Academic Requirments for Graduation

It may seem  incongruous to talk about graduation before you begin your first class, but I would like to give you a framework for structuring your time at Haverford.

To graduate from Haverford College, a student must complete successfully a minimum of 32 course credits.  The typical course load is 4 courses per semester.  Each course will carry 1 credit, except some of the Intensive Language courses which carry 1.5 credits.  There are also semester long Orchestral and Choir courses that carry .5 credits.  The credit earned in a course is listed in the course description found in the Tri-College Guide (

Additionally, up to a total of 4 course credits may be granted from any combination of the following:

  • Advanced Placement scores of 5 (1 credit) or 4 (.5 credit);
  • A maximum of 4 credits from the International Baccalaureate for higher level examinations only, with grades of 5 or above;  Work in “A” levels, with a grade of B or above;
  • A maximum of 4 credits from the French Baccalaureate, with scores of 12 or above with a coefficient of at least 5;
  • A maximum of 4 credits from the Swiss Maturite for scores of 5 or higher;
  • A maximum of 4 credits from the German Abitur for scores of 10 or higher;
  • Approved college work before matriculation at Haverford in degree granting departments and programs;
  • Approved summer courses taken between academic years at Haverford.


In all cases, scores or transcripts must be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar, Haverford College.

Students admitted as freshmen must spend at least six semesters at the College and must earn at least 24 course credits in residence.  This residency requirement automatically limits the amount of credit earned at other institutions, either before or during your time at Haverford, to 8 credits overall.

Many of the Deans, as well as the Registrar, have offices in Chase Hall.

Orchestral and Choral programs

If you are interested in playing in the orchestra or singing in a choir, you need to read this information and complete the Musical Interest Survey found at by August 1, 2013.

As an instrumentalist there are many opportunities to perform both in the orchestra and in chamber music.  The orchestra rehearses once a week, Thursday evenings from 7 to 9:30, with one to two performances each semester.  Sectionals are also on Thursday evenings and run by top professional musicians from the Philadelphia area, including some members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Repertoire for the fall of 2013 include Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 in c minor and a new Symphony by Haverford College Professor of Music, Ingrid Arauco.

The chamber music program is exciting and open to all instrumentalists.  The program reflects a wide range of instrumental styles and instrumentation including a brass quintet, percussion ensemble, piano four-hand, woodwind duos and trios, and flute choir. Every year chamber music ensembles have the opportunity to perform in master classes given by internationally renowned artists.

CHORAL MUSIC AT HAVERFORD AND BRYN MAWR The bi-college community is home to an unusually large variety of faculty-led and student-led singing groups embracing a wide range of musical styles.

The Chamber Singers are a select mixed chamber choir of 34 voices who perform a challenging and varied repertoire ranging from works of the classical masters, to international folk-based styles, to the close harmony of vocal jazz. There are frequent solo opportunities for members of Chamber Singers, both with Chamber Singers and in major works with the Chorale.   Rehearsals for Chamber Singers are Monday and Tuesday afternoons in MacCrate Hall (Haverford) and Thursday afternoons in the Music Room at Goodhart Hall (Bryn Mawr) from 4:30-5:45.

Many of the students who sing in Chamber Singers are also leaders or members of one of the many student a cappella groups.  Announcements for auditions for these groups will be posted during the first week of classes.  We also work closely with the athletic department to try to enable singer/athletes to be able to take advantage of both sports and music opportunities as much as possible.

Wednesday night is Chorale night in the bi-college community!  As many as 140 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members look forward to a mid-week break singing the great masterworks of the oratorio repertoire in performances with full orchestra made up of advanced players from the bi-co orchestra supplemented by professional music students from Temple University and the Curtis Institute of Music. Fall 2013 will be devoted to the music of Beethoven:  the last movement of his 9th Symphony (the “Ode to Joy”) and the Kyrie and Dona Nobis Pacem movements of his Missa Solemnis.

For any questions about the bi-college choral program check out our website at or email director Thomas Lloyd at or call him at (610) 896-1006.


Auditions for the Orchestra, Chamber Singers and Chorale, will be held during Customs Week and the first weeks of classes.

More information on Auditions for instrumental music can be found at:

More information on Auditions for singers can be found at:


Once accepted into any of the above ensembles, you have the option of registering for 1/2 unit credit (pass/fail) (registration for credit is required for Chamber Singers or Chorale).  Graded credit is also awarded for private study.


Partially subsidized lessons with a broad range of some of the fine professional musicians in the Philadelphia area are also available to students at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges.  If you are interested in private lessons for credit and/or subsidy, just indicate this at the time of your audition.  Lists of teachers will be made available during the first week of classes.

See for more information about our voice teachers and registering for voice lessons.

For further information about music at Haverford, go to

Academic Advising Program

MP900439558At this point in the summer I want to give you some idea of how to prepare for the academic challenges ahead as well as make a request for some personal information so we can be better prepared to work with you in this important transition.

You can look forward to working with two members of the Haverford community who are specifically concerned with providing you with the guidance necessary for the development of your academic program.  You will be paired with a Faculty Adviser, who is a full-time member of the Haverford faculty, and an Upper Class Adviser, or UCA, a junior or senior student who has been extensively trained to help acquaint you with your academic options.  The UCA will be a part of your customs group so there is easy access to good academic advice.  She/he can also help you make sense of the Tri-College Course Guide ( ) and Catalog both of which you can access on line during the summer

Time will be provided during Customs Week for you to meet with your Faculty Adviser and UCA to discuss your academic program and put you in a position to begin classes on September 4th .  You will continue to meet with your faculty adviser and UCA during the first week of classes to finalize your program for the first semester.  You should always feel free to consult with your faculty adviser and UCA regarding academic and other matters throughout your first year at Haverford.

MP900175597In order to start the process of communication, please take a moment to answer a short survey that will help your faculty adviser have a better idea about your plans while at Haverford.  You will need to take a look through the course guide and pick some courses you might want to pursue.   I hope you have fun completing the survey.  I know the faculty members look forward to getting to know their students through the summer communications.

We need to receive the survey by June 28, 2013  Your Faculty Adviser will have your response as soon as the assignment of advisers is completed. You can access the survey at:


The First Year Program


Haverford students develop their Academic Schedule when they arrive at the end of the summer.  They work closely with their Upper Class Adviser (UCA) and their faculty Adviser during Customs Week to develop a plan to meet their needs and interests. The summer is a good time to:

  • Take placement exams – the blog will guide you on the deadlP8240067ines and what is available
  • Complete a questionnaire for your faculty adviser – more on this in the next blog
  • Become familiar with the Course offerings through the TRI-COLLEGE Course Guide (


Our faculty strongly recommends that first year students take no more than one course in any department in either semester of the first year.  The idea here is that you should be exposed to areas of knowledge and ways of thinking which may be new and which may radically change your ideas about eventual specialization.  You and your adviser will select a program of courses for the first semester during the Customs period.  The courses open to first year students are generally numbered below 200, but if qualified, a first year student may be permitted by the Department concerned to take more advanced courses.  More information on how we view the Liberal Arts Education as well as the Degree Requirements can be found in the Haverford Catalog (

In addition to the Freshman Writing Seminar, all students must take six quarters of physical education during their first two years. Only one course is mandatory for all, Introduction to Fitness, and that quarter must be taken in one’s first year at Haverford. Students should register for PE courses immediately after they have completed their academic schedules.  The Athletic Department will provide students with schedules and information on registration this summer. To earn credits students must register for courses (including varsity teams) with the Athletic Department.  Simply attending an activity or joining a team does not substitute for registration and does not itself carry credit.  For more information go to: There are alternatives to fulfilling this requirement that do not require athletic participation.  Make sure you explore the possibilities with the Athletic department staff during the first week of classes.

Classes begin the day after Labor Day, September 3rd.