Academic Period: Swarthmore College uses the semester course credit system, and lists semester course credits on the official Swarthmore College transcript. Excluding holidays, Swarthmore College has two semesters of fourteen or fifteen weeks, thirteen or fourteen instructional weeks including a mid-semester break, and one week of final examinations.
Recommended instructional time: Our official normal student work load is four course credits per semester. One unit of Swarthmore College credit normally represents three to four hours of class or seminar time, with conference sessions and laboratory periods in addition. Conference sections, professor-lead additional study sessions, and laboratories are usually three hours or more in length, and are not reflected on the transcript, but occur in many courses.
Recommended out of class time requirements: We advise students to plan to spend two to three hours of work for every hour of class attended. Our research shows that Swarthmore College students typically work at least two hours outside of class preparing for every hour of class attended. The typical student attends class or seminar for 12 or more hours per week, and prepares for class or seminar at least 24 hours per week.
Course Credit and Numbering
The semester course credit is the unit of credit. One semester course credit is normally equivalent to 4 semester hours elsewhere. Upper-class seminars and colloquia are usually given for 2 semester course credits. A few courses are given for 0.5 credit.
Courses are numbered as follows:
001 to 010
011 to 099
Other courses (Some of these courses are not open to first-year students or sophomores.)
100 to 199
Seminars for upper-class students and graduate students.
The numbers for yearlong courses are joined by a hyphen (e.g., 001–002) and must be continued for the entire year. For introductory language yearlong courses, credit is not given for the first semester’s work only, nor is credit given for the first semester if the student fails the second semester. In cases where credit is not earned for the second half of a yearlong course, the first semester is excluded from counting toward degree credit, although the registration and grade for the first semester remain on the permanent record.
Course listings in this catalog are intended to facilitate planning, but are subject to change. A better guide to course offerings in any particular semester is the schedule of courses available at the Registrar’s website www.swarthmore.edu/Admin/registrar/.
Subject Code Key
ANCH Ancient History
ARTH Art History
ASIA Asian Studies
BLST Black Studies
CHEM Chemistry and Biochemistry
CLST Classical Studies
COGS Cognitive Science
CPLT Comparative Literature
CPSC Computer Science
EDUC Educational Studies
ENGL English Literature
ENVS Environmental Studies
FMST Film and Media Studies
GSST Gender and Sexuality Studies
INTP Interpretation Theory
ISLM Islamic Studies
LASC Latin American Studies
LITR Modern Languages and Literatures
MDST Medieval Studies
PEAC Peace and Conflict Studies
POLS Political Science
PPOL Public Policy
SOAN Sociology and Anthropology
STUA Studio Art
- Absent on leave, fall 2013.
- Absent on leave, spring 2014.
- Absent on leave, 2013–2014.
- Absent on administrative leave, 2013–2014.
- Fall 2013.
- Spring 2014.
- Affiliated faculty.