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School in Focus: Haverford College

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Group of students walking in the campus.

School in Focus: Haverford College

Haverford College is a private liberal arts college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, USA. Established in 1833, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the country. The college has a strong academic reputation, a beautiful campus, and a tight-knit community.

It is located in a beautiful, suburban area, and is just a short drive from Philadelphia. The campus is characterized by its lush greenery, historic buildings, and modern facilities. The college has a diverse student body, with students from all over the world and from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

What is the history of Haverford College?

What was the impetus behind the founding of Haverford College? Haverford College was founded in 1833 by members of the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, who believed in the importance of education and the pursuit of knowledge.

The college was originally established as Haverford School, a preparatory school for young Quaker men, but it quickly evolved into a college that offered a rigorous academic program.

One of the most notable figures in the early history of Haverford College was Edward Hicks, a Quaker minister and artist who is best known for his paintings of the Peaceable Kingdom.

Hicks served as a member of the college’s board of managers and was instrumental in shaping its early development.

Throughout the 19th century, Haverford College continued to grow and expand its academic programs. The college established a strong reputation for its rigorous academic program, and it was considered one of the premier colleges in the country.

In the early 20th century, Haverford College faced a number of challenges as it struggled to adapt to changing times. The college had a strict honor code that emphasized academic integrity and personal responsibility, but some students began to chafe against the restrictions it imposed.

The college also faced financial difficulties, as it struggled to attract enough students to cover its expenses.

Despite these challenges, Haverford College persevered and continued to grow and evolve. In the 1920s, the college launched a major fundraising campaign that enabled it to build new facilities and expand its academic programs.

The college also became more open to women, who were first admitted in 1893 but were not fully integrated into the student body until the 1970s.

In the decades that followed, Haverford College continued to expand and improve its academic programs.

The college established new departments, such as computer science and neuroscience, and launched new initiatives, such as the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.

What is the academic situation at Haverford College?

What is the current state of the academic community at Haverford College? The college has a longstanding reputation for academic excellence, and its rigorous curriculum prepares students for success in a wide range of careers and fields.

Academic Programs

Haverford College offers a broad range of academic programs, with majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. The college also offers a number of pre-professional programs, including pre-medical, pre-law, and pre-engineering.

One of the unique features of Haverford College’s academic program is its commitment to student-centered learning. The college has a low student-to-faculty ratio, and the majority of classes are taught by full-time faculty members rather than graduate students or adjunct professors.

This allows for a highly personalized educational experience, with students receiving individualized attention and support from their professors.

In addition, Haverford College offers a number of research and experiential learning opportunities for students. The college has a robust program of undergraduate research, with students working alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects in a wide range of fields.

The college also has a number of off-campus study programs, including semester-long programs in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Academic Requirements

Haverford College has a rigorous set of academic requirements that all students must fulfill in order to graduate.

These requirements are designed to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in the 21st century.

Two women talking on a table.

All students at Haverford College are required to complete a major in one of the academic departments, and they must also complete a set of distribution requirements in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

In addition, all students are required to complete a writing requirement and a language requirement, which can be fulfilled through coursework or a proficiency exam.

Honor Code

One of the defining features of Haverford College is its strict honor code, which emphasizes academic integrity and personal responsibility.

Under the honor code, students are expected to take responsibility for their own academic work and to uphold the values of honesty and integrity in all of their academic endeavors.

The honor code has a number of important implications for the academic culture at Haverford College. For example, all exams are take-home, and students are expected to complete them without any outside help.

This allows for a high degree of academic freedom and trust, but it also places a significant amount of responsibility on the individual student.

Student Support

Despite the rigorous academic program at Haverford College, the college provides a wide range of support services to help students succeed.

These services include academic advising, tutoring, and counseling, as well as a range of extracurricular activities and clubs that allow students to pursue their interests outside of the classroom.

What are the reasons for attending Haverford College?

What are the advantages of going to Haverford College? There are a number of compelling reasons why students might choose to attend Haverford College.

Academic Excellence

One of the primary reasons for attending Haverford College is the college’s longstanding reputation for academic excellence.

The college’s rigorous curriculum and personalized approach to education ensure that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in a wide range of careers and fields.

Haverford College is also known for its commitment to undergraduate research and experiential learning. The college offers a range of research opportunities, allowing students to work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects in a wide range of fields.

In addition, the college has a number of off-campus study programs, providing students with opportunities to study and work abroad.

Degrees offered

Haverford College is a liberal arts college that offers a wide range of undergraduate degrees in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. The college offers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in over 30 majors, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Languages and Literature
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computer Science
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • Theater

In addition to these majors, Haverford College also offers a number of interdisciplinary concentrations that allow students to explore a particular topic or theme across multiple fields of study. These concentrations include:

  • Africana Studies
  • Bi-College Environmental Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Health Studies
  • Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies
  • Peace, Justice, and Human Rights
  • Visual Studies

Haverford College also offers a number of pre-professional programs, including:

  • Pre-law advising
  • Pre-medical and health professions advising
  • Pre-engineering advising

Overall, Haverford College offers a diverse and comprehensive range of degree programs that allow students to explore a wide range of academic interests and prepare for success in a variety of careers and fields.

Commitment to Social Justice and Sustainability

Another compelling reason to attend Haverford College is the college’s commitment to social justice and sustainability.

Haverford College has a long history of social activism, and the college’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship offers a range of programs and initiatives focused on social justice and sustainability.

The college is also committed to environmental sustainability, with a number of initiatives aimed at reducing the college’s carbon footprint and promoting sustainable practices.

For example, Haverford College has a number of LEED-certified buildings, and the college’s dining services prioritize locally sourced sustainable foods.

Tight-Knit Community

Haverford College is known for its tight-knit community of students and faculty. With a low student-to-faculty ratio and a highly personalized approach to education, students at Haverford College receive individualized attention and support from their professors.

In addition, the college has a range of extracurricular activities and clubs, allowing students to pursue their interests outside of the classroom and build close relationships with their peers. The college also has a number of traditions and events that help to foster a strong sense of community.

Location

Finally, the location of Haverford College is a compelling reason for students to attend. The college is located just outside of Philadelphia, providing students with access to a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities.

In addition, the college is situated on a beautiful, 200-acre campus that provides a peaceful and inspiring setting for learning and growth.

How to apply for Haverford College?

How can one submit an application to Haverford College? If you are interested in applying to Haverford College, there are several steps that you will need to take.

Step 1: Research the College

The first step in applying to Haverford College is to research the college thoroughly. Take the time to explore the college’s website, read about the academic programs and extracurricular activities, and learn about the college’s mission and values.

Two students using a laptop.

It is also a good idea to visit the college if possible, either virtually or in person, to get a sense of the campus culture and community.

Step 2: Determine Eligibility

Before applying to Haverford College, you will need to determine if you are eligible to apply.

Haverford College is a highly selective institution, and admission is based on a number of factors, including academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. To be eligible to apply, you will need to have:

  • Completed a rigorous high school curriculum that includes four years of English, three years of math (including calculus), two years of a foreign language, two years of history, and two years of laboratory science.
  • Taken either the SAT or the ACT (the college is test-optional for the Class of 2026).
  • Demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, and a commitment to social justice and sustainability

Step 3: Submit an Application

To apply to Haverford College, you will need to submit an application through the Common Application or the Apply Coalition with Scoir.

The application will ask for basic information about your academic background, extracurricular activities, and personal interests, as well as several essays and short-answer questions that allow you to showcase your personality and writing skills.

In addition to the application, you will need to submit:

  • Official high school transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (if you choose to submit them)
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers or other adults who know you well
  • A mid-year report and final transcript from your high school

Step 4: Complete Additional Requirements

In addition to the application and supporting materials, there are several additional requirements that you will need to complete to apply to Haverford College. These include:

The Haverford Supplement

This supplement asks several additional essay questions that allow you to demonstrate your interest in Haverford College and your fit with the college’s mission and values.

Optional Interviews 

Haverford College offers optional interviews for applicants. These interviews can be conducted in person, via Skype, or over the phone, and are an opportunity to learn more about the college and for the college to learn more about you.

Female student typing in a table.

Optional Test Scores 

While Haverford College is test-optional for the Class of 2026, you may choose to submit test scores if you feel that they enhance your application.

Step 5: Submit the Application and Supporting Materials

Once you have completed all of the application requirements, you will need to submit your application and supporting materials by the application deadline.

Female student using a laptop for research.

It is important to submit your application by the deadline to ensure that it is considered in the admissions process.

Step 6: Wait for a Decision

After submitting your application, you will need to wait for a decision from Haverford College. The college typically releases decisions in mid-December for Early Decision I, mid-February for Early Decision II, and late March for Regular Decision.

If you are accepted, you will be notified via mail and email and will have until May 1st to accept or decline the offer of admission.

If you are deferred or waitlisted, it means that the admissions committee has decided to postpone making a final decision on your application.

You may be asked to submit additional materials, such as updated grades or test scores, and your application will be re-evaluated during the regular decision process.

If you are denied, it means that the admissions committee has decided not to offer you admission to Haverford College.

However, you may still be eligible to apply to other colleges and universities and pursue your academic goals elsewhere.

Segue to AdmissionSight

Haverford College is a highly respected liberal arts college with a strong academic reputation, a beautiful campus, and a tight-knit community.

The college’s commitment to academic rigor, sustainability, and community service makes it an ideal choice for students who want to make a positive impact on the world.

We at AdmissionSight would be happy to assist you in realizing your goal. With over a decade of experience, AdmissionSight has helped countless students just like you earn acceptance to their top-choice colleges and universities. Make sure to get in touch with us immediately away so we can set up your no-cost consultation.

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