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 Swarthmore College
 Registrar's Office
 500 College Avenue
 Swarthmore PA 19081

 phone: (610) 328 8297
 fax: (610) 957 6100
 email: registrar@swarthmore.edu

 on campus: 124 Parrish Hall

 Martin Warner, Registrar
 Lesa Shieber
, Assoc. Registrar
 Stacey Hogge, Asst. Registrar
 Keira Stevenson , Asst. Registrar

 Copyright © 2006 Swarthmore
 College. All rights reserved.


Mid-semester Advising and Pre-Registration for the Fall 2014
Advising runs April 7-17, 2014
Pre-registration runs April 21-23
Beginning Monday, April 21 at 8:00am
Ending Wednesday April 23 at 4:00pm

Related Links:

Course Announcements - NEW courses, etc.

About the 4.5 credit limit

For Students Currently on Leave or Studying Abroad

For Students Going on approved Study Abroad

For Students Going on Leave

For New and Prospective Students and Families

First Year Seminar List

Other than the Supplemental Pre-Registration Forms listed immediately below, there are no forms to sign, and there is never a general form to sign for pre-registration with your adviser. (If you don't get advised you might be put on hold, but you don't get a general permission form signed.)

Supplemental Pre-Registration Forms:

Biol 001--no lab form, enroll for lecture and your first choice of laboratory, lab sections have a 24 student limit.  Students are encouraged to help minimize the need of a lottery by choosing laboratory sections that have not reached the 24-student limit. 

Chem 032-- no lab form, but register for one available lab section. Labs are limited to 16--first come first served. Space in the course may be limited based on the number of spots available in the lab sections.
*Pre-registration provides equal access to courses and lotteries regardless of when you do it with the exception of some Chemistry, Economics and Arabic courses, which sometimes use first-come, first-served to fill some sections. For more information please see the departments.

Physics 003: General Physics I- Print, complete and submit form for add'l lab section selection.

Advice about the Requirements:
True for all students, but especially valuable for first-year students

Mid-Semester Pre-Registration Course Planning

"Four courses plus PE or PE Dance "

  • The official normal semester load is four to five credits, plus PE until it is done, and then PE is optional. The actual norm at Swarthmore is 4.0 or 4.5 credits per semester, plus PE or PE Dance.
  • Fewer than four credits is a possibility, but only with special permission of your academic advisor, and students are never permitted to carry fewer than three credits in their first eight semesters.
  • More than five credits per semester also requires special permission.
  • PE or PE Dance is recommended for every semester until you fulfill the four unit PE requirement. Normally it is finished within the first two years.

Alternates and Flexibility - the keys to Happiness

  • The keys to contentment with your registration are to always have alternates at the ready, and to be flexible enough to use them.
  • Choose 6 to 8 courses you would like to take, knowing you will actually only take four or so.
  • First-year students in particular are reminded that you can make adjustments during Add/Drop, and it is okay to "shadow unregistered courses" in moderation.
  • Remember that the liberal arts experience includes serendipitous discovery. Be open to it.

All Students Must Be Advised

  • Students MUST see advisors during the advising period, that is, prior to pre-registration -- or else they may be prevented from pre-registering.
  • No form is signed by the advisor, but advisors do keep track of who has been advised.
  • Double majors must see both advisors.
  • Spring Sophomores and Juniors without majors consult the chair of their would-be major for major advising.
  • You are responsible for not booking yourself into a registration time conflict. Check the class meeting times in the Schedule of Courses. For the complete rules on attendance in classes, see the catalog.

You might be put on HOLD

  • Students who do not get advised may be prevented from pre-registering by their advisors placing holds on their pre-registration.
  • Students can also be withheld from pre-registering for other reasons. Students are informed by email of holds being placed, and can check for holds on the mySwarthmore web site.
  • Students who discover they are withheld from pre-registering must resolve the problem, and then ask the advisor or office placing the hold to tell the Registrar the hold is released.

Pre-Registration counts!

  • Pre-register for all the courses you expect to take. Courses, sections, and labs might be cancelled due to under-enrollment. Don't wait to indicate your intent to take a class.


  • Pre-registration starts at 8:00am Monday, and ends at 4:00pm Wednesday. For exact dates, see the Academic Calendar.
  • ALL STUDENTS are encouraged to pre-register on Monday, and then return to review their pre-registration on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. The point of this is that any problems encountered on Monday are easily fixed prior to the end of the process. You might have a hold you need to get released. Even if you have no problems, check back on Wednesday to make sure you did it right and check enrollments as they rise in case this affects your choices.
  • Pre-register using the mySwarthmore web site.
    • Recommended browsers for mySwarthmore are Internet Explorer or Safari.
    • Firefox is not recommended.
  • All departmental lotteries will be run off the pre registration results.
  • Pre-registration provides equal access to courses and lotteries regardless of when you do it with the exception of some Chemistry, Economics and Arabic courses, which sometimes use first-come, first-served to fill some sections. For more information please see the departments.
  • If you miss Pre-registration, you can still register for classes using an Add/Drop form, but you will have missed all the lotteries.
  • First-year seminars are restricted to first-year students. Sophomores and upper-class students should not pre-register for these.
  • Add Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or U Penn courses differently, using the paper method - you don't add those using the pre-registration online tool.

4.5 Credit Limit (during pre-registration)

  • In order to be fair and give all students a better chance of getting 4 courses they really want, the registration limit for pre-registration is 4.5 credits.
  • There is no limit on PE or PE Dance. Neither counts toward the 4.5 credit limit.
  • Students are required to register for 4.0 credits per semester, unless they have obtained special permission to do otherwise. For fewer than 4.0 credits or more than 5.0 credits students must file ahead of time an Application for Extra or Less Credit with the Registrar.
  • Five credits: Students who really want a 5th course add it during drop/add, preferably after they've had a chance to visit it and be sure of their interest. In some cases an academic advisor can request the pre-registration limit be raised to 5 for a major with an approved 5-credit program.
  • The 10-credit rule (for tuition): Note that the normal expected load is 4 to 5 credits per semester, and no extra tuition fees will be charged until a student takes more than 10.0 credits per Fall-Spring year.


  • After Pre-registration is over, departments have several days to review pre-registration class lists, and, in the case of over-subscribed courses, consider a lottery to determine who will remain in the class.
  • Most departments email students who are lotteried out.
  • Some departmental lottery policies are included on departmental web pages under "Courses." If you can't find them listed there, contact the department directly.


  • About a week after pre-registration the registrar will send an email asking every student to check his or her mySwarthmore account, to see the results of both the pre-registration program and departmental lotteries.
  • Students who get all their choices are done registering.
  • Students who do not get all their choices because of lotteries or otherwise need to make changes must use an Add/Drop form to make changes to their schedule. Visit faculty to ask for entrance into open spaces in desired classes.
  • Drop/add starts as soon as lottery results are announced, and runs through the second week of classes next semester.

List of Open and Courses Closed

  • Use this list in consultation with your advisor in preparing to make changes to your schedule.

You must attend the First Class Meeting

  • Students are required to attend the first class meeting to confirm their registration in each class. Students should contact the professor directly to ask that their seats be held if they cannot make the first meeting. Students are required to complete a drop/add form for all drops & adds, but the instructor of a class has last word about who is registered.

Read the FINE PRINT:

Don't see the course on-line?

  • If you don't see an expected course on-line during pre-registration, check with the department to be sure, and plan on adding the course after registration ends.
  • Econ seminars: See the Economics Department's Administrative Assistant after pre-registration is over. You do not pre-register for Economics seminars.
  • English 1C: Sign up for English 1C at the English Literature Department. You do not pre-register for ENGL 001C.
  • Music 48: Sign up for Music 48 at the Music Department. You do not pre-register for MUS 048, nor do you register for MUS 048 with an Add form - the Music Department tells the Registrar who is registered.
  • FMST 098: See the FMST Department Chair after pre-registration is over. You will not be able to pre-register for Film Studies 98.
  • Various other courses are also not listed for pre-registration. Check with the department how to add them.


  • Students must be sure that they have fulfilled any pre-requisites for all courses they wish to take.
  • While the pre-registration program will not prevent students from wrongly pre-registering in courses with pre-requisites, chairs will be able to delete wrongful registrations along with lotteried deletions.

Warning about Credits and Grades

  • Normal progress is four semester course credits per semester, plus PE until PE is done. Students that do not manage to complete and pass at straight C or better at least three credits per semester will have their records reviewed by the Committee on Academic Requirements and could be required to take an academic leave. Note that INC grades, Withdraw grades, or shadow grades of less than straight C do not satisfy this minimum expectation.
  • Students should also be mindful to maintain satisfactory progress toward fulfilling their degree. Normal progress is four semester course credits per semester. Over the semesters, at a minimum, students should earn 6 to 8 credits by the end of the first year, 14 to 16 credits by the end of the sophomore year, and 22 to 24 credits by the end of the junior year.  Students not achieving satisfactory progress will have their records reviewed by the Committee on Academic Requirements and could be required to take an academic leave.

100-level Seminar Pre-registration Instructions

  • Where noted in the printed Schedule of Courses and Seminars, seminar students must register for BOTH REQUIRED SECTIONS (one-credit each) of double-graded seminars in order to get both grades and both credits.
  • Students wishing to take seminars must obtain the approval of the chair of the department prior to pre-registration.
  • Planning ahead: To avoid scheduling conflicts, honors students planning on taking two seminars in one semester must alert the chair(s) of the appropriate department(s) of this at the beginning of the semester prior to the one in which the two seminars will be taken.
  • While the pre-registration program will not prevent students from wrongly pre-registering in unapproved seminars, chairs will be able to delete wrongful registrations.

Directed Reading, Independent Study, etc.

  • Students wishing to do directed reading, independent study, etc. must get this approved by the professor prior to pre-registering. If the directed reading, independent study, etc. is offered through the pre-registration program, students may register at this time -- otherwise students may add this during drop/add.
  • While the pre-registration program will not prevent students from wrongly pre-registering in unapproved directed readings, etc., chairs will be able to delete wrongful registrations.

Tri-College or U Penn

  • Swarthmore students who wish to take courses at Bryn Mawr, Haverford or the University of Pennsylvania do NOT pre-register with mySwarthmore. Instead, register for these using the forms required forms available in the Swarthmore Registrar's Office.

Credit/No Credit Not Part of Registration

  • Students who wish to take one or more courses on a Credit/No Credit basis must indicate this on the appropriate form obtainable in the Registrar's Office. This form must be turned in during the first two weeks of classes - not before. The deadline is the end of the ninth week of classes.
  • After their first semester, students may use a maximum of four Credit/No Credit declaration options.


  • Auditors are not required to register, but may choose to register for "audit" in order to be able to use Moodle. In any case, audits must be approved by the instructor and finally validated after the semester is over.

Other information

  • A fine of $1.00 per day is imposed for late registration. Students returning from leave have until the end of the first week of classes.
  • Students who do not intend to return next semester should apply to the Dean for a Leave of Absence.
  • Students who do not register nor obtain a Leave of Absence will have to apply for re-admission if they wish to return.
  • Read the Guidelines on Scheduling Conflicts Between Academics and Athletics.
  • Students who have not satisfied their financial obligations will not be permitted to return to campus, attend any classes, live in campus housing, have a meal plan, register via add/drop (or any other method) for any classes, enroll for the following semester, participate in the room lottery, obtain a transcript, or be permitted to be graduated.
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