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Haverford/Swarthmore Linguistics Info?

Blacksquirrel1Blacksquirrel1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited August 2011 in Swarthmore College
Hello! I posted this thread on the Haverford site, but so far I haven't received any responses. I'm interested in attending Haverford and possibly majoring in linguistics at Swarthmore. Does anyone have any insight into this process? For example, do you ultimately receive your Linguistics degree from Haverford or Swarthmore? And can you take a Linguistics Honor Major at Swarthmore if you are a Haverford student? Any light anyone could shed on this would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Post edited by Blacksquirrel1 on

Replies to: Haverford/Swarthmore Linguistics Info?

  • dadx3dadx3 Registered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    As far as I know, while it is possible to major at another college in the Tri-Co consortium, it is probably difficult to accomplish - not necessarily because of administrative problems but more because of logistical issues. While I don't know for sure, I imagine it would not be possible to be an honors major if you are a Haverford student. I am pretty positive that a Haverford student would get a Haverford diploma, no matter where your major was located within the Tri-Co. If you are seriously interested in majoring in linguistics, it would make more sense to apply to Swarthmore.
  • etselecetselec Registered User Posts: 780 Member
    I'm a senior Honors Linguistics major at Swarthmore. As a Haverford student, it is absolutely possible to major in Linguistics at Swarthmore, and numerous people do it every year. Of 20+ Linguistics majors in my year, nearly half of them are Haverford or Bryn Mawr students. Haverford has some Linguistics taught on campus, so it's possible to do some of your requirements there--you don't have to come to Swarthmore for every class. Dealing with the van schedules, etc. does restrict your other options for classes, and often there are scheduling conflicts--this will be most troublesome if you have a second major, especially one with restrictive requirements. Still doable, though. Your degree will be issued from Haverford, but under Major it will say: Linguistics (at Swarthmore College) or something like that.

    Bi-co students can do something approximating Swarthmore Honors; the only difference is that instead of external examiners, professors from Swarthmore's Linguistics department examine you. Aside from that, though, the program is identical. Not sure how Honors is handled on your diploma in that case.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
  • Blacksquirrel1Blacksquirrel1 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you so much for the helpful information! That's exactly what I wanted to know. I'm so excited to be able to take advantage of what seems like an amazing department!
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    Do look seriously into the logistical issues, though. You will have to design your entire schedule around taking major courses at Swarthmore. I'm planning to take a linguistics course at Haverford and the time commitment required is approximately twice the amount of course time. So the 2.5-hour weekly course I want to take, also requires 2.5 hours of commuting (via Tri-Co Bus, it's much easier if you have your own car). I can only imagine that commuting time would be even higher for twice/weekly courses. Swarthmore does offer all of its core linguistics courses as TTH, to make things more feasible for HC/BMC students.
  • morningbendersmorningbenders Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    Logistically, how problematic would it be to attend Swarthmore and, as part of one's linguistics major, take classes at UPenn?
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    ^Pretty difficult logistically, but it can and has been done. As with Bi-Co courses, you must be prepared to design the rest of your schedule around whenever the consortium courses happen to be scheduled (with an hour or two commuting time on each end).
  • etselecetselec Registered User Posts: 780 Member
    It's doable--the train takes the same amount of time as the tri-co shuttle, and runs just as frequently. It's a logistical hassle, though, so people don't tend to do it unless there's a course/specialty that Swat doesn't offer.

    Getting in to Penn classes is also not guaranteed, and frankly Swat's undergrad ling department is as good or better--the only reason to go to Penn is, as I said above, for a specialty. What would you want to go there for?
  • morningbendersmorningbenders Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    possibly so that i can listen to lectures given by William Labov, THE pioneer in sociolinguistics!

    can you tell me about the "coolness" of the Swarthmore ling faculty?
  • interesteddadinteresteddad Registered User Posts: 24,177 Senior Member
  • etselecetselec Registered User Posts: 780 Member
    Swat's ling department is pretty cool. I mean, in a geeky linguist way. Harrison is a total rock star, though not always super-available. There are some jobs in his lab, which is pretty neat, and occasionally (rarely) he'll take students into the field. Napoli and Fernald are both eccentric, but each in their own delightful ways. They are the only tenured professors, but there are basically always two non-tenure profs around, typically young, recently PhD'd linguists.

    The core Ling classes are fairly standard, but there is always at least one cool elective being offered--for instance, in addition to core classes, this semester there are elective courses in Lenape (one of the local indigenous languages), Old English/History of the Language (hosted in English), Language Acquisition (hosted in Psych), a seminar in Endangered Languages with Harrison, and a seminar called "Linguistic Typology", where the main project of the class is to build/design a language. Very cool stuff.

    It's a really friendly department. I've been quite happy with it.
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    ^And, to add to that--Ling upper-division seminars are only one credit and often open to freshmen who have taken intro ling or a core class. There are multiple freshmen in both Harrison's seminar (so many people registered that they opened two sections) and Nathan Sanders's typology/conlang seminar.
  • morningbendersmorningbenders Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    wow. thank you all for the information!!! :)
    makes me so much more excited to pursue ling at Swat, if i get in.
  • highschseniorhighschsenior Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    I am interested in the Linguistics program at Swarthmore too but am not sure if I would prefer to attend Haverford or Swarthmore. (I am trying to make up my mind, because I am hoping to apply early decision to one of them.) I was wondering what makes people choose Haverford over Swarthmore or vice versa, especially when their program of interest is at the other school. (For blacksquirrel1 and etselec, how did you decide Haverford was the best choice despite the fact that your major is at Swarthmore?)
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    Basically: It's a hassle--perfectly doable, but still a hassle--to major in Linguistics at Haverford. If you prefer Haverford over Swarthmore for any number of legitimate reasons NOT related to linguistics, and enough so to make the hassle worthwhile, then go there. Otherwise, if everything else is mostly equal, you'll have a much easier time studying ling at Swarthmore.
This discussion has been closed.