Academic Resources and Support

Academic Advisers
Academic Support
Information Technology Services (ITS)
Off-Campus Study Office
Registrar's Office
Student Disability Services

Academic Advisers

Each new student is assigned to a faculty member, a member of the dean’s staff, or other professional staff member who serves as an academic adviser until this responsibility falls to the chair of the student’s major department at the end of the sophomore year. Initial assignments are made by the associate dean for academic affairs on the basis of major interests and abilities indicated by entering students.

Changes in advisers will be freely granted (subject only to equity in number of advisees assigned to an individual faculty member) on application to the associate dean. Reassignments may also be made due to faculty leaves or shifts in duties.

The formal parameters of the relation between adviser and advisee include:

1) the adviser typically approves the courses for which the student registers;

2) the adviser must approve drops or adds to the course load;

3) the adviser will receive copies of all official correspondence concerning the student’s academic standing in order to better advise the student on academic and personal decisions;

4) the adviser will guide the student in meeting academic requirements and choosing classes.

When the adviser is not available, the student may contact the appropriate class dean or the chair of the major department.

Academic Support

Support in the form of clinics, tutors, and/or Student Academic Mentors (SAMs) are provided free of charge within the bounds of reasonable use and when a relevant resource exists. Deans, professors, and/or the coordinator of student disability services and learning resources can all help students access these resources.


The Swarthmore College Bookstore is owned and operated by Swarthmore College for the benefit of the College community. The Bookstore carries required textbooks and supplies, a large selection of general interest and leisure reading material, computer software and peripherals, Swarthmore memorabilia, imprinted clothing and gifts, greeting cards, snack foods and cold beverages, room accessories, health and beauty aids, laundry and cleaning supplies, general everyday gifts, and even some puzzles and toys. All products in the Bookstore are sold at or below manufacturers’ suggested list prices.

Information Technology Services (ITS)

The Information Technology Services (ITS) help desk provides students with a single point of contact for computer, network, and telephone help services at, ext. 4357 (HELP) from on campus, or 610-328-8513 from off campus.

ITS maintains about 400 computers for student use in the libraries, computer labs, classrooms,
and residence halls. The Swarthmore wireless and wired computing network extends to every building, and access is provided in each residence hall room. The College network provides access to academic software, library resources, and network storage as well as email and the Internet.


The Swarthmore College Libraries partner with students in critical inquiry, scholarly discovery and creativity across three main libraries.  The Libraries’ excellent collection of books, journals, databases, films, CDs and other materials are enhanced through acess to Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges as well as libraries worldwide. 

As expected in discovery and research, subject specialist librarians, and specially trained peer research and information students, RIAs, are available as consultants for daily coursework and complex research projects. Research help is readily available at the McCabe Library Research & Information Desk,, chat on the library homepage at, and by phone at ext. 8493 on campus or 610-328-8493 from off campus. 

The Swarthmore College Libraries are committed to providing a safe, pleasant and productive environment for study and research. Users of the libraries are asked to conduct themselves in a manner that does not inconvenience or interfere with others and that is in keeping with our mission to offer a secure and agreeable atmosphere. Any behavior that disregards these purposes is inappropriate. 

Behaviors not permitted include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • excessive noise that can reasonably be expected to annoy other patrons or library staff,
  • discourteous or disruptive use of cell phones or audio equipment,
  • soliciting without prior authorization from the College Librarian,
  • inappropriate use of recreational equipment e.g. skateboards, skates, rollerblades,
  • misuse of restrooms,
  • removing library materials from the library without authorization,
  • concealing library materials,
  • bringing food or drink in that is messy, not covered, has a strong odor, or is more of a meal then a snack,
  • placing signs, posters, etc. on surfaces other than bulletin boards, or
  • infractions of the Library Computer Use Policy found at:, and
  • all other violation(s) of the Student Code of Conduct.

Patrons who violated any of these policies may be asked to leave the library, lose their library privileges, and/or be subject to College imposed disciplinary or legal actions as appropriate. 

Borrowing policies vary due to the nature of material being used.  Although penalty points are commonly used in place of fines, it is possible to accrue both fines and penalty points under certain circumstances.  If an item is recalled and overdue, students are blocked from further borrowing until the time is returned.  The student borrowing policy can be found here:

Off-Campus Study Office

The College emphasizes the importance of study abroad and encourages all students to explore possibilities for doing so as integral parts of their degree programs. Approximately 40 percent of all students take advantage of this opportunity. The Off-Campus Study Office is the on-campus clearinghouse for information on study abroad, and normally is the starting place for exploration and planning.  The Off-Campus Study Office will help all interested students at every stage of the process: planning, study abroad, and return. Proper planning begins with attendance at a general information meeting, and then a study abroad advising appointment, as early as possible in one’s college career. 

Participants in the Semester/Year Abroad program remain registered at Swarthmore and are subject to the rules and regulations of the College while abroad.  Students may study abroad up to two semesters, beginning spring of the sophomore year, and during the junior year.  Fall semester seniors may participate in study abroad with the permission of their major department as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements. 

To be accepted for credit toward the Swarthmore degree, courses taken abroad must meet Swarthmore academic standards, and be preapproved through the Off-Campus Study Office’s procedures. 

To participate in the Swarthmore College Semester/Year Abroad program students must be in good standing concerning both their academic program and student conduct.  The Off-Campus Study Office and the Dean’s Office meet to review student standing and to determine eligibility.  Students must also meet the eligibility requirements of the programs to which they apply. 

Participants in the College’s Semester/Year Abroad program must comply with its payment plan.  Students continue to pay Swarthmore’s comprehensive fee for tuition, room, and board.  The College then pays for the tuition fees, room and board costs, insurance, and the round-trip travel of participating students (with Philadelphia as the gateway city). Normally, financial aid is automatically applied toward meeting study abroad fees.

Registrar's Office

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for course registration and maintenance of all official records related to student enrollment. This includes recording course registration and final grades, ensuring that students fulfill all requirements before graduating from the College, and issuing official Swarthmore College transcripts. The Registrar’s Office also coordinates course and final examination schedules, coordinates the honors program, and maintains the content of the College Catalog.

Student Disability Services

Swarthmore College welcomes students with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of college life.  Our mission is to ensure that students with physical, medical, learning or psychological disabilities are provided with equal access to all college programs, activities and services.  The Coordinator of Learning Resources and Student Disability Services advises students about the College’s policy, procedure and resources, reviews students’ clinical documentation and collaborates with students, faculty and staff to arrange reasonable accommodations that support students’ individual needs.