Office of Academic Resources

Stokes Hall 118

Individualized Academic Coaching Sessions

Academic Enrichment Workshops, Seminars, and Group Discussions

 Academic Review Centers  Peer Tutoring  Educational Technology Tools

The Office of Academic Resources (OAR) works with students in a variety of settings to propel them towards excellence in their academic pursuits through targeted goal-setting, skills identification and development, individualized coaching, and partnership with other resources on campus. The staff is committed to enhancing the academic experience of all students so that they are in a position to take full advantage of the many amazing opportunities available at Haverford and are poised to grow as confident and competent communicators, scholars, and community members.  

Students can expect a highly individualized and comprehensive approach to their academic success when visiting the OAR. The staff meets students where they are and recognize that every Haverford student defines success and personal growth differently.

70701_lg You can set up an individualized academic coaching session with an OAR staff member to help strengthen an array of personal skills and strategies associated with academic excellence, including:

  • time management approaches
  • reading comprehension strategies
  • focus and study techniques
  • semester planning
  • approaches for navigating the college classroom
  • goal setting/values identification
  • improving public speaking/presenting
  • preparing for graduate/professional school

peer-tutoring Peer tutoring is also available and strongly recommended for students seeking one-on-one instruction from fellow Haverford students.  This service is free and appointments can be made online.


Students are encouraged to take an active role in the ongoing development of the office by offering suggestions for workshops, discussion topics and speakers.    

The Class of 2017 will also be the first class to take full advantage of the suite of technology tools being infused into the OAR.  Students will be able to collaborate, learn, create and teach each other in creative new ways with the support of interactive touchscreen monitors, audio and web conferencing tools, collaborative working spaces, new software, and other tools.

Here’s what Haverford students are saying about the OAR:

 “The OAR has definitely helped me understand the components that go into being prepared for a reading-writing class other than the officially stated assignments. I am now able to take better notes on readings…and feel much more prepared for class and for writing assignments now.”

“I think the personalized attention is the most important aspect, one of the best parts about going to Haverford is that the workshop was not one-size fits all, but focused on personal attention.”

 “The OAR is staffed by very nice people who clearly understand what they are talking about, and are very helpful in providing specific and general study advice.”

What I appreciate so much about the OAR is that they recognize that academic performance is so closely tied to a variety of other factors in a student’s life. When I meet with the OAR, I’m not simply talking about my classes or my schedule, but also discussing life and the factors of being a student that can impede my ability to be academically efficient in the way that I want to be.”

 We are eager to enrich your transition to college.

Visit us on our website at:

‘Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel, OARtv!


Student’s View: Haver-essentials

Here is a blog you don’t want to miss…..

Exhaustive packing lists are easily accessible online or at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but instead of giving you one of those, we thought it would be more helpful to highlight a few items that are more unique to Haverford.

Things to bring:

1) Fan – With the exception of medically cleared students, air conditioning is not provided in the dorms, and the rooms can get slightly uncomfortable during the first few weeks of school.  A simple fan goes a long way toward keeping the rooms cool. If applicable, coordinate with roommates on this one!

2) Dorm Olympics colors – Dorm Olympics is one of the highlights of customs week as Barclay, Gummere and South campus (HCA and Tritton) battle it out for dorm pride. Be sure to have at the very least a shirt (that can get wet/dirty) in the color of your dorm. Barclay is blue, Gummere is green, and HCA and Tritton are red. Other articles of clothing, face paint and other props are also encouraged (although your customs teams will have plenty of paint for you regardless).

3) Quarters – While it is possible to put money on your Onecard to operate laundry machines, most students prefer to use quarters. There is a machine to get the quarters in the campus center, but it can be nice to arrive with a stash to get you through the first few loads.


4) Snow gear – Haverford is in the northeast, and it gets cold/snowy at points in first semester. This should not be much of an issue before fall break, but if you are not heading home for fall break, you may want to bring winter clothes, boots etc. to ensure you’re well-prepared if bad weather occurs.

Further questions about what to bring should be directed toward your customs team. As you have already seen, they are incredibly eager to help and they have all lived through freshman year so take advantage of their knowledge!

We’ll see all of you in less than two weeks!

Get Social!


We are so excited to welcome you, the newest additions to the Haverford community, when you arrive on campus for Customs in two weeks. But in the hopes that you feel like a Ford before you ever even move into your dorm room, we wanted to invite you to join our virtual communities, if you haven’t already.

While you are probably already a member of the Class of 2017 Facebook group, don’t forget to visit the College’s own official page at, and “like” us to receive our updates right in your feed.  Our Facebook page is full of campus news, information, and photo galleries that can help you learn the lay of the land before your arrival. It’s also a great place to ask questions that can be answered in a timely manner by members of the College’s administration.

You can also follow Haverford on Twitter (@haverfordedu) for information about on-campus events and news, and to get practical alerts about life on campus (such as wireless service outages or campus construction warnings) sent right to your mobile device. Twitter is also a great way to connect with other incoming first-years and current students. Want to be on our ever-expanding list of current and former Ford followers? Tweet at us with the hashtag #haverfordfirstyear, and we’ll add you.

And speaking of mobile devices: bookmark the TODAY section of our homepage for easy access to information you will need on the go. Our TODAY page offers important information like what’s for lunch (or any other meal) at the Dining Center, local weather, and Bi-Co and Tri-Co transportation schedules that will help those of you who will take classes at Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore.

If Instagram is your preferred social media site, then you’re in luck! The College just launched its Instagram this summer and we are hoping you’ll help us fill it with pictures of your life here, including shots of College traditions and your favorite spots on campus. Just follow “haverfordedu” and be sure to tag your Haverford-related shots with the hashtag #HaverfordCollege.

We’re always looking for tips on what you’d like to see on social media (or what you’d like to see less of), so please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Rebecca Raber ( in our Communications Office. If you’d like to take a more active role in helping to drive or create this content, Rebecca is looking for volunteers for a Social Media Student Advisory Group. More details will follow in the fall, but please reach out to her if you’re interested in being a part of this new venture.

In the meantime, good luck with packing and safe travels! We’re looking forward to seeing you here on campus soon and online even sooner!

Pre-Law and Pre-Health Resources

From the Pre-Law desk: There is plenty you can do to prepare for the study of law, and a career in law, during your time at Haverford.  Law schools look for applicants who can write well (with grace and style); think cogently (and marshal the facts to support an argument); and who can handle extensive reading assignments successfully and in a timely manner. If you take courses that develop and demonstrate these abilities, you will be in good shape and law schools will be interested in you.
Haverford College does not have a pre-law curriculum. This means you do not need to pursue a particular course of study to prepare you for law school or to improve your odds of gaining admission.  Our overall academic strength has a very good reputation among law schools, and our alumni have found much success with just about any major here.  Any course of rigorous study — and any major including the social sciences, the hard sciences, languages and the classics — will prepare you well for the study of law.

Jennifer Barr,,  will work with you to support your interest in pre-law.  Become actively involved the the Pre-Law Society at Haverford  where you will have more opportunities to learn about law and have the opportunity to contribute to the Bi-College Law Journal.


Pre-law is housed in the Career Development Office.  Fill out your profile on OCEAN and select Law as one of your career interests.  This will allow you to receive targeted emails regarding programs that have a focus on law-related careers and interests.



The Pre-Health Office serves Haverford students and alumni who are interested in the health professions, including medicine, osteopathy, public health, dentistry, nursing, podiatry, physical therapy and more.

At Haverford College students can develop a particularly strong foundation for careers in these professions because of our academic excellence, opportunities for research and service, and humanistic Quaker values.  In addition, given our convenient location outside of the city of Philadelphia, our students take advantage of numerous opportunities to volunteer and work in hospitals, clinics, and research facilities in the area. Haverford alumni have distinguished themselves as physicians in all areas of medicine and dentistry, as leaders in public health, and in satisfying practices as nurse practitioners, nutritionists, genetic counselors, physical therapists, and more.

Michele Taylor,, provides guidance and support to our students as they plan their pre health curriculum and extra curricular activities. We help them think through their schedules to fulfill admissions’ prerequisites for medical schools and other programs in the health sciences; plan for summer and extracurricular activities; and strategize for when and how they will apply to medical or other health professions schools.  For a more in depth view at this resource please consult the Pre-Health Advising web site at:


Below you will find some questions and answers that might be helpful in your transition.  Keep them coming……

On placement exams:

  • Will we need to commit to the courses we select and write down in our First Year Advising Questionnaire?

No.  The courses you discussed in your adviser survey were courses that seemed interesting.  You don’t have enough information yet to make decisions.  You will need to speak with your Upper Class Adviser (UCA) and your faculty adviser before you make up a schedule.

  • Is the placement exam mandatory for all students wishing to take a class in the subject area?

Yes.  That’s how we will know where you should begin.  You would not want to be bored by a course that covers what you have already learned, and it would not be fair to students who are learning the material for the first time to have to compete with someone who is already familiar with the material.

  • Should I take a placement exam in a subject even if I’m not 100% sure I’ll be taking a class in that subject area?

Some courses have per-requisites that make it necessary to know your placement level.  For instance, Econ 105 requires a math placement of Calculus 113.  Biology has a pre-requisite of one semester of a lab science.  Most students take Chemistry or Physics to fulfill that requirement.  In both instances, knowing the math and/or Chem or Physics placement would be helpful. Additionally, sometimes students think they would like to begin a new language in college but due to scheduling difficulties opt to fulfill their language requirement with a language they took in high school.  It is best to have the placement done in case you decide to keep on going with the language you took through high school.  International students can contact me directly to think through what language they would pick.

  • Will there be opportunities to take the placement exam in the future if I decide later on that I want to take a class in the subject area?

It is possible to complete some of these tests at a later time, but since you won’t know your schedule until you meet with folks here, it makes sense to take the placement exams during the summer.  It would be a good idea to avoid taking the tests while you are trying to register for classes.

  • Can the foreign language requirement be met with an AP score of 4 or 5 or a score above 600 in the SAT II?

This is no longer the case.  The Educational Policy Committee changed the requirement.  Beginning with the Class of 2016 all students will need to complete 2 semesters of a language other than English.


On Res Life:

  • When will first-year housing assignments be released?

We are hard at work creating customs groups that we believe will provide the best possible fit for each and every freshman. Freshmen can expect an email with their housing assignment, along with contact information for any roommate/suitemates, not later than the end of July.  Customs team members will begin to contact frehsmen shortly thereafter.

  • What kinds of things go on during move-in day/customs week? Is there programming for parents? When should they leave?

A full schedule of customs week activities, including the program for parents on move-in day, will soon be available at:

  • Are students allowed to stay on campus during Fall break?

Many Haverford students stay on campus over Fall break, especially if they live a flight away from college.  Several college offices (such as 8th Dimension, CPGC) and student clubs (such as the outdoor club) offer alternative programming for Fall break, and some jobs will allow students to continue to work over this 10 day period.  The residence halls remain open (at no extra charge) during Fall, Thanksgiving, and Spring breaks.  The Dining Center is closed however.  more information on this 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.