Haverford College is considered one of the top liberal arts schools in the country. Located in Haverford, Pennsylvania about 10 miles from Philadelphia, the school is located in a suburban setting. The 200-acre campus has one of the oldest college arboretums in the U.S. The school was founded in 1833 by Quakers but is no longer affiliated with any religion. The small school has an undergraduate population of just over 1,300 students. Student classes also remain intimate with a student-faculty ratio of about nine to one. In fact, 73% of the classes have fewer than 20 students. Because Haverford is part of the Tri-College Consortium, students also have the opportunity to take courses at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Haverford College offers 31 majors in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. The most popular majors include: social sciences; physical sciences; foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics; biological/life sciences; and computer and information sciences. In order to graduate, every student must complete a senior thesis or research project. Several departments also have junior-level seminars or year-long projects in biology and chemistry. All students are required to spread their coursework among the humanities, social sciences and natural science departments.
There is a lively on-campus atmosphere at Haverford College as 98% of students live in one of the residence halls or campus houses. The community is a tight-knit one, since 61% of faculty members also live on campus. Although there are no fraternities or sororities, there over 170 organizations for students to join. Students can join a cappella groups or write for “The Bi-College News” or “The Haverford Review.”
Haverford also places importance on volunteering. The school has its own volunteer coordination organization called Eighth Dimension. Many students also belong to activist groups like the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), Students Toward a New Democracy (STAND), Amnesty International, College Republicans and College Democrats. Because of the proximity to Philadelphia, students can take advantage of off-campus activities, like the Philadelphia Orchestra or the Curtis Institute of Music. There are also 23 NCAA Division III sports teams competing in the Centennial Conference. Haverford College has the oldest college soccer team in the nation.
For individuals looking for more responsibility, Haverford provides the chance to study by the Honor Code. Students are allowed to schedule their own final exams, and they can take their tests at home. Haverford has also frequently been voted one of the top schools in the country for having the happiest students. Those interested in a close-knit community with dedicated faculty and a fun on-campus atmosphere should definitely look into Haverford College.