Special Academic Programs

Intercollegiate Cooperation

Haverford has long enjoyed a close cooperative relationship with Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College. This consortial relationship gives students from all three colleges access to courses and to most of the academic facilities on the three campuses. The major programs of Bryn Mawr and Haverford are open equally to all students on both campuses. In some cases, Haverford students may also major at Swarthmore.

In addition to the cooperative agreement with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore, Haverford has made arrangements with the University of Pennsylvania, and full-time Haverford students are permitted to have library privileges and, upon presentation of the proper credentials, to enroll for courses there without added expense. Laboratory fees, which are not included under the reciprocal agreements with Swarthmore College or the University of Pennsylvania, must be paid by the student. Students taking courses at the University of Pennsylvania must make their own transportation arrangements, and are limited to two courses per semester at Penn.

Each student must satisfy Haverford’s general college graduation requirements, but is otherwise free to choose from the courses and other academic opportunities offered at its three partner institutions. If a student majors or minors at Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore, it will be so noted on their academic records. Students may not major or minor at the University of Pennsylvania. Haverford students are obligated to satisfy the academic regulations (e.g., regarding deadlines, attendance, and extensions) at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania when they are taking courses at such institutions. Administrative interpretations of each institution’s academic regulations are made by the deans of the college where the course is given.

Academic Flexibility Program

The Committee on Student Standing and Programs (CSSP) is empowered to make decisions on requests from students for exceptions to the academic regulations of the College. Typically, requests for exceptions involve unusual circumstances and relate to such issues as special majors and graduation in six or more than eight semesters. Students who intend to petition the Committee should first consult with their dean and their academic advisor.

Petitions should be submitted in writing to CSSP by the deadlines noted below; failure to meet these deadlines may result in a delay in the consideration of a petition until the following semester.

For Semester I of the 2020 -21 Academic Year:
Friday, October 30, 2020

For Semester II of the 2020-21 Academic Year:
Friday, March 19, 2021

Petitioning students should note that their advisor’s and dean’s approval does not guarantee that CSSP will grant their request. If the Committee does not approve their proposal, the student may appear in person to appeal its decision.

In addition to petitions for independent and interdepartmental majors, the following are examples of some of the academic program options that students may pursue only with the approval of CSSP.

Credit for Non-Collegiate Academic Work

All students must earn at least 24 course credits at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore colleges or the University of Pennsylvania. However, it is recognized that there are important educational opportunities for a student to do work, for example, in a non-university research laboratory, to do a supervised archaeological study on site, etc., for which the College will occasionally grant academic credit. With the approval of CSSP, a student may take up to four course credits in their academic undergraduate career, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The work is closely supervised by a person who is a faculty member at a college or university or who clearly holds the comparable qualifications.
  • The student’s academic advisor approves the activity. If the work is in an area outside the advisor’s field, approval will also be required from a Haverford faculty member competent in a relevant field.
  • The project results in a product judged to be satisfactory by the field supervisor and the Haverford faculty member.
  • In most cases, the work is unpaid.

For each Haverford course credit earned in this manner, a student will be charged tuition at the rate of $7,025 per course credit. If credit is granted for such work by another academic institution, the credit may be transferred to Haverford without further tuition charges. Before credit can be transferred, however, the procedures for approval as outlined above must be followed.

Graduation in Fewer than Eight Semesters

A student may, in consultation with their dean, and with the approval of their academic advisor and the Committee on Student Standings and Programs (CSSP), select a six-semester program consisting of at least 30 course credits, including up to two approved AP credits or summer courses. Because of the College residency requirement, this program is not compatible with international study. A student for whom a six-semester program has been approved must, by April 15 each year, confirm to their dean in writing that they intend to continue in this program.

Students may also meet the normal requirements of 32 Haverford approved course credits but do so in only seven semesters of study by enrolling for five course credits for four semesters and for four course credits for three semesters. This option will allow students to spend a full semester away from the campus at some time during their college careers and still graduate within four years of matriculation. Although there is no deadline for declaring seven-semester programs, and students do not need the approval of CSSP to exercise this option, an early declaration of the intention to graduate in seven semesters will be helpful to both the student and the College. Students considering this option are therefore urged to consult their dean as early as possible.

Extended Programs

Although most students are expected to graduate in four academic years, some may be permitted to remain at Haverford for an additional, ninth semester to complete their degree requirements. Such permission is granted very rarely, upon petition to CSSP, and only in instances in which a student has no other means by which to complete their degree (typically due to the need to take courses in satisfaction of a major that can be fulfilled only while at Haverford). Students who are on financial aid must submit a separate appeal to the Financial Aid Committee requesting a ninth semester of financial aid.

The College never grants a tenth semester except in instances in which the Office of Access and Disabilities Services has deemed it necessary to do so pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Study at Other American Colleges

Some students may also study at another college or university in the United States for the enrichment to be gained through different or more diversified liberal arts offerings. Some study at another school simply to experience college life in a different setting. Haverford has formal exchange programs with Claremont McKenna and Pitzer Colleges in California and Spelman College in Georgia. Permission for such study must be granted by the student’s advisor and dean. All courses must be approved in advance by the chairs of the appropriate Haverford departments. In order to provide a semester’s credit at Haverford (four course credits), a program at another institution must represent at least one-eighth of the degree program there; and similarly, in order to provide a year’s credit at Haverford, the program must represent one-quarter of the degree at the other institution.

Students who expect to study away from Haverford for a semester or a year must confirm their intention in writing to their dean, using the same timetable as that for a dean’s leave. They should also inform their dean when they have been accepted by the institution to which they have applied. Naturally, they will have discussed at an earlier time tentative plans with their advisor and dean. They should, finally, ensure that they will have earned 19 credits outside of their major and fulfilled the general education requirements by the end of the senior year.

Note: Students may not attend programs abroad through an American college or university during the academic year and receive credit at Haverford unless they go through the Office of International Academic Programs.

Independent Study While Not in Residence

Students who wish to carry independent study credit while away from the College should secure the approval of their advisors and that of the instructor(s) involved before submitting the written proposal to the dean for final approval. If approved, students will be charged at rate of $6,762 per credit.

Summer Study at Another Institution

A student wishing to obtain Haverford credit for summer school at another institution should follow the procedures as outlined below:

  • The student should secure from the Registrar’s web pages a form entitled “Application for Summer School Credit.”
  • With the form, the student should secure the approval of their faculty advisor, dean, and the chairperson of the Haverford department which corresponds to the field in which the work is to be done. Advance approval is required for obtaining Haverford credit and approval should be based on the suitability of the course for Haverford credit; approval sought retroactively will, in all likelihood, be denied. If no such department exists at Haverford but does at Bryn Mawr, then the student should seek the approval from the appropriate Bryn Mawr department chairperson.
  • In seeking approval, the student should give the appropriate department chair descriptive information about the course: the course name and number; the amount of credit conferred at the other institution; the institution’s name; the course description.
  • The faculty advisor’s signature should represent an approval of the course as a part of the student’s program at Haverford.
  • Faculty assigning credit should proceed on the principle that at any institution, each course counts as a fraction of the credit required for the degree. At Haverford, the minimum graduation requirement is 32 credits, equal to 128 semester hours. Therefore, summer credit equivalents must be identical to academic year equivalents for transfer credit to be considered at Haverford.

Other regulations governing summer study:

  • Courses taken in summer school will not satisfy Haverford course requirements for the major unless prior written approval is granted by the department chair.
  • A summer course must not be a repeat of or at a lower level than a course already a part of the student’s Haverford academic record.
  • To receive Haverford credit for courses taken in summer school, a student must earn a grade at least one full grade above the lowest passing Haverford grade: at least a 2.0 on the Haverford scale, or a grade of “C” on the A-F scale.
  • Permission for credit must be secured before the course is taken.
  • For summer work at Bryn Mawr, only the permission of the student’s dean is required.
  • In all cases of summer school work, including courses taken at Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania, students should have official transcripts forwarded to the Haverford registrar. Unofficial grade reports will not be accepted for evaluation.
  • Finally, students should realize that summer school credit, if accepted by Haverford, will transfer to Haverford simply as course credits. Course titles and credit values will be indicated on the record, but in no instance, including summer work at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania, will grades earned appear on the Haverford record; likewise, in no instance will the grades earned appear as part of the student’s cumulative grade point average at Haverford.

Students should follow the above procedures for all summer study, including summer study abroad. Approval for summer study abroad is identical to that for domestic summer study.

The Tri-Co Philly Program

The Tri-Co Philly Program is a semester-long program that provides students at Haverford, Bryn Mawr  and Swarthmore Colleges curricular and co-curricular activities in Philadelphia. This urban experience facilitates engagement with the diversity, complexity, innovation, and systems of the city.

Students take urban-focused courses from a variety of academic disciplines taught by Tri-Co faculty in Philadelphia. The setting provides a sense of place to enhance the classroom experience, helping students learn firsthand how the material in the courses is informed by the urban environment. Speakers and representatives from organizations are invited guests in the classes, and students explore the city through neighborhood tours and through trips to museums, community-based organizations, archives, and arts and cultural organizations. 

The program also includes participation in twice-monthly Philadelphia-based cohort activities – some academic in nature, some connected to issues of social justice, and some simply fun. Program students also take part in an orientation, a mid-semester gathering and a closing dinner. 

In fall 2020, the program will run remotely. Students will take the core course, Race and Place: A Philadelphia Story (SOCL 048I), and one of the following two elective courses: The Nature of Public Art and the Ethics of Commemoration (PHIL B234); or Grassroots Economies: Creating Livelihoods in an Age of Urban Inequality (POLS H262).

In spring 2021, students will take the core course, A Sociological Journey to Immigrant Communities in Philadelphia (SOCL B232), and one of the following two elective courses: What Happened? Philadelphia and the 2020 Elections (SOCL 056C) or The City of Brotherly Love – Images of a Changing City (GERM H210B).

Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to participate. Additional spaces in the courses are available to other Tri-Co students. Costs for travel to classes are covered for all students taking Tri-Co Philly Program courses. Expenses related to the program’s co- and extracurricular programming are also covered for students enrolled in the program.

For more information, visit the program website or contact Calista Cleary at ccleary@haverford.edu.

4+1 Engineering Program

Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania have formed a partnership that enables qualified Haverford undergraduates to gain early and expedited admission into a Master’s degree offered by Penn Engineering. Like Penn Engineering undergraduates, Haverford students may apply to an appropriate Master’s degree program at Penn Engineering as an external “sub-matriculate.”

To initiate the process, a Haverford student submits a completed “External Sub-matriculation Application” to Penn Engineering for review and approval. Applications should be submitted no later than the end of the summer after the student’s sixth semester at Haverford, and no earlier than the end of their fourth semester. To apply, students must have the necessary background and major to enter into the desired Master’s degree program. (Degree programs are described at https://www.haverford.edu/engineering/upenn/). A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum 3.0 GPA in all math, science, and engineering courses are also required to apply. The GRE is not required; however, students are strongly encouraged to take the GRE, especially those who have interests in pursuing a Ph.D. later. Admission decisions are made on a selective basis.

Via the existing “Quaker Consortium” arrangement, as admitted “sub-matriculates,” Haverford undergraduates may take up to three graduate courses to count toward their Master’s from Penn Engineering, subject to approval by their Graduate advisor. Biotechnology Master’s students may take up to four graduate courses. These may not be taken prior to submatriculating into Penn Engineering. Penn Engineering’s rules on double-counting courses for sub-matriculates permit students to use no more than three courses in satisfaction of the requirements of both the Master’s at Penn and the Bachelor’s at Haverford. (Note that through the “Quaker Consortium,” Penn will not charge Haverford sub-matriculates tuition and fees for taking these three graduate courses as undergraduates.)

All admitted 4+1 students are fully expected to graduate and receive their Bachelor’s degree from Haverford at the end of their fourth year at Haverford. If this is not achieved, the student will be dropped from the Master’s degree program at Penn Engineering. In the fifth and final year of the 4+1, students will be enrolled as full-time Master’s degree students in Penn Engineering, having fully completed their undergraduate degree at Haverford. During this year, the student will complete the remainder of the courses required by their specific Master’s degree program. The total number of courses for an engineering Master’s is 10 (11 in Biotechnology). The student will be financially responsible for all tuition and fees in the fifth year (Penn Engineering Master’s tuition and fees are charged by the course).

Applications should be submitted by February 1 in either the student's fourth or sixth semester at Haverford. For more information, visit:

3/2 Engineering Program

Haverford College and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) have a joint program under which a student who is interested in engineering may, in the second semester of their junior year, apply for transfer to an engineering program at CalTech. If accepted in the program, then at the end of five years (three at Haverford, two at CalTech), the student will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree by Haverford and a Bachelor of Engineering Degree by CalTech. For each engineering discipline, there is a required set of courses to be taken at Haverford during the first three years of the program. Interested students should consult their advisor and the College’s advisor for the 3/2 program about the proper course selection; this consultation should occur as early as possible. A cumulative grade point average of 3.5 is generally expected for this program.

For more information, visit:

3/2 City Planning Program

Haverford students majoring in the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr may apply for admission to the 3/2 Program in City Planning offered in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania. This arrangement with the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of City and Regional Planning allows a student to earn both a Bachelor’s degree in the Growth and Structure of Cities at Bryn Mawr and a Master of City Planning (MCP) at the University of Pennsylvania in five years. Qualified students who are accepted into the 3/2 program will be eligible for consideration for financial aid during their period of residence at the University of Pennsylvania. Students interested in the 3/2 B.A./M.C.P. program may apply through their Cities major advisor during their sophomore or junior years, although they are encouraged to begin discussing their interest with members of the Cities Program as early as the beginning of their sophomore year.

4+1 Bioethics Program with the University of Pennsylvania

Haverford students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from Haverford and a Master’s in Bioethics (M.B.E) from Penn’s Bioethics Program in the Perelman School of Medicine in five years.

This 4+1 partnership enables qualified Haverford undergraduates to gain early and expedited admission into a Master’s degree offered by the Penn Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. Students may apply to the M.B.E program as an external “sub-matriculate” no later than the end of the summer after the sixth semester at Haverford and no earlier than the end of the fourth semester. A GPA of 3.5 is required to apply; the GRE is not required. The admissions decision is based on the student’s transcript and letters of recommendation from one or more Haverford faculty members.

Upon acceptance to the program, students will take up to three graduate courses in Bioethics at Penn while still enrolled at Haverford; course selection is subject to approval by the M.B.E program’s director of education. There is no additional financial charge for these courses. During their four years at the College, students will also complete all Haverford graduation requirements, which can include courses taken at Penn as determined by Haverford’s Health Studies director.

The fifth year of the program is spent entirely at Penn. Nine courses in all (including those taken while a Haverford undergraduate) are required to complete the requirements for the M.B.E degree. There is no financial aid available from Penn for the fifth year of the program, but students can apply for federal student loans. Students are responsible for all tuition and fees.

Undergraduates interested in applying for this program should contact the Health Studies director and visit http://medicalethicshealthpolicy.med.upenn.edu/master-of-bioethics/ for more information.

One-Year Master’s Program at Claremont McKenna College’s Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Haverford students accepted into the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance graduate school will receive a full scholarship for their one-year Master’s in Finance at the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) campus in Claremont, California. The program offers an intensive curriculum in economics and finance with an additional emphasis on co-curricular programming that develops career skills and supports post-graduate job placement.

The scholarship includes full-tuition, but students are responsible for the cost of living expenses and for providing proof of health insurance. Program fees are minimal, and all program events, including networking trips, are fully funded by the program.

Eligible students must have a strong academic record, demonstrating excellent quantitative skills, particularly through course work in macroeconomics and microeconomics at the intermediate level, statistics, and, if possible, corporate finance. However, applicants can present a variety of academic profiles for consideration. Course work planned for the summer before matriculation in the graduate program can be taken into consideration in the selection process.

The application deadline is in February of the senior year. For more information about the Master’s in Finance at CMC’s Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, please contact the chair of the Economics Department and visit https://www.cmc.edu/rdschool/academic/

Accelerated Degree Program with the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University

Haverford participates in a five-year joint degree program with the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University. The cooperative agreement allows undergraduates who are concentrators in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies to pursue an accelerated course of study toward a graduate degree.

The program offers the highest qualified applicants the opportunity to count four courses from their undergraduate study toward the M.A. program in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University, enabling them to complete the degree in two semesters and one summer.

The five-year B.A./M.A. program is designed for those students who demonstrate excellence at the undergraduate level. Qualified applicants must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5, declare an interest in the cooperative degree program during the junior year, and participate in the Center’s summer study abroad program. During the senior year, students will apply through the normal Georgetown M.A. application cycle. If accepted into the M.A. program, up to four courses (two from the CLAS summer study program in Mexico or Chile and two advanced courses from Haverford) may be applied to the M.A. All M.A. prerequisites must be completed during the four years of undergraduate education, and candidates must have concentrated in Latin American Studies while at Haverford.

For more detailed information, consult Prof. Graciela Michelotti or visit the Georgetown Center for Latin American Studies, https://clas.georgetown.edu/academics/accelerated/

China Studies Master’s Program at Zhejiang University

Recent graduates or members of the Class of 2019 at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges are eligible to apply to be fully funded students in the China Studies Master’s Program at prestigious Zhejiang University (ZJU) in the city of Hangzhou, China. This is a two-year program, taught in English, for students in all majors who have an interest in understanding China. The student body is drawn from a small set of highly selective colleges and universities in different parts of the world. Through a special relationship, Tri-Co students are the only U.S. students who are eligible for the program. 

ZJU provides students who are accepted into the program with funding that covers tuition and living expenses in China for the two years of their master's study. Students do not have to be East Asian Languages and Cultures majors to enter the program. Courses are taught in English (with students given the opportunity to study Chinese language as well). The courses cover a range of subjects leading to a deeper understanding of contemporary China and are designed to prepare graduates in a wide range of fields to engage with China in their professional lives. The program can also serve as preparation for further graduate study at other institutions.

Students in this interdisciplinary program engage with contemporary China: its language, modern history, cultural heritage, ethnicity, political and legal institutions, socioeconomic development, and public management. The target student body is non-Chinese nationals with an intention of becoming China specialists or business/international affairs professionals with a China orientation.
The application deadline is in May of the senior year. For more information about the two-year Master’s degree CSP program, please contact Prof. Yonglin Jiang, the co-chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Bryn Mawr (yjiang@brynmawr.edu) and visit http://csp.zju.edu.cn/.