Macalester or Haverford?

<p>Hello. So, I've been accepted to both Mac and Haverford. I would choose Haverford right away, but the issue is I'm interested in environmental studies/ecology. I could live with taking ES as a minor but...from what I can tell, Haverford has pretty much no ecology courses, and I'd have to major at Bryn Mawr (which I don't really wanna have to do). Mac's department is amazing for ES.</p>

<p>So my question is, should I go to Haverford, which is great besides my intended major, or Mac, which I like less but actually has my major. Anyone know how Haverford kids with similar interests get around this? Thanks!</p>

<p>I did a quick search on Haverford’s website and found that the ES minor can be done primarily at Haverford (there are a lot of classes offered at Swarthmore as well). For the minor, one must complete an introductory course, 4 electives, and a senior seminar. It appears that the senior seminar is the only one of these that is not offered at Haverford, and it may be taken at Bryn Mawr OR Swarthmore. </p>

<p>Obviously I don’t know your exact interests, so I recommend you look at the elective lists in particular to see if there are some you would enjoy that are offered at Haverford (Bryn Mawr has more, but Haverford does have quite a few). Also remember that many other students with similar interests will be in the same situation, so these classes will be a mix of Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Swarthmore students regardless of which ones you chose. </p>

<p>Hope this helps. I think the bigger question is whether or not you really want to major in ES. If so Haverford obviously isn’t the place to go.</p>

<p>First of all congrats on getting into both mac and hford. I am currently a student at hford and was also accepted to mac the year I was applying. I know many people who take classes at bmc/swat/penn, but nobody who is doing ES specifically. Overall in terms of academics hford, I would say, is miles ahead of mac. However, if you are certain that you want to major in ES, then mac is probably your best choice. Majoring at bmc is not unheard of, but not very popular. In truth, the rigor and prestige of bmc sciences is not that great, although there is variation from department to department. Taking classes at Swat, although a great option, is very time consuming in regards to travel and becomes tough logistically. Even more so with penn. In conclusion, if you are certain that you want to major in ES, then go to mac, if not then hford is probably your best choice. I said much of the same things as the poster above, but if you want any insight into life at hford don’t hesitate to message me. Best of luck to you!</p>



<p>Could you clarify how you’ve determined that Haverford “is miles ahead” of Macalester? Are you speaking generally or with regard to specific majors? The Fiske Guide ranks Haverford at 5 stars and Macalester at 4.5 for academics. I could see if Mac were rated at 3 stars or less, one might characterize it as “miles behind” Haverford, but .5 stars? </p>

<p>Or maybe you found something out more specifically when you investigated both schools?</p>


<p>why do you say that BMC has less rigourous courses than at haverford? How do you know that?</p>

What I meant is that in terms of graduate school admissions haverford beats mac. I would say that haverford is generally regarded as a top 10 best liberal arts school in the country, and while mac is an and elite school, it usually is not considered among the top 10. Of course the quality and academics varies from department to department, and I have no doubt that there are some departments at mac that better then at hford. However, I would say that overall haverford has better academics then mac.
For you, I think it really comes down to what school you feel more comfortable with, the differences in academics are there, but they are not that big. You got into two awesome schools, pick the one you see yourself enjoying the most. Good-luck.</p>

I have taken classes and BMC, know many people who took classes at BMC and have talked to professors about BMC classes. For example, if you take an intro chem class at BMC, it is advised that you take the rest of your chem classes and BMC as well because you wont have have the necessary foundation to take upper level chem classes at hford (yes the intro chem class at hford and the intro at BMC are that different). Only 1 or 2 specific upper level math classes at BMC can count towards a math major at hford. I’ve heard that BMC has pretty good humanities, but in the sciences it can’t compare to hford.</p>

<p>I thought you can major in, lets say, BIO at Haverford but be a BMC student…so, I guess I am not understanding the distinction… I don’t think there is a test that a BMC student must take iin order to take classes at Haverford, correct? Some colleges will have you test out of intro classes, because of your level of competence. perhaps that needs to be better addressed.<br>
I don’t know Macalaster, but I have heard it is a very fine school and a great education. I would not select a school by way of the USnews and World report ranking.</p>

<p>I’ve heard the same thing about some of the intro courses at BMC being slightly less academically challenging than the ones at H.</p>



<p>Thanks for the clarification, airbus. I’m still not sure that having a higher rate of acceptance to graduate schools automatically means the academics are across the board superior, but I understand what you’re saying.</p>

Very true, I think that it really just comes down to what school you feel more comfortable with, both have great academics.</p>

Yes, hford students can major in BMC and vice versa, but that still does not change the fact that hford classes are generally more challenging than the same ones at BMC. It is very strongly recommended to take intro classes at hford if you want to major at hford. Although there are no broad restrictions, there are some restrictions placed by specific departments themselves, (math is one example). In other words, not all bmc classes can be used toward a haford major, but as far as I know, all hford credits can be used toward a bmc major.</p>