mancini will automatically award credits based on the pre registration form signed by the student and the advisers. If there is a problem with the credits or distribution requirements, students should contact Dean Mancini immediately and not wait till the eve of graduation.