First-Year Student Meet-Ups

Just as a reminder, the Alumni Relations Office has worked hard to put together meet-ups next month so that you can get to know some of your fellow classmates before arriving. If you can make any of these, be sure to come!

You should have received an invitation via email or snail mail if you live in one of these areas. If you have not but would like to attend, please feel free to email Hope you’ll be able to make it and have a great day!

The schedule is as follows:

Sat., 8/10 - Philly (on campus) - 12-2:00pm, Barclay Beach
Sun., 8/11 - NYC-Suburbs (Scarsdale) - 2-4:00pm
Wed., 7/31 – NYC – 6-8:00pm

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:

Update on deadlines

June 28, 2013 - Your Faculty Adviser needs to know a bit about you before you arrive.  Please feel out the adviser survey which you can find at:

August 2, 2013 - Writing sample

July 21, 2013 - Confidential Health Record - Must be submitted by July 21, 2013. Students under 18 may need assistance/information from their parents when completing the form.  There is a fee penalty if the form is late so, take a look at all the information in the Health Center web site to make sure you are ready to make a healthy

August 28, 2013 - Information on getting started in Haverford’s technical network is available through There is an important Quiz which you should complete as soon as possible, but no later than the 28th of August. 

The Haverford Area

While we hope you are pumped about the diversity of activities available on campus, we hope you will also use your time as a Haverford student to explore Haverford, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Philadelphia, and the surrounding area. Haverford provides opportunities to make it easier for you to get off campus. For example, the Student Activities Office distributes free SEPTA (Philadelphia area public transit system) tokens and train tickets via online sign-up at the beginning of each week to enable students to get to know the city without spending money. Check out this link to find out where in Philly you could go: ‘Fords Against Boredom (FAB) also regularly sponsors trips to Philadelphia sports games, concerts, art galleries, and performances to help students become aquatinted with the area, and as with all FAB events, it’s all free! Eighth Dimension, Haverford’s community service office, is also a great resources for becoming more involved in the community on and off campus.

In terms of more about the area, Haverford and it’s nearby towns (walking distance), Ardmore and Bryn Mawr, are located on the Mainline, the area that encompasses all of the Philadelphia suburbs. While Haverford and Ardmore are relatively small, they are nice areas to walk around, eat out, shop, and get groceries. Some staples every Haverford student should know are within 5-10 minutes walking from campus about are as follows: Kiwi Frozen Yogurt, Bruegger’s Bagels, Saxby’s Coffee, CVS, Rite Aid, Chipotle, Wawa (kind of like seven eleven), iHop, and Trader Joe’s (particularly close to HCA).

Both Haverford and Ardmore (closer to HCA) have easy-access commuter rail train stations and high-speed rail stops, making it easy for students to get into Philly. If you don’t get free tickets from the Student Activities Office ahead of time, train tickets are $5 on-peak and $4 off-peak. High-speed rail tokens are $2 if you are not buying them in rolls, and for an extra $1 you can get a transfer that will enable you to get into center city. Philadelphia is a wonderful city and is completely worth exploring. Some areas I’d recommend becoming familiar with are University City (around Penn and Drexel), Rittenhouse Square, Logan Square (close to the Philadelphia Museum of Art), Love park, the old city, and the Italian market area.  Looking forward to your arrival!


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:


Proficiency in a language other than one’s own, ancient or modern, serves many ends. It deepens an appreciation of one’s own language, increases sensitivity and understanding of the nature of language itself, and enables the student to gain a far more intimate understanding of different cultures than is possible through translations.  Further, with regard to specific disciplinary ends, many graduate programs require a reading knowledge of at least two languages other than English.

For all these reasons, Haverford College requires all of its students to complete two semesters of college-level study of a language other than English by the end of their junior year. Beginning with the Class of 2016 this requirement may be satisfied in one of the following three ways:

(a) One full year of language study in one language at the level in which the student is placed by the appropriate Haverford College language department; or

(b) Language study in a course conducted under Haverford College’s approved International Study Abroad Programs, and as certified in advance by the relevant language department chair at either Haverford or Bryn Mawr, or by the Educational Policy Committee when the language has no counter department at either Haverford or Bryn Mawr; or

Language courses may be taken at Haverford or at any of the cooperating colleges: Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and with advisor and registrar permission, the University of Pennsylvania. The Haverford department, however, must determine placement. Other restrictions which apply to the language requirement are as follows:

Courses taken to fulfill the language requirement do not meet divisional distribution requirements and may not be taken NNG (non-graded option) at Haverford, CR/NCR at Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore, or P/F at the University of Pennsylvania


Italia Majors Tea


Please keep in mind that in order to help us place you at the level which is best suited to your preparation and potential, you are expected to give your best effort while taking the exam, under the principles of the Haverford Honor Code.

Students who have never taken these languages do not need to take the placement test.

Chinese Placement Exam: There are two parts to this exam.  One part needs to be completed online by August 10, 2013. The second part will be completed on Thursday, August 29th, the day after you arrive on campus.  Please read the instructions at:  You will find the placement instructions at the bottom of the page. 

Spanish Placement Exam – will be available online from Sunday, August 12th until Sunday, August 26th at midnight through Moodle at Spanish Placement Test Fall 2013 .

Students who are planning or just considering enrollment in a Spanish course at Haverford or Bryn Mawr College at any point in the future must take the Placement Test.     The online Spanish Placement Test must be taken before arriving on campus, even if students are not planning on taking Spanish during the first year.

Students who have never taken Spanish do not need to take the placement test.   There will be an Elementary Spanish section reserved for absolute beginners.

French Placement Exam -  Available at:  French Placement Exam (2013)  (the password is: paris-dakar).

German Placement Exam – The German Placement Test  will be available at:  from Thursday, July 11, 2013 at NOON until Tuesday, August  27 at NOON.

Japanese Placement exam – Will be available at:on campus on Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 AM. Consult your Customs Week Schedule for the exact time and place.

Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin and Russian – There are no formal placement exams for these languages.  Students will be able to speak with faculty representing these departments at the Academic Fair taking place on Monday, September 3rd. or by arranging an appointment to meet with the faculty teaching the introductory class during the shopping period, Sept.4-7.  Students who have never taken these languages do not need to take the placement test.

A Welcome from Dean Martinez

imageDear Class of 2017,

As the summer whisks by and your arrival to campus fast approaches, I write to extend my own welcome to you. Today marks the beginning of my second week on the job as Dean of First-Year Students. My predecessor, Raisa Williams, who will be retiring in August, is working hard to ensure that I am ready for you when Customs begins on August 28th.

Here’s a quick story: My first-year college roommate is named Andres. We were both from Texas; we were both Latino, and neither of us had turned in our housing preference forms (NOT a good idea). I’m not sure who decided to place us in the same room together, but it turned out to be a very lucky break both for Andres and for me. We were instant friends, and he became one of my best friends in life. In fact, three years ago I served as the best man at his wedding. I learned a lot from Andres, and I’m a better person today for having known him. To be clear, I am not promising that your roommate next year will be your best friend in life. What I am promising is that awaiting you at Haverford are some of the most profound and transformative friendships, relationships, and experiences in your life.

Between now and the time you arrive on campus, make the most of your summer and stay present with your friends and family at home. As amazing as your college experience will surely be, it is important to remember that your story has many chapters, all of which have enormous value, and Haverford will be but one of them. So enjoy your summer, and don’t stress. Everything you have to do is listed on the First Year Blog. If it’s not there, you don’t have to do it, and you should NOT be worrying about it.

We are all very excited to welcome you to campus in the fall. In the meantime, if you have any questions or if you just want to introduce yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you happen to live nearby, feel free to stop by and say hello.

See you soon,
Dean Martinez

Office: 610.896.1293
Cell/Text: 207.333.1141

Welcome from Instructional and Informational Technology Services

We here in IITS know you have lots on your mind as you prepare to join us in the fall.  Among the many things you need to take care of before you arrive is making sure your computer is ready for four years of the most amazing academic experience you’ll ever have!
We’ve prepared a website - – that outlines what you need to do before you come to campus.  It touches on:
  • How to stay connected to IITS so we can help you when you need it
  • If you’re looking for a computer, some baseline specifications that we suggest for a solid four-year ready computer
  • Details on making sure you don’t bring music and software piracy to campus.  If you have file sharing software on your computer (BitTorrent, etc.) make sure it’s gone before you attach your computer to our network.
  • Software suggestions.
  • A link to the technology orientation in Moodle, which you need to complete by August 22.
Check out the site and if you have questions remember you can always reach out by email – – and we’ll do our best to answer any questions you might have.
Have fun this summer, stay safe and stay cool!
Steve Fabiani
Director, Client Services
Haverford IITS

Placement exams

When choosing your courses for the first semester, you will probably need information about the level at which you should enter a particular field of study. This process is known as “Placement.” In areas where you are particularly well prepared, you may be placed into intermediate rather than beginning level courses. Where no placement exam is given, an interview with the department chair can determine your status.

Most of the placement exams and surveys are available on line this summer and should be completed by August 9.   I encourage you to complete them before you arrive on campus so  your adviser has the placement results when you meet and you can take advantage of all that Customs Week offers and.    Some language placement exams are only available when you arrive at Haverford during Customs Week.  If you are not able to complete the online tests, please contact your Dean, Raisa Williams ( or 610-896-1293.

One other thing to keep in mind about placement exams and their results is that credit and placement are separate issues at the College.  High scores on AP exams will carry credit but will not automatically assure advanced standing in a particular subject.  Such placement depends upon judgments made by the departments concerned after testing or interviews.  Advanced placement on exams administered during Customs Week or on line does not carry credit.  In other words, although students may receive both credit and advanced placement in a given subject, it is perfectly common to receive one without the other.  The two processes are independent of each other.

Please remember that in order to help us place you at the level which is best suited to your preparation and potential, you are expected to give your best effort while taking the exam, under the principles of the Haverford Honor Code.

Information on Language Placement Exams will be coming soon via a blog next week.

Other placement exams available:




Economics: UPDATE: Econ submission instructions. Please print out the exam, complete it and either: scan it back into the computer and send by email to; or mail to Anne Preston, Department of Economics, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford PA 19041

Meet the New Dean of First-Year Students: Michael Martinez

The Dean’s Interns took a short trip to Stokes Hall to meet with the new Dean of First-Year Students, Michael Martinez, who officially began his post today.  Michael succeeds Raisa Williams, the first person to hold the position, after her many years of service.  He joins us after working at Bates College for three years as the Dean of Multicultural Affairs.

Growing up in Oklahoma and Texas in small towns, Michael’s college options always seemed limited.  He even mentioned that his parents moved to Texas so that he could enroll at the University of Texas-Austin and pay in-state tuition.  However, a program that started at his high school expanded his horizons, and he would eventually attend Princeton University.  At Princeton in his first year, Michael struggled with homesickness and the difficult academic transition.  After adjusting, he enjoyed an enriching college experience.

After graduating, Michael returned to Texas to work for the same program that helped him in high school before taking the Dean of Multicultural Affairs position at Bates.  He is incredibly excited to join Haverford and experience “Haverford for the first time this year in the same year that the first-year students are experiencing it.”

Michael was struck by how Haverford emphasizes “holistic education and empowering students to take on leadership roles and to define what the educational experience is here.”  He views the first-year experience at Haverford as one that is “student created.”  Michael aims to build strong relationships with first-years that last for all four years at Haverford and “take students in and explore Philadelphia.”  At Bates, he would take students to Boston but being so close to Philadelphia, Michael wants to do this more regularly.

When asked about what advice he would give to first-year students, he stressed the fundamental importance of determining “why you’re here.”  Michael mentions outside pressure from family or community can often blur the real reasons for a student to pursue college education: “It ultimately has to be about why you want to be here.”  Also, he advises students, “don’t be afraid to ask for help,” whether that be from fellow classmates, professors, or upperclassmen.

Please warmly welcome Michael Martinez to Haverford.  He is excited to meet all of you in the fall and work with you during your time here.  His passion and exuberance for college education will surely follow him to Haverford when first-year students arrive on August 28.


Karl and Nate with Michael Martinez, the new Dean of First-Year Students

Karl and Nate with Michael Martinez, the new Dean of First-Year Students