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Upper School History

The study of history and social science is at the heart of a strong liberal arts education.

The Haverford School [Grade] Program for boys on the Main Line, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA

It is through the study of the world in the contexts of time and space that a student can understand how the earth and humankind have come to be as they are today and to foresee how the lessons from the past can guide the interactions between peoples and nations in the future.

Our core program is two years of global history followed by an in-depth study of United States history. Subsequent electives allow students to closely investigate topics of particular interest, including those in American and global studies, politics and government, and the Olympic Games. Throughout the program, students increase their curiosity, develop their capacity for critical and creative thinking, and expand their openness to new ideas and different ways of experiencing our common humanity.

We emphasize the development of the following attitudes, attributes, and skills:

  • Read with an inquisitive, critical mind so as to explore material for authenticity and value

  • Think critically so as to arrive at well-reasoned conclusions
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Research effectively using both electronic and printed sources
  • Apply sound note-taking, memorization, test-taking and other study skills
  • Use technology to maximize learning
  • Internalize an ethical, moral compass to guide decisions and actions
  • Become a lifelong student of history

Collaboration effectively engages boys in major projects that involve research, writing, debating, and oral presentation skills.

Haverford students are required to complete three years of survey courses in history: Ancient World History, Modern World History, and United States History. These courses provide students with the background knowledge they will need to take full advantage of our rich array of history electives, deeper dives into a variety of times and places. Below you will find descriptions of the advanced (denoted by an *) and standard course offerings.

Core Courses

The Haverford School [Grade] Program for boys on the Main Line, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA

Upper School history students teach third-graders about the Founding Fathers.

Elective Courses


  • The Archaeology Project: a museum curator provides relics to research
  • World War I Trials: students serve as ambassadors and engage in a mock trial
  • Madison Meetings: students research and debate Supreme Court cases
  • Thesis-oriented research

Davis R. Parker Memorial History Lecture

Meet Our Faculty